NDA Leadership Program Set for January


Andrew Quigley, Staff Writer

Moira-for-Online-TritonianNotre Dame students have an opportunity to bolster their leadership skills, as NDA alumna Moira Farrell will be directing the Notre Dame Academy Leadership Development Program for another year.

Farrell said that the program aims to build leadership skills through games and other interactive activities.

“In today’s world you’re expected to be a leader. This class is one and half hours to be taught what it really means to be a leader,” Farrell said.

According to Farrell, as the world becomes increasingly impatient, so do its people, demanding results in shorter periods of time. The way she sees it, being a leader has become a lost art.

“Everything is now, now, now. You don’t get taught to be a leader anymore,” Farrell said.

Farrell sees the benefits of the program and its objective, as do the handful of NDA students who participate. One problem, she said, is the lack of knowledge about the program, as only eight to ten students consistently attend the club’s meetings.

Junior Noah Wleczyk said he is interested in developing his leadership skills in the future but didn’t know about the Notre Dame Academy Leadership Development Program.

“This is the first time that I’ve heard about it,” Wleczyk said.

Wleczyk expressed interest in the program: “It sounds interesting. Maybe I’ll go to a meeting to see what it’s like.”

NDA senior Haley Cullen is entering her third year in the club, after starting the program as a sophomore.

“I wasn’t very involved as a freshman. My dad found an article in the Communique about the club and suggested that I join,” Cullen said.

Cullen currently is an active member of Sting Cancer and the Yearbook committee. She credits the leadership program for helping her get involved: “Because of the club, I’ve been able to branch out. I’ve gotten involved in things I wouldn’t have expected to do.”

Even if you are a senior, Cullen said it is never too late to join. “It’ll help you build skills that you will need when you go away to college,” she said.

Farrell herself sees the benefits of the program she directs. At the meetings, she coordinates games and exercises, observing her students for certain behaviors.

“I catch people in-moment. We talk about what did and didn’t work in the activity and how we can improve next time,” Farrell said.

At the end of the day, Farrell said she is fascinated to watch the growth of club members: “A light bulb clicks with some of the kids. It’s nice to see.”

To complete the course, club members write short essays and reflections, attend the classes, and go on a required overnight retreat in Door County during the month of June.

“It’s not overwhelming work,” Cullen said.

When meeting at Notre Dame, Farrell said she utilizes the gym and auditorium for activities: “It would be boring for the kids to sit for an hour and half and watch me lecture,” she said.

According to Farrell, the early dismissal meetings are convenient for most students, as some have to work in the evenings or stay for athletic practices. The admission fee for Notre Dame Academy’s Leadership Development Program is twenty-five dollars and is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors, she said.

In the future Farrell, Farrell said she hopes to spur growth in the leadership program: “Maintain and grow. It would be huge to get 30 students in this class.”

Farrell encourages students who are interested to contact seniors Greg Young, Haley Cullen and Derek Campbell. The group will be meeting at Notre Dame after school on early dismissal days once again this year, she said.

“Come once. If you don’t like it, at least you tried,” Farrell said.

Cullen calls on the students of NDA to step up: “You don’t have any reason not to. Try it out.”