Leadership Statement

Leaders are individuals, both titled and untitled, who move their communities forward in a positive direction. The Ethical Leadership Project at The Masters School cultivates an environment in which students, faculty and staff engage in activities that develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the impacts they have on their communities. Teaching integral components of leadership and mentoring students in meaningful leadership experiences, the project empowers students to choose positive action and pursue lives of significance.
At Masters, we understand that tomorrow’s leaders will need not only the basic skills of leadership, but also a deep understanding of who they are and what they value. A key component of leadership is learning strategies for holding true to those values when encountering challenges. The Ethical Leadership Project was designed with these aspects in mind. Our goal for the program is that all members of the community can engage in a common exploration to become a power for good in our communities and our world.

Leadership Programs, Activities & More

List of 7 items.

  • Ethical Leadership in the Curriculum

    Using a variety of approaches, including self-reflection, film viewing, current event discussions, case study analysis, leadership style exercises, and team-building activities, students begin the deep work of figuring out who they are and where they fit in the context of the communities in which they exist.
    Our work evolves through the Upper School years.
    • We work with all 8th grade students in an introductory unit that focuses on Social-Emotional Learning skills.
    • In the 9th grade Seminar we work with all students on vocabulary introductory concepts, and applications to their world.
    • In 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, students can opt to take one of the Seminars in Ethical Leadership (see description below).
    • Individual coaching and mentoring is available to all students.
  • Leadership in Co-Curricular Activities

    The following programs take place outside the traditional classroom:
    • Captain’s Training: assists varsity captains in their leadership roles. Working to recognize common challenges and potential solutions, these meetings result in cross-team collaboration that we like to refer to as “a team of captains”.  These meetings take place every other week at lunch.
    • Student Leader Training: assists and mentors elected leaders in their service to the community.  These are held once a month at lunch.
    • Peer Leader Program: trains current students to welcome our new Upper School Students and assist them in their transition to Masters.
    Collegiate Leadership Competition (High School Version):  New in 2018, Masters will be one of three schools to participate in this inaugural program which incorporates leadership models and practice in a fun competition.
  • Seminars in Ethical Leadership

    The Seminars in Ethical Leadership are offered as an elective — Ethical Leadership I for sophomores and juniors,  and Ethical Leadership II for juniors and seniors. The classes focus first on the notion of “leading self” focusing on values, purpose, goal-setting, leadership styles, and communication.  We incorporate intentional collaboration to help us explore “leading others”, and then the classes propose projects to improve the communities they exist in. Ethical Leadership II students also engage in an interview project where students interview community leaders, alumnae/i and parents about their own life’s journey, including the challenges, failures and learning moments along the way. Both classes focus on real life ethical dilemmas through examination of current events and ethical dilemmas from daily life. We intentionally focus the lens forward in their lives, helping them think about the challenges they may face as they move on into adulthood, and what they need to do to prepare for those situations. Throughout the year, students write reflections on topics covered in class in the form of readings, films, and group activities. Students have told us that they’ve learned more about themselves, and also learned to appreciate the perspectives of those who may feel differently than they do.  
  • Faculty Engagement

    Masters recognizes the influence teachers have on their students and strives for alignment in developing leadership skills and ethical values through our core curriculum. Faculty are invited to monthly leadership lunches to discuss best practices, ethical dilemmas and current issues in the field. These lunches have been well attended and have included faculty from all departments and from CITYterm. Recent topics have included incorporating leadership style exercises into group work in classes; building empathy, intrinsic motivation, and self-regulation in students through autonomy-oriented practices; preserving the inner life of teachers; and building autonomy in the directed classroom. Our Ethical Leadership Council is comprised of faculty and staff and assist in furthering the goal of incorporating elements of ethical leadership into all aspects of the school community and greater connection to the core curriculum.
    In addition, Ethical Leadership hosts a Summer Institute for faculty to further the above-stated goals (see below for more detail).
  • Summer Leadership Institute

    Our 3-day Summer Faculty Leadership Institute gives teachers an opportunity to explore new and successful ways of engaging students in the exploration of leadership, the dilemmas of daily life, and life choices. Faculty work on a personal project that focuses on one aspect of their work with students as teachers, coaches, advisors, or dorm parents. The institute is open to all educators.
  • FAQ

    What are the goals of the program?
    One of the main goals of the Ethical Leadership Project is to reach as many Masters students as possible in order to provide opportunities to learn about ethical leadership. Students have a chance to lead each and every day, whether in titled leadership positions, in the classroom, on the athletic fields, in the dorms, in performing groups, or through community service. By providing them with guidance and meaningful opportunities to practice leadership, we are confident that our students will gain valuable experience that they will carry forward to future endeavors. Additionally, through our work, we hope that every Masters graduate will be able to articulate and defend their answers to these six questions:
    1. What is leadership?
    2. Why should I lead?
    3. How do I find meaning in my life?
    4. What are the “goods” of a good life?
    5. What are the virtues of a good leader?
    6. Why should ethics be a part of leadership?
    Is this program only for students who hold elective office?
    The Ethical Leadership Project’s work is based on the understanding that all of us are called to be leaders in our lives, at different times and in different circumstances.  As such, the work we do is intended to help all members of the community, not just titled leaders, grow in their understanding of themselves as leaders and to provide the skills necessary to effect positive change.
    Are all grades involved in the Ethical Leadership Project?
    The co-directors work with faculty and students at all levels. Some faculty members weave ethical leadership concepts into their classes, both in the middle school and upper school. In the upper school students are involved in all grades: ethical leadership is part of the curriculum in the 9th grade seminar class; in 10th and 11th grade,  Ethical Leadership I is offered, while Ethical Leadership II is an option for seniors. The co-directors and additional faculty meet with students in small groups and one-on-one to accomplish specific goals. Faculty also participate in the ethical leadership conversation through shared readings and discussion, and professional development that takes place both on and off campus.   
    Has the Ethical Leadership Project sponsored any additional programs?
    In the spring of 2015, the Ethical Leadership Project hosted the annual Developing Student Leaders conference for the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education. This annual conference draws educators from around the country to share best practices and learn about current research findings.
    Project Co-Directors Eileen Dieck, M.D. and Matt Kammrath also lead an annual Faculty Leadership Institute. During the three-day workshop, teachers collaborated on ideas that enable them to incorporate ethical leadership elements into their classes, and their work as advisors, coaches, and dorm parents.
    Masters was the site the first ever statewide conference for Character and Ethical Leadership Educators in October, 2017.  Hosted by Masters and NYSAIS, the program included program offerings by national experts and Masters faculty.

    How do I learn more about the program?
    Students can stop by the Rechtman Room (FC 123) to find out more about upcoming events. Parents and alumnae/i should feel free to contact co-director Lee Dieck (eileen.dieck@mastersny.org) at any time.
  • Ethical Leadership Directors

    Eileen Dieck, M.D.

    Eileen (Lee) Dieck came to Masters in 2004 after retiring from a career in Internal Medicine. At Masters, she has played numerous roles: developing courses in World Health, Physiology, and Ethical Leadership; coordinating the general chemistry curriculum, costuming for the Theater Department, and serving on/co-chairing various school committees including the Littleford committee on Salary Systems. In her role as co-director of Ethical Leadership, Lee has served as a presenter and consultant for the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education, and more recently presented on the topic of Ethical Leadership at a gathering of ethical education leaders in June, 2016 sponsored by the Grab The Torch foundation. Lee continues to research and collaborate in this area with colleagues from around the country. Having just completed a year’s sabbatical during which she continued to research best practices for our Ethical Leadership program, Lee has returned to the classroom this fall, grateful to have the opportunity to work with the students at Masters. In her community, Lee has served on the Medical Board and Board of Trustees of Northern Westchester Hospital, the Alumni Board of Governors of New York Medical College, and currently is starting her second term as chair of the board of Professional Children’s School. When not fulfilling her professional obligations, Lee loves to spend time with husband of 36 years and best friend, Bill, and her three adult children, the youngest of which, Chelsea is a Masters alumnae (’09). She is an avid reader, tennis player and gardener.  


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Ethical Leadership Newsletters

Leadership in Action

    • Ethical Leadership Overview

    • Student Testimonial: Haley, ’17

    • Student Testimonial: Nina ’17

    • Student Testimonial: Tyler ’17