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Stuart Launches National Center for Girls' Leadership; Names Courtney Portlock, New Head of Upper School, as Director
Stuart Launches National Center for Girls' Leadership; Names Courtney Portlock, New Head of Upper School, as Director

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, recognized for its bold and innovative approach to all-girls education, announces the launch of the National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart (NCGLS). The school is pleased to introduce new Head of Upper School Courtney Portlock as the director (see video below).

The National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart (NCGLS) is a global expansion of the school's Center for Girls' Leadership, established in 2015 to support and empower the next generation of female leaders. The decision to broaden the scope of NCGLS came on the heels of the school's #LEADLIKEAGIRL, a free conference for girls K-12, in April 2017. The #LEADLIKEAGIRL conference evolved out of the school's efforts to help bridge the gender-gap in STEM and entrepreneurship. Over 900 students, parents and mentors from across the country, and educators from as far as Greece, participated in the conference, which had to close for registration one month prior to the event.

"As experts in educating girls, we are always asking, 'What do girls need to lead today, and into the future?'" said Dr. Patty L. Fagin, head of school at Stuart. "Despite the demonstrated strength of girls over their male counterparts in the classroom, women still remain significantly underrepresented in many high growth areas including the STEM fields, entrepreneurship, finance, and especially positions of leadership." Dr. Fagin continued, "We believe that girls must be given not just the skills, but also the confidence to know their voices are equally important."

The National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart works to support and empower the next generation of female leaders worldwide by providing leadership training, mentors and opportunities through research, professional programming, and the development of innovative curriculum.

"I am very proud to announce the appointment of Courtney Portlock as head of Upper School and director of the National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart." said Dr. Fagin. "Courtney's passion for and experience with diversity, equity and inclusion will be invaluable as we expand NCGLS both geographically, and also socioeconomically, to girls throughout the country."

Mrs. Portlock explained that, "Through the expansion of the National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart, we will create blueprint for other schools, educators and organizations to extend the impact of the NCGLS mission to students regardless of where they live or go to school." She is currently working to form a consortium with girls' schools around the country under the umbrella of the NCGLS, with plans to develop training for educators to teach leadership curriculum, make leadership courses available online, connect students with mentors, and hold the #LEADLIKEAGIRL conference in different locations across the United States.

For the last three years Mrs. Portlock has served as the assistant head of Upper School at Stuart. During this time she was instrumental in the establishment of the Leadership Endorsement Program, developing curriculum and teaching the leadership courses at Stuart. Before joining Stuart in 2014, Mrs. Portlock was at The Episcopal Academy for nine years where she was director of diversity and community life for seven years and taught math and English. A Princeton native, Mrs. Portlock worked in finance and technology before making a career change to education. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

About the National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart: The National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart (NCGLS) works to support and empower the next generation of female leaders. Through research, professional programming, and development of innovative curriculum, NCGLS serves as a resource to parents, students and educators throughout the world. Stuart's leadership programming includes: model high school courses designed for the Leadership Endorsement Program at Stuart such as Leadership and Personal Development, Applied Leadership, and Leadership Theory and Ethics; the Women in Leadership Speaker Series; and the leadership conference for girls K-12 titled #LEADLIKEAGIRL: A Conference for Risk-Takers and Changemakers. Learn more about the National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart at www.stuartschool.org/NCGLS.


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