Private All Girls School

Preschool-High School

Princeton, New Jersey

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National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart

The Center

Program Description

Welcome! The National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart works to support and empower the next generation of female leaders. Through research, professional programming, and development of innovative curriculum, Stuart serves as a resource to parents, students and educators throughout the world. We invite you to join the discussion on our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board serves in the capacity of consultant to the National Center for Girls' Leadership at Stuart. The advisory board consists of outstanding leaders across a variety of disciplines who are deeply committed to the advancement of leadership development in young women. The president of Stuart's student government and a faculty liaison also serve on the Board.

Stephanie Champi ’12
Teach for America 2016 Corps Member

Joanna Vargas ’88
Founder of Joanna Vargas Skincare and Salon

Ivonne Diaz Claisse
President and CEO of HISPA

Lori Hennon-Bell
Chief Security Officer, Prudential Financial

Dr. Trisha Medeiros
President, Ursuline Academy

Katherine McLaughlin ’18
President of Student Government at Stuart

Faculty in Residence

Courtney Portlock
Head of Upper School,
Director, National Center for Girls Leadership

Christina Kosyla
Faculty in Residence, National Center for Girls Leadership

Samantha Ryan
Leadership Endorsement Chair

Alicia Testa
STEM/SIFE Coordinator,
STEM Endorsement Co-Chair

Jason Bink
STEM Endorsement Co-Chair

Sean Malloy
Upper School Dean of Students

Rebecca Fazzina
Interim Assistant Head of Upper School

Jan Baldwin
Middle School Dean of Students

Diploma Endorsement

Leadership Diploma Endorsement

We know that leadership can be cultivated and developed through an exploration of leadership theory, the development of leadership skills and qualities and the application of this knowledge. We are excited to offer our students the opportunity to pursue leadership studies, and if they choose, they may earn an endorsement in leadership to be noted on their high school transcript. Students must apply to the program, take three leadership courses, complete a practicum/independent study junior year, and a final thesis presentation senior year.

Leadership courses include:

  • Leadership Theory and Ethics, Leadership Styles
    Students explore the ideas and writing of some of the greatest thinkers in history, including: Aristotle, Kant, Rawls, Bok, and Goleman. Students will examine the values and principles of ethical character and decision-making.
  • Personal Leadership Development
    Students examine different leadership styles of prominent leaders in our society. Leaders from different fields such as government and politics, arts and entertainment, service, science and technology are studied. Special attention is given to powerful female leaders including Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, Virginia Woolf, Mother Teresa, Marie Curie, and Oprah Winfrey. Students learn to identify and develop their own leadership styles, strengths and areas of growth.
  • Applied Leadership
    Students learn the practical skills of goal setting and project management. They also have the opportunity to lead and work in teams to develop programs and activities. The culmination of the course is the development and execution of a school program such as the mini-Student Diversity Leadership Conference or the Young Women in Leadership Workshop.

Student Programs

Youth Leadership Summit

At Stuart, our student leaders serve as the core of student life, and are critical to the inner workings of the upper school. Our entire community relies on these young women to ensure that student life at Stuart runs efficiently and effectively. Therefore, significant responsibilities and obligations accompany student leadership roles. The Youth Leadership Summit is designed to empower our students to not only feel confident in themselves, but to also feel confident in their goal and decision making skills. During the Summit, the girls will get the opportunity to explore their personality styles, and practice team problem-solving skills. In addition, basic school protocol will be reviewed to ensure consistency and clarity in planning school events and fundraisers for the upcoming school year. Student leaders will also have a chance to focus on short and long term goals.

Club Leadership Training

A training program for Upper School club leaders has been developed by Dean of Students Samantha Ryan and Upper School Fine Arts Department Chair Jan Baldwin. The program is designed to give students the tools to run an effective meeting, develop listening skills, analyze group dynamics, and improve public speaking skills. All club leaders participate in this training at the beginning of the school year.

NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference

Each year Stuart sends several students to the National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC). Held in Tampa this year, the conference is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage in dialogue and activities focused on diversity, social justice, and cultural awareness. The students spend two and a half days with other high school students from independent schools across the country, immersed in an environment where they are asked to reflect on the concept of acceptance, and are challenged to suspend judgment. A wonderful outgrowth of this experience is that our students are organizing a mini-SDLCin spring 2016 and inviting students from local independent schools.

Speaker Series

2016 Women in Leadership Speaker: Barbara Byrne

Barbara Byrne is the Vice Chairman within the Investment Bank at Barclays.

Read Barbara Byrne's full bio

Barbara Byrne is a Vice Chairman within the Investment Bank at Barclays. Based in New York, she is Chairman of both Barclays Americas Citizenship Council, overseeing strategic programs to foster global economic growth and opportunity, and Barclays Social Innovation Facility, a cross-business resource dedicated to the development of self-sustaining commercial solutions to social challenges.

With over 35 years of financial services experience, Barbara has been at the forefront of developing and leading longstanding partnerships with some of Barclays’ most important multinational, corporate clients. She is responsible for leading cross business teams in delivering the firm’s products and services to those clients, and is the primary architect of several of the firm’s marquee transactions. She has held senior management positions in Energy and Technology Banking groups throughout her career, and has led diverse strategic advisory initiatives across the firm focused on enhancing clients' global market position.

Barbara participates in numerous industry conferences as a forum leader on strategic issues and trends facing the financial services sector and global markets. She is a frequent speaker on behalf of women in business, social innovation, finance and leadership. She has been invited to attend Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s Summit for over 10 years. In each of the past seven years, American Banker has ranked Barbara as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Finance.” As a market leading expert, her perspective has been leveraged by the White House where she has participated in panel events regarding financial services and has spoken at the World Bank Group’s Gender and Economy event addressing the gender finance gap. Barbara has been a noted lecturer at events hosted by New America, a think tank and civic enterprise focusing on a range of public policy issues. In 2016, Barbara debuted as a co-producer of Equity, the first female-driven Wall Street film.

She is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations and The Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society. Barbara also serves on the New York City Board of the British-American Business Council. In addition, she acts as a frequent spokesperson on financial market commentary for news organizations such as Fortune, Forbes, Bloomberg, Reuters and CNBC.

Barbara graduated from Mount Holyoke College magna cum laude in 1976 and serves on its Board of Trustees and Executive Committee.

Women in Leadership Speaker Series

The Women in Leadership Speaker Series brings prominent women leaders to Stuart for keynote presentations and panel discussions. The series was initiated in 2006 with the mission of educating girls, and those who mentor and support them, to the qualities of “leadership for life.” Skills in personal excellence, individual leadership, self-confidence and personal vision are stressed through this program.

New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Anne Murray Patterson ’76 speaks to students in 2013.

Past Women in Leadership Speakers

Dr. Michele Gillespie ’79
November 20, 2015

Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
February 20, 2015

Justice Anne Murray Patterson ’76
October 4, 2013

Dr. Bonnie Bassler
October 23, 2012

Shelley Hearne ’79
April 15, 2011

Zoe Hart
October 19, 2010

Ashley Loren ’06
October 15, 2010

Dr. Jacque Lamour,
Carolyn Feuerstain Van Why ’99,
Aishwarya Rajogopalen ’09
March 2, 2010

Karin Brower
October 6, 2009

Jenny Alouzo,
Carol Massar,
Caroline McCarthy ’02,
Justine Schiro

April 17, 2008

Whitney Ransome
January 7, 2008

Cokie Roberts
October 18, 2007

Lindsey Cain,
Carly Rothman
Lisa Nalen

April 17, 2007

Shirley Tilghman
October 19, 2006

The Harris B. Siegel Fund for Student Leadership

The expansion of our leadership programs has been made possible by the Harris B. Siegel Fund for Student Leadership, established by Patricia Costante and Stephanie Champi ’12. Their generous gift was given to Stuart in gratitude for Mr. Siegel, a long time director of college counseling.


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