2023-24 HLI Retreat: Empowering Leadership and Excellence

By Manuela Santana, Senior SGA Treasurer and Historian, and
Mrs. Margaret Price, Assistant Dean of Students for Multiculturalism, Leadership, and Student Programs

To launch the school year with excellence, the 2023-24 Head of School Leadership Institute (HLI) students arrived on campus one week before the Montverde Academy’s official start date to begin modeling the school’s mission of developing leaders with a passion for knowledge, global vision, and innovation while developing character in a nurturing and diverse community.

This year’s HLI Retreat, hosted by the MVA Upper School faculty advisors, administration, and enrollment management team, opened with a presentation from Erika Feazell, Miss Winter Garden USA, who took the students on a “Road Trip to Legacy and Excellence,” focusing on stages of life and opportunities for growth along the journey. The Q&A was lively, and the students were thrilled to receive advice they could readily apply to their leadership journey.

The students were also able to enjoy a “Taco Bar” Lunch they were happy to catch up after summer break. The retreat also included 10 hours of community service work across campus for the almost 80 students in attendance. The service projects included:

    • Hosting new boarding students and families during the New Boarder Reception
    • Showing new families to their resident hall
    • Welcoming new boarding students into the dorm
    • Moving supplies and equipment to our brand-new innovation center
    • Organizing the concession area in the Nest
    • Preparing iPads for registration
    • Sorting Legos in the new robotics classroom
    • Taking families on campus tours
    • Arranging classrooms in the Fine Arts (FA) building

The HLI students spent one afternoon completing various team building challenges and Minute-to-Win- It games. The retreat ended with each program presenting on the FA auditorium stage their version of a “2023 Leadership Bucket List,” including goals for the year and what they will take with them on their road trip to leadership excellence. The retreat ended with a celebration of their service and commitment with a pool and beach court party and dodgeball competitions in the Nest.

“The dodgeball games were super exciting,” said Manuela Penha, Senior SGA Treasurer and Historian. “I was pleasantly surprised that faculty and administration joined in for the fun.

If you are interested in learning more about how to apply to the HLI Program, please email margaret.price@montverde.org. You may also check out the Student Life tab at montverde.org.