Throughout this school year, we will feature guest bloggers to share different perspectives on or experiences with boys education on our Head of School blog. Our next guest blogger is Adam Farnie, Regis Middle School Division Head, who writes about "How is Leadership Strengthened in Middle School Boys because Regis culminates in Eighth Grade?"
Regis intentionally ends at eighth grade—this decision to focus on Pre-K through eighth grade boys’ education is deliberate, thoughtful, and inspired by the desire to meet the needs of our students.
As the oldest division at Regis, Middle School boys benefit from the ability to experience leadership, learn responsibility, and become mentors to younger students. In a K-12 school, high school students typically take on these roles, but Regis provides this unique opportunity to our fifth through eighth grade students. Leadership opportunities are plentiful and incorporated into all divisions at Regis, but in Middle School, these experiences increase substantially. Middle School boys assist with carpool, lead school tours as student ambassadors, serve on Student Council, lead morning prayer daily for the entire school community, mentor their little brothers, and so much more.
Eighth grade boys act as servant-leaders by taking their turn at morning carpool, opening the doors for younger students and wishing them a good day. This daily welcome to campus by the eighth grade students provides important check points with the entire school community, including parents who are driving through carpool, and gives Regis boys the opportunity to practice the soft skills of greeting adults during that transition from home to school that happens daily.
Middle school boys represent the school as student ambassadors serving on panels to answer questions on Admissions tours, and then leading tours throughout the school at our annual Open House. Student ambassadors are an essential aspect of Regis’ recruitment of prospective students and our ambassadors serve as the primary representatives of Regis. These young men share their Regis Experience with visiting families and help them understand what it is like to be a scholar and gentleman in the Sacred Heart tradition.
In Middle School, boys can run for elected office on the Regis Student Council. They participate in the democratic process, give speeches, and then, once elected, lead their fellow students in activities such as planning socials with our sister school, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, or facilitating service projects such as food drives. Student Council officers and representatives are the leaders who are often called upon to represent Regis at activities like prayer services or off-campus events.
Each morning the entire Regis community gathers in the Student Life Center for prayer and announcements. These daily gatherings are facilitated by eighth grade, and each student leads the entire school in morning assembly at least one full week during the school year. These students learn to speak into a microphone, make eye contact while speaking, manage the flow of the assembly, and lead over 300 people in prayer. For some students, being on stage is an exciting opportunity they look forward to, for other students it can be an anxiety provoking experience. However, in Regis’ unique and supportive environment, each student is able to move through either the anxiety or the excitement to lead his classmates and community successfully each morning.
Middle School students build relationships with their “little brothers” in the Big Brother/Little Brother program by leading younger students in activities, reading to them, and modeling reverent behavior at Mass. These opportunities to mentor younger students provides a great chance for boys to stretch themselves and be of service to others on campus, all while having fun getting to know other members of the school community. Big Brother/Little Brother relationships are important and have a long-lasting impact on both the “big” and “little” brothers. These friendships extend well beyond The Regis Experience and a student’s time as a Regis Knight.
Regis’ intentionally small community—that ends at eighth grade—provides opportunities for students to develop unique leadership skills and gives each student the ability to identify his strengths. Allowing Middle School students to make these discoveries prior to high school ensures they will enter high school prepared to take on new challenges and to support a new community.
Bio: Adam serves as Head of Middle School and is a member of Regis' Administrative Team. He holds an M.Ed.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas. Adam has eight years of classroom teaching experience, and prior to joining the staff at Regis, he taught in the classroom at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and served as Assistant Principal at Our Lady of Guadalupe School.