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Deering, PHS Partner with City in Future Leaders Program

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Deering, PHS Partner with City in Future Leaders Program
Posted on 02/25/2016
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The City of Portland began an exciting partnership with Portland Public Schools and its Anatomy of Leadership Program on Feb. 24. The program involves 44 sophomore students from Portland and Deering high schools putting their leadership skills to use to work on seven case studies submitted by city workers to improve municipal services.

After several years of partnering with private sector companies like Idexx, Oakhurst Dairy, WCSH-6 TV, Key Bank, and Hannaford, the leadership program will work with a government entity for the first time.

On Feb. 24, the city staff hosted the students by giving them tours of city facilities and introducing them to their case studies and the staff that will serve as their liaisons. The case studies involve a variety of topics from stormwater, concussions, housing, social media and technology, travel experiences, and the city flag.

“I’m extremely pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the Portland Public Schools on this important program that is really helping to create our future leaders,” said Jon Jennings, Portland city manager. “Given the amount of things that we work on and the resources we have to complete them, I think it will really be invaluable to have the students’ perspective on how we can improve on a number of different city projects. And at the same time, we are giving them a first-hand look at how their own municipal government works. Who knows, maybe one day one of them will end up working here.”

PHS teacher Maryann Pendleton, Anatomy of Leadership Program coordinator, said, “I want to thank the city for stepping up to partner with us and for creating such great case studies for the students to work on. This program allows students to explore a range of career opportunities, and I’m proud to say that we have been very successful with our past partners implementing the ideas that the students created. The students are very excited to begin their work.”

The students are chosen for the program based on leadership qualities that they have demonstrated in and/or out of school. They have spent the last several months studying the leadership theory of Peter Senge from the Sloan School of Management at MIT who authored the book The Fifth Discipline. The students now need to put this to use in a real world practicum and will work on teams to solve their case studies. They will meet on Tuesday nights at Deering for work sessions during March and part of April. They will then present their findings to city staff in in mid-to-late April.