Legendary Leaders in 9th Grade Seminar

Known for having just as much or sometimes more impact on the nation than her husband, Eleanor Roosevelt – First Lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt – let her voice be heard.  

“She was inspirational to me because she fought for the rights of many different kinds of people and chose to not stay silent but instead fought for what she thought was right,” explains Raleigh Kotzker ‘24.

In the first semester, Raleigh and her classmates in Dr. Erin Reynold’s 9th Grade Seminar Class chose a person who they believed exhibited at least three of the five leadership qualities that Valor strives to develop: Character, Courage, Influence, Service and Discipline. 

Developing these attributes is a lifelong journey, not solely achieved by taking one class or from a lecture, but a conviction of the heart and soul. So, pursuing this endeavor was more than an object lesson for Dr. Erin Reynolds, who wanted to give the girls in her class examples of people who exemplified these attributes. “I wanted the girls to see that they possess some of these same qualities of their legendary leaders and it is just a matter of applying them to areas where they want to make a difference,” explains Dr. Reynolds.  “All of the Seminar classes are pursuing this same effort during this unit.”

While learning public speaking skills, each student researched and learned about their particular leader. Dr. Reynolds met one on one with each of her students to see how their speeches were developing and discussed delivery – how to use your voice, posture, gesture, and more to support the message you want the audience to receive. By the end, the class delivered their legendary leader speeches in-person to their peers. 

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