Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson is working with students in Patriot Academy at Broadalbin-Perth Jr./Sr. High School to help them find and hone their innate strengths. Through his lessons, students are also learning why different personalities and mindsets can come together to collaborate successfully.
Several years ago, Tomlinson traveled to Gallup headquarters in Washington, D.C., to learn how to be a Gallup CliftonStrengths trainer, a program focused on team building around individuals’ strengths. Tomlinson has led StrengthsFinders trainings for faculty and staff in years past, but the Patriot Academy marks the first time he has led trainings for students.
Students first took the CliftonStrengths Assessment to discover what their strengths are among the traits identified by the program. “Analytical,” “empathy,” “consistency,” and “focus” are among the 34 themes in the program. During his most recent lesson, Tomlinson gave students a road map with results from their assessments and walked them through the various themes to help the students identify their “talent DNA,” as Gallup calls it.
The work Tomlinson is doing with the Patriot Academy students ties directly to a goal the district set in “Innovate,” the strategic plan published in 2016: “Implement programs to help students, faculty and staff identify and cultivate their innate strengths.” A committee of parents, students, faculty, staff, and community members is currently working to help the district develop its next strategic plan, “Innovate 2.0.”
Tomlinson will continue to work with Patriot Academy students to help them learn about their strengths through the end of the school year.