Greenwood School Headmaster Stewart Miller — along with rising high school Junior Stephen Collins and Alumnus Matt Blake (’88) — was recently invited to Vancouver, BC, to give the closing Keynote Address at Fred Forum, an invitation-only leadership incubator that brings together leaders and leadership trainers from corporations, NGOs, the military and the non-profit sector. FRED’s mission is to elevate the quality of leadership in the world through innovation in leadership and leadership development.
FRED provided an influential audience and valuable opportunity for Stewart to talk about changing the national conversation about learning differences. He was able to share Greenwood boys’ stories of struggle and triumph, highlight the importance a new educational model, reinforce the importance of optimism, character strengths, and innovation in leadership, and bring awareness to the importance and value of being mission-driven.
Stephen Collins provided a powerful personal testimony about the struggles he endured when being misunderstood in school and the transformation he achieved at Greenwood. Stephen also spoke about his experience learning and publicly reciting The Gettysburg Address, as showcased in Ken Burns’ recent documentary, The Address.
Greenwood alum Matt Blake (’88) reflected on his personal journey with learning challenges, how Greenwood was a turning point in his life, and why reciting The Gettysburg Address at Greenwood so many years ago continues to hold importance and relevance for him today.
The presentation concluded with Stephen and Matt reciting The Gettysburg Address, which proved to be a very inspirational ending to FRED!
In a powerful and engaging final session participants were privileged to hear about the work of The Greenwood School. This school in Putney, Vermont was featured in a Ken Burns documentary ‘The Address’. It is a remarkable school where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address. The Greenwood School Headmaster, Stewart Miller, student, Stephen Collins and alumnus Matt Blake shared the fascinating story behind the adoption of the Address as a teaching method and the impact on the School and their students.
The Greenwood School supports students who encounter learning challenges. By providing a genuinely supportive environment that focuses on each individual’s potential, students are able to enjoy school, study, develop their confidence, overcome challenges and succeed. As alumnus Matt Blake highlighted, the confidence and sense of accomplishment developed at the Greenwood School – and by learning to recite the Gettysburg Address in particular – is something that endures throughout their personal and professional lives.