Commitment, Partnership, and Teamwork

Leaders Associates members learn how to be highly effective as a team.

Be more than a member of the team; be an active part of the team, and be committed to it. Vern Henshaw, Alpine School District superintendent and president of the BYU–Public School Partnership’s Governing Board, gave this guidance to Leaders Associates participants.

Leaders Associates is a Public School Partnership (BYU-PSP) program that brings education leaders together to discuss teacher preparation and public schools. Participants include BYU faculty and deans from the McKay School of Education and the BYU colleges of arts and sciences, as well as senior administrators from the five school districts that participate in the BYU-PSP.

In his address, Henshaw outlined changes that occur when a team member becomes a player. He explained, “A player has to understand [how to be] willing to . . . [commit]. Players naturally lift those around them. Being a player means you have to accept your place and position on the team.” He cautioned that skill is not the only requirement for being a player—the passion to serve and lift others is also needed.

Henshaw wasn’t the only speaker to inspire the BYU-PSP team leaders during their most recent meeting. Dean K. Richard Young spoke to the group on commitment. Referring to the refined BYU-PSP Vision and Commitment Statement, Dean Young challenged the group to re-evaluate their commitment to this document, stating, “This is a great opportunity for conversation.” Young referenced partnership member Joseph Parry’s remarks from a previous Leaders Associates meeting, printed in McKay Today as the article “The Five Commitments,” asking his colleagues, “On a scale of one to ten, where are you in terms of commitment?”

Young probed the audience on most of the concepts covered in the article, including engaged learning, nurturing pedagogy and equitable access.

“The challenge, now that we have these commitments in front of us, is to determine where we stand,” said Young. “Are we truly committed?”

Young concluded by calling the new Vision and Commitment Statement a “commitment to our future.” “Those children in schools,” he stated, “they are our future.”

This will be the last Leaders Associates meeting that Richard Young attends as dean of the McKay School. He concluded his remarks with comments about his service. “The most significant thing for me has been all of the people. . . . it’s been the richest part of this experience,” said Young. “You are amongst the finest educators in the world.”