Coaching prefects toward better boarding

As changes are ushered into the residential life program at Hill, prefects are now taking part in leadership coaching with Amy Lehman. Lehman underwent an extensive program that included months of training, long weekends, and one hundred hours of practical supervised coaching to prepare for the sessions with the prefects.

“I really wanted to spend some time looking at a different way to engage in leadership conversations with the students here,” Lehman said. “I didn’t know that I was going to be coaching students until half way through my certification when Mr. Giannikas introduced the idea of bringing a coach approach to residential life.”

Within residential life at Hill, prefects are heavily relied on by dorm parents, faculty, and students.

“We asked how we can really show gratitude and support for our prefects to the best of our ability,” Lehman said. “Leadership coaching felt like one of those supports, and something that was different from a dorm parent, or any other person involved in residential life”

With daily stress put on fifth and sixth formers, Lehman and Giannikas hope that the training can provide comfort and growth to the prefects, as well as teach them the ideas of service-learning.

“With Mrs. Lehman, we sat down and went through the themes we wanted for our prefects, and what we wanted this year’s leaders to be, and we thought about the idea of service leadership,” Giannikas said.

Giannikas hopes that students will not look at their leadership positions as a privilege but as an act of service for their community. 

“It’s not about them; rather, they are there to serve, they are there to make other people’s lives better in our community,” said Giannikas.

In the years to come, Giannikas and Lehman hope to expand the program and to bring coaching-style conversations to all areas of life at Hill, not just to prefects. 

“I don’t think there is a recipe for a leader. Everyone leads from their own authenticity,” Lehman said “I ask a lot of questions, and encourage them to ask those questions of themselves, and take time to reflect on who they are, and to be always looking for ways to improve.”

Lehman is now in her second year of coaching Hill’s prefects, and students meet with her every other week. 

“I think it’s really beneficial because it gives me 30 minutes a week to spend time looking for areas that I can grow myself, especially when it comes to prefecting,” said Lauren Yingling ‘21, a first-year prefect in Rolfe dormitory.

Lehman and Giannikas hope to keep the leadership coaching program at Hill for years to come, and to continue teaching students the importance of serving one’s community.