QCSD Convocation, 2019

Trust and positive relationship building focus of district assembly
Posted on 08/28/2019
Michael Swenson, who teaches the FranklinCovey Institute’s Leader in Me process, was the keynote speaker at QCSD's convocation.By Gary Weckselblatt

The Quakertown Community School District’s convocation Wednesday centered on trust and positive relationship building throughout QCSD schools and community.

The topic was brought into focus by Michael Swenson, who teaches the FranklinCovey Institute’s Leader in Me process, which has been embraced by staff and students at Neidig and Richland elementary schools.

Hundreds of district employees attended the August 28 event, kicked off by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner and St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital CEO Dennis Pfleiger, a Quakertown Community High School graduate who helped sponsor the session.

Mr. Swenson’s power-packed talk fits in with the Superintendent’s Goals of expanding the district’s mental health systems of support for students.

The Leader in Me process is now in 4,821 schools in nearly 50 countries. “That is mindblowing,” Mr. Swenson said.

His key points included:

  • Words matter
  • The development of trust in people and organizations comes from character and confidence.
  • We owe it to ourselves and our key relationships to constantly work to improve our language.
  • Read, study and discuss key books!
Mr. Swenson talked about how he lacked emotional maturity when he lost his temper in dealings with his son. He said his children now refer to him as a “pre and post 7 Habits dad,” referring to Stephen R. Covey’s acclaimed book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Dr. Harner picked up on that and spoke of the relationship he has with his adult children. He then expressed to the audience of educators: “You need to know how much I love you guys.”

He said the ‘7 Habits’ is an “incredibly powerful message. … We’re an incredible team together.”

Books recommended by Mr. Swenson include:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey
  • The Speed Of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, Stephen M.R. Covey
  • Leadership And Self-Deception, The Arbinger Institute
  • The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, The Arbinger Institute
  • Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, Mark Goulston
  • Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone, and Sheila Heen
Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].
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