TCU, Parish Episcopal Partners for High School Leadership Programming and Middle School STEM-based Training

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Kick starting the relationship, Parish and TCU will partner on two fronts, initially. The first is a leadership-focused collaboration and the second part of the partnership is between Parish’s STEM program (ParishSTEM) and TCU’s Extended Education department.

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“It’s encouraging to see a school like Parish Episcopal guiding its students to becoming leaders in today’s complex world,”

Continuing to establish powerful partnerships across the Metroplex, Parish Episcopal School announced today a key relationship with Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth that will serve students and faculty members as well as teachers from across the region. The pioneering relationships with organizations such as George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and World Leadership School have already enriched student experiences on the Parish campus while contributing to the missions of these fine organizations, and the new relationship with TCU is shaping up to be just as promising.

“We are excited to add TCU to our family of partners,” said Dave Monaco, Allen Meyer Family Head of School at Parish. “I am especially anxious to see what we can build with TCU in a mutually beneficial relationship that supports students and educators, within our two institutions and in the greater DFW community.”

Kick starting the relationship, Parish and TCU will partner on two fronts, initially. The first is a leadership-focused collaboration between Parish’s Upper School Leadership Institute (a ParishLeads program) and two of TCU’s Neeley School of Business premier programs: Neeley Fellows and BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program. The second part of the partnership is between Parish’s STEM program (ParishSTEM) and TCU’s Extended Education department.    

ParishLeads Leadership Institute
Parish has been recognized for its comprehensive leadership framework and programming known as ParishLeads, which every student experiences as they journey across all three divisions (Lower, Middle and Upper Schools). The Leadership Institute, a culminating component of ParishLeads for Upper School students wishing to learn more about leadership, began in 2013. The Leadership Institute accepts a cohort of 15-20 freshman applicants each February and offers them three years of coursework, mentoring and workshops during their time in the Upper School. In its scope and richness, the Institute rivals leadership programs found on college campuses. The Neeley School of Business recognizes the parallels as Neeley Fellows features similar elements. For the last several months Laura Barclay, Director of Neeley Fellows program, and Tracey Rockett, a Parish parent and Neeley Honors Faculty Associate Director and Associate Professor of Management Practice for Neeley, have been exploring ways that Parish and the Neeley School of Business can benefit one another.

“As a professor, I know the things that colleges and universities are looking for in students. As a Parish parent, I get to see the great things that the School is encouraging in my children on a daily basis,” said Rockett. “Since I am interested in the success of the programs at Parish and the Neeley premier programs, Neeley Fellows and BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program, I thought we could uncover some opportunities for a partnership that would allow students at both schools to share leadership experiences.“

“It’s encouraging to see a school like Parish Episcopal guiding its students to becoming leaders in today’s complex world,” said Barclay. “The Neeley School of Business shares many of the ideas of ParishLeads and subsequently the Leadership Institute, and recognizes the many opportunities that this alliance can bring about.”

As a first step in this emerging relationship, the members of the Leadership Institute Class of 2016 will travel to TCU in April for a “Leadership Day” with members of Neeley Fellows and BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program members. During the visit, Parish students will have the opportunity to observe college students from around the world who will be participating in a business plan competition, Values and Ventures® ( experience parallels the LEAD project Parish Leadership Institute students complete as the capstone to their experience in the Institute. The agenda for the day will also include a campus tour, lunch and a presentation hosted by Neeley Fellows and BNSF Next Generation Leadership students.

Parish will further partner with the University through the TCU Extended Education department to offer STEM-based summer training programs for area public and private school teachers. Working with Susan Harris, Director of the Advanced Placement Summer Institute at TCU Extended Education (, Jenn Makins, Director of STEM Education at Parish, will oversee a three-day teacher professional development workshop on the Parish campus July 13-15, 2015.

When identifying satellite locations for their leading teacher development programs, TCU officials recognized the strong ParishSTEM programming and the School’s leading facilities for its maker and design spaces. The Parish STEM facilities will be instrumental in The LIFTS Institute: TCU and Parish Supporting Science Teachers programming, which is formulated around specific feedback from middle school science teachers and district coordinators.

“We will focus on the pedagogy of middle school science, as well as the personal enrichment of middle school science teachers. The inquiry approach will be modeled both in the instruction method and content of the science workshops.” said Harris. “With Parish Episcopal’s strong STEM programming, we will be able to address content and have workshop leaders use an integrated approach combining math, engineering, and technology concepts, as well foundational principles of writing.”

“If the expectation is that our students excel in a rigorous academic environment that focuses on process and thinking skills, then professional development opportunities should provide teachers similar experiences,” said Makins. “We are honored to be working with TCU Extended Education on this endeavor and are eager to launch this inaugural LIFTS program for fellow educators.”

The three-day institute will be divided into grade level groups (5th/6th, 7th and 8th) each with their own content topic: earth science, biomechanics/forces of motion in sports, and circuits respectively. Workshops will focus on teaching strategies as well as hands on activities. Time each afternoon will be dedicated to discussion, application of content learned, and how the day’s content could be utilized when crafting lesson plans.

Registration for The LIFTS Institute workshop will open on April 2, 2015. Visit for a complete training schedule and to register.

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Heather Mills
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