Where Are They Now? Leadership U Scholars Thriving After Program’s Completion

May 17, 2024
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By: Josh Worden

Leadership U is a 14-month program designed to help leaders grow as they navigate a transition into a new role or prepare for potential future roles.  

Three scholars, one from each of the last three cohorts of Leadership U, recently shared how the program impacted them and how their lives have changed since they participated.   

Dr. Joseph Walker, Leadership U Scholar 2021-2022 

Dr. Joseph Walker was in the “potential leader” category when he participated in Leadership U. At the time, Walker was aiming to become a head of school but knew he would remain the Athletic Director at Grace Community School in Tyler, Texas, until his son graduated in 2023.

That dream came true quicker than expected: one month after his son graduated, Walker became a head of school for the first time at Lucas Christian Academy in Lucas, Texas.

“It’s been tremendous,” Walker said. “We have a wonderful school.”

Leadership U prepared Walker to overcome a barrier before he ever reached it.

“The transition from thinking athletically to thinking about an entire school has not been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be,” Walker said. “I would attribute that to Leadership U and mentorship from my previous head of school.”

Walker and his Leadership U mentor, Tom Hughes, both have an athletic administration background, which helped when going through the materials.

“The curriculum was extensive,” Walker said. “There was a lot to read, and it was helpful, whether it was practical or pastoral.” 

Dr. Jeff Bogaczyk, Leadership U Scholar 2022-2023 

Scholars in Leadership U complete three projects during the program, each correlating to a domain from the Flourishing Schools Culture Model. 

Now in his sixth year as the Head of School at Christian Life School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Dr. Jeff Bogaczyk’s projects are still impacting his school over a year after he finished the program.

“The projects we started back then are now just a regular part of what we do,” Bogaczyk said. “I think they’ve made our school better. It’s long-lasting, not a flash in the pan. The program walks you through that process.”

Bogaczyk is thankful for the growth the school has seen during the program and after.

“God has been good to our school,” he said. “We’ve seen academic improvement, our financial growth has been great, and enrollment has been solid.”

After Bogaczyk completed Leadership U as a scholar, he participated in the next cohort as a mentor. 

“I learned just as much as a mentor as I did as a scholar,” Bogaczyk said. “The scholar I was paired with wants to be a head of school. To decide what he needs to know to do the job that I’m doing, I had to reflect on the priorities.”

Bogaczyk hopes to have three staff members at his school participate in the next Leadership U cohort.

“Anyone who wants to make a difference in their school and learn how to lead a team, this program will help you,” he said. 

Jamie Jodrey, Leadership U Scholar 2023-2024 

Jamie Jodrey was in her first year as the Director of Crossroads Christian Academy (CCA) in Panama when she began Leadership U in February 2023.

“The biggest lesson was to continue having a growth mindset,” she said of the program. “There’s always something to learn, someone to learn from, and things are always changing.”

Jodrey made use of those lessons during her second year at the helm of CCA, when she led a staff with nine new faculty members.

“Thinking about the domains of the Flourishing Schools Culture Model, one of them is Purpose,” she said. “To make sure that everyone is on board, we have to continually have those conversations about why you’re here.”

Staff members from abroad, Jodrey points out, naturally view their purpose at the school as a ministry. She wants to make sure that purpose is shared by all faculty members.

“Now that we have so many local hires, it’s important for us to continually remember our role in this ministry," Jodrey said. "It’s not just another school to teach at, but a place to teach with a biblical worldview.” 

Learn more 

For a broader look at Leadership U and to register for the 2024-2025 cohort, visit the website