Famous visionary to visit Mount Madonna school

Gilroy
– Internationally acclaimed speaker and writer Margaret Wheatley
will visit students at Mount Madonna High School Friday.
Gilroy – Internationally acclaimed speaker and writer Margaret Wheatley will visit students at Mount Madonna High School Friday.

Wheatley will speak to juniors and seniors in Mount Madonna’s Values in American Thought, a required course that challenges students to think in different ways about values in today’s world and how teenagers can make a difference by meeting and interviewing prominent thinkers.

Guests from previous years include Bill Moyers, Congressman Sam Farr, former Secretary of State George Shultz and Mount Everest climber Jim Whittaker. Upcoming guests this year include Hewlett Packard strategic planner Vivian Wright on Jan. 9, Louise Yarnal from the Stanford Research Institute on Jan. 19 and State Assembly Budget Chair John Laird on Jan. 21.

Teacher Ward Malliard said bringing such renowned speakers into the classroom encourages students to think in innovative ways about themselves and the world in which they live.

“It’s the challenging questions that enrich us,” Malliard said. “Our students develop wisdom, self-reflection and scholarship.”

Wheatley is president and founder of The Berkana Institute, a charitable global leadership foundation that addresses widespread social problems such as illiteracy, poverty, hunger, disease, troubled communities and environmental degradation.

A frequent keynote speaker, Wheatley holds a doctorate from Harvard University’s program in administration, planning and social policy. She has been consulting and conducting research for more than 25 years and has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations, educational institutions, private businesses and health care organizations.

“We have a unique program at Mount Madonna School,” said Mount Madonna principal Sarada Diffenbaugh. “We encourage our students to learn to lead from leaders. Adolescents are seeking answers. It is our responsibility to help them find their sense of purpose and inspire them.”

Mount Madonna High School is located on 350 acres on Mount Madonna and serves students in preschool through 12th grade in the Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Monterey and Santa Cruz areas.

Open house tours will be held at the middle and high school from 12 to 2pm Jan. 15. Open tours for the preschool and elementary school will be held from 12 to 2pm Jan. 29, Feb. 26 and April 9.

Details: 847-2717 or visit www.mountmadonnaschool.org.

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