It is with great excitement that Katey, our GI team, and I announce our partnership with the National Center for The Development of Boys.
What began as a passionate conversation of thought leaders regarding public purpose has become a new institution housed at the McCallie School for Boys in Chattanooga, Tennessee. School Administrators Lee Burns, Kenny Sholl, Thomas Hayes, and Troy Kemp, as well as their allies throughout the country, understood the growing needs of boys, young men, and their families and communities; they came together to form a Board of Directors for the National Center and then the Center itself.
The history of the McCallie School for Boys dates back 108 years. Their marquis reads “Honor, Truth, Duty” and their principles are deeply embedded in the work they do with boys of grades 6-12. Troy Kemp, Executive Director of the National Center, has held many roles on the McCallie campus: first as a teacher and coach, then as the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, and most recently as Associate Headmaster for Enrollment and Marketing. When the position of Executive Director opened for the Center, Troy was a natural fit. He is not only a passionate and visionary advocate for children but also an accomplished networker, collaborator, and community organizer.
The Gurian Institute came into the picture first, many years ago, when I visited McCallie in the 1990s, then this last year as the boards of our respective organizations began to discuss ways in which the Center and the Gurian Institute could join forces. Because GI has formed a grass roots network and organization so closely related to boys’ issues already, we offered to consult with the Center as it grows its strategic imperatives and mission. Beginning in October of this year, we came on board as consultants and feel very excited to assist the Center in that capacity.
Our partnership extends also to training and professional development. As the Center develops and delivers resources, pilot programs, and other support to communities worldwide, the Gurian Institute will act as training partner, assisting the Center in delivering science-based resources and programs within the Southeastern U.S. and then fanning out from there. The Center believes in the importance of scientific rigor both in the study of boys’ needs and in the delivery of research-based and successful interventions. GI and the Center are powerfully aligned in these principles and this public purpose.
Please take a moment to visit www.understandingboys.org and get to know the National Center. Troy Kemp would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will also be one of our keynote speakers at our Winter Institute in Tampa, FL on January 22 when he will discuss best practices he has learned in his quarter century of working with boys and young men. He is one of the most powerful speakers I have heard. I know you will enjoy his keynote.
Thank you all for doing what you are doing in your communities. Many thanks also to Katey McPherson, our own executive director, for making this partnership happen; Troy at the Center and the Center’s Board for believing in the power of partnership; and the support teams in GI and at the Center who make everything work smoothly. We are all, truly, in this journey together as we advocate for our children, their schools, and their families.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,