The Leadership Academy promotes skills for the field and beyond


Dylan Drury '22

The Leadership Academy helps student-athletes gain important leadership skills.

Sacred Heart Greenwich has created the Leadership Academy for Upper School students to learn about the importance of leadership.  The program helps students develop leadership skills they can use on the field, in the classroom, and beyond.  Mrs. Alyson Costigan, Assistant Director of Athletics, Director of Leadership Programming, and Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach, spearheads the Leadership Academy and teaches its members.

Mrs. Alyson Costigan teaches the new Leadership Academy at Sacred Heart.  Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide

In each monthly meeting, the members train to improve their leadership skills, while building on their strengths and improving their weaknesses.  During the first meeting this year, each grade cohort discussed the different attributes that they believe a leader has.  Going forward, the members of the Leadership Academy will strive to improve upon certain qualities and achieve individual goals, helping them to grow as leaders.

Sophomore Emma Neary is a participant of the Leadership Academy and attends the meetings in order to learn about how she can be a leader now and in the future. 

“I decided to sign up for the Leadership Academy because I want to become a better role model for younger students,” Emma said.  I hope to improve the skills I already have and learn more so I can implement them into my daily life.”

Mrs. Costigan teaches the members of the program leadership skills that they can incorporate into their daily lives, on and off the field.

“It wasn’t really until I was getting to college or into my career that I thought, ‘Wow, why wasn’t I learning this when I was younger?'”  Mrs. Costigan said.  “I think I really value the opportunity to teach girls at an even younger age about things that are going to be important when they get older.”

Senior Hannah Dempsey participates in the Leadership Academy to learn more about how she can utilize certain skills as a student and athlete, particularly as a player on the Sacred Heart varsity soccer and lacrosse teams.

“Learning leadership skills will ultimately help someone be a better person on and off the field, court, in the classroom and world,” Hannah said.  “Through the Leadership Academy, I hope to gain the skills to be the person to motivate, guide, help, and push others to be successful.”

The Leadership Academy teaches values that align with Sacred Heart’s mission which states, “Sacred Heart, steeped in a solid academic tradition, educates women to have the independence of judgment, personal freedom, and strength of character so that they can become leaders with broad intellectual and spiritual horizons,” according to  The Leadership Academy adds to the qualities that Sacred Heart instills in students. 

The 2019 varsity field hockey team huddles during the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) tournament.  Courtesy of Mr. Adam Richins

Throughout the year, the Leadership Academy plans to have classroom-based sessions, training events, retreats, and guest speakers, while following COVID-19 safety guidelines.  At the end of each school year, students participating in the program will receive a certificate marking their completion of the program.  If students complete all four years of the academy, they will receive a mastery certificate.

Hannah looks forward to employing the skills she is learning from the program throughout the rest of her academic and athletic career.

“By learning these skills, I will be able to use them in every aspect of my life: from now, to college, and beyond,” Hannah said.

Featured Image by Dylan Drury ’22