Leadership Programs

We believe leadership requires practice, so we encourage students to embrace various leadership responsibilities that expand their confidence and aim to serve our local and global communities. We recognize the jobs of the future demand more advanced cognitive skills like critical thinking and problem solving as well as more refined social-emotional expertise, including exceptional communication abilities, empathy, and flexibility.

We recognize adolescents don’t become leaders by taking a leadership course or earning a leadership certificate. They lead by doing. Similar to solving a geometric proof or composing a thesis statement, students learn how to lead through repetition. During the span of years that students are at York School, they encounter a series of opportunities to test their leadership skills inside and outside the classroom, by way of student council, clubs, arts programs, athletic teams, TEDxYorkSchool, and service learning philanthropy projects. Students strengthen their teamwork, public speaking, and planning capabilities in order to become more astute leaders. Whether they are on-stage at TEDxYorkSchool sharing their ideas with a worldwide audience, arranging and managing clubs and campus events, or building interactive exhibits for a local children’s museum, our students are developing vital leadership abilities.

List of 4 items.

  • Service Learning

    York students have the opportunity to bring fun, collaboration, hard work, intelligence, as well as York’s core values: honesty, respect, responsibility, and compassion, to their varied volunteer roles; helping the community grow closer and stronger. The goal of the service learning program is to have students adopt service as part of their identity: making positive contributions to others, to communities, and to the world part of who they are as productive citizens. As a graduation requirement, York expects each student to complete 10 hours of service learning each school year (excluding the eighth grade). Service is intentionally not cumulative, meaning one cannot simply meet the graduation requirement by volunteering 40 hours in one academic year. Sustained engagement with the community over time is important in affecting change, both within individuals and larger systems. While 10 hours is required, over 80% of the students do significantly more volunteering.

    York defines “service learning” as any voluntary service in which students are asked to do more than provide manpower for a non-profit organization or social cause. Typically, service learning extends curricular goals by doing service in the community, mutually benefiting the organization or audience and the student. Students should be expanding their comfort zones by engaging in personally significant and challenging service, whether developing leadership capacity, intrapersonal communication skills, or organization abilities and other relevant expertise.
  • Sophomore Speech

    Sophomore speeches are part of York's emphasis on helping students develop strong communication skills in both written and oral presentations, along with confidence and courage. Throughout the school year, students in 10th Grade English compose, rehearse, and deliver a brief memorized speech to the School community. The students are greeted with warm applause, even before they speak, in a demonstration of support and camaraderie. The sophomore speeches have become a cherished York School tradition.
  • TEDxYorkSchool

    Every day at York, we witness remarkable ideas morphing and thriving in the minds of this community. Without a doubt, they are ideas worth spreading. One way to distribute them: TEDxYorkSchool, an annual conference for students and community members featuring a line up of speakers who bring new ideas and creativity to the world. 
  • Toastmasters

    York’s eighth graders will embark upon an informal course in the arts of communication and leadership through Toastmasters’ Youth Leadership Program. With the guidance of faculty, students will conduct meetings, give speeches, and receive feedback in a friendly, positive environment. Over eight meetings, individuals will develop their ability to overcome the nervousness of public speaking, to clearly express their thoughts and ideas, to add vocal variety and gestures, to be an active listener, and to run effective meetings and discussions. 

    We know practice through doing, student agency, and an authentic audience leads to deeper participation and learning. Through intentional engagement with the structures of Toastmasters, York’s eighth grade students will emerge with greater confidence, connection, and leadership skills.


List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Jennifer Berry

    Jennifer Berry 

    English Department Chair
  • Photo of Kevin Brookhouser

    Kevin Brookhouser 

    Director of Technology, Safety Director
  • Photo of Tritia Moneypenny

    Tritia Moneypenny 

    8th Grade Dean, Academic Coach, Service Learning Coordinator


York School

9501 York Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: 831-372-7338
Fax: 831-372-8055
We inspire and prepare a diverse community of creative, independent thinkers.
Since 1959, York School has created an exceptional college-prep experience for our youth: inspiring them to develop intellectual curiosity; challenging them to create and try new things; and preparing them to be passionate contributors in college and in life.