Character and Leadership

Montrose inspires girls to cultivate greatness of mind, greatness of heart, and greatness of character. Colleges, universities and global industries often point to the gap between the skills secondary schools drill most and what students really need to thrive in college and beyond: intellectual and emotional agility, courage, integrity, creativity and sound judgment.

At Montrose, we bridge this gap by coupling academic excellence with enduring habits. Students take ownership of their learning and develop the intellectual virtues they need to aim for greatness. Girls build a life compass that empowers them to set a vision, chart a course and navigate challenges and opportunities. They graduate ready to thrive in any setting.

twice recognized a National School of Character '99 & '17. How do we do it?

We deliberately combine the best of ancient wisdom with modern research on how human beings develop intellectual and character strength. This looks like . . .

1. A Rich Liberal Arts Education: A Montrose liberal arts education allows young women to encounter and learn from the best of literature, theology, philosophy, history, science, math, technology, world languages, and fine and performing arts. We feed the intellectual lives of students with a rich and balanced diet of primary sources and classical and contemporary texts that offer compelling insights and raise essential questions about what it means to be human. Our curriculum includes inquiry-based lab science at each grade level as well as applied mathematics and computer science that empowers girls to explore engineering, economics, technology and business.

2. Vibrant Classroom Pedagogy: In the context of a rich liberal arts curriculum, we pay special attention to the strengths and virtues that form the foundation of academic excellence -- examining, “What are the habits and mindsets of great scientists, great mathematicians, great historians...?” We regularly engage in mission-aligned professional development that honors the intellectual life of the teacher. In addition to ongoing study in their discipline, our teachers commit to continuous training in approaches to teaching and learning that engage students' minds and hearts. These include: Design Thinking, Understanding by Design (UBD), Growth Mindset research, Intellectual Virtues & Thinking Routines, and the Socratic Method.

3. Meaningful Mentoring: At Montrose, individualized mentoring helps students take ownership of their learning and use their freedom responsibly. Mentors collaborate with parents and teachers to help young women become the best version of themselves. We regularly engage guest speakers to visit classes, inspiring our girls with their personal and professional life journeys.

4. Student Life & Leadership: Students have enormous opportunities to practice leading, taking risks, serving others, building friendships, learning from mistakes, and feeling connected to something larger than themselves. This vision animates athletics and the arts, our thirty student-led clubs, our service initiatives and international trips, and our student government-led events and traditions.

5. Parent Engagement: Parents are students’ primary and most important educators. We work in collaboration with them to support each young woman’s growth. We work to build authentic, collaborative relationships with parents, and offer parent enrichment including workshops, speakers, blog posts and online resources.

“We learn by doing. [We] become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts . . . brave by doing brave acts.”

Scholarship & Character

Individualized Mentoring

LifeCompass Character and Leadership Program

The phrase "life compass" encapsulates the Montrose mission. Every aspect of the Montrose experience helps girls to build a life compass, one that orients her to pursue the truth (veritas) with her mind, to seek authentic friendships and noble ambition with her heart (caritas), and to direct her whole self toward free and responsible action (libertas).  This compass endures well beyond her years at Montrose equipping her to navigate life with joy and purpose. 

Habits of Mind include:

  • Fair-mindedness
  • Attentiveness
  • Tenacity
  • Organization
  • Thoroughness
  • Carefulness
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Humility

Habits of Heart include:

  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Hope
  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Kindness

Habits of Character include:

  • Courage
  • Honesty
  • Temperance
  • Good Judgment
  • Patience
  • Responsibility
  • Integrity
  • Resilience