Life Compass

LifeCompass Institute

LifeCompass Institute for Character & Leadership

The LifeCompass Institute (LCI) is a lab school community of practice at Montrose School. As the flagship school for girls, Montrose is committed to sharing its unique mission with the greater world. LCI offers practical wisdom for parents and educators to help girls become the best version of themselves. LCI collaborates with partner organizations in order to share resources with parents and educators so that all girls may live flourishing lives.

Founded in 2017 by Director Emerita Karen Bohlin, currently of the Practical Wisdom Group, LCI serves as a resource to educators and school leaders around the globe. Read more about LCI's history.

Katie Elrod, LifeCompass Institute Director & Head of Montrose School

Katie Elrod has been at Montrose for more than 20 years. She has taught at every grade level, from elementary through an adjunct professor position in the philosophy department at Boston College. For the past two years, she has co-led the Abigail Adams Institute’s summer seminar “Divided We Stand: Pursuing the Common Good” in Cambridge, MA. She is a published author and a sought-after speaker locally and nationally on education and parenting, having spoken at the University of Notre Dame, MIT and St. Joseph’s College, and the University of Navarra, Spain. A Lonergan Fellow, she received her BA and MA in philosophy from Boston College. She leads Montrose School’s flagship Capstone course, “Embracing Big Questions and the Ethics of Human Flourishing.”


Led by the Institute director, our Parent Educator brings the latest research in the development of middle school and high school-aged girls to parents.


Led by the Institute director, our faculty fellows draw from ancient wisdom and current research to connect theory and practice within and beyond the classroom. Faculty fellows are undertaking a Master’s of Arts in Character Education from the Jubilee Centre of Character and Virtue, part of the University of Birmingham, England. 

Deborah Farmer Kris, LifeCompass Parent Educator

Founder of Parenthood365, Deborah consults with Montrose on our parent education program. Drawing on her decades of experience as a school administrator, speaker and child development expert, she provides practical wisdom and support for parents at school and parent events and workshops.

Jennifer Bowman

Theology, Art, Art & Science Faculty, Montrose School

Research interests include: the power of art to foster students’ power to see and develop moral perception and empathy. 

Becky Roberts

Middle School Director & English Faculty, Montrose School

Research includes a year-long mixed-methods study at middle school level to determine whether there is any link between Montrose school mentoring program and resilience development.

Resources for Parents

Get your PhD in parenting! We have information and resources to guide you so you can help your daughter flourish. Read a recent blog post or curated article, hear one of our recent LifeCompass speakers or see what our partner organizations have to offer.

Barbara Whitlock

Upper School Director & English and History Faculty, Montrose School 

Research interests include: the role that key relationships play in forming adolescents in phronesis. 

Resources for Educators

LCI provides training and curriculum resources to public and private school educators through partner programs and its own original resources. Recent LCI publications include The Courageous Dialogue Toolkit: Practical Wisdom for School Leaders (LCI, 2021) and Stress Tests of Character (LCI, 2020). Read more about these and other educator resources.