The LifeCompass Institute for Character & Leadership™ Practical wisdom for today's parents and educators
What We Do
The LifeCompass Institute for Character and Leadership provides school leaders and teachers with a framework for effectively integrating character education into schools. It also provides parents with research-based tools for helping their children develop the habits of mind, heart, and character they need to thrive. LCI combines the best of ancient wisdom with current research on how human beings develop the practical wisdom and character strengths they need to flourish under any circumstances.
LCI is part of Montrose School-a lab school constantly refining its founding vision to promote the highest levels of learning through character development. Recognized in both 1999 and 2017 as a National School of Character, Montrose is a resource for school leaders internationally.
What it means to build a life compass
In our beautiful, diverse, and often tumultuous world, there is remarkable consensus about the strengths of character we admire in others and strive to develop in ourselves.
We value habits of mind that allow us to pursue professional and academic excellence -- including tenacity, thoroughness, creativity, and intellectual honesty and humility.
We embrace habits of heart that strengthen our friendships, family relationships, and communities -- including empathy, compassion, respect, and gratitude.
And we honor habits of character that allow us to face challenges and embrace opportunities -- including courage, temperance, responsibility, and integrity.
Dr. Karen E. Bohlin, Director of LCI and Head of Montrose School, is a recognized thought leader in the field of character and ethics education. Director Emerita and Senior Scholar at Boston University’s Center for Character and Social Responsibility; co-architect of the National Schools of Character Program, Dr. Bohlin has served as advisor to the White House Domestic Policy Office on character education; consultant to the MA, GA, WV, NJ, SC Departments of Education; lead scholar for the Intellectual Virtues Project at Loyola Marymount University; a sabbatical fellow at the Jubilee Centre; an editorial reviewer and contributor to the Journal of Character Education and the Journal of Education at Boston University. She is author and contributing author of several books including Teaching Character Education Through Literature: Awakening the Moral Imagination (Routledge 2005), Building Character in Schools (Jossey-Bass 1999) and Happiness and Virtue: Beyond East and West: Toward a New Global Responsibility (Tuttle 2012). An important focus of her work in both the higher education and K-12 education is the development of practical wisdom in school leaders and teachers.
Deborah Farmer Kris, LCI Associate Director
Deborah Farmer Kris, LCI’s Associate Director, is an experienced school leader, parent educator, and educational consultant. She has served as an elementary, middle, and high school teacher, public charter school administrator, and director of a girls leadership institute. She is also a content expert and consultant for PBS Parents. She islead author of the social, emotional, character, and literacy sections of their interactive “Child Development Tracker” -- the premier online resource for parents of children ages 2-8 -- and editor of their parenting blog. In addition, she writes about education for National Public Radio’s MindShift and is the co-author of the book Building Character in Schools: A Resource Guide. A senior associate at Boston University’s Center for Character and Social Responsibility, Deborah is a former adjunct faculty member at BU’s School of Education. She has presented to hundreds of parents, educators, and school leaders around the country on topics related to character, ethics, and child development.