Career

Copy the Leader: Stephanie Wittman
Stephanie Wittman, d’10 is a Health and Strength and Conditioning teacher at Tonganoxie High School. We sat down with Stephanie to learn what leadership means to her.

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Jayhawks in leadership positions are everywhere you look, including through the Jayhawk Career Network. KU Alumni, in partnership with SumnerOne, is highlighting Jayhawk leaders who are models for others in their industries with our “Copy the Leader” program.

What do you do in your work?

I am a High School Health and Strength and Conditioning teacher at Tonganoxie High School and I also coach JV Girls Golf!

What are the qualities of a good leader?

I believe the qualities of a good leader can be different in all lines of professions. For an educator, a leader is someone who leads their school with the students and teachers best interest in mind. They listen, they are involved and they provide the safest learning and teaching environment for all students and staff.

How do you practice leadership at your job?
Leadership roles in the education field involve a lot of people. As a teacher, I want to show up every single day and do my absolute best for that day for every single student that I teach. It can be challenging to do that every day, but you have the opportunity to reach a different student that might need you on any given day.
What makes a team or group successful?

The most successful teams or groups I have been a part of have people who are willing to listen to others, compromise in some areas and then jump into their role that they find themself in as the groups grow and evolve. I think being a part of a team or club or group is highly beneficial to all people. When you are working in a team setting, you learn specific qualities that make you more appealing to future employers and also teach you soft skills and empathy.

How can leaders in your industry help their organizations adapt to change?
I am going into my 14th year of teaching and have been through many Admin turnovers. The best leaders that I have had are ones who don’t come in to a new situation and try to change it all in one week or month or year.  They listen to all staff members and really try to seamlessly make the changes that needed to be made.

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