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A lesson in leadership with Col. Arthur J. Athens

A lesson in leadership with Col. Arthur J. Athens

Students-athletes at Downingtown High School East and Downingtown High School West got a lesson in leadership during a meeting with retired Marine Corps officer Colonel Arthur J. Athens on Nov. 17.

Colonel Athens spoke to the students about how vision, selflessness, and sacrifice can build effective leaders. Specifically, his message focused on how student leaders can help their teams transition from a “me” to “we” mindset.

He and his wife Misti have 10 children. Seven of the children were collegiate athletes and three have been college lacrosse coaches.

Later in the evening, Colonel Athens, who celebrated a birthday earlier this week, worked with our athletic coaches and administrators, focusing the discussion on leadership and the development of healthy team environments that are extensions of our schools and classrooms.

Thank you to the Downingtown Community Education Foundation for helping to fund the student experiences.

About the Speaker

Colonel Arthur J. Athens is the former Director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and the Academy’s first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership.

He is a retired Marine, having served in significant command and staff positions in all four Marine Aircraft Wings, as a Space Operations Officer with the U.S. Space Command and as an instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 (the Marine Corps’ equivalent to the Navy Top Gun School). Additionally, he was a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan and the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.

Athletically, Colonel Athens was a two-sport captain in high school and played on the Naval Academy’s lacrosse team that went to the National Championship. Since his graduation from the Academy, he has been a volunteer high school and college lacrosse coach and currently speaks to college athletic teams and mentors college coaches.