Students of Character Build on Legacy of Leadership at St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academy

Effective leaders make a difference in the lives of others. Often, that difference can be life-changing. Yet even a strong desire to have a positive impact on the world doesn’t always translate to action. That leap is more likely to come from a foundation of moral character, empathy and teamwork formed through immersive experiences where leadership becomes a way of life.

Students looking to gain these unique character-building experiences now have an opportunity to join St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academy, a new college preparatory leadership academy within St. John’s Northwestern Academies, which also includes St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. The Leadership Academy is opening for the 2020-2021 school year and joins the traditional leafy campus Delafield, Wisconsin, just 115 miles from Chicago.

“The Leadership Academy is an environment where students who are focused on academics, athletics and fine arts as pathways to higher education and careers are also involved in the intentional development of character and leadership skills,” says St. John’s Northwestern Academies Headmaster Eric Wozniak, Ph.D. “Essentially, the profile is aligned to students who are interested in making a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others through the development of their intelligence, talents, passions and leadership. The appeal is to students who may have a nascent sense of higher purpose: the desire to make an impact on the world, to help others, to make a better future, to create and innovate, to lead change — and to help them achieve this through learning how to lead from the inside out.”

Building on excellence

Since 1884, St. John’s Northwestern Academies has prepared students to achieve excellence in higher education and their future career by instilling critical leadership skills. By challenging students through a proprietary curriculum to recognize their own potential and achieve their higher moral purpose, St. John’s Northwestern Academies positions students for a lifetime of success, no matter what they choose to pursue.

Founded initially as a military academy for young men, St. John’s merged with Northwestern Military and Naval Academy in the 1990s, broadening its name to St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. The academy became co-ed in 2018, and is a close-knit educational community for students in grades seven through 12. The Academies welcome both boarding and day students.

“Built on principals of academics, character development, leadership and athletics, the Military Academy models a cadet program that provides structure and discipline. However, the Leadership Academy will operate on a unique prefect model to allow students to hold leadership positions and aspire to achieve and support fellow students through a peer hierarchy,” explains Wozniak.

“Prefects will support a safe and caring environment in the residence halls as well as engage in peer mentoring, peer tutoring, and student government,” he says.

In small classes with a high ratio of faculty-to-student, Military Academy and Leadership Academy students will explore various types of leadership styles through which they develop academic strength and personal independence in a supportive environment.

“The Leadership Academy will provide a unique combination of coursework in character-based leadership principles along with experiential learning in a student-led model of schooling designed as a leadership laboratory intended to cultivate adaptive, transformative and servant leadership dispositions,” Wozniak says.

Safe and secure in the heart of Lake Country

With mature trees and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the spacious campus of St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academies evokes a traditional college-prep environment, complete with athletic fields for football, baseball, soccer, track and field, and cross country. Students can also compete in wrestling, swimming, golf, tennis and hockey. A rich and varied athletic program allows all students to discover their strengths through active pursuit.

Nestled in a small residential area, the campus environment creates a highly suitable educational community for international students and for students whose parents have extensive travel schedules. With commuting needs and repeated transitions from home life to school life eliminated, students enjoy elevated productivity and reduced stress.

St. John’s Northwestern Academies have full on-site health care and strong protocols in place for fall 2020 in order to keep students healthy and safe. It’s an appropriate environment for students who thrive by working alongside peers in face-to-face learning rather than in an online environment. Here, students can also explore individual strengths and build their own success stories through ownership of their educational experiences.

By tapping into a 137-year legacy of leadership development, all students at St. John’s Northwestern Academies are poised to serve as influential members of a global community through mindful growth of excellence in academics, service, talents, passions and, most of all, leadership.

About St. John’s Northwestern


St. John’s Northwestern Academies is a coed, college preparatory and leadership development boarding and day school for grades 7-12.


For more information, visit sjnacademies.org.




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