Administrative Team

La Paz Community School Administrative Team: The Wild Dog Approach to Leadership

Leadership Team Members:

  • Abel McClennen – School Director
  • Brian Crites – Upper Primary School Administrator
  • Sara McGowan – Lower Primary and Preschool Administrator, Dual Language Program Coordinator
  • Kerry McClennen – High School Administrator
  • Kenia Calderón – High School Administrator
  • Erika Quiñonez – IB Coordinator

Individual leaders of “wild dog” type organizations have a strong sense of self-mastery coupled with humility. They seek enlivened spirits in the workplace, guiding the organization to a co-created vision. – From Leading Peak Performance: Lessons from the Wild Dogs of Africa: How to create pack leadership and produce transformative results – Marvin Washington and Stephen Hacker

Read the latest news on Wild Dog leadership and socialization here!

The Wild Dog Approach (From Leading Peak Performance): Wild dog packs in Africa succeed because of their pack mentality. Each dog works together to ensure that their ultimate objective is met. Their objectives are met via the following four group leadership characteristics.

  • A shared vision – with a focus on one prey and a hunt for the same prey.
  • Shared leadership – there is opportunistic leadership; whichever animal is closest to the prey becomes the leader of the pack.
  • A high degree of individual skill. There’s no ‘I’ in the team, rather lots of ‘I’s in these teams. Great teams are made up of many great performers, but it’s the shared leadership part that makes them work well together.
  • Tenacity – continuing the hunt for hours rather than giving up after a short while.

The La Paz Leadership Vision: Leadership in 21st century business has demanded an increasingly dynamic and diverse set of skills due to the rapid pace transformations in and globalization of the business world. As a grass roots organization that includes local Costa Rican members mixed with members from over 20 countries around the world, the La Paz founding educators and board of directors recognized that a progressive leadership vision would have to be created. With guidance from experts in the fields of human resources and business leadership the school chose to modify the administrative roles as follows to embrace the “wild dog approach to leadership”. While the school maintains two full time salaried administrative positions, the responsibilities demanded by these positions are shared by six members of the “wild dog pack”, an operations manager, and business manager. The results of this innovative approach have spoken for themselves as the non-profit school has doubled in size since its inception over six years ago and continues to run a sustainable budget while offering an affordable IB accredited bilingual prek-12 program with highly qualified educators from Costa Rica and abroad.