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George Washington is recognized for his extraordinary leadership as a general who led the army that secured independence; as citizen, who led the movement to create a “more perfect Union” through the drafting and ratification of the Constitution; and as President, who made countless decisions in service to a unified and stable government. 

His leadership traits, based on valuing others’ expertise, building consensus, and taking action are still relevant today.  In addition to studying these celebrated legacies, participants will also examine Washington’s flaws as a human being, most critically, the decisions he made as a lifelong enslaver who exercised power over hundreds of individuals and their families. 

The study of Washington’s leadership through what we champion him for and what we do not, opens up the conversation about leadership, historical figures, and invites teachers to explore their own role as teacher leaders in their schools and communities and the work they do every day to perform the civic act of coaching America's youth to be civically engaged.

Join teachers from around the country to explore Washington's complex legacies in both his own words, the opinions of his contemporaries, and our modern perspectives to find new connections between Washington’s life and your students’ present-day experiences. Explore the estate and learn to “read” the only autobiography Washington ever wrote: the landscape and buildings at Mount Vernon.

Past Program Speakers











Lead Scholar - Dr. Denver Brunsman, Associate Professor and Associate (Vice) Chair of the History Department at The George Washington University.

Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky, presidential historian and Senior Fellow at the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University and author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution.

Dr. Eric Louérs-Phillips, Executive Director of Public Affairs, Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland. 

Adrienne Whaley, Director of Education and Community Outreach at the Museum of the American Revolution. 

Dr. Gautham Rao, Legal historian and Professor at American University and Editor of the Law and History Review scholarly journal.

Dr. Lorri Glover, John Francis Bannon Endowed Chair in  the Department of History at Saint Louis University and author of Eliza Lucas Pinckney: An Independent Woman in the Age of Revolution, and more!

Sample Program Schedule

Participant Testimonials

The institute inspired me to create goals for myself I didn't realize I had. The speakers and my fellow students, inspired me to ask myself what my goals were.

Because of this institute, I will be able to teach not only about George Washington but also the untold stories from Mount Vernon, the Native American connection, enslaved people, and the women of the 18th century. We have so much at our finger tips and learned about it all here.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation in your extensive selection of outstanding speakers who genuinely conveyed multiple perspectives.