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LHS Guest Speaker Gives Timely Message on Resilience

Students, faculty, and staff at Lancaster High School welcomed Duncan Kirkwood, author, Veteran, and recognized authority on psychological resilience, as their first entire student-body assembly since the pandemic. He has spent his professional life working to empower young people, educators, organizations, and communities. His mission is to ensure everyone can learn the critical tools to become the most resilient and best version of themselves. 

Speaker on a gym floor talking to a crowd of students

Kirkwood, a Buffalo native, focused the perception-shifting talk on his personal experience with challenges, setbacks, and failures and the critical lessons he learned along the way. He encouraged students to step outside their comfort zones and strive for further opportunities. Students connected with his passion for helping others push through their perceived limits to realize all facets of their potential.

Mark Skowron, LHS Coordinator of Student Affairs and Co-Director of Leadership Academy said,  “The students who attended the New York State Council on Leadership and Student Activities Conference this past March were moved by his message and energy and were determined to bring him here to share that message with their classmates, faculty, and staff.”

Speaker with his arms around students who are pointing to him

After the assembly, Kirkwood spent time with Mr. Skowron’s Leadership in Action class. “I thought Duncan Kirkwood was very inspiring for all students and faculty in the building,” said student Kelly Root. “He shares a very positive message about thinking about your choices and how you can take your future to the next level.”

Duncan Kirkwood also serves as the director of the Center for Resilience at Villa Maria College, which was created to help students acquire fundamental skills that will help them overcome adversity to graduate from college and enter the workforce as young professionals who are prepared to begin a successful career in their field of choice.