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Support Group


JUNE 3 - 7, 2024

Greetings Fellows! Below you will find information about the Values in Tension Convening taking place at Lone Rock Retreat in Bailey, Colorado. Additionally, please review Pahara’s health and safety protocols for in-person gatherings during your time at Lone Rock Retreat:




In this moment of polarization & fracture, what values guide my life? As education leaders with diverse identities & ideologies, where do our interests align? Where do we differ? What are the dialogues we need to be having & how can we move forward?

This convening emerges in response to an ongoing need identified by our Fellows to further explore their values within the context of current tensions in society.  Our community, from across the political spectrum, has named a desire to gain clarity on the values that most strongly influence their lives and leadership, and to engage with one another across and among differences in order to better enable young people to thrive. 


Note: We aim to attract Fellows from across the political spectrum for this opportunity. Read Pahara’s commitment to racial equity here

Values in Tension will have the following outcomes:

  1. Fellows will deepen their understanding of themselves, their values, and the intersection of the two in life and leadership. 

  2. Fellows will identify and build community with Paharans across ideologies who are committed to collaboration and locating shared interests. 

  3. Fellows will address current challenges in their work and our nation, and build stamina around the process of staying open amidst tension in dialogue. 

  4. Fellows will actively work to define (for themselves and for our larger field) what purpose-driven action must mean in this moment. 

This convening will be powerful for all Fellows but might be particularly beneficial for those navigating political tensions, including:

  • Fellows who are elected officials.

  • Fellows with ideological or political differences within their families or personal lives.

  • Fellows directing communications and media. 

  • Fellows managing organizations in politically volatile states.

  • Fellows leading organizations with generational and ideological differences.


“This venue has helped me get much clearer on how to move my work forward.”

of participants reported that this experience was “highly relevant to their personal/professional development.”


“I am leaving (this convening with) new and exciting ideas for democracy and education.”

of participants reported feeling “more sustained in their role.”


of participants reported that the experience “sparked thinking toward new & inspiring models of leadership.”


“I am mapping my current work framework against new insights, practices, and language from this week and I am SO energized by this fresh view of my work.”




Monday, June 3, 2024 – 4:30 pm MT, Reception & Dinner


Friday, June 7, 2024 – 12:00 pm MT, Lunch (to go)


Lone Rock Retreat

64797 US HWY 285

Bailey, CO 804210


Prior to the seminar, please direct all logistical questions to

The initial retreat for RLP will convene the week after Easter at Lone Rock Retreat in Bailey, Colorado from April 19-21, 2022. We endeavor to combine the strengths of the Pahara leadership development approach with a Christ-centered retreat experience. A successful retreat will mean leaders have had the space to share their faith, reflect on ways to bring their faith into their work, find some sense of spiritual renewal from the time together, and initiate new relationships with other believers.     

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    Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis and, while they are not required for entry into the Fellowship, they are critical to our ability to identify exceptional leaders from across the education ecosystem. Ideally, a nominator knows enough about the leader’s work to share their thoughts on why they would be an excellent choice for the Fellowship. Each nominee is notified and invited to submit an application for consideration. We believe that a broad, diverse coalition is needed to reimagine the role and manner of education in society. While the Fellowship is open to all education leaders who meet our selection criteria, we are particularly seeking to identify innovative leaders of nonprofit schools and from organizations serving nonprofit schools, and leaders bringing perspectives from across the political spectrum. We are sensitive to the ways sponsorship practices can disadvantage women and Black, Indigenous and leaders of color who are less likely to have sponsors. When thinking of incredible changemakers to bring to our attention, we encourage nominators to consider leaders from within and outside of their close circles.
    Leaders who meet our program criteria are welcome to apply to the Fellowship, with or without a nomination. The application is an essential and required part of the process, and allows candidates to share information about their work and leadership, alignment with our selection criteria, and how they most hope to benefit from participation in this powerful development experience. For applicants advancing beyond this stage, this information serves as rich background information on which to base deep, reflective dialogue during interviews taking place during candidate consideration. While the Fellowship is open to all education leaders who meet our selection criteria, we are particularly seeking to identify innovative leaders of nonprofit schools and from organizations serving nonprofit schools, and leaders bringing perspectives from across the political spectrum.
    During this stage, we seek to understand candidates’ motivations and challenges, learn more about their background and leadership journey, and determine candidates’ willingness and ability to negotiate the multiple domains of difference that contribute to the tapestry of Pahara cohorts. Candidates participate in a 90-minute virtual interview with a Pahara Fellow or a member of Pahara staff via Zoom. This conversation also provides candidates an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the Fellowship. The interview is followed by referencing carried out by our team. This includes reviewing feedback provided by the three references named by the candidate, and checking for potential conflicts of interest amongst candidates being selected into the same cohort. We may also reach out to Fellows in our community who are familiar with a candidate’s work to understand the full scope of their leadership. Given the degree of openness and vulnerability expected in this phase of our process, information shared with us by candidates or in the reference process is held with the highest degree of confidentiality.
    Once we have identified a pool of values-driven leaders who have demonstrated readiness throughout the selection process, we begin the careful, complex process of curating cohorts. We aim for cohorts that are inclusive of the breadth of our humanity across multiple domains of difference, including socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious affiliation, and political ideology. Cohorts are also distinctive in their inclusion of leaders from various organization models, multiple sectors in education, different geographic regions, and various leadership roles. This careful cohort curation is critical, as the cohort is the container within which the personal and professional transformation Pahara is most known for occurs. Cohort dialogue is confidential and both professional and personal in nature. We seek to foster an environment that celebrates the lived experiences of all of our Fellows.
    We strongly believe curating a myriad of perspectives in each group is a vital component of the program’s value and impact on participants. We receive many more nominations and applications than we have available seats in each cohort, and because of this level of demand, we are sometimes unable to select leaders who meet our selection criteria. When a candidate meets the selection criteria but is not placed, we encourage them to opt-in to be considered for a future cohort, which can take time. It is not uncommon for a Pahara Fellowship candidate to be considered for a few years before being selected or released.
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