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Preparing Students for Life

The Gordy Family Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Finance

The Gordy Family Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Finance coordinates intentional leadership and business skill development opportunities to help students make connections between their learning, their actions, and the world. The Center supports Kinkaid’s mission by preparing students to lead, serve, and become contributing citizens to Kinkaid, our country, and the global community. All students will develop an understanding of who they are and learn to take responsibility for and direct their impact as leaders.

The Center provides students with educational and practical opportunities to gain tools and experiences that will help them to build a strong foundation for success in college, a career, and life. Every student has the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by successful professionals in whom they can see their own potential and future selves. Through the Center’s programs, young women develop the skills to confidently contribute and lead throughout their lives from the classroom to the boardroom. The Center’s guiding principle is promoting a culture of enlightened capitalism. Our capitalist system only works if those participating in it have a sound moral compass, and the Center’s courses and programs focus on helping students develop the personal virtues championed by Adam Smith of prudence, justice, and beneficence.

Classroom photo for Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Finance
Butcher-Financial-Interns during Kinkaid Interim Term
Decisions Class photo Hoop Team Building Exercise

Leadership Instruction 

During 9th grade, all Kinkaid students take Decisions for Healthy Living and Leadership, a semester-long course that teaches students how to harness their strengths and interests to serve as leaders at Kinkaid and beyond. With the goal of helping each student to find the leader within, the course focuses on personal leadership development and execution, specifically highlighting the significance of self-awareness, an understanding of group dynamics, and the knowledge of how to lead a team. Through class discussions, activities, readings, projects, and reflection, students learn the fundamentals of leadership and develop interpersonal communication skills, learning how to collaborate with, motivate, and lead others.

Leadership Seminar Series

Students can qualify for Kinkaid’s Leadership Certificate by participating in the Leadership Seminar Series during their 11th- and 12th-grade years. In addition to addressing subjects unique to the speaker’s personal experiences, topics of interest include:

  • Introduction to Leadership

  • Time Management

  • Setting a Clear Vision

  • What Does Success Look Like?

  • Building a Successful Culture

  • Leading from an Underrepresented Background

  • Civic Engagement

  • Business Behind Non-Profits

  • Women and Leadership

  • Leadership in the Arts

  • The Leader Within You

Upper School Seniors in the Brown Auditorium


With the completion of the new Upper School building and our incubator maker space, we will roll out classes in the School’s Entrepreneurship Program (Fall 2025). 11th and 12th graders will have the opportunity to take the INCubator class in which they will work as teams to identify needs and address those needs by taking products from initial ideation to the in-market minimal viable product stage. The class culminates with the teams pitching their products to the public in a “Shark Tank” experience at the end of the year. Those teams that get funding for their products can then take the 12th-grade ACCELerator class to bring their products to market. Throughout the Entrepreneurship Program, students are mentored by professionals and taught by subject-matter experts to develop the professional skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century marketplace. 


Kinkaid’s Finance Program begins with 11th and 12th graders taking the Fundamentals of Business and Finance course in the fall semester and the Principles of Investment class during Interim Term. Students who have completed both classes may apply for membership on the Student Investment Committee (SIC). Students work with Kinkaid’s Endowment Board to recommend investments in public equities. 11th graders may continue working on the SIC during their senior year.



Kinkaid Students as interns at Deutser Business Management Consulting


Upper School Interim Term Senior Course

Through an individually structured three-week internship, this practical experience offers an opportunity to explore potential career inclinations. Through workday exposure to the organizational world of making a living — coupled with related reading and research — student interns reinforce skills such as leadership, accountability, analysis, and planning. Internships span a broad spectrum of industry. Though the majority of students remain in Houston, some assume national or international responsibilities.

Questions? Email the Director of Career Development,
Martha Kirkwood

Summer Rising Senior Internships

Supported by the Alumni Board and the Advancement Office, the extended Kinkaid community offers one-week summer internships with alumni and current parents across a range of industries in Houston. The program provides rising seniors greater opportunity for real world professional experience over the summer. These internships assist with determining student interest level in a field and establish a work history beneficial for both college admission and future job aspirations. Internship opportunities are emailed to eligible students in early spring. 

Questions? Email the Alumni Activities Manager,
Emily Dominique
photo for the Summer Rising Senior Internships


Faculty & Staff Team

Peter Behr

Peter Behr

Titles: Assistant Head of School
Ed Harris

Ed Harris

Titles: Director - Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, & Finance
Jennifer Kehler

Jennifer Kehler

Titles: Assistant Director - Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Finance
Martha Kirkwood

Martha Kirkwood

Titles: Director of Career Development & Coordinator of Leadership Seminars
Tony Watson

Tony Watson

Titles: History and Social Sciences & CLEF Teacher, Upper School