TYNGSBORO — Sixteen elected student leaders from the Academy of Notre Dame, including two from Dracut, have recently returned from an intensive, two-day leadership-training program held at Nichols College in Dudley.

Offered through the Coalition for the Advancement of Student Activities’ Student Leadership training program, this two-day event brought together student leaders from across New England.

The conferences and seminars are intense experiential workshops that are designed to increase self-understanding and confidence; foster the development of leadership skills; improve communication skills; and define the role of student leaders.

“This is a hands-on experience, with student leaders involved in a practical laboratory-style experience,” explained Helen Kay, an instructor at Notre Dame Academy.

Representing the Academy of Notre Dame were the leaders of the Student Council, National Honor Society and class officers from the school’s sophomore, junior and senior classes.

Among them were Dracut residents Haley Jarek, a junior; and Amanda Belleville, a senior.

According to Kay, the objectives of the program are “to define what it means to be a leader, to help attendees learn how to create visions and goals for their institutions, and how to communicate those goals to other students.”

Those attending worked together as a team to develop a vision for the school and a plan of action for implementation during the coming academic year. “One of our goals as a college preparatory high school for young women is to develop young women for leadership roles once they leave our institution,” said Kay. “During the coming year, these students will work with our existing Faculty Leadership Council to develop and implement a Student Leadership Council.”

The Student Leadership Training Program is sponsored by the Coalition for the Advancement of Student Activities, a nonprofit organization formed by student activity advisers to develop leadership education.

Since its founding in 1990, more than 5,000 student leaders have attended the program.

The Academy of Notre Dame is a Catholic, private school comprised of a co-educational kindergarten through eighth-grade program, and a college preparatory high school for young women.

The school is sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and is based on the educational philosophy of their founder, St. Julie Billiart.