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Heritage Elementary School has earned the status of “Leader in Me Lighthouse School.” CONTRIBUTED

Heritage qualifies as ‘Leader in Me Lighthouse School’

MADISON – Heritage Elementary School now can claim the distinction of “Leader in Me Lighthouse School.”

The Leader in Me approach teaches leadership skills to children and empowers them through the idea that every child should be a leader. Lighthouse certification involves a respected set of standards that every Leader in Me school can attain.

The basis for much of this philosophy is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.

Applying for this certification typically occurs four to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process. Currently, more than 300 schools around the world have earned Lighthouse certification, according to the Leader in Me website at leaderinme.org.

Heritage Principal Dr. Georgina Nelson acknowledged second-grade teacher Adrian Wells and fifth-grade teacher Kristen Kolenich for taking major leadership roles in the certification process.

Leader in Me teachers instruct leadership principles to all students through direct lessons, integrated approaches and staff modeling. Students can think critically, along with applying leadership principles.

Families and the school form a partnership in learning about the seven habits and leadership principles through effective communication and mutual respect. Leadership is shared with students through various roles in leadership. This student voice leads to innovations within the school.

Schoolwide, classroom, family and community events provide authentic environments to celebrate the skills that students are developing. Students lead their own learning with the skills to assess their needs, set appropriate goals and carry out action plans. They track progress toward goals in notebooks, which they share with adults in student-led conferences.

Leader in Me schools maintain their Lighthouse certification for two years and continue to foster their growth in exemplifying a leadership culture. At the end of the two years, schools can work for re-certification to maintain their Lighthouse status.

Today, Leader in Me has become a model that undergoes continual improvement, based on feedback from educators around the world and the evolving needs of education. Each year, educators from Leader in Me Schools assemble for training and discussion about advancements to improve the process.

For more information, visit leaderinme.org.

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