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Polk Avenue Elementary Named Leader in Me Lighthouse School


Last updated 4/10/2019 at 12:01pm

Lake Wales Charter Schools

Many people are aware of Steven Covey's "7 Habit's of Highly Effective People" impact in the business world.

But one Lake Wales Charter school has been using it for eight years now as one of the foundations of its educational approach.

Recently, Polk Avenue Elementary was honored as a prestigious Leader in Me "Lighthouse School". While thousands of schools across the United States use the program, only a few hundred schools have earned the Lighthouse designation.

Leader in Me helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life, according to officials from Franklin Covey Education.

"We really believe these skills are the skills that are going to help our children in the future to be great family people, great community members, people that are really employable and have skills that are needed today. That's our end goal, just to help everybody be a better citizens," Principal Gail Quam noted.

This recognition is evidence that the school has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing the Leader in Me process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact the school is having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community, company officials added.

"Schools who achieve this Lighthouse Certification are great examples of a strong leadership model and process, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. This school has experienced transformational results by implementing the principles and practices related to Leader in Me. And, we are so pleased and honored to celebrate the success they are experiencing." said company President Sean Covey.

The schools hallways and classrooms are covered with posters and signs reminding students about the culture the program strives to create, not only for students, but their families and charter system staff.

The all-inclusive program actually builds its base from different, but similar sources, integrating several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including "The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders" and "The 4 Disciplines of Execution." "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness, such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal.

"We have seen amazing results from implementing the Leader in Me process at our school, such as improved school culture, measured by a decrease in student discipline issues, our increase in enrollment and our increase in students making learning gains as measured by the Value Added Measure for the state of Florida," Quam added. "One example is a student who in the past had a difficult time behaving in school and now is a member of our Student Lighthouse Team, helping to give leadership to the school. This process not only has had a significant impact on this student, but on all students. And we expect to see greater results over time."


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