Beard Elementary earned the prestigious honor of being named a "Lighthouse School" by Franklin Covey's Leader in Me program. One of only 35 schools in the entire world to hold the distinguished title, Beard now join the ranks of other "Lighthouse schools" who serve as models of leadership and mentors for Districts around the world.
The surprise announcement was made to students and staff at a special assembly on February 22. Mayor Sandy Sanders and KFSM TV-5 News anchor, Daren Bobb, were on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. Following the announcement, students gathered outside to release colorful balloons to celebrate the school's achievement and the top honor associated with being a Leader in Me school.
The Leader in Me program is "an innovative, school-wide approach that emphasizes a culture of student empowerment and the creation of student leaders," according to Principal Pam Siebenmorgen. "Teachers and students internalize the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and the habits are integrated everywhere throughout the school. It is a process that focuses on preparing students not only academically, but prepares them for skills that are needed to be successful in life."
Beard Elementary School has seen many positive results since implementing the program. According to Siebenmorgen, they include increased student self confidence, improved school culture, improved school-wide attendance, decreased discipline referrals, and creation of a common language.
The Leader in Me Lighthouse school title is awarded by Franklin Covey to honor the attainment of a well-rounded leadership model. A school is evaluated on their performance in nine critical areas that include: Lighthouse Team (Leadership Team), Leadership Environment, Integrated Instruction and Curriculum, Staff Collaboration, Student Leadership, Parent Involvement, Leadership Events, Goal Tracking, and Measurable Results. After three years of implementing the Leader in Me process, Beard Elementary met all of the criteria and was awarded with the prestigious Lighthouse status.
Beard has been implementing the Leader in Me curriculum for three years. The school underwent a rigorous review by the Leader in Me team to determine if it was deserving of the "Lighthouse" designation. The process included a school visit, a formal review of evidence documents and extensive teacher and student observations.
"The staff and students set a goal and had a vision to reach lighthouse status," said Siebenmorgen. "We as a staff created a plan and became committed to seeing this through. It was easy to see this through because we were able to see the positive impact this process had on the students and had on each of us as educators. We are so excited and proud that we all synergized together to make this a reality. This however is not a stopping point. We will continue to grow and gain a deeper understanding of the Leader in Me process."