Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools

Leadership and Life Skills at Whiteman and Knob Noster Elementary Schools Inspire Young Students to Become Future-Ready Leaders with the Leader in Me Process
Posted on 06/01/2023
Knob Noster Elementary Student Action Team

Whiteman Elementary and Knob Noster Elementary recently announced their schools have been certified as Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools by FranklinCovey Education. This recognition is evidence that both schools have produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, and because of the extraordinary impact the schools are having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community.

Leader in Me is an evidence-based PK-12 model, developed in partnership with educators, designed to grow leadership skills in students and staff, create a high-trust culture, and help improve academic achievement. This model equips students, educators, and families with the leadership and life skills needed to thrive, adapt, and contribute in a dynamic world.

Leader in Me unites students, staff, and families around a common goal to prepare students with college-, career-, and life-readiness skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s ever-changing, fast paced environment. With Leader in Me, students learn to become self-aware, interdependent, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, be considerate of others, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, live a balanced life, and contribute to society.

Stephany Wasson, principal of Whiteman Elementary, said, “We are honored to have been certified as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. We have seen amazing results from implementing the Leader in Me process at our school, such as a shared vision of leadership among staff and students, increased student voice and ownership in learning and increased opportunities for parent and community involvement. One example is the full implementation of Student Leadership/Data notebooks where students can track their own learning data, set goals, and see growth. With the notebooks, our school fully implemented Student Led Conferences at Parent/Teacher Conference time. This has allowed our students to share the goals they have set and their growth with their families. This change has increased the students’ sense of ownership in their learning; thus, we have seen a positive impact on students’ academic growth throughout the school year. This process has had a significant impact on all students. And we expect to see greater results over time.”

Within the PK-12 education community, it is common for schools to receive recognition for outstanding achievement. Lighthouse Certiļ¬cation is a highly regarded standard that is attainable by every Leader in Me School. Schools that achieve the certification are great examples of a strong leadership model and process. They have experienced significant measurable results, aligned to their goals, through implementation of the principles and practices in Leader in Me. Schools typically apply for this certification three to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process.

FranklinCovey Education has designed the Lighthouse Rubric to establish high standards for quality and, ultimately, school outcomes. Schools use the Lighthouse Rubric to measure outcomes in three areas: teaching leadership principles, creating a leadership culture, and aligning academic systems. Schools also measure their success as it relates to their unique school. Lighthouse Schools serve as exemplars to their community and to other schools.

Doug Brown, principal of Knob Noster Elementary, said, “We are excited about the news of reaching Lighthouse Status. This has been a building goal for several years, and our teachers and students deserve to be celebrated for what they have accomplished the past few years. One of the most significant changes at KNE since implementing Leader in Me is the creation of our building mission statement: Lead each other, Learn together, Love one another (Lead, Learn, Love). This statement encompasses everything we do at KNE. We have encouraged our students to take on leadership roles and opportunities, including completing leadership portfolios and participating in student-led conferences. Our action teams and our PTO have organized family events with incredible parent support. We set academic goals, and our students and staff have worked hard to reach those goals. Our plan for the future is to partner with our families to include more leadership opportunities for students and the development of The 7 Habits of Happy Kids at school and home.”

Since its official launch nearly a decade ago, more than 5,000 public, private, and charter schools across 50 countries have adopted the Leader in Me process, while more than 650 schools have achieved the prestigious Lighthouse Certification. It is earned by schools that demonstrate the following: 

  • The principal, school administration, and staff engage in ongoing learning and develop as leaders, while championing leadership for the school.
  • Leadership principles are effectively taught to all students through direct lessons, integrated approaches, and staff modeling. Students are able to think critically about, and apply, leadership principles.
  • Families and the school partner together in learning about The 7 Habits and leadership principles through effective communication and mutual respect.
  • The school community is able to see leadership in the physical environment, hear leadership through a common language, and feel leadership through a culture of caring, relationships, and affirmation. 
  • Leadership is shared with students through a variety of leadership roles. Student voice leads to innovations within the school.
  • Schoolwide, classroom, family, and community leadership events provide authentic environments to celebrate leadership, build culture, and allow students to practice leadership skills.
  • The school utilizes the 4DX® process (The 4 Disciplines of Execution) to identify and track progress toward Wildly Important Goals® (WIGs) for the school, classroom, and staff.
  • 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 Leadership Notebooks and share these notebooks with adults in Student-Led Conferences.
  • Teacher planning and reflection, trusting relationships, and student-led learning combine to create environments for highly engaged learning.

Sean Covey, President, FranklinCovey Education, said, “We are thrilled to recognize Whiteman Elementary and Knob Noster Elementary as Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools. Schools who achieve this Lighthouse Certification are great examples of a strong leadership model, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. These two schools have experienced incredible results by implementing the principles and practices related to Leader in Me. And we are so pleased and honored to be their partner and to celebrate the success they are experiencing.”

Whiteman Elementary and Knob Noster Elementary will maintain their Lighthouse Certification for two years and will continue to foster their growth and proficiency in exemplifying a leadership culture and principles. At the end of the two years the schools will recertify their Lighthouse Certification through a virtual self-assessment, describing and celebrating its growth and accomplishments since its original Lighthouse designation.

Leader in Me training includes establishing vision for the school or district, goal setting, personal-accountability systems and is aligned with commonly held best in class educational research, content and best practices. At the core of the Leader in Me model is the belief that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. The foundation of Leader in Me is its PK-12 framework, the  See-Do-Get model, and the Student Leadership Portrait competencies.

Leader in Me is implemented through an educator professional development model. Teachers and staff learn key concepts and integrate them into existing systems. FranklinCovey has robust implementation support to ensure success for individual schools, district-wide, distance learning, and online delivery of content. Coaching supports implementation excellence and sustained achievement across all implementation modalities.

Leader in Me is having a significant, measurable impact on schools all over the world and in the lives of millions of students, parents, teachers, and administrators. To learn more about the impact the process is having, see the following research highlights: (www.leaderinme.org/research-highlights-academics/).

For more information on the model that has been implemented in more than 6,000 schools and in more than 55 countries, visit www.leaderinme.org

Whiteman Elementary S2S Student Ambassadors