On 15th of November, South Newton Elementary School was reviewed by team members from Franklin Covey’s Leader in Me for the Lighthouse School designation.
A Lighthouse School recognition is a national honor for Leader in Me schools that is granted to LIM schools for their hard work and success with the implementation of the Leader in Me. Lighthouse Schools are seen as schools for other Leader in Me schools to watch and learn from as they progress in their LIM journey. The Lighthouse review examines the implementation of the Leader in Me program which allows for children in the school to learn how to become more responsible and how they can help their fellow students succeed. The review of the school is estimated to take 4-6 weeks to process before South Newton is notified of the results.
“(The Lighthouse review) is kind of like a celebration,” South Newton Instructional Coach Brittany Gaines said. “They’re coming here to see what all we’ve accomplished in the years that we’ve been implementing the Leader in Me program in our school.”
When the Lighthouse review team came to South Newton Elementary students were involved in showing the team different areas of the school. The students were also involved in showing the team different ways that the students were able to take leadership positions in the school through their Leader in Me program.
“(The Leader in Me program) gives students a voice, because if they want to make something, like a change or add something new, then they would come to us and we would talk it over,” student Amira Bradley from 5th grade said. “We can make it happen.”
The Lighthouse review team was able to interact with many of these Leader in Me students via the tours where they were able to witness first-hand everything that the students have accomplished. The team was also able to see what the teachers and the rest of the faculty and staff have been doing to help create a better environment for the students to learn in.
“What the Lighthouse review really means is that we can be a Lighthouse School to other schools who are doing the Leader in Me, and what they would see here is that we have good systems in place and that the Leader in Me is making an impact and that we’re using it the correct way and building that leadership,” Gaines said. “Another part is just that recognition that through Leader in Me that you’re not just having Leader in Me in your school but you’re doing it in the school and you’re doing it well with your students, staff, and community.”
Even if South Newton is named a Lighthouse School, that doesn’t mean that the work is done, however.
“Being named a Lighthouse school won’t mean that we’ve arrived,” said South Newton Principal Amber Humphrey. “We have to continue (the work), and (if named) we will continue that. But I think that any recognition, especially when you know that (it is) being named a Lighthouse School, I think the hard work that our kids have put in and that our staff has put in, and our community, and our parents, that recognition is something that they worked really hard for. We’re excited about the possibility of (being named a Lighthouse School).”