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Howard Norman Elementary School Receives Lighthouse Certification

Howard Norman Elementary School Receives Lighthouse Certification

Deemed extraordinary example for other schools to follow

February 23, 2023 - Howard Norman Elementary School (HNES) has earned a Lighthouse Certification from FranklinCovey Education as a Leader in Me campus - a leadership and life skills program developed by educators and derived from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

“The attainment of the Lighthouse certification represents a significant benchmark and it is evidence that a high standard has been met,” writes David Ansbacher, Director of Lighthouse and Quality Initiatives. “Lighthouse Schools are extraordinary examples for other schools to follow; as such, they should be places anyone the world over could visit to learn about and be inspired by the strength of the leadership model operating.”

Leader in Me is an evidence-based PK-12 model that 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 earn 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.

HNES began following Leader in Me during the 2018-2019 school year. When Principal Carrie Abrams arrived in the fall of 2019, the staff voted to keep the model going for at least one more year. Five years later, Abrams says the growth in how her students and staff have evolved is one of the things she is most proud of.

“Part of the application process to become a Lighthouse Campus involved hosting a parent panel. While we see the changes here on a daily basis within our students and how they approach their day, it was very enlightening to hear what the parents notice within their students,” said Abrams “During the panel discussion, they shared how their children have become more goal-oriented and driven. Several of the parents commented on the number of clubs and activities their students wanted to participate in and were always excited to become more involved in the campus community. We even have a Jr. Lighthouse Team who serve on our teacher committees to ensure that we have a student voice into all of our campus-wide events that take place throughout the school year.”

Abrams says that Leader in Me and the 7 Habits has given the campus a common language and way to approach any challenge that arises. It prevents them from getting stuck because practicing Habit #3 “Put First Things First” will eventually get them to where they want to go. Students learn they have to get started and prioritize tasks one small step at a time. When obstacles do occur, they incorporate Habit #6 which is “Synergize.” That essentially means that if they put their heads together, the answer can be found from the people talking who are involved with it. Teachers and staff also now utilize learning from Leader in Me when addressing classroom issues such as student conflicts, tracking our data, and working together to achieve school-wide goals.

“I am proud of our staff being models of life-long learning,” said HNES Principal Carrie Abrams. “Together we have worked to incorporate The 7 Habits and a common vocabulary to ensure that our work has value and purpose. I am proud of our students for taking what they are learning and embedding it into all that they do both on campus as well as when they are at home. My hope is only that these traits stick with each of them as they grow up and help them to reach their fullest potential.”

View for more information on Leader in Me.
View to view the results from the HNES application.