The Light Shines Bright for Park Elementary
By: Adam Gull
It was the perfect day for the perfect celebration for Park Elementary families and faculty during their Back to School Night and Lighthouse ribbon cutting ceremony. After days of heavy rain, the sun shined bright for this special day where students, parents, teachers, city leaders and district administrators joined together to reopen Park Elementary as a Lighthouse School some sixty years after its beginning.
The evening began with the posting of the United States flag by Boy Scout student leaders in honor of September 11th, followed by a moment of silence. Mr. Kay welcomed everyone and shared what obtaining the Lighthouse award means. A Lighthouse school is a beacon of leadership in the community and one that has fully implemented a leadership model with students, teachers and parents. Sean Covey, founder of The Leader in Me, describes the Lighthouse award like “earning your black belt.”
Patrick Young, sixth grade student and Park Pride Leader, spoke about his journey and experiences with The Leader in Me and Seven Habits and some of his goals he has set for his life. When it comes to school work Patrick says “It’s easier to stay caught up than to get caught up.”
Jessica Cook, Sixth Grade Park Pride Leader introduced special guest speaker Sean Covey. Mr. Covey is the son of Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, former BYU quarterback, and founder of The Leader in Me. Sean Covey shared stories of his relationship with his dad and how he thought he was a geek when he would run in his dress socks, but later after reading his book realized how intelligent his dad was. He also shared how Park Elementary is 1 of 2,000 schools that are part of The Leader in Me, 101 which are Lighthouse schools. He expressed the importance of the Seven Habits and the success students feel in implementing them into their lives.
Students from the PPL or Park Pride Leaders led the countdown and ribbon cutting to reopen Park Elementary as a Lighthouse School. Parents and students cheered excitedly as the ribbon was cut and fell to the ground. A sea of smiles could be seen throughout the crowd as patrons filed through the doors and entered the hallways of the newly accomplished Lighthouse School.
Reflecting on the event, Mr. Kay says: “It was a great feeling to see the look on all the students’ beaming faces. They were so proud of their accomplishment.”
As the evening continued, parents and students met with teachers as part of Back to School night for an overview of the class and school year which was followed by more celebration with a hot dog fry and visiting on the field.
As the sun set and the evening came to a close, many will remember this day and others will look as Park Elementary shines as a Lighthouse to the community of Spanish Fork and to the world.
Park Elementary would like to give a Special Thanks to Cameron Spotten from the Chillon Reception Center for the donation of the backdrop, and to Skiba Auto and Napa Auto Parts for advertising and support.