March has roared in like a lion for Park Elementary students, but it was the months of preparation by students and faculty that made the Leader in Me Symposium and third annual Leadership Day such a great success.
Park Elementary is in its third year as a Leader in Me school. Part of being a Leader in Me school is reaching the goal of becoming a Lighthouse school. A Lighthouse school is one that fully embraces the culture of student leadership associated with implementing the Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Each school must also achieve specific requirements along the way. Not only is it a goal for Park Elementary to become a Lighthouse school, but continuing with student leadership so every student, teacher and family can be model citizens and a beacon in the community.
On March 18th and 19th, Park students hosted 100 visitors from Franklin Covey’s Leader in Me Symposium and demonstrated what student leadership looks like at Park Elementary. Seth Pauley, a 6th grader at Park and MC, explained the history of Park and a few things that have been implemented school wide such as attendance goals, classroom and student WIGS (wildly important goals), and the Positive Panther Board. First grade students Emily Taylor, Colben Brindley, Morgan Witt, Corbin Allen along with 5th grader Patrick Young shared their favorite habit and how it helps them in school and at home. Our 3rd grade students charmed the audience with their 7 Habits song.
After the assembly, visitors were able to attend three breakout sessions to visit classrooms where they saw integrated lessons with the 7 Habits. They were also shown student data binders, and mission statements, which demonstrate student leadership, responsibility, and respect. Visitors were then brought back for a question and answer panel consisting of students, parents, teachers and our principal.
A highlight of the symposium was students Jessica Cook, Logan Castor, Patrick Young, Hampton White, Tyrel Bird and Emily Taylor. These six students stole the show in front of 450 people at the Utah Valley Convention Center with their unbelievable speeches on the 7 Habits and how the Leader in Me has inspired them. These Park Panthers had the audience laughing, crying, and applauding with a standing ovation. After the symposium, students were treated like celebrities by signing autographs and posing for photo ops! One student, Patrick Young, received two job offers after he graduates from high school. Principal Ryan Kay said he “couldn’t be prouder.” Leslee Hunt and Jennifer Sorensen, who have been integral in the implementation of the program, both commented the performance of these six students and all of Park Elementary made it worth the three year journey. Both are excited to continue the growth of this program.
On March 25th, Park students hosted the same event for community, business, and education leaders. Many leaders commented on how confident and impressive Park students were in talking to others and setting academic and behavior goals and tracking them all on their own. Or in other words… “Being Proactive, Beginning with the End in Mind and Putting First Things First.”
We are so proud of ALL students at Park Elementary! Tyrel Bird may speak for many students when he says- “The Leader in Me program really did find the leader in me.”