Deck the walls

2
1997

Special to Kentucky Teacher

New Haven Elementary School was looking for a little jolt to start the school year off right this year – and they were not talking cola, here.

The staff at New Haven (Nelson County) decided last winter to adopt Franklin-Covey’s The Leader In Me model for a transformational approach to school culture and leadership.

“It is not a program, but a three- to five-year process,” said Principal Shelley Badgett. “It’s a crockpot, not a microwave. It takes time.”

The school’s staff wanted to shake things up a bit right from the start. They were looking for an attention grabber for students and parents returning after the summer break. Badgett said they wanted students and parents to walk in after the break and ask, “What is going on?”

With a little paint plus lots of elbow grease and ingenuity, the school got its wish. There are now murals on the walls, street signs at hallway intersections and messages all around the school focusing on student and teacher leadership.

“It (The Leader in Me program)  is a mindset change that involves buy-in from teachers, students, staff and eventually, even parents,” Badgett said.

And the school is already seeing a difference.

“Students are taking pride in the school,” Badgett said. They’re loving being here. They’re commenting on the environment.”

Alyssa Voils, left, and Leah Mattingly add a touch or two to a design that brightens up the front office at New Haven School (Nelson County). The two collaborated on the design and painting of a whimsical scene that features phrases reflecting the seven habits Franklin-Covey’s The Leader In Me program, which the school adopted last winter. Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Alyssa Voils, left, and Leah Mattingly add a touch or two to a design that brightens up the front office at New Haven School (Nelson County). The two collaborated on the design and painting of a whimsical scene that features phrases reflecting the seven habits Franklin-Covey’s The Leader In Me program, which the school adopted last winter.
Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Fourth-graders, from left, Chloe Boone and Zaine Smith, and 3rd-grader Donovan Brown work at computer stations in science teacher Katie Brown’s classroom at New Haven School, where many classrooms and hallways carry brightly colored themes to excite imaginations and engage interest. When Brown decided to paint her science mural on the back wall of her classroom this summer, she wanted to provide something both eye-catching and thought provoking. Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Fourth-graders, from left, Chloe Boone and Zaine Smith, and 3rd-grader Donovan Brown work at computer stations in science teacher Katie Brown’s classroom at New Haven School, where many classrooms and hallways carry brightly colored themes to excite imaginations and engage interest. When Brown decided to paint her science mural on the back wall of her classroom this summer, she wanted to provide something both eye-catching and thought provoking.
Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Jackie Ritchie's 2nd-grade class returns to their classroom after lunch. This mural is strategically placed near the juncture of two hallways, requiring all children attending classes in that wing to pass by it several times each day. Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Jackie Ritchie’s 2nd-grade class returns to their classroom after lunch. This mural is strategically placed near the juncture of two hallways, requiring all children attending classes in that wing to pass by it several times each day.
Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Blake Walker practices his greeting skills by greeting teacher's assistant Jackie Donahue at the door to Amy Hurst’s 6th-grade classroom at New Haven School. Students take on a variety of roles and responsibilities, such as greeting visitors at the classroom door, as part of the school’s Leader in Me program. Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Blake Walker practices his greeting skills by greeting teacher’s assistant Jackie Donahue at the door to Amy Hurst’s 6th-grade classroom at New Haven School. Students take on a variety of roles and responsibilities, such as greeting visitors at the classroom door, as part of the school’s Leader in Me program.
Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Sammy Saunders, Jesse Willett, Paige Wathen, Alex Reynolds and Sarah Debroy pause at the corner of Synergy Street and Win-Win Way during a class change at New Haven School. The students are 6th-graders in Amy Hurst’s class. With them is Andrew McGuire, a sustitute teacher. Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
Sammy Saunders, Jesse Willett, Paige Wathen, Alex Reynolds and Sarah Debroy pause at the corner of Synergy Street and Win-Win Way during a class change at New Haven School. The students are 6th-graders in Amy Hurst’s class. With them is Andrew McGuire, a sustitute teacher.
Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
New Haven School teacher Scott Johnson delivers an impromptu lesson to keep his class occupied while awaiting their turn in the lunch line. Behind them, a large, painted tree is festooned with Seven Habits placards serves as a colorful backdrop. Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District
New Haven School teacher Scott Johnson delivers an impromptu lesson to keep his class occupied while awaiting their turn in the lunch line. Behind them, a large, painted tree festooned with Seven Habits placards serves as a colorful backdrop.
Photo courtesy of Tom Dekle, Nelson County School District

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is so uplifting! I love the ideas and hard work, and love that the staff is showing their students that they believe in them! Nice job!
    MM

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