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.”
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