Leadership program adds Dana Road
Published 11:16 am Thursday, April 10, 2014
Two years after Leader in Me was introduced at Bowmar and Bovina elementary schools, the Franklin-Covey program is expanding to another school.
Dana Road Elementary was chosen by a Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce panel to be the third local school in Warren County to implement the student-development program.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Sherrie Williams, principal of Dana Road. “You could hear the teachers and children cheering up and down the hallways.”
The announcement came in conjunction with the “Leadership Day,” which Bowmar hosted last week and Bovina hosted Tuesday to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness.
“This is not something we just put on one day for the public,” Bowmar principal Tammy Burris said to a group of local elected officials, chamber members and others at the school’s Leadership Day.
For Bovina Principal Micki Ginn, Leader in Me has been a benefit both on paper and with the immeasurable qualities of her students.
“We have had some decrease in disciplinary problems and test scores continued to go up,” she said.
“What they’re really beginning to understand is what all the habits mean,” Ginn said, referencing the self-help book that is the basis of the program, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” published by Stephen Covey in 1989.
Ginn said the most beneficial result of the program has been within the students.
“I think the most impressive part has been seeing the confidence in kids that you normally wouldn’t expect to step up to the plate,” she said. “You’re providing more leadership opportunities for the students.”
For Williams, that is an exciting prospect.
“I cannot wait to see the difference this makes in our children, in our community involvement, in our parental involvement and our staff,” she said.
The Leader In Me program began at Bovina and Bowmar elementary schools during the 2012-13 school year. The programs were launched with private funding of $105,000.
Chamber officials have previously pointed to a significant decline in disciplinary reports and a 7-percent decline in absenteeism.
The Chamber of Commerce, after first seeing evidence of the program at a convention in 2009, introduced the program locally in 2011.
The Bowmar and Bovina programs were financed with the first round of funds raised, though Dana Road and St. Francis Xavier elementary schools also applied.
Both Bovina and Bowmar will be considered next month to become a Seven Habits Lighthouse School, a designation held by 57 schools nationwide.
Last year, then-executive director of the chamber Christy Kilroy said the goal was to eventually expand the program to five schools by the 2014-15 school year.