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Sugarloaf one of five NC schools to win national honor

Peggy Marshall accepts a bouquet from county schools personnel director John Bryant in this file photo from October 2015. Peggy Marshall accepts a bouquet from county schools personnel director John Bryant in this file photo from October 2015.

Sugarloaf Elementary School is one of five schools in North Carolina honored for its successful implementation of a transformational program that empowers students with leadership and life skills and results in measurable improvements.

The performance improvement company Franklin Covey Co. named Sugarloaf a "Leader in Me Lighthouse School" based on its outstanding results in school and student outcomes through Covey's The Leader in Me process.

“We are honored to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse School," said Sugarloaf principal Peggy Marshall, Henderson County's 2015 principal of the year. "As a school, we have seen amazing results from implementing The Leader in Me process, such as increased academic ownership, student leadership and parent/community involvement. This process has had a positive impact on all students both personally and academically, and we expect to see greater results over time.”

The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on secular principles and practices of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness.

The Leader in Me differs from other whole-school transformation processes in that it offers a holistic, schoolwide experience for staff, students, and parents, and creates a common language and culture within the school. The leadership principles and lessons are not taught as a curriculum, but instead are incorporated into coursework, traditions, systems, and culture.

The Lighthouse Milestone is a highly regarded standard set by FranklinCovey and the designation is given to schools that have demonstrated the following:

• The school campus environment reinforces the leadership model by displaying leadership language that emphasizes individual worth and potential in hallways and classrooms.
• Teachers integrate leadership language into school curriculum and instruction.
• Staff collaborates and works together to effectively build a culture of leadership.
• Students are provided with meaningful student leadership roles and responsibilities, such as mentor, public speaker, school tour guide, and greeter.
• Parents are given opportunities to learn The Leader in Me model and the 7 Habits and are involved in activities that support the leadership model.
• A system is in place for setting and tracking school-wide, classroom, academic, and personal goals.
• Leadership events are held to allow students to practice their leadership skills (e.g. public speaking, sharing data, confident greetings, etc.) with community business partners, parents, and other educators.
• The school leadership team meets regularly and oversees school-wide implementation of the leadership model with the help of students, staff, parents, and community members.
• Measureable improvements in teacher engagement, parent satisfaction, student behavior, and academic alignment are shown by comparing baseline data with the tracking of ongoing data.