Lighthouse SchoolPublished 12:34pm Monday, February 25, 2013
A buzz of excitement is continuing at Priceville Elementary School after it earned the designation of a Leader in Me Lighthouse School on Feb. 5.
The announcement came as a surprise at a Leader in Me Symposium at Athens State University with several hundred educators in the audience, according to Principal Dr. Anne Knowlton.
“We knew something was in the making because we had a team of three Leader in Me representatives visit our school earlier in the day,” Knowlton said. “They toured the school and talked with a panel of parents, as well as teachers and students, and left without telling us anything.”
“Later at the Symposium, we were surprised and delighted when the name Priceville Elementary School appeared on the screen and the announcement was made that our school had been accepted as the 34th Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” Knowlton stated.
Only three other schools in North Alabama have received the Lighthouse School Designation. They are Moulton Elementary School and Chestnut Grove and Somerville Road Elementary Schools, both in Decatur.
The Leader in Me program was initiated at Priceville Elementary School in January 2010 with a book study on the Seven Habits of an Effective Leader, using teacher workshop days.
“By the time school started that fall, we had really jumped in and integrated it,” Knowlton stated. “The teacherg bought in and so did our students.
“It was just a beginning but the more we did the more we realized its potential,” she added. It has made such a big difference in how our students accept personal responsibility for their behavior.
‘For example, we used to have a problem of the boys fighting in the restrooms. “We don’t see that any more.”
Most of our students have accepted leadership roles,” she pointed out. “Some of them lead in club projects and activities. The president of the Science Club plans and organizes a monthly program, with the assistance of the sponsor, and then conducts the program. “We have students who collect trash each school day and carry it to the dumpsters on campus. This is a big help to our two custodians. We also have a student who is in charge of Lost and Found and others who lead our recycling project. Others serve as morning greeters and bus patrol leaders.”
“The Seven Habits are becoming ingrained in the culture of out student body,” Knowlton added. “But we haven’t seen the end. There’s so much more than can be done.”
She pointed out that plans are already in the making for projects to be conducted in 2013 and 2014.
They include restroom makeovers in upper grade levels, cafeteria improvements, hosting the Priceville Town Council for its Feb. 26th meeting and the Morgan County School Board for its March meeting.
“This has been a wonderful thing for us,” Knowlton pointed out, “I’ve never been part of something that has had a greater impact on the study body.