The Richmond Register

March 20, 2014

Leaders and Learners Day showcases school transformation

At Glenn Marshall Elementary

By Crystal Wylie
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Glenn Marshall Elementary students lined the hall Thursday, eager to shake the hands and look into the eyes of each person who walked into the school building.

“Welcome to Glenn Marshall Elementary,” “We’re glad to have you here today,” “I really like your dress,” students could be heard saying to guests as they made their way to the cafeteria.

Self-portraits created by every student also covered the walls, portraying what they want to be when they grow up.

Community members, business leaders and educators from all over Madison County were visiting GME for its Leaders and Learners Day, a celebration of the school’s first year as a Leader In Me school.

In August, GME implemented the whole-school program, which is based on Stephen Covey’s 1989 self-help book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“The journey in our spectacular transformation has only begun. May today’s visit inspire you to begin your journey in developing tomorrow’s leaders,” Principal Abigail White said to a room full of visitors.

School administrators were invited to see the value of the process and be inspired to implement the program in their schools, White told the Richmond Register.

Richmond Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mendi Goble, who was instrumental in securing funding for the program at GME, invited community representatives so they can see the value of making a financial contribution to fund the program in other schools, White said.

“The Seven Habits teach kids leadership skills that can help them be successful in the workforce,” the principal said.

The day began with 15- and 20-minute Career Day presentations, rotated from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Later, while guests ate lunch provided by Danielle’s Country Sandwiches in Richmond, they watched a video montage of students explaining each of the seven habits. A showcase of student leaders followed with cloggers, violinists, singers, pianists and a special martial arts demonstration by first-grade student Connor Radcliffe.

After the presentation, the school’s Lighthouse Student Team guided guests to different classrooms to see Leader In Me at work.

Students from every grade level discussed with visitors the meaning of each of the seven habits as well as the hand signals associated with each.

After classroom visits, guests gathered for a grand assembly during which first-graders performed their spring musical.

The day commenced with a student club gallery walk, during with students presented highlights of each organization.

Crystal Wylie can be reached at cwylie@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 6696.