Glenn Marshall Elementary teacher Melissa Sandusky stood in front of students during the afternoon assembly to check off her “to-do” list. Her top priority was listed as “homework,” with “chores” and “play” coming in second and third. This was one of a series of skits teachers performed Monday to give students examples of leadership and how they correlate with the “7 Habits of Happy Kids.” Sandusky was showing students the third habit, how to “Put First Things First.”
The assembly was called to announce the launch of the new “Leader in Me” program, which is based on the 1989 self-help book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
The Habits are:
• Be Proactive
• Begin with the End in Mind
• Put First Things First
• Think Win-Win
• Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
• Synergize, and
• Sharpen the Saw.
Having received training this summer, teachers and staff are beginning a three-year plan that will foster an environment that is positive, motivating and develops 21st century leadership skills, said Principal Abby White. Glenn Marshall will be the district’s first “Leader in Me” school.
“It’s about recognizing that each child has a special gift; a special leadership quality,” she said. “We want to teach kids the leadership skills that will help them through middle/high school and into adulthood.”
The school has even changed its mission statement to: “Inspiring leaders through learning,” she said.
Richmond Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mendi Goble told students Monday that she uses the Seven Habits daily at her job. Goble has been working with White over the past year to find funding for the $40,000 program and eventually secured federal funds through the Bluegrass Area Development District. From a business perspective, Goble said the chamber has good reason to support the “Leader in Me” model.
The Seven Habits will promote leadership qualities and confidence, keys to building “soft skills” needed when graduates enter the workforce, she said. Knowing how to conduct a conversation over the phone, social media etiquette or properly presenting oneself during a job interview are all examples of “soft skills,” Goble said. A recent survey of 73 local businesses and industry revealed that the No. 1 problem employers have with the young workforce is lack of “soft skills,” she said.
Beginning this year, every freshman in the county district will take a 12-week course to sharpen their soft skills, build a resume and interact with Madison County employers, she said. But in the meantime, every Glenn Marshall student will begin working on those skills now, from kindergarten and on up.
To help the elementary school with the initiative, Goble sought guidance from the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, which is “leading the way” in supporting the transformation of every elementary school in Warren County into a “Leader in Me” school.
To read more local news, please visit the Richmond Register's website. Article by Crystal Wylie of the Richmond Register.