Community invited to celebrate student achievement 

Richland Elementary School is cel­e­brat­ing five years of incor­po­rat­ing the Leader in Me process into its cur­ricu­lum with a com­mu­ni­ty Leadership Day on Thursday and a Family Leadership Breakfast on Friday.

This gives us an oppor­tu­ni­ty to show­case all of the great work done by our stu­dents and staff,” Principal Nicole Zuerblis said. “We’re excit­ed to show our guests what we’ve been up to and share our suc­cess in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and academics.”

Leader in Me is based on the work of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In the ele­men­tary ver­sion, Richland teach­es 21st-century lead­er­ship and life skills to stu­dents, and cre­ates a cul­ture of stu­dent empow­er­ment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. Students learn about respon­si­bil­i­ty, cre­ativ­i­ty, own­er­ship of learn­ing, goal set­ting, self-awareness, ini­tia­tive, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, integri­ty, and teamwork.

Leader in Me brings out great­ness in all kids,” said Debbie Schmolk, Richland’s school coun­selor. “It teach­es skills that are used in real life. It’s infused in their lessons and in what we do each day.”

The 7 Habits are:

  1. Be Proactive — I am in charge of me.
  2. Begin with the end in mind — Have a plan.
  3. Put first things first — Work first, then play.
  4. Think win-win — Everyone can win.
  5. Seek first to under­stand, then be under­stood — Listen before you speak.
  6. Synergize — Together is better.
  7. Sharpen the saw — Balance is best.

On Thursday, fol­low­ing arrival and greet­ings in the mul­ti­pur­pose room, every­one watched school announce­ments before groups of vis­i­tors, which includ­ed edu­ca­tors from schools across the state, were led by stu­dent tour guides to dif­fer­ent class­rooms. That was fol­lowed by a question-and-answer ses­sion with stu­dents and staff.

One pan­elist was Strayer eighth-grader Wilson Martinez, a Richland grad­u­ate. His sis­ter Andrea is a fifth-grader. “There was a time I had no idea what Leader in Me was,” he said. “Now I use Leader in Me at home with my sis­ter and in school. It’s a big part of my life. Some peo­ple might say it’s about being kind. But it’s so much deep­er than that. It’s about work­ing togeth­er and find­ing great ways to go for­ward. Always plan ahead.”

Kindergarten teacher Rebecca Pallone said “This is a time for our stu­dents to shine.  I showed them the cal­en­dar and told them this is the 164th day of the school year. Look at how far they’ve come.”