Central Wilkes Middle School has been certified and named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by FranklinCovey Education.

“We are honored to have been certified and named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” said Central Wilkes Principal Rodney Graham. “We have seen amazing results from implementing the Leader in Me process at our school in academics, behavior and attendance.”

Graham said one example is a student who struggled academically and was rarely coming to school. The student was introduced to the 7 Habits during homeroom sessions with his counselor. The student became interested in seeking out a leadership role and began working as a media assistant after he finished his work for the day.

“Now, the student’s academics have improved and his attendance has skyrocketed to 50% higher than before. This process not only has had a significant impact on this student, but on all our students. And we expect to see greater results over time,” said Graham.

Leader in Me is an evidence-based, K-12 comprehensive whole-school transformation model and process—developed in partnership with educators—that is designed to empower students with the social emotional, leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century, he said.

“Leader in Me helps schools create well-rounded learners by developing the whole-person and preparing students to become life-ready learners.”

A press release said the objective is to unite students, staff and families around a common goal to prepare students with college, career and life-readiness skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s fast-paced environment, such as critical thinking, creativity, self-discipline, vision, initiative, communication, relationship building, goal achievement, public speaking, global awareness, social-emotional learning, teamwork, listening skills, time management, leading projects, self-directed learning, valuing diversity and problem-solving.

Lighthouse Certification is a standard set by FranklinCovey Education that is attainable by every Leader in Me school, the release said. As it is a significant benchmark, applying for this certification typically occurs three to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process.

Central Wilkes Middle School will maintain its Lighthouse Certification for two years and will continue to foster its growth and proficiency in exemplifying a leadership culture and principles. At the end of the two years the school will recertify its Lighthouse Certification through a virtual self-assessment, describing and celebrating its growth and accomplishments since its original Lighthouse designation.

Franklin Covey’s Leader in Me Program is a global initiative. The Wilkes County Schools is the only district within Franklin Covey Education to have all four of its middle schools certified as Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools, the press release said.

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