At East Middle School

East Wilkes Middle School students work on a video presentation as part of the “Leader in Me” initiative at the school.

East Wilkes Middle School has been designated a “Leader in Me Lighthouse School” by FranklinCovey Education.

“We are honored to have been certified and named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. We have seen amazing results implementing the Leader in Me process at our school such as academic achievement, improved attendance and a decrease in office discipline referrals,” said East Middle Principal Sandra Burchette. “We expect to see greater results over time.”

Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process developed in partnership with educators to help students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do homework, prioritize time, manage emotions, be considerate of others, express their views, resolve conflicts, value differences and live a balanced life.

The Lighthouse certification process for East Wilkes Middle was different because it had to be completed virtually amid school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burchette said faculty members completed an evidence binder shared with a Lighthouse certification team frm FranklinCovey.

She said members of the school’s adult and student Lighthouse teams, administrators, Lighthouse coordinators and parent representatives had separate virtual meetings over the summer with the certification team.

Students recorded a walkthrough of the building to highlight the physical evidence of the Leader in Me program throughout the school.

Burchette said, “Our students, parents, and community have worked hard to make our implementation of the Leader in Me program a success. Together we shine and they help us to live out our mission: ‘Together, we learn, lead, succeed,’ ”

Sean Covey, president of FranklinCovey Education, said the recognition is evidence that East Middle has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes with the Leader in Me process.

“We are thrilled to recognize EWMS as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” said Covey.

“Schools that achieve the Lighthouse certification are great examples of a strong leadership model and process, and what it means to be a Leader in Me School. This school has experienced transformational results by implementing the principles and practices related to Leader in Me,” he added.

Since launched almost a decade ago, nearly 4,000 public, private and charter schools across 50 countries have adopted the Leader in Me process. More than 300 schools have achieved the Lighthouse certification, but East Wilkes Middle is among the few middle schools to obtain this status.

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