Fitzhugh Park Elementary named a Lighthouse School

Fitzhugh Park Elementary students and teachers break into dance after Principal Donna Simmons officially announced the school’s designation as a Lighthouse School through the FranklinCovey Leader in Me initiative.

OSWEGO - Fitzhugh Park Elementary School (FPS) has been designated as a Lighthouse School through FranklinCovey’s Leader in Me program.

The honor for outstanding achievement in leadership practices came just under four short years after the building began to follow and then embrace the 7 Habits: 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. Together, the school celebrated the crowning achievement on the final day of the 2018-2019 school year with remarks from Principal Donna Simmons, noise makers, colorful decorations and a dance party.

“The certification is evidence that FPS has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes,” Simmons said. “We have implemented the process with fidelity and excellence.”

While lighthouses help navigate rough waters, Simmons recognized the continuous need for improvement to ensure FPS forever remains a top-notch school. The process to become a Lighthouse School included, but wasn’t limited to, the following criteria: the school’s staff engage in ongoing learning and development, families and the school partner together for effective communication, various leadership roles are shared with students, leadership events allowed students to practice their personal leadership style and students took charge of their own learning.

Following her comments, Simmons turned up the music and teachers, support staff members and students clapped, cheered and danced the morning away. Several teachers had commented it was the perfect way to end the school year.

The time and effort students and staff members put into the Lighthouse School work was evident for people who walked through the hallways and saw all the lighthouse-related bulletin boards and displays which featured work around the 7 Habits.

Simmons thanked the FPS teachers for attending summer professional development opportunities on the Leader in Me program, which helped them “live and abide by the seven habits to model that for students.”

The school also offered parent training opportunities and welcomed the community into the school to help the greater FPS family use the same, common leadership language to help the students “become successful citizens of our world,” Simmons said.

There are 512 Lighthouse Schools worldwide, and over 4,000 schools are also following the Leader in Me process in hopes of earning that designation.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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