Leader in Me – Our Journey

It only takes one spark to ignite a fire, and that is exactly what happened here at George O. Barr. Our principal, Michael Hughes, participated in the Grant Elementary School Open House in Muscatine, Iowa for local principals and superintendents. While there, he was introduced to Stephen Covey’s book, The Leader in Me. He was so impressed with what he saw, he immediately shared it with the staff and had them begin to look into the program and learn about it. The staff members were also enthusiastic about what they saw after they visited the Leadership Day Celebration at Grant Elementary School. We all saw these 7 habits as the answer to who we are at Barr and who we desire to become.

We began our school’s journey by visiting other buildings and talking to staff members who were in the process of becoming a Leader in Me school. We began devoting staff development time to research, talked about the vision of our school and this program, and began some future planning for our own school. As a staff, we had 100% commitment to move forward in becoming a Leader in Me school. We came in the summer on our own time, to be trained by a Franklin Covey facilitator. Supported by a $65,000 grant from John Deere, the program was introduced to the staff before the year began. Several staff members even began to implement the 7 habits with her students in their classrooms before the school-wide introduction. Staff immediately felt a positive impact on the learning and social environment . Our teachers and support staff have shown overwhelming volunteerism this summer by volunteering their time to research, read, and attend trainings.

We are now looking ahead at painting, cleaning, reorganizing and redecorating the interior and exterior of our building. We hope to open our doors to the start of the remodeled school and wrap up the year by becoming fully immersed in this program. Barr’s becoming a Leader in Me school is the collective responsibility and continuing endeavor of an entire staff who is committed to personal change, professional growth, and motivating students and their families toward a better, brighter future where everyone can demonstrate their unique leadership skills!