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Lanier Elementary makes its mark by becoming first Leader in Me Lighthouse School in Hillsborough County Public Schools

March 07, 2019 - Student Success

Last month, Lanier Elementary welcomed over 300 community members, families and district leaders for the 4th annual Leadership Day to celebrate the school becoming a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. This was a chance for students to highlight the benefits of being at Leader in Me school and gave them an opportunity to showcase their leadership skills and understanding of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The Leader in Me educational program was created by educators, for educators. Instead of focusing on academic measures alone, Leader in Me embodies a holistic approach to education, redefining how schools measure success. This approach empowers educators with effective practices and tools to: teach LEADERSHIP to every student, create a CULTURE of student empowerment, and align systems to drive results in ACADEMICS.

Prior to Leadership Day, the Lanier dolphins had the opportunity to participate, speak and perform at a regionally Leader in Me Symposium, sharing their talents and knowledge of the 7 Habits with schools and business leaders from throughout the state and nation.  At the symposium, Lanier was celebrated and introduced as one of over 400 schools in the world to follow extensive criteria in order to earn its Lighthouse certification in the program.

Stephen Covey’s son, Sean Covey was in town for the symposium and took the time to head to South Tampa to visit Lanier Elementary while he was in Tampa. Since his father’s passing he has taken the role as President of FranklinCovey Education.

The Lighthouse certification is evidence that Lanier has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing the process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact that the school is having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community.

The 4th annual Leadership Day at Lanier started with a leadership expo, where students shared with guests what clubs and service learning projects they are involved with at the school to help support the community.  Students then led groups on classroom tours to spotlight the learning happening in the classroom—from their wildly important goals, where each grade level shares gains they hope to achieve by May 2019, to how they incorporate the 7 Habits into their daily life, and showed off their impressive leadership notebooks.

"My husband and I went through the 7 Habits course offered through our work so when we heard that Lanier is a Leader in Me school, we were very excited! As a kindergartener, our daughter Addison demonstrates the 7 Habits on a daily basis.  Whether it's feeding the animals, making her bed or playing with her twin brothers; she is making decisions by using the 7 habits. She can recite and understands the meaning of each specific habit, her favorite being "think win-win". We cannot wait to see what First Grade brings her way,” said Christina Cullins, a first year parent.

This year Lanier’s school theme is Make Your Mark, and after classroom tours, each grade marched in a parade to the covered courts for a student-led assembly where each grade level showed how they are making their mark this year. Kindergarten made their mark by learning all of their letters, names and sounds. Fourth grade made their mark by spreading kindness by writing cards to police officers working long, hard hours. The Lanier Modern Band performed the popular song “High Hopes” and all 357 students participated in the school spirit song and played an integral part in the production of this important day.

The day ended with a family picnic, where student spent quality time having lunch on campus with their family members and showed them their learning environment, while community partners, district leaders and friends enjoyed a catered networking lunch in the media center.

“It’s such a special honor to be a Leader in Me School, we take a different approach on education. We believe it’s important to develop the whole child, it’s not just about academics, it’s also about fostering leadership and culture,” said Sarah Garcia, Lanier Elementary Principal.

Lanier became a Leader in Me School in 2015, the curriculum integrates The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with the Florida Standards to provide a whole child approach to education. The 7 habits include universal, timeless principals such as responsibility, vision, integrity, collaboration, teamwork and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.  To learn more about Lanier Elementary School visit :

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