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A beacon: Johnson Elementary named Leader in Me Lighthouse School by Franklin Covey

MARYBETH MCCLAIN • Dec 21, 2019 at 6:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Johnson Elementary School has been named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by Franklin Covey Co.

“We are honored to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” Johnson Principal Stacy Edwards said. “We have seen such amazing results from implementing The Leader in Me process at our school, such as strong growth in leadership and culture, as well as in academics over the past four years. This process has had a significant impact on all students, as everyone has been part of this work. We expect to see greater results over time as this work continues.”

The Kingsport school has achieved what Covey and school system officials, including Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse, called outstanding results in school and student outcomes by implementing The Leader in Me process with fidelity and due to the extraordinary impact the program is having on staff, students, parents and the greater community.

“We are thrilled to recognize Johnson Elementary as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. Schools who achieve the Lighthouse Milestone are great examples of a strong leadership model, process, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. This school has experienced transformational results by implementing the principles and practices related to The Leader in Me. We are so pleased to celebrate the success they are experiencing,” said Sean Covey, president of Franklin Covey.


The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model — developed in partnership with educators — that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on secular principles and practices of personal, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness. Distinct in several ways, The Leader in Me:

— Starts from a powerful premise: that every child possesses unique strengths and has the ability to be a leader. This premise shapes the views of staff to value and develop the whole child.

— Integrates leadership development into existing school programs, curricula, and traditions. More than a program, The Leader in Me serves as a foundational operating system for the school, improving relationships, transforming culture, and highly motivating staff members and students.

— Helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life. In short, The Leader in Me helps students develop the skills and self-confidence they need to lead their lives and succeed in school and beyond.

— Impacts all stakeholders, starting first with the staff of a school, then moving out to students, their families, and the community at large. This inside-out approach is a key ingredient to successfully creating positive change in a school.

The Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of Execution.

The process includes student participation in goal setting, data tracking, leadership roles, Student-Led Conferences, leadership environments, and Leadership Events. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration, and renewal, which are secular in nature and common to all people and cultures.


Based on the results of a recent random survey of 260 The Leader in Me principals conducted by Westgate Research, Inc., 99% of principals reported that The Leader in Me had a “very positive” or “positive” impact in their school, and 87% said they were “extremely likely” to recommend The Leader in Me to another school principal. Additionally, there are several multi-year studies underway by universities, and Franklin Covey continues to collaborate with independent institutions to measure and evaluate the impact of The Leader in Me.

Since its official launch approximately six years ago, nearly 4,000 public, private, charter and magnet schools across 50 countries have adopted The Leader in Me. Educators continue to offer feedback on best practices, which provides continuous improvement and refinement of the process.