"The Leader in Me" teaches elementary students how to be leaders

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

Church Hill Principal Cindy Donahoo and South Side Principal Casey Glusenkamp are implementing “The Leader in Me” program to teach students leadership skills.

Glusenkamp said during yesterday’s Rotary Club program “The Leader in Me” is a whole-skill transformation process that is adapted for kids from Franklin Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

“It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader,” Glusenkamp said.

Glusenkamp said the seven qualities of “The Leader in Me” are:

  • Be proactive: I’m in charge of me
  • Begin with the end in mind: set goals
  • Put first things first: work comes before play
  • Think win-win: compromise
  • Seek first to understand then to be understood
  • Synergize: teamwork
  • Sharpen the saw: take care of yourself

Glusenkamp said students practice being leaders by helping with morning announcements, working as hallway leaders and practicing shaking hands and greeting others every morning.

Glusenkamp said the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms have been decorated to encourage students to keep the bathrooms clean.

During the program, students in The Leader in Me program sang a version of Anna Kendrick’s song “When I’m Gone” that incorporated the seven qualities of a leader. Afterward, the students shook hands will everyone at the meeting and thanked them for allowing the students to visit.

Donohoo said shaking hands, making eye contact, introducing themselves and being polite were some of the main things the students were learning.

Donohoo said the goal of “The Leader in Me” is not teach not only academics but real-world skills that future employers will look at and encourage businesses in West Point and Clay County to hire people from the area.

Glusenkamp said city officials have supported the program and have attended program workshops.