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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Students learning how to be leaders
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Students are learning the characteristics of a good leader.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Students at Dudley Elementary have embarked upon a new mission that involves leadership and common courtesy.

The Leader in Me program was recently implemented at the school and students have taken to it quickly and eagerly.

"It's become the way we do business everyday at our school," said Principal Lisa Newell.

The Leader in Me program is a "whole-school" transformation model that acts like the operating system of a computer by improving the performance of all other programs.

The Leader in Me process is based on what is called "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."

Those habits are:

•Be Proactive

•Begin With the End in Mind

•Put First Things First

•Think Win-Win

•Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood


•Sharpen the Saw

The Leader in Me program at Dudley involves monthly leadership days at the school in which students dress for success - dresses for girls and shirt and ties for boys. Classroom mission statements and personal mission statements are posted in classrooms and hallways all around the school and students have scheduled luncheons with the principal.

The program stands to lower behavioral problems and the number of disciplinary incidents during the school day. Students are learning to speak in complete sentences, how to address the public and the art of a firm handshake.

Students are also learning future career skills, increasing their self-confidence and academic scores and learning basic life skills for the 21st century.

Dudley received a Franklin Covey grant from the "I Am a Leader" foundation that allowed the school to become a Leader in Me school.

The foundation is a private grantmaking group that provides character and leadership programs and services to elementary schools around the world.

The school hopes to gain Lighthouse recognition with the program within three years.

Lighthouse recognition comes because of the results a school is achieving and the impact it is having on staff, students, parents and the greater community. It typically takes two to three years, but can be achieved sooner if schools make it a priority to achieve results sufficient to pass a specific Lighthouse review, or performance evaluation.

There are currently 1,468 schools in the program with 58 of them having Lighthouse recognition.

"It (the program) has really changed the culture of our school," said Dudley Kindergarten teacher Nicole Robinson. "If five-year-olds can get it, we all can get it."

To learn more about the Leader in Me program, visit their website at

Dudley Elementary will also hold an informational "Leadership Day" on March 14 for anyone wanting to learn more about the program.

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