CW Schools promote leadership program

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Canal Winchester Middle School students are on a path to leadership.

The Leader in Me program is an integrated approach to education which teaches leadership, creates a culture of student empowerment and aligns systems to drive academic results. It is based on the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” written by educator and author Stephen Covey.

Teachers completed training last year and began implementing the program with their students this year in 30 minute Connections classes held every Tuesday. In addition, students have weekly journals to complete where they reflect on the seven habits of highly effective people.

“Why bring this to our building?” asked Principal Brian Moore during an Oct. 17 Canal Winchester Board of Education meeting. “In looking at challenges and information collected by our staff in 2018-19, we were not seeing leadership qualities in students. A lack of motivation, empathy—not having those types of things. We felt having this program would help bring that to the forefront and help our students.”

Moore said the goal this year in measuring the impact of the program is to compare office and bus discipline referral data from 2018-19 and 2019-20 with data collected in spring 2023.

“We want to empower students to be independent learners and active members in their community,” he said. “We want to help students prepare themselves for high school and their futures. To create self-motivated learners who are empathetic to others’ differences. I think that last one is the most important one we want to drive home. We want to create a student-led culture that helps teens help each other through this process.”

According to Moore, results are already becoming apparent in the building and he said Leader in Me aligns perfectly with the district’s Portrait of a Graduate. He also reported the next initiative is to provide parents and the community with ways to have conversations at home with their children.

“We’re very happy where we’re at even in the first months of school,” said Moore. “Students are starting to write some really neat things about how they can change their lives and make things better. We’re really excited.”

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