Jack Elementary honored

Published on Tuesday, 8 April 2014 23:51 - Written by  EMILY GUEVARA eguevara@tylerpaper.com

At Dr. Bryan C. Jack Elementary School, the students have a lot of the responsibility.

They lead the school programs. They have campus jobs. And they set goals and record their performance in notebooks they can show to their parents.

“It’s all about, ‘We don’t do for kids what kids can do for themselves,” Principal Shauna Hittle said in a previous interview. “We just support them.”

On Tuesday, the Jack campus was recognized for its work in building leaders by receiving the Lighthouse School designation from FranklinCovey’s The Leader in Me.

Jack is one of 75 Lighthouse schools in the world, and is one of about 20 in the state to receive this designation.

The Leader in Me is a leadership development program based on author Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” according to a Tyler ISD news release.

The whole-school transformation model is designed to help students thrive and produce better academic achievement, fewer discipline problems and increased student engagement, according to its website.

Through the initiative, faculty and staff at the school regularly incorporate leadership components into their daily curriculum.

They encourage students to take on leadership roles at school and track their progress in notebooks.

Parents review the notebooks with their children and discuss ways they can continue the leadership practices at home, according to the news release.

In order to become a Lighthouse School, Jack personnel had to complete a series of training sessions, observations, reviews and documentation. The process took about three years.

During Tuesday’s event, attendees heard from state Sen. Kevin Eltife and Nelson Clyde, publisher of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

In addition, FranklinCovey representatives Joey Quinones and Durelle Price presented Ms. Hittle with a Leader in Me Lighthouse Banner.

Quinones said the school has achieved a landmark. The journey started more than five years ago when Jack fourth-grade teacher Kim Hill picked up “The Leader in Me” at a bookstore, read it and showed it to her principal. From there, the school, with the support of parents and the community started down this path.

Ms. Price, the school’s Lighthouse coach, said she felt the passion from the moment she first met Ms. Hittle and her staff.

Just as Helen Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan recognized that education requires creative innovation so too did FranklinCovey and Jack Elementary School, she said.

“The success here is a collaborative commitment to excellence by the students, by the teachers, by the parents, by the community,” she said. “All of you are leading the way and showing others how to strive for excellence.”

Following the program, students and family members visited classrooms to learn more about the seven habits and to see their students’ leadership notebooks.