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Twin Chimneys Elementary named as FranklinCovey Lighthouse School

By: DeAnne LeBlanc


The FranklinCovey Leader in Me program is being implemented in schools around the world, impacting students’ education and working to create confident future leaders.

At Fort Zumwalt’s Twin Chimneys Elementary, the Leader in Me program has been in full swing for three years, but those years of hard work and dedication have paid off. This spring, Twin Chimneys was named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School, following a Lighthouse Review during a visit from FranklinCovey in April. Representatives from the company spent the day touring the school and talking with students, staff and parents.

The award marks the school as having attained a well-rounded leadership model. Worldwide, there are only 202 Lighthouse Schools, just 10 of which are in Missouri. Those schools serve as models of leadership and mentors to other schools.

Four additional elementary schools in the Fort Zumwalt district are Leader in Me schools, but Twin Chimneys is the only Leader in Me Lighthouse School in St. Charles County.

The Leader in Me program revolves “The 7 Habits” of leadership, namely:

Habit 1: Be proactive. Be responsible and take initiative. Don’t blame others for wrong actions.

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. Plan ahead and be a good citizen. Make a difference.

Habit 3: Put first things first. Set priorities and be organized. Be disciplined.

Habit 4: Think win-win. Have consideration for others. When conflicts arise, look for a win-win solution for everyone involved.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Listen to other people’s ideas and feelings and try to see things from their viewpoint. Listen without interrupting.

Habit 6: Synergize. Value other people’s strengths and learn from them. Get along well with everyone. Seek out other ideas. Work as a team.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw. Balance all four parts of yourself – body, mind, heart and soul. Take care of each one.

Content from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a key component of the overall Leader in Me process.The program also is aligned to many national and state academic standards, and  teaches students the skills needed for academic success in any setting. These skills include critical thinking, goal setting, listening and speaking, self-directed learning, presentation-making and the ability to work in groups.

“My favorite thing about the Leader in Me program was learning the 7 Habits,” fifth-grader Chloe LeBlanc said. “I liked ‘begin with the end in mind’ the best because I love to plan ahead and make goals for myself. Every habit we learned was helpful and not just for school, but even at home, too.”

“The program was great because it helped me learn how to be respectful. It taught me how to care for others more and helped me with my education,” third-grader Evie Brockhurst shared.

Once the decision was made to award Twin Chimneys Lighthouse status, Principal Jessica Trost kept the big news a secret from her students. She waited until the last week of school so that she could surprise the student body with a reveal video and balloons that carried a sign announcing the school’s new status. Screams and applause roared through the gym as the kids delighted in their hard-earned surprise.

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