r How kids are growing up today and what kind of leadership will they bring to our community as adults are questions we often ponder and even worry about sometimes. Last September, Barnett Elementary School in Payson implemented the Leader in Me Program, and it has changed the culture of this young student body.
The Leader in Me Program is derived from the well-known Stephen Covey book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Covey’s son Sean took the concepts that his father brought together and wrote “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.” It is from this work that the Barnett leadership program was developed. The FranklinCovey corporation supports the Leader in Me Program with resource material and school staff coaching. Barnett Elementary has been very successful with the integration of this leadership program along with the school’s academic programs.
In early March, a couple of the student leaders asked Mountain View Hospital Administrator Kevin Johnson to visit the school. On March 21, he took time out of his schedule to experience first-hand the school’s student leadership program. The program created such a positive impression in him that he returned to the school on April 19 to honor the student leaders. Arriving in the hospital’s helicopter, he brought positive comments, popsicles and wrist bands.
The school’s 550 students watched this special recognition of leadership training and listened to the excitement in Johnson’s voice as he talked about the program. Johnson told the students they will achieve their goals in life with the leadership skills they are learning. A community leader honoring student leaders suggests our future will be in good hands as these young people grow into productive adults and become a new generation of community leaders.r