The Leader in Me initiative has awarded Heritage Elementary School with the prestigious Lighthouse Academic Honor Roll School Award. CONTRIBUTED

Leader in Me selects Heritage elementary for Lighthouse Honor Roll Award

MADISON – Heritage Elementary School has received the highest honor that the Leader in Me initiative can award to a school.

Heritage has earned the “Lighthouse Academic Honor Roll School Award.”

To identify a school, Leader in Me educators use data analysis from an independent nonprofit organization, This website focuses on empowering families with reliable data about the performance of their children’s school.

“The algorithm scores on a percentile ranking, comparing like schools across the state. To meet the academic proficiency standard, a school must be at or above the 85th percentile for the state’s combined proficiency standards,” Heritage Principal Dr. Georgina Nelson said.

“To meet the academic growth standard, the school must be at or above the 50th percentile and have shown a 5-percent growth from the previous year’s percentile ranking,” Nelson said.

For pre-kindergarten through grade 12, Leader in Me uses an evidence-based model focused on leadership, culture and academics. The initiative assists students, educators and families with leadership and life skills for thriving in today’s world.

Another key component of the overall Leader in Me process involves “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which offers timeless principles of interpersonal and organizational effectiveness. The habits engender responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal.

The Leader in Me philosophy relies on those habits in Stephen R. Covey’s book:

* Be proactive. – Each person is in charge and responsible for his or her thoughts and actions.

* Begin with the ending in mind. — Know what you want and believe.

* Put first things first. — Prioritize. Do your work first; then, play.

* Think win-win. — Visualize mutual benefits with other people.

* Synergize. — Creatively cooperate with others.

* Seek first to understand – After accomplishing this idea, a person then can hope for understanding.

* Sharpen the saw. — Continuously renew your body, brain, heart and soul.

Not just another leadership program, Leader in Me blends a fresh approach with elite content and mentorship. The framework offers schools the tools to make tangible advancements in leadership, culture and academics. (

Leader in Me helps educators design lasting solutions to common challenges by looking at students’ strengths. They use several paradigms (or models and patterns):

* Leadership — Everyone can be a leader and can serve and influence situations.

* Potential — Everyone has genius. Individuals should recognize unique talents of each student, teacher, parent and resident.

* Change — Change starts with me. Don’t sit back and wait.

* Motivation — Empower students to lead their own learning. The school community energizes when everyone has a voice.

* Education — Educators and families partner to guide each child to create his/her own best life.

In other good news, Heritage scored “99” for the second consecutive year on the State Report Card from the Alabama State Department of Education.

For more information, visit


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