Comedian helps MES celebrate Lighthouse status

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

Comedian Eddie B surprised Montevallo Elementary faculty members May 11 by joining a Zoom meeting commemorating the school’s achievement of becoming a “Leader in Me” Lighthouse School.

Faculty members were celebrating the recent milestone when the Houston, Texas-based teacher-turned-comedian popped onto the screen and gave them a well-earned laugh.

“It was really all about celebrating our Lighthouse status,” Principal Allison Campbell said. “We needed something to make us laugh.”

The Lighthouse certification is a highly-regarded standard set by Utah-based Franklin Covey Education. MES achieved its certification on May 5 following an April 23 review, but the entire process took about five years.

The May 11 meeting provided a way for school officials to thank faculty members for their hard work. They donned Lighthouse hats, designed their Zoom backgrounds with matching art and even fired confetti cannons.

Once Eddie B “crashed” the meeting, even some of the members’ spouses who were familiar with his YouTube antics joined in on the fun.

“It was wonderful to just have that moment of celebration, and it was almost like a gift,” said Kendra Robbins, teacher and Lighthouse Team co-coordinator. “He said just the things that we were all thinking.”

Campbell added the highly sought-after comedian’s team was helpful in the planning process.

“He was very responsive, and it was very easy to work with his team,” she said.

More about Lighthouse status

Since the program’s launch about 10 years ago, nearly 4,500 public, private and charter schools across 50 countries have adopted the Leader in Me process, while about 500 schools have achieved Lighthouse certification.

The program focuses on Franklin Covey’s well-known Seven Habits of Leadership, as well as WIGs (Wildly Important Goals) for both schoolwide and student goal-setting. Every student has a personal WIG and a school WIG focused on academics; teachers also have personal and professional WIGs—and then there are school-wide WIGs.

“We are honored to have been certified and named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” Campbell said. “We have seen amazing results from implementing the Leader in Me process at our school, such as 100 percent of students having a leadership role, 99 percent of students holding a student-led conference, and 95 percent of students making progress toward their reading goals. This process has had a significant impact on all students. And we expect to see greater results over time.”

Added teacher Christy Chapman, “It’s things they’re learning as children that they will use the rest of their lives.”

Chapman leads one of the school’s Lighthouse teams, alongside team co-coordinators Rachel Ruis and Kendra Robbins. In addition, Loryn Motes and Amanda Clowers co-coordinate the student Lighthouse team.

Within Lighthouse teams are seven “action teams” in charge of different aspects of the school, of which each teacher is a member.

Ultimately, Campbell said, the goal was not just to earn Lighthouse status but also to set the standard for other schools. Now, MES is included on a list of schools to be visited by other schools.

“It was a decision we made collectively to pursue this journey, and the ultimate reason is because our kids deserve it. They deserve our best, and we believe that developing students as leaders prepares them for their journey once they leave us,” Campbell said.

For more details about the program, visit the following link: