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Archuleta School District 50 JT starts the school year with 7 Habits

Archuleta School District staff members started this week with a new school year ahead and with a new look at just how to begin with the end in mind.

Twenty school staff members from throughout the district were involved last May in a Franklin Covey training for professional development, learning the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Not only were they attending the training but they walked away as trained facilitators. District school principals then put together a training for their personnel and began a dialogue leading to implementation of the 7 Habits in their buildings.

All this began last spring when a staff member brought a book by Stephen Covey, “The Leader in Me,” to Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Some of the staff read the book and felt this was something our district could embrace.

Three building principals flew to Raleigh, N.C., to A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School to visit with the school where the 7 Habits are part of their culture.

What David Hamilton, Lisa Hudson and Kate Lister witnessed was amazing. Muriel Summers, principal of A.B. Combs, greeted visitors and invited them to be a part of their Leadership Day. Our principals worked to get the 7 Habits to our district after their experience inside A.B. Combs. “The Leader in Me” gives you a great snapshot of what transpired in North Carolina and what excited our staff about the possibility of adopting many of the fine programs already proven to make a difference.

So, with staff trained throughout the summer or during the first two work days last week (staff could choose when they attended the training), an opportunity to do a total district assembly at Sonlight Camp became available.

Owners Winston and Mary Marugg donated Sonlight Camp for the event and hosted more than 200 staff members last Thursday morning for a well-planned leadership, team-building course.

Everyone was part of the training. Teams were divided up, with members from throughout the district put in small groups. They travelled from station to station to complete tasks that nurtured qualities of leadership, the ability to listen more, and participation as a team.

Teams debriefed before the final farewell from Camp Leader Winston Marugg and District Superintendent Mark DeVoti. The time was well spent, and the lessons learned varied throughout each group.

What a great way to bring the 7 Habits home. Mary Marugg spent the morning baking 400 cookies for the staff to have before loading up on school buses to head back to their buildings for the afternoon

There is a change in the air since this all began last spring. Each building administrator is responsible for the implementation of the program that best fits their students. The staff now understands the benefits and the students will “own their education” as the 7 Habits are introduced.

If you would like to learn more about this philosophy you can read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” or “The Leader in Me,” by Stephen R. Covey . Visit the Web site, and see why Archuleta County school district has been proactive in seeing that all staff members have this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the process.

The Leader in Me process is designed to be integrated into existing core curriculum and everyday language. It becomes part of the culture, gaining momentum and producing improved results year after year.

Franklin Covey’s The Leader in Me process has proven to help schools:

  • Develop students who have the skills and self-confidence to succeed as leaders in the 21st century.
  • Improve academic achievement.
  • Decrease discipline referrals.
  • Raise levels of accountability and engagement among both students and staff.

The mission of Archuleta School District 50 JT is to empower students to achieve personal and academic successes in a safe and appropriate learning environment, while providing them with the tools to effectively navigate in the 21st century. The 7 Habits is one of the best tools we can give our students. Stay engaged with our schools; visit