VIDEO: Carr earns LIghthouse School designation

  • Carr Elementary earns Lighthouse School designation

    Award recognizes school for its commitment to teaching students about leadership 

    Students and staff came together at Carr Elementary to celebrate the school being certified as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by FranklinCovey Education. 

    The school conducted a ceremony on Thursday, September 14 that involved students, teachers/staff, and special guests gathering in the school’s gymnasium to celebrate the prestigious designation.

    “Carr Elementary is one of only 668 schools in the world to earn the Lighthouse School certification, and we are so proud,” said principal Rebekah Duncan. “This award recognizes our school’s success in teaching leadership principles, creating a leadership culture, and aligning academics with leadership.  Everything we do involves and focuses on how students can be effective leaders.”

    Ceremony highlights were the presentation of the Lighthouse School award and plaque, a leadership-themed song by fifth grader Kathryn Jefferies, and a ceremony-closing musical presentation by the third grade classes.  The program also featured teachers Tayler McNeill and Harmoni Tomlin, who serve as the Lighthouse School coordinator and facilitator.

    Carr Elementary School became a Leader in Me School after the four schools in the Dallas area (including Costner Elementary, W.C. Friday Middle, and North Gaston High) became associated with the Gaston County Schools Leadership Academy. Developed by FranklinCovey, Leader in Me builds leadership and perseverance in students, which has a direct connection to improved academic achievement.  The program helps students build a foundation for the leadership and life skills needed to thrive, adapt, and contribute in a dynamic world.  

    Dr. Duncan credits the focus on leadership with having an impact on student achievement.  Carr saw its student proficiency score for 2022-2023 increase 9.6 points, and the school exceeded its academic growth expectations.  Further, Carr’s school performance score is up 11 points when compared to the previous year.

    The Lighthouse School designation is earned by schools that demonstrate knowledge and use of the 7 leadership habits as well as a concentration on critical thinking, effective communication, and mutual respect.  The certification is attainable by every Leader in Me School, and applying for the certification usually occurs three to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me program. 

    “We’re excited to see where the leadership traits take our students during their educational career,” said McNeill. 

    Tomlin added, “The things they learn in Leader in Me go on to secondary school and beyond,” Tomlin added. “When some of our former students come back to visit, they get to show our current students how their leadership skills have developed even more in middle school and high school.  It is amazing to see how our focus on leadership can have a positive influence on students and their success.”