WINFIELD — Winfield Elementary School has earned its Lighthouse Certification and has been named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by FranklinCovey Education.

Winfield Elementary is one of only four schools in the state of West Virginia and one of two in Putnam County to achieve this esteemed recognition.

The Leader in Me Process aims to inspire young students to be 21st Century Leaders through leadership and life skills, according to a news release. The Leader in Me is an evidence-based, comprehensive-school improvement model - developed in partnership with educators - that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive.

Winfield Elementary's Lighthouse Certification is one of the highest achievements a Leader in Me school can achieve. It is a highly regarded standard that is attainable by every Leader in Me school. Lighthouse Certification is evidence that schools have produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing The Leader in Me process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact that the schools may be having on staff, students, parents and the greater community, according to the news release.

Since its official launch, over 4,000 schools across 50 countries have adopted The Leader in Me - with only 400 achieving Lighthouse School Status.

"We are thrilled to recognize Winfield Elementary as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School," Sean Covey, president of FranklinCovey Education,, said in the news release. "Schools who achieve the Lighthouse Milestone are great examples of a strong leadership model, process, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. This school has experienced transformational results in Leadership, Culture, and Academics by implementing the principles and practices related to The Leader in Me. We are so pleased to celebrate the success they are experiencing."

Lighthouse Certification can be earned by meeting the following criteria:

- The principal, school administration, and staff engage in ongoing learning and develop as leaders while championing leadership for the school.

- Leadership principles are effectively taught to all students through direct lessons, integrated approaches and staff modeling. Students can think critically about and apply leadership principles.

- Families and the school partner together in learning about the habits and leadership principles through effective communication and mutual respect.

- The school community is able to see leadership in the physical environment, hear leadership through the common language of the habits, and feel leadership through a culture of caring, relationships, and affirmation.

- Leadership is shared with students through a variety of leadership roles, and student voice leads to innovations within the school.

- Schoolwide, classroom, family, and community leadership events provide authentic environments to celebrate leadership, build culture, and allow students to practice leadership skills.

- The school utilizes The 4 Disciplines of Execution process to identify and track progress toward the high priority goals of the school, classroom, and staff members.

- Students lead their learning with the skills to assess their needs, set appropriate goals, and carry out action plans. They track progress toward goals in Leadership Notebooks and share these notebooks with adults in student-led conferences.

- Teacher planning and reflection, trusting relationships, and student-led learning combines to create environments for highly engaged learning.

The Leader in Me schools maintain their Lighthouse Certification for two years and continue to foster their growth in exemplifying a leadership culture. At the end of the two years, schools may recertify to maintain their Lighthouse Certification.

Putnam County Schools hosted an awards ceremony on May 20 for the Winfield Elementary School Lighthouse Team.

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