ASES Leadership Day proves together is better
“Great happens here,” said Archie Stouffer Elementary School students in a video presented on Leadership Day, May 11, to an assembly gathered at the school.
By the time the day showcasing the schools’ focus on “seven habits of highly effective people,” was done, teachers, parents and community members were in enthusiastic agreement with them.
Students, with support from ASES staff, led the day by welcoming guests into the school while dancing and being proactive to answer questions about the event schedule.
Visitors first gathered in the school gymnasium, where students played music, performed skipping demonstrations, gave presentations and showed a video of students discussing leadership.
When asked to describe a leader, students in the video told the crowd, “They keep mean words in their heads,” and, “They help others and be kind.”
ASES is a Leader in Me school, celebrating and encouraging leadership qualities for students to develop their full potential outside of simply academics.
The Leader in Me process is based on the 1989 book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey, and intends for students, teachers, parents and the school community to adopt seven habits: be proactive (you’re in charge); begin with an end in mind (have a plan); put first things first (work first, then play); think win-win (everyone can win); seek first to understand, then to be understood (listen before you talk); synergize (together is better); and sharpen the saw (balance feels best).
The Leader in Me model was first initiated by a principal in North Carolina attempting to rejuvenate her failing school, and according to the Leader in Me website, helped her school proactively design a culture reflecting their vision of the ideal school.
After a lunch provided by the school Catering Crew, guests to Leadership Day could learn about a wide range of school clubs in displays set up and presented by club participants wearing bright ASES Wildcats shirts with the word “LEADER” stamped on the back.
At the robotics club display, Grade 6 students Taylor Sharpless and Seth Winstanley were giving demonstrations of a robot they had built.
“It’s really fun and you learn a lot about troubleshooting,” said Sharpless of the club.
Winstanley agreed, and said working with robots helped to understand programming, and how things work.
Grade 8 students Grace Hudson and McKenna Johnston helped guests understand the purpose and need for the Girl Code Club, which Hudson called “a really strong club.”
“We talk about things, what’s bothering us, what problems we’re experiencing,” she said. “It’s a safe environment.”
Johnston said the club offered the students the chance to be autonomous, as it was largely student-run (with staff support).
Adiya Mills, a Grade 1 student, leads the Spirit Action Club. When she felt the school was lacking spirit days, she asked ASES principal Jane Austin if she could start a club to create days like “crazy hair day,” “pajama day,” and “anti-bullying day.” Austin agreed, and the club was formed, with about 8 to 10 students taking part in planning.
The Dishwasher Rulers help hand wash dishes for the school’s morning breakfast club, and events that involve eating.
Their bright sign was decorated with a dishtowel, and showed photos of stacks of clean dishes. Grade 4 student Maddy Walker said a lot of kids don’t like washing dishes, but the kids in their club do, so they added value to their school with their work.
Hannah Kehoe’s colourful and creative Art Club board was set up under the school’s hallway direction sign, which points to Goal Setting Street, Fairness Freeway, Leadership Crescent and Compassion Cul-De-Sac. The Grade 7 student said in the club, the students talk, listen to inspiring music and create.
“I feel like people should learn about art club,” she said. “It’s just like the sign says, ‘Earth without art is just eh.’”
Tour guides led by students engaged visitors in classrooms to interact with students and teachers in demonstrations presenting how the seven habits helped guide learning, goal setting and classroom collaboration.
The event was attended by parents and families, politicians and former ASES educators.