HANNIBAL | Students at Eugene Field Elementary School are getting an early start in learning to become leaders and achieve goals, and the school has again been certified a Covey 7 Habits Lighthouse school.
The students learned about the honor Monday, Feb. 10, during an assembly, as their teachers held letters spelling out “Lighthouse.”
The school uses the teachings found in Stephen R. Covey’s best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in school curriculum and activities. The habits are: Be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; sharpen the saw; and synergize.
After Monday’s assembly, four students among the 16 members of the Lighthouse Team shared the habits they favored.
First grader Destinee Smashey said she learned “to find your voice. I was listening to the teacher.”
Fourth grader Allie Christal agreed that finding your voice is important. She also worked hard to synergize with everybody else. “We helped our school by setting goals and having block parties and raising money for our school,” Allie said.
Fifth grader Mattison Cruse chose “sharpen the saw” as her favorite habit, explaining “you balance your mind, heart, body and soul. … I used all the habits and helped people do their homework.”
Mattison added, “You have to stay active and do school work. I like to play. If you do it all, you are doing habit seven. You have to make it challenging. If you know how to do the habit, it won't be challenging.”
Synergizing was fifth-grader Gianna Perry's favorite habit. She explained, “I need to use it outside school a lot to help my family.”
Each of the four students had been honored as a student of the month, and Gianna was honored that day. She said to be named student of the month she was respectful.
Eugene Field School first received the Lighthouse certification four years ago, under the leadership of then-principal Vicki Dudding. She has since retired but was invited to the special assembly on Monday, where she was honored for her role in the school's success.
Dudding later explained it was her idea to apply for Lighthouse status, but the school became successful only because of the teachers' commitment. “It required a lot of time. ... The staff here was phenomenal. We were able to incorporate that (the seven habits). I'm really proud of them.”
Dudding said after the first year, a school re-applies every two years, with the second year being an electronic application and the fourth – this year for Eugene Field School – being on-site. “It involves the whole staff and students.”
This year the school has 215 students.
See photo gallery for more pictures at the school.