ROSSVILLE, GA (WDEF) – West Side Elementary is officially a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. It earned that honor thanks to its extraordinary impact on its staff, students and community.
Robert Mountjoy is the Principal at West Side Elementary.
He says, “We have been a Leader In Me school since, I believe it was, 2016 when it was first implemented here at West Side Elementary. So, we’ve been a Leader In Me school for several years, but we have been recently recognized as a Lighthouse School. So kind of an exemplary school of Leader In Me. Leader In Me kind of encompasses the whole child. When I say that we are very involved and very focused on the academics of our children, in training the levels of our children, but also the social, emotional needs of our students. We have things, just to kind of, around the building to help remind them and teach them. We actually have a block of time in the schedule to give these lessons during the day. So, teachers have the tools necessary to provide these lessons throughout the day, and they also integrate it into the instructions.”
Suzette Carter is a Kindergarten Teacher at West Side.
She says, “I have noticed that the children do take more ownership in their own learning. They are invested in the time they are spent and the outcomes of that time. And they said that it is making a difference not just in the grades but in how they interact with each other. And maybe potentially for what they can go on to do when they finish at elementary school, middle school and then to high school.
Principal Mountjoy adds, “When we say here at West Side Elementary is to be proactive. What does that look like here in the school? It means that I am going to pick up this piece of trash without having to be asked to, or I need to worry about myself and pay attention to this teacher. But what does that look like at home? How does that look at home? Maybe it is make your bed. Maybe it is do your homework without having to be told to. Take out the trash without mom and dad or aunt or uncle asking you to. So, we learn kind of what that looks like in different settings. So, we are learning the things in the skills necessary in order to become a model citizen. So academics, but really giving students the opportunity to learn those social and emotional character lessons that they will get.”