Chaparral hosts 1st Leadership Day - AZEdNews
Sections    Sunday March 26th, 2023

Chaparral hosts 1st Leadership Day

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  • Michelle Reese   |   Higley Unified School District

Chaparral Elementary School Students Took Two Years Of Leadership Lessons And Put Them On Display Recently With The School’s First Leadership Day. Photo Courtesy Higley Unified School District

Chaparral Elementary School students took two years of leadership lessons and put them on display recently with the school’s first Leadership Day.

The program is part of the Higley Unified School District‘s school’s “Leader in Me” initiative, adopted by staff last school year.

Principal Kristine Hanson welcomed guests and shared how the school transformation came about. She is in her fourth year as principal at Chaparral.

“We decided we needed something to unite us and give our school an identity,” she said. “We looked at various programs and with inspiration and help from (Higley’s) San Tan Elementary School, another Leader in Me school, they encouraged us to jump in,” Hanson said. “Teachers received training with the ‘Seven Habits.’ We embraced that. We as adults needed to know those habits to teach them. I was amazed that first year. The transformation we started to see in that first year was really exciting.”

“Leader in Me” provides instruction and language surrounding seven habits of highly effective people. Throughout the Gilbert campus, the consistent message is on signage in classrooms and hallways. Teachers and staff use the language of the habits throughout the school day. Students adopt it and make it part of their daily activities.

Leadership Day included presentations from a variety of programs around campus and discussions with the student Lighthouse Team, a group of 12 student leaders.

“I wanted to show how I can be a leader in campus and get this great experience on the Lighthouse Team,” said Miyanah Gonzalez, a fifth-grade student.

“I wanted to join the Lighthouse Team because I love organizing events and I love helping out,” said Peighton Eda, a fourth-grade student.

The Lighthouse Team took guests on a tour of campus to let them view “Leader in Me” in action. The event ended with a question-and-answer session with the student leaders.

Chaparral is home to 940 students in kindergarten through sixth grade. It is an “A-rated” school by the Arizona Department of Education.