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TEXARKANA, Texas — Morriss Elementary and Spring Lake Park Elementary Schools have been certified and named as 2020 Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools by FranklinCovey Education.

Since its official launch nearly a decade ago, an estimated 5,000 public, private and charter schools across 50 countries have adopted the Leader in Me process. Only 64 schools in Texas and 607 in the country have achieved the Lighthouse certification.

TISD's Spring Lake Park Elementary was the 57th school in Texas to receive the Lighthouse status while Morriss Elementary is the 64th school.

The Leader in Me website states:

"The certification is evidence that schools have produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing the 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."

Leader in Me aims to help students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals and more.

Christy Tidwell, TISD's executive director of curriculum and instruction, said the process has brought students, faculty and administrators together.

"The amount of work that goes into this process is just unbelievable," Tidwell said. "It's truly such a collaborative effort between the teachers, students, administrators and parents. I think that's one of the things that everybody loves the most about it is that it does bring everyone together. It's an effort where everyone does their part, and then the kids succeed and the school succeeds."

Tidwell said she thinks it has made students more confident.

"It just really builds great student responsibility and helps them be comfortable speaking out in public and talking to others," she said. "Everything that's done at the campuses is student-led, in terms of Leader In Me. The student lighthouse teams lead the projects, they plan and they do community service projects. All of those things, the kids are really the driving forces behind."

According to a news release, all TISD campuses are now either certified or are in the process of becoming certified. Tidwell said TISD not only has a few Leader in Me schools, but is now a Leader in Me district.

"Our focus is on leadership and building those qualities in kids and our adults," she said. "Because in order for Leader in Me to really be successful, it really has to be a culture, with teachers, administrators and students all functioning as leaders across the district. And I just think that strengthens everyone."

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