Gossler Park Elementary School

Leighland Forbes, left, gets help with his new winter coat from classmate Cayden Leger at Gossler Park Elementary School on Nov. 30, 2018. The school has been named a “Leader in Me Lighthouse School.”

MANCHESTER — School officials have announced that Gossler Park Elementary School on the city’s West Side has been named a “Leader in Me Lighthouse School” by the FranklinCovey company.

Gossler Park was designated a Lighthouse School after achieving “outstanding results in school and student outcomes by faithfully implementing The Leader in Me program,” according to a release issued over the weekend by the district.

“We are thrilled to recognize Gossler Park Elementary as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” said Sean Covey, president of FranklinCovey Education. “Schools who achieve the Lighthouse milestone are great examples of a strong leadership model, process and of what it means to be a Leader in Me school. This school has experienced transformational results by implementing the principles and practices related to The Leader in Me. We are so pleased to celebrate the success they are experiencing.”

“We are honored to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” said Lori Upham, principal of Gossler Park Elementary. “We have seen such amazing results from implementing The Leader in Me process at our school, such as increased parent engagement, an increase in students’ confidence as they volunteer to take on classroom and school-wide leadership roles, and a warm and welcoming school culture created by empowering staff and students to find their voices as they all find the leader within themselves.”

The Leader in Me is a school-based program based on Stephen Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” The program integrates leadership development into faculty/staff development, classroom curriculum, activities, and physical space to foster resiliency and a cultural transformation in children.

Students as young as 5 learn how to track their own attendance and academic performance, complete applications and interviews for classroom jobs, and develop and implement service projects to address school and community needs. The program strives to create healthy habits in students and staff, and the staff encourages students to set goals, positively influence others and share their talents with their community.

Gossler Park Elementary School adopted the program four years ago with the support of Granite United Way. The program has been so successful that Granite United Way recently announced that a $225,000 Leader in Me Challenge has been offered by Mark and Sally Stebbins, owners of PROCON, to bring The Leader in Me program to all five West Side schools in Manchester.

Organizations are already investing in this West Side expansion, including Catholic Medical Center and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

“I’m so proud of the students, teachers, administration and parents for their hard work to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse School — the first in New Hampshire,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The skills our students learn through this program extend outside the classroom and will stay with them throughout their lives. I’m thrilled Gossler Park is experiencing success with this program, and am grateful The Leader In Me Program will expand to every school on the West Side next school year, thanks to the generosity of the Granite United Way and the Stebbins family.”

“When you walk into Gossler Park School, there is a palpable feeling of leadership, a culture of embracing the leader in all of us,” said Patrick Tufts, president and CEO of Granite United Way. “We are so proud of Gossler Park School being named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School, and applaud the students, staff and administration for their dedication to infusing this transformational program into their school. Every Gossler Park student we meet validates the investment we’ve made in this program. They are developing skills they will leverage for the rest of their lives.”

According to a district news release, the attainment of the Lighthouse designation represents a significant benchmark, and it is evidence that a high standard has been met by a school. Applying for the Lighthouse milestone typically occurs three to five years after a school begins The Leader in Me program.

Upham recalls an example of a student with poor attendance who began tracking her attendance in her leadership notebook.

“Once she recognized how much school she was missing, she set a goal to come to school on time every day,” said Upham. “She made it 23 days in a row and only missed the 24th day because she was sick. Disappointed that her streak was over, this student started a new one when she returned to school. This process has not only had a significant impact on this student, but on all students. We have seen significant changes in behaviors and know that this will continue to play a positive role in our students’ lives.”

For more information, visit https://www.leaderinme.org/