Alvaton, Plano Elementary Schools Presented With Banners for Achieving Lighthouse Status

Published Wednesday, March 9, 2016 2:30 pm

Bowling Green, Ky. (March 9, 2016) – Two local schools were presented this morning with Lighthouse Banners for achieving Lighthouse Status through The Leader in Me program.

According to The Leader in Me founder Sean Covey, Lighthouse schools serve as models of leadership and mentors to other schools. To achieve this status, the schools passed a rigorous review requiring them to meet nine areas of criteria:

  • A school Lighthouse team meets regularly and oversees implementation of the leadership model with students, staff, parents and community members.
  • The school-campus environment reinforces the model by adding leadership-language displays and bulletins to hallways and classrooms that emphasize individual worth and leadership principles.
  • Teachers integrate leadership language into school curriculum and instruction daily.
  • Staff collaborate and work to build a culture of leadership throughout the school.
  • Students are provided with meaningful student-leadership roles and responsibilities.
  • Students’ parents understand TLIMmodel and the seven habits and are involved in activities that support the leadership model.
  • A system sets and tracks schoolwide, classroom, academic and personal goals.
  • The school sees improvements resulting from implementing TLIM process, which includes measuring, collecting baseline data and tracking results to determine how the leadership model is bringing improvements.
  • The school holds events to share the leadership model with the community and other schools, and hosts a mini or full Leadership Day or a similar event that includes parents, business partners and educators.

Lighthouse recognition is attained through achieving these results and measuring the impact those results have on staff, students, parents and the community. Extensive hard work and dedication goes into achieving Lighthouse Status, and the process can take up to three years to complete. 

“We are honored for these schools to have achieved such a designation, and we are especially thankful to The Leader in Me investors who had the vision and drive to bring this initiative to our schools,” said Tonya Matthews, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce vice president of partnership services. “This program is extremely important, and we are so fortunate to have schools and businesses that support such growth in our community and talent development.”

In 2010, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce began collaborating with investors and the city and county school districts to implement TLIM, ultimately raising $1.4 million to put the program in every school in Warren County. TLIM teaches 21st century leadership skills based on Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” preparing the future workforce by teaching students about leadership, accountability and teamwork – all integral skills for development. The initiative recognizes that all children have strengths and the potential to lead. 

“Reaching Lighthouse Status is an achievement to be celebrated by our entire student body, staff and parent community,” said Plano Elementary Principal Melissa Stephanski. “It signifies that at Plano Elementary we are a school community dedicated to developing our students as both scholars and citizens. Plano Elementary students expect to be leaders, and they step into the role willingly, confidently and successfully.”

“We are honored to become a Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” said Sarah Johnson, principal of Alvaton Elementary. “We have seen such amazing results from implementing The Leader in Me process at our school, such as 100 percent of our students participated in student led conferences with leadership notebooks; 100 percent of our students participated in a service project this year; and 100 percent of our students had a leadership role in our school. One example is a student who helped lead the entire school in a fundraiser with a talent show to help the children of Syria. This process not only has had a significant impact on this student, but on all students. We expect to see greater results over time.”

In 2014, Briarwood and Natcher elementary schools became the first two schools in Kentucky to earn the honor. Only 176 schools in the U.S. are considered Lighthouse Schools.

“We are thrilled to recognize Plano and Alvaton elementary schools as Leader in Me Lighthouse Schools,” said Covey. “Schools who achieve the Lighthouse milestone are great examples of a strong leadership model, process and 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.”

The Chamber has been a leader in developing talent initiatives that extend from the earliest opportunity in elementary school to postsecondary education to initiatives for incumbent workers. The Chamber has recently grown the high school initiative, the Work Ethic Seal program, from over 100 participants in 2013 to nearly 700 in 2015 and now requires National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) at the end of the course. In 2016, the Chamber will add career academies to the educational mix, strengthening hard skills on top of students’ already strong soft skills. In an effort to introduce the STEM disciplines into career education, the Chamber initiated the On Track program in 2015 – a competition between the Warren County Area Technology Center and SKYCTC that challenges students to completely rebuild two Chevy Camaros to compete in the Holley LS Fest, held annually at Beech Bend Raceway. For incumbent, unemployed and underemployed workers, the Chamber has long worked with the business community to determine their needs and provide training to support those needs.

To learn more about the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, visit


About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.