Northville public schools

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle

Winchester and Thornton Creek elementary schools achieve Lighthouse School status

       Northville’s Winchester and Thornton Creek elementary schools have earned “Lighthouse School” status as part of the transformational The Leader in Me model for schools based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and designed to teach leadership to students. Of the more than 3,300 The Leader in Me schools worldwide, Winchester is the 289th and Thornton Creek is the 342nd to achieve Lighthouse School status. There are 298 Lighthouse Schools in the United States, and just 18 in Michigan, including five in Northville – Moraine, Silver Springs, Ridge Wood, and now Thornton Creek and Winchester.

The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformational framework – developed in partnership with educators – that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. It is based on the principles and practices of personal, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness. The Leader in Me starts with the powerful premise that every child possesses unique strengths, and has the ability to be a leader and have a voice in their learning. It integrates leadership development into existing school programs, curriculum, and traditions; and helps students to learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative and set goals, prioritize their time, present their viewpoint persuasively, value differences, resolve conflicts, and find creative solutions. The Lighthouse designation represents a significant benchmark in The Leader in Me journey that recognizes outstanding results in school and student outcomes across all areas.

The Winchester school community began its The Leader in Me journey four years ago, and the Thornton Creek team three years ago, with both quickly beginning the Lighthouse School process of self-evaluation. This included putting together Lighthouse Teams of students, staff, parents and community members to oversee school-wide implementation; building cultures of leadership and learning throughout each of the schools; teaching and reinforcing the 7 Habits; working together collaboratively; having students in meaningful leadership roles; involving parents; creating and holding leadership events to share their school’s leadership model with the community; using data through Leadership Notebooks and other leadership tools; and showing measureable results.

On March 22, 2017, a Lighthouse Review Team from FranklinCovey Education, a component of the global consulting and training leader FranklinCovey, spent the day interviewing Winchester students, teachers, staff and parents; toured the school; visited classrooms; and reviewed data with students. Just, 19 days later, Principal Kelly Lindsay got the call that Winchester is a The Leader in Me Lighthouse School.

“We are honored to become a The Leader in Me Lighthouse School,” Lindsay said. “We have seen such amazing results from implementing The Leader in Me at our school, such as an enhanced school culture, and an increase in student self-confidence and leadership initiative.”

Winchester students, staff and families celebrated their achievement and hard work with a party in May that included a ceremonial passing of the torch in which students and staff told the story of Winchester’s Lighthouse journey from the first teacher book study to the Lighthouse review day. At the end, the torch was used to reveal the lighthouse, selected by a student vote, which will be proudly displayed at the school’s entrance. Afterwards, students, parents, district leaders and a former principal, along with members of the Winchester PTA, Dad’s Club and Parent Lighthouse Team, were invited outside for a Kona Ice treat!

A Lighthouse Review Team from FranklinCovey Education visited Thornton Creek on May 24, 2017, and Principal Jennifer Bennett got the news that they are a The Leader in Me Lighthouse School on June 6, 2017. Students were surprised with the news at a special assembly on the last day of school, where students were showered with beach balls and enjoyed a treat of Kona Ice.

It is a tremendous honor to be awarded the Lighthouse milestone,” Bennett said. “Thornton Creek Elementary has a rich history of community service, educating the whole child, and a belief that everyone has genius that we were able to build on to achieve the Lighthouse status. The synergy that exists between our students, staff and families has created an environment of student empowerment and opportunities for students to reach their full potential. Although we are celebrating this work, we know that we will continue to evolve with the support of all of our stakeholders.” 

“We applaud the Winchester and Thornton Creek school communities for achieving the distinction as Lighthouse Schools,” said Northville Superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher. “This is powerful work that brings students, teachers, parents and families together with a collective focus on learning in a way that unleashes the leadership capacity and potential within every learner. This work aligns with our district goals to foster a culture of learning and leadership in every school that empowers learners, develops leaders and fosters intellectual curiosity. We are pleased that each of our elementary schools is using this powerful framework to help guide their work.”