Before the half-day event began, guests were greeted by cheerful pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students lined up outside the school entrance, as they clapped for and acknowledged everyone with, “Welcome to Fitzhugh!” During a welcome reception in the school library, Principal Donna Simmons said it has been such an honor for the whole school to become engrossed in the Leader in Me philosophy, which includes the 7 Habits of Happy Kids: be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win/win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, synergize and sharpen the saw.
Simmons told guests of honor, including FPS staff members, Oswego Councilman Kevin Hill, Oswego Police Department officer James Cunningham and representatives from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, that FPS was recently designated as a LIM Lighthouse School, which was the result of hard work and dedication from both staff members and students.
“It’s been a journey to all of us,” she said. “To watch them be leaders of their own learning is amazing.”
Student leadership speeches were provided by kindergartner Anjali Aviles, first-grader Sara Kay, fourth-grader Lily Anzalone and fifth-grader Noah Carroccio. Aviles shared her thoughts about FPS being a safer place with leadership roles in place, while Kay said the LIM program makes her feel proud when she works harder to improve her STAR test scores. Meanwhile, Anzalone said she is a “leader by showing people what to do, not tell them what to do,” and Carroccio said he noted that students have improved behaviors because they know LIM expectations.
Additional Leadership Day highlights included a talent showcase, student panel question and answer session, opportunities for feedback and school tours. Carroccio invited both Hill and Cunningham to join his tour, to which he thoroughly explained how aspects of the LIM program may be seen throughout the building. Habit reminders, positive messages and goal progress were some of the examples Carroccio highlighted.