WINFIELD, W.Va. — Hurricane Town Elementary has been recognized as a "Lighthouse School" in a program designed to teach leadership to students.
The Leader in Me is a leadership curriculum based on Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Hurricane Town is Putnam County's first elementary school to implement the program, though five more will begin using it next year.
Eventually all the county's elementary schools will use it, Putnam County Schools Superintendent Chuck Hatfield said.
Hatfield reported on Hurricane Town's achievement of Lighthouse status at Monday's regular meeting of the Putnam County Board of Education.
Just 41 schools in the world have earned the designation, and Hurricane Town is the only one in West Virginia to do so — though others do participate in the program, Hatfield said.
To earn Lighthouse status, schools must undergo review by program leaders and meet nine requirements that involve students, teachers, administrators and parents.
Hatfield said a group from Putnam County plans to visit a school complex in Myrtle Beach where The Leader in Me is used at every grade level to consider wider implementation.
Putnam County's middle and high schools currently use a different program to teach "soft skills" like leadership and work ethic. Part of students' grades in each class depends on work ethic and oral communication skills — 20 percent for high school students and 10 percent for middle school students.
Hatfield said students and teachers have been surveyed to evaluate that effort, which is in its first year.
The Putnam County Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. May 6 at the central office in Winfield. All meetings are open to the public.