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UNIQUE PROGRAM HELPS MOUNT AIRY PUPILS BE BETTER VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES

The Mount Airy City School District considers Stephen Covey’s “Leader in Me” program in its middle schools a hidden gem for students. Contrary to popular media presenting it as merely seven habits of successful people, Student Services Coordinator Jesse Hiatt stresses it’s not a “golden nugget” but about helping children be better versions of themselves. According to Hiatt, Leader in Me schools are now found across the country and internationally.

It started in 1999 when struggling magnet school A.B. Combs Elementary in Wake County was asked to reinvent itself or lose its status because of its performance. Given one week to come up with a plan, Principal Muriel Summers, who had attended a seven habits conference, sought suggestions from teachers, staff, parents and business leaders about how to save the school.

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