Stewart Elementary Students Ask “Can You See the Leader In Me?”

By: Sydney Hunt
| Published 02/06/2020

Adults from left to right: Stewart Principal Melissa Sanchez, City of Kemah Councilmember Teresa Vazquez-Evans, Kindergarten Science Club Leader Maria Olivares, Kemah Councilmember Isaac Saldaña, Clear Lake Shores Councilmember Amanda Fenwick, Clear Lake Shores Councilmember Angie Terrell, Clear Lake Shores Mayor Curt Otten, CCISD Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Holly Hughes. Stewart Elementary Kindergarten students from left to right: Alexa Herrera, Avery Jordan, Ashlyn Terrell and Sebastian Diaz.

The home of the Stewart Seagulls was bustling with pride and enthusiasm on January 30. That’s because the students could not wait to demonstrate the skills and confidence they are gaining from The Leader In Me program, according to Stewart Principal Melissa Sanchez.

LaVace Stewart Elementary Opens Doors to Community for Leadership Day 2020

Click here for photos from Stewart Elementary Leadership Day.

“Our students are so proud of how they are learning and living out the 7 Habits, both in and outside of the school setting,” said Sanchez. Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are the cornerstone of The Leader In Me program now in place at 12 CCISD campuses, each at various stages of implementation.

Participating campuses are already noting a decline in discipline problems and increase in academic performance. Stewart Elementary is in year one of phasing in the program where staff and students are creating a shared vision of their ideal school, learning the leadership model and establishing a common language and culture.

Parents and community members were invited to Stewart’s Leadership Day to see for themselves how students are taking charge of their learning goals and exploring their interests. After an inspirational choir performance to kick off the program, it was the Pre-K students who bravely passed a microphone to welcome visitors to their school, taking turns explaining the 7 Habits. “The 5th Habit is seek first to understand then to be understood,” shared four-year-old Cora Beyer with the audience.

At the Club Showcase, sprawling the main hallway, students representing clubs from Coding to the Aquarium Leadership Team confidently spoke with guests about why they choose to spend extra time and effort in the activity and how clubs are prompting leadership opportunities.

Representatives from Leader In Me underwriters, the City of Kemah and the City of Clear Lake Shores, also took part in the morning to experience firsthand the return on their investment through the student showcase and classroom observations.

Leadership Day culminated with a Character Rally to celebrate the month’s successes and even guest starred the mysterious “Character Inspector” and his student sidekick, “Inspector In Training,” who called out individual students who have consistently demonstrated exceptional character traits - even when they didn’t know anyone was watching.

“Karen is a great student who is very respectful to her fellow classmates,” announced Character Inspector to the assembly as he high fives third grader Karen Castillo. “She works very hard on her assignments and is always participating in classroom discussions. She is also responsible in her school job and doesn’t have to be reminded about her responsibility.”

“I am so grateful to the teaching staff, parents and community partners,” said Sanchez. “I think it’s been like a big family coming together as we began this journey with the end in mind, the success of our students,” said Sanchez.

“Begin with the end in mind” is the 2nd Habit.