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Trinidad School District #1
Leader in Me Journey

      Trinidad School District #1 is in its second year of implementing the Leader in Me Process. This process has been a true paradigm shift for all stakeholders by living the Seven Habits by Stephen Covey. The Leader in Me program at Trinidad School District #1 began its journey approximately six years ago when two district administrators and a teacher attended the Leader in Me Symposium in Denver, Colorado. The participants were so empowered that they brought the concept back to the school district. From there, a presentation was provided by a
representative from Stephen Covey to all district staff, students, school board, and some community members. The thought that students would gain the necessary skills to become effective leaders in the community, and in their own lives, was motivation enough to pursue this quest. Funding was definitely an obstacle, but through the support of William Cordova, former CFO of Trinidad School District #1, funding was obtained through grants and other sources. The next step was to have official approval of the Board of Education. The decision to move forward with the implementation of the Leader in Me process was a unanimous decision.

      Immediately, district administrators and staff began working on the implementation. Staff attended a three-day comprehensive training on the Seven Habits, and had to commit to a 7x7 contract in which every day a person would practice a habit. In addition to the seven habits training, Trinidad School District #1 staff has participated in extensive coaching, culture, academics, and leadership trainings.

      Students then began the process of learning the Seven Habits and applying the habits to their daily lives. All four schools including Eckhart Elementary K-1, Fisher’s Peak Elementary 2-5, Trinidad Middle School 6-8, and Trinidad High School 9-12 are currently implementing the process. Trinidad School District #1 is very unique in that they are one, if not the only, school district that is implementing the process district wide.

      School building staff helped create goals to focus on leadership, culture, and/or academics. From there, those goals were monitored and a running score board was kept for all stakeholders to see the progress. Students began “leading” school-wide events including award assemblies, family nights, leadership nights, lighthouse teams, school events, and daily classroom activities.

      Students also monitor their own learning. Students create academic and personal goals which are located in their leadership notebooks. As students progress through their learning process, they chart their growth in both areas. Students then share their progress with their parents as they lead their own conferences.

      The overall effect that the Leader in Me has had on the culture of Trinidad School District #1 is evident. Students, parents, staff, and community are all now active participants in the lives and success of our children. All are working toward one common goal – to create productive, well-educated, passionate leaders.

7 Leader in Me Habits:
    1- Be Proactive – You’re in Charge
    2- Begin With the End in Mind – Have a Plan
    3- Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play
    4- Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win
    5- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood –      Listen Before You Talk
    6- Synergize – Together is Better
    7- Sharpen the Saw – Balance Feels Best