Who knew that by implementing The Leader in Me, Warren County and Bowling Green would become the “go-to” Leader in Me capital of the commonwealth and the Southeast?

As many of our schools continue training and implementation on the path to Lighthouse Status, a certification level when The Leader in Me operations are considered self-sustaining and permanent, they have become the center of statewide and national attention.

The annual Leader in Me Symposium, to be in Bowling Green for the third straight year, will draw more than 1,000 educators and students from around the U.S. and overseas.

Bowling Green’s event promises to again be the largest gathering for The Leader in Me movement in the country. Who knew?

Leadership Kentucky’s 59 community leaders from across the state came to Bowling Green in August for an immersion in Kentucky education that began, naturally enough, by visiting Warren Elementary School and learning from both our school districts how The Leader in Me process is transforming our already top-performing schools to become even more exceptional. 

It’s just as important to note the statewide leaders also visited the No. 1 high school in the country – The Gatton Academy – along with Western Kentucky University and Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College.

The Utah-based FranklinCovey organization is putting to press a new book – which will be available in May – about the effect that The Leader in Me is having on communities.

The authors have been doing their field research – where else? – in Bowling Green.

Last month, AT&T’s nationally recognized Aspire program awarded the Chamber Foundation a $15,000 grant for our schools’ implementation of The Leader in Me, again drawing national respect for our school systems’ commitment to the program.

On Nov. 4, the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Education will convene – again in Bowling Green – at Western Kentucky University and at Moss Middle School to conduct its business in a Leader in Me community. With 40 state representatives and senators co-chaired by Sen. Mike Wilson and Rep. Derrick Graham, not only will The Leader in Me be the center of attention, it stands to become the center of action for education.

Imagine how it feels knowing that because of our community’s leadership in implementing The Leader in Me, 22 Kentucky school districts applied for and won a $40 million “Race to the Top” grant from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Leader in Me in their schools.

Not all communities have this kind of private sector engagement with the schools, so this grant is a huge win for improving school performance throughout our region and the commonwealth.

The Chamber Foundation is very proud to have played a role in distinguishing our community on the national stage and setting the pace for The Leader in Me movement.

It’s nice to be noticed, and it will be even nicer for all of us to look back in a few years at the result of our communitywide effort to systematically empower our children with the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” from kindergarten through graduation.

— To learn more about The Leader In Me, visit www.theleader inmesck.com or contact Jennifer Shahan at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce at 270-901-4608.

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