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UCPS Leader In Me schools shine during national symposium

The Leader In Me Symposium 2024, held in Charlotte, brought together nearly 1,000 educators nationwide for a two-day experience, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Union County Public Schools (UCPS) played a pivotal role in the symposium by welcoming attendees to eight of its 11 Leader In Me schools on the first day. 

UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan was one of the keynote speakers addressing the responsibilities of administrators, organizational culture, importance of student voice and alignment. He and Dr. Kim Fisenne, the principal of Porter Ridge High, participated in an educator panel. Casey Rimmer, the Executive Director for K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, served as a presenter. UCPS students participated in a student panel. Many school staff and leaders from UCPS attended and participated in breakout sessions, further showing the district's commitment to Leader in Me.

The students and staff at Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, Indian Trail Elementary, Prospect Elementary, Rocky River Elementary, Shiloh Valley Elementary, Shiloh Valley Primary, Parkwood Middle and Porter Ridge High were excited and ready to showcase the Leader In Me principles. 

Every school presented its distinctive identity with personalized welcomes. Whether it was the vibrant banners, performances and lively melodies or the personalized greetings extended by students, educators, and staff, each school's atmosphere mirrored its unique culture. 

The student leaders, regardless of age, were the main attraction. They demonstrated Leader In Me by directing classroom visits, answering questions, sharing insights, giving presentations, and exuding infectious and inspiring enthusiasm. At some schools, guests saw goal setting and data tracking, and at others, they learned from students how they use the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People at school and home. No matter which school guests visited, they saw student voices in action.

Watch the video for additional insights into Leader In Me, where educators, students and visitors share valuable takeaways and perspectives.

View the photo gallery of some of the highlights from the visits and symposium.