If there is one piece of advice Krista Miller has for those of us bringing up the next generation it is this: Don’t underestimate kids. Born and raised in Findlay, Krista has spent much of the past five years teaching students leadership skills through an international school-based program by FranklinCovey Co. known as The Leader in Me. Her passion for empowering children permeates the halls at Jacobs Primary School where the program is thriving under Miller’s leadership.
About ‘The Leader in Me’
Much of The Leader in Me Program is based on Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Students at a Leader in Me school will learn the seven habits, practicing them daily and integrating them into all school activities. The habits include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, putting first things first, thinking win-win, seeking first to understand then to be understood, synergizing and sharpening the saw. “The goal of the program is to empower students. While they can’t control the circumstances around them they can control their actions and their response to those circumstances,” explains Miller.
From Teacher to Principal
A graduate of Findlay High School, Krista obtained her teaching degree knowing that she wanted to return to Findlay and invest in her community. As a teacher at Chamberlin Hill Intermediate School, she was part of the original Findlay City Schools staff trained in the program. Not only did Krista embrace implementing leadership skills with her students, she took the principles home and used them with her own three children. “I loved how the program focused on problem solving. It gave the students, and my own children, principles and habits that set them up for success,” says Miller.
After being trained as a teacher in The Leader in Me, Krista became Principal at Jefferson Primary School during the 2013-14 school year. While the program had already started at Jefferson the year prior, she was able to nurture the program in the early stages and help it to flourish. This school year she moved to Jacobs Primary School, another Leader in Me school.
Currently four Findlay City Schools are Leader in Me schools: Jefferson Primary, Jacobs Primary, Chamberlin Hill Intermediate and Bigelow Hill Intermediate. When asked what outcomes Krista has seen from the program she points out, “students take ownership of their actions, they don’t blame and point the finger. Each student serves on a leadership team, so they are stakeholders. Ownership of the school is very powerful.”
Even the littlest Findlay Trojans are becoming the leaders of both today and tomorrow.
For more information on The Leader in Me, go to theleaderinme.org