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Hurricane Town Elementary wins 'Leader in Me' award

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Hurricane Town Elementary has been named a "Lighthouse School," Putnam County Superintendent Chuck Hatfield said Monday night.Officials with the "Leader in Me" program based on Stephen Covey's bestselling book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," handed down the recognition. There are only 47 "Lighthouse" schools in the world.Meanwhile, Hatfield and other school officials are working to implement the "Leader in Me" program in all of the county's 14 elementary schools.Last fall, Connor Street, George Washington, Poca, Confidence and Rock Branch elementary schools implemented the program. By 2016, Hatfield said all elementary schools would teach it.What the program offers elementary students has also been introduced to Putnam middle and high school students."Soft skills," which emphasize work ethic and communication skills, started counting as 10 percent of a middle school student's grade and 20 percent of the grade at the high school level."This is the first year. Some schools are doing better than others at it, but it's been received well," Hatfield said. He also said that teachers and students have filled out surveys about implementing the program. "That will help us figure out what to change to improve," he said.Hatfield and other school officials have planned a trip to visit schools in Myrtle Beach, where educators are teaching the "Leader in Me" program at the middle and high school levels.Hatfield said school officials are trying to figure out how to "roll [the skills] over" in order to make sure that learning those skills don't stop after elementary school.
The seven habits listed in the book encourage students to:* Be proactive.* Begin with the end in mind.* Put first things first.
* Always think win-win.* Seek first to understand, then to be understood.* Synergize by valuing others' opinions and strengths.* Sharpen the saw by eating healthy and exercising.Reach Kate White at or 304-348-1723. 
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