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June 18, 2018

Team Fitzhugh Hosts Leadership Day


OSWEGO – Leadership can be defined in three words: Fitzhugh Park Elementary.

Kindergartener Zachary Culligan shows Councilor Linda DeMassi his leadership notebook during one of DeMassi’s stops of the building’s Leadership Day.

Kindergartener Zachary Culligan shows Councilor Linda DeMassi his leadership notebook during one of DeMassi’s stops of the building’s Leadership Day.

The school recently held its annual Leadership Day, a student-led and student-driven effort which showcased the building’s voluntary growth with the 7 habits: be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put first things first, think win/win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, synergize and sharpen the saw.

Oswego City School District administrators, local dignitaries and community members were first welcomed by a crowd of students who cheered and clapped for them as they entered the building.

A few students from the school’s Lighthouse Team provided various explanations of what it meant for them to be a leader at school and their favorite habit.

“I believe every kid has the ability to be a leader,” said fifth grader Danny Dunn, who then expanded on synergy, which focuses on valuing other people’s strengths.

Dunn said his personal focus for the 2017-18 school year, however, has been to “put first things first” — complete homework before fun and games.

Through additional discussion and building tours, OCSD Superintendent Dr. Dean Goewey, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow and other attendees learned more about the 21st century leadership skills taught at Fitzhugh as a Leader in Me school. Responsibility, accountability, adaptability, critical thinking, creativity and cross-cultural are among the many skills practiced daily.

Student Leadership Day tour guides talked with guests about how various components of the Leader in Me program is woven into academic lessons and personal interactions at school, home and within the community.

Principal Donna Simmons said the school, or Team Fitzhugh as staff members there prefer to call it, has diligently worked with the Leader in Me program since the summer of 2015 to improve the overall school experience for each Fitzhugh student.

Each student is supplied with a LIM workbook and keeps track of goals, data and other progress in their leadership notebooks.

All of the guests, including Second Ward Councilor Linda DeMassi and Council Vice President Kevin Ward, said they were impressed with the students’ poise, clarity and overall leadership qualities.

The Leadership Day concluded with a student talent showcase and a student panel where guests were able to ask questions.

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