Dozens of educators from around the country visited Reed Elementary and Westside Elementary Feb. 7 for campus tours and presentations, after these Leander ISD schools were selected as showcase schools for the Austin Leader in Me Symposium.

Westside Elementary has been a Leader in Me School for nearly nine years, and earned their Lighthouse certification in 2019. Reed Elementary opened as a Leader in Me School in 2014, and became Lighthouse certified in 2020.

“A Lighthouse School is a beacon, it is an exemplar of student leadership,” Reed Elementary Principal Paige Collier said. “At Reed, 100 percent of our students have a leadership role. Everyone is engaged, everyone is involved, everyone feels that they belong and that they’re important.”

Westside Elementary Principal Amanda Lillard agreed that leadership development is a crucial element of her campus.

“Having a culture centered around leadership is the foundation to all we do here at Westside,” Lillard said.

Participants commented on how enthusiastic and helpful students were as they led guests through classrooms and answered questions during the presentation and panel portion of the visit.

“I hope that this tour gave people ideas and inspired them to bring back the best experiences for their students so they can foster leadership in their own schools,” Collier said.