Westside Elementary students led the cheering as the school celebrated a national distinction, earning the prestigious Lighthouse School Certification from the Leader in Me program.

The Leader in Me program is a national school improvement model that helps schools focus on campus culture through school leadership and academic performance. The program, based on the concept by Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Highly Effective People, places structures and processes in the school to empower students with leadership and life skills.

“Each of our students exudes the seven habits,” principal Amanda Lillard said. “Thank you to our parents and teachers for supporting our mission in growing our students to be great leaders every single day. Being awarded the Lighthouse School Certification comes with great honor for our campus and our community.”

Westside joins about 300 schools in the world and five in the Austin area to earn Lighthouse status, joining Rutledge Elementary as the two Leander ISD schools. To receive the designation, the schools must conduct annual training, teach the curriculum to all students, engage families with the leadership content, and reflect the learning throughout the school building and campus culture.

“We are so proud of Westside Elementary students, teachers, staff and parents,” Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D. said. “As we continue to focus on the whole child in Leander ISD, programs like the Leader in Me are essential for growing students both academically and socially. Thank you to our Westside team for continuing our tradition for supporting students and meeting our standard for excellence.”