Sargent BOE considers Leader in Me program

MONTE VISTA— Staff members from Sargent High School recently took a field trip to Trinidad Fisher Peak school to see in action a leadership program that Sargent schools are considering for students. A representative from the Leader in Me (LiM) program was also on hand at the Sargent board of education meeting in late November to further discuss the benefits of the program.
LiM is a program founded on principles imparted in the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The 4 Disciplines of Execution.” Studies have shown that the program’s instruction methods can empower students with leadership and life-skills that can help them thrive in modern times. Skills such as being proactive, beginning with the end in mind and seeking to understand and then to be understood are a few of the instructional methods.
Fisher Peak signed on to the program several years ago and has since become a “Lighthouse” school, which means the school has advanced beyond the program lessons to demonstrating results. “We sent four teachers, one counselor, a few parents and one board member [to Fisher Peak],” said Sargent Elementary Principal Joni Hemmerling. “It was awesome to see how much ownership the students had for every aspect of the school, including school tours and assemblies.”
The LiM program varies in cost based on the number of staff and students at each school, which ranges from $40 to $50 per student per year for the first three years and $14 to 19 $per student each year thereafter. If the board approves the LiM program, it would likely start in the 2019 /2020 school year and could cost upwards of $29,000 for the first year.
Hemmerling also shared with the board that she had spoken to a representative from the Colorado Health Foundation about a grant application she submitted for funding for a new track and playground. “I am cautiously optimistic about receiving funding,” she said. The school should know if the grant is approved sometime in early January.
The school also discussed scheduling issues with the March science fair. “The fair is hosted by Adams State University and often conflicts with our athletic tournaments,” said Sargent administrative assistant Lynda Foster. “We’re currently trying to find dates that will work for Adams State as well as our school districts here in the Valley, considering the conflicting athletic and science fair schedules.”
School Superintendent Greg Slover shared with the board information that Western State had approached him about offering college courses to students. Sargent currently has a number of students taking courses from Trinidad State Junior College.  Adding courses from Western State would give students more options, said Slover.
The board also talked about the addition of a new honor program called the “Farmer Awards.”
“Basically, students, staff and community members can nominate a student, staff or community member for an award if that person has gone above and beyond for the community or school,” Foster said. People can visit the school’s website to find the entry form. “This is the first time for this award, which we’ll probably do twice a year, at the end of each semester.
In other board news, the school will be finalizing the 2019 budget in December and final exams will be held Dec. 18, 19 and 20. The junior high is performing the play “Wild Pink” at 1 and 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the high school gymnasium, and the elementary student›s Christmas concert is set for 6:30 p.m. on Dec.11, also in the gym. The concert includes traditional Christmas songs and several newer arrangements, said the school›s music teacher Terri Paulson. Some classes have added dancing and the playing of recorders and hand bells to their songs. There will also be several vocal and piano solos performed by the fifth and sixth graders and a banana split fundraiser to benefit the AR reading program.
Sargent’s annual Winterfest will be held the week of Jan. 7 to 11. “We will crown royalty at the basketball game on Friday, Jan. 11,” Foster said, “and the Sadie Hawkins/Winterfest dance is on Saturday, Jan 12.”

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