Clarke Middle School Named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by FranklinCovey Education

Leadership and Life Skills at Clarke Middle School Inspire Young Students to Become 21st Century Leaders with the Leader in Me Process

Clarke Middle School announced the school has been certified and named as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by FranklinCovey Education. This recognition is evidence that the school has produced outstanding results in school and student outcomes, by implementing the Leader in Me process with fidelity and excellence. It is also because of the extraordinary impact the school is having on staff, students, parents, and the greater community.

Mr. David Ansbacher, from Franklin Covey, reports that there are 406 Lighthouse schools nationwide, 10 Lighthouse schools in Iowa, Clarke Middle School being one of those ten schools, and one of only three middle schools in Iowa!

clarke middle school leader in me lighthouse award winners

This is the list of schools in Iowa that have achieved Lighthouse status:

  1. Brookview Elementary West: Des Moines, IA
  2. Orange Elementary School: Waterloo, IA
  3. Hoover Middle School: Waterloo, IA
  4. Andrew Community School (K-8): Andrew, IA
  5. Maple Grove Elementary: West Des Moines, IA
  6. Waukee Elementary: Waukee, IA
  7. Alden Elementary: Alden, IA
  8. Grant Elementary: School Muscatine, IA
  9. Patrick Catholic School: Cedar Falls, IA
  10. Clarke Middle School: Osceola, IA


Mr. Jeff Sogard, principal of Clarke Middle School said, “We are honored to have been certified and named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. We have seen amazing results from implementing the Leader in Me process at our school, such as better grades/test scores, better attendance and fewer office referrals. One example is a student who was an average student academically, missed an average of 3-4 schools days/per month and averaged 3-4 office referrals/per month and now is getting mainly As & Bs in all of their classes, rarely misses any school and rarely has any office referrals. This process not only has had a significant impact on this student, but on all students. And we expect to see greater results over time.”

The Lighthouse Certification is a highly-regarded standard set by FranklinCovey Education that is attainable by every Leader in Me school. As it is a significant benchmark, applying for this certification typically occurs three to five years after a school begins the Leader in Me process.

Sean Covey, President, FranklinCovey Education, said, “We are thrilled to recognize Clarke Middle School as a Leader in Me Lighthouse School. Schools who achieve this Lighthouse Certification are great examples of a strong leadership model and process, and of what it means to be a Leader in Me schoolThis school has experienced transformational results by implementing the principles and practices related to Leader in Me. And, we are so pleased and honored to celebrate the success they are experiencing.”

Since its official launch nearly a decade ago, nearly 4,000 public, private, and charter schools across 50 countries have adopted the Leader in Me process, while more than 300 schools have achieved the prestigious Lighthouse certification. It is earned by schools that demonstrate the following:

  • The principal, school administration and staff engage in ongoing learning and develop as leaders, while championing leadership for the school.
  • Leadership principles are effectively taught to all students through direct lessons, integrated approaches, and staff modeling. Students are able to think critically about and apply leadership principles.
  • Families and the school partner together in learning about the 7 Habits and leadership principles through effective communication and mutual respect.
  • The school community is able to see leadership in the physical environment, hear leadership through the common language of the 7 Habits, and feel leadership through a culture of caring, relationships, and affirmation.
  • Leadership is shared with students through a variety of leadership roles and student voice leads to innovations within the school.
  • Schoolwide, classroom, family and community leadership events provide authentic environments to celebrate leadership, build culture, and allow students to practice leadership skills.
  • The school utilizes the 4DX® process to identify and track progress toward Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) for the school, classroom, and staff.
  • Students lead their own learning with the skills to assess their needs, set appropriate goals, and carry out action plans. They track progress toward goals in Leadership Notebooks and share these notebooks with adults in student-led conferences.
  • Teacher planning and reflection, trusting relationships, and student-led learning combine to create environments for highly engaged learning.

Clarke Middle School will maintain its Lighthouse Certification the next two years and will continue to foster its growth and proficiency in exemplifying a leadership culture and principles. At the end of the two years Clarke Middle School will be able to recertify its Lighthouse Certification through a virtual self-assessment, describing and celebrating its growth and accomplishments since its original Lighthouse designation.

Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model and process—developed in partnership with educators—that empowers students with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.  Leader in Mehelps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan ahead, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, express their viewpoint persuasively, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life.

Leader in Me utilizes and integrates several leadership, social-emotional learning, quality, and educational models and processes from past and current thought leaders including The 4 Imperatives of Great Leaders and The 4 Disciplines of ExecutionThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is also a key component of the overall Leader in Me process and is a synthesis of universal, timeless principles of personal, interpersonal, and organizational effectiveness, such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal.

Leader in Me is having a significant, measurable impact on schools all over the world and in the lives of millions of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, as is evidenced by the findings resulting from initial evaluation studies conducted by third-party research organizations and leading academic institutions. To learn more about the impact the process is having, visit

osceola iowa clarke middle school studentsosceola iowa clarke middle school teachers

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STUDENTS on the Lighthouse team:

7th Grade (in alphabetical order)
Banuelos, Veronica
Benda, Kelsey
Blackford, Elizabeth (Elli)
Chavez Ramos, Alejandra
Herrera, Artzy
Jones, Lila
Kent, Cejay
Martinez-Andrade, Kimberly
McLain, Kiera
Richard, Soraya
White, Cole

8th Grade (in alphabetical order)
Albino, Chris
Cline, Grace
Crawford, Jenna
Dunbar, Joselyn
Elsbury, Riley
Garza, Denise
Harmon, Bella
Johnson, Kaitlyn
Lundquist, Calhoun
Pontier, Audrey
Sanchez, Michelle
Saucedo, Kasandra
Sickels, Molly
Spalding, Zoey
Suarez, Joseline
Williams, Skye

Michelle Lee
Laura Horton
Ronda Wishon
Lori Ehrhardt
Korey McKasson
Principal, Jeff Sogard

To learn more about the Leader in Me process, please visit