Testimonials | Leaders for Life - Voyage to Greatness


LEADERS for Life is designed to change the expectations and mindset toward education at the earliest possible age, beginning with elementary school students and their parents, putting into place the skills and attitudes which bring success in life and career. This initiative has the potential to change forever the face of education in Bradley County.

Lynn Voelz, Director, Bradley/Cleveland Public                    Education Foundation

A Bradley County Schools initiative was introduced several years ago by Mrs. Sheena Newman, Elementary School Supervisor. The Charleston faculty was inspired and has a goal to find the gifts and talents in every child to support young leaders to greatness. Students take ownership of their learning through goal-setting and planning using their data notebooks. The data notebooks help students track their own progress and see a plan to experience success. The Leadership “Principles for Sailing” include character education traits that every employer and community desires. Charleston Elementary School has seen success in many areas of our school such as decrease in discipline referrals, improved attendance, increased parent involvement, and an increase in academic achievement with our Tennessee Report Card reporting all “A’s” in achievement and growth.

Jodie Grannan, Principal, Charleston Elementary School

The LEADERS for Life program is teaching students to be independent thinkers, to take responsibility, to be self-motivated and how to work as a team. They are also learning valuable communication skills and developing a set of values based on honesty and integrity. Education is the prerequisite for opportunity and is critically important for any community seeking new industry and economic development. A skilled and trained workforce may be the most important investment we can make as a community. I want to thank Sheena Newman and Johnny McDaniel for taking the lead in this team effort to ensure Bradley County's future.

Gary Davis, Bradley County Mayor, Cleveland, TN

Wow, Wow, Wow! I met today with the principal and counselor to plan for my semester at Park View. They shared your curriculum and books with me... they are AWESOME! You have done an amazing job! And of course, I love the dog...!

I will be using your materials to do a school-wide program with Helping Paws Healing Hearts. So excited to utilize your great work!

Amy Hicks, Helping Paws Healing Hearts

I wanted you to know what a blessing our first student-led conferences were last night. We were blown away by the participation and level of enthusiasm of our students. It was amazing watching the students take ownership of their learning while explaining to parents their progress and areas that need refinement. We had 202 of our 267 K-5 students in attendance with at least one parent or adult for 76% participation. This is the highest number we have recorded at our conferences. Our teachers are blown away by the instant success of this event. Morale really is at an all time high. Lunch discussion today instantly changed to how impressed they were with students, planning for additional student-led conferences and strategies for taking more initiative in helping students "own" their data notebooks.

Corey Limburg, Principal, Valley View Elementary

As a school counselor, I get to teach about life. The LEADERS for Life information serves as a simple and catchy way to teach everyday social skills. The common language gives the entire school the ability to communicate in like terms. LEADERS for Life is just a great addition that naturally fits with my lesson planning. I don't see it as something new that is here today and gone tomorrow. LEADERS for Life has always been here, we just named it and made it fun.

Jenni Wilson, Schools Counselor, Hopewell Elementary

What I have witnessed with the "Leaders for Life" program is a common language for all the teachers and students. When my 5th graders partner with 1st graders, I love that they can share their Leader Ship Logs and use the principles to discuss their goals. In nomination letters for the "Leader of the Month," the students are able to describe the actions and words of a person showing a leadership principle. I love that the decision-making is in the kids' hands. Lastly, I think the Leaders for Life program has pushed us as a building to be sure that all students are involved in our school in some way. I feel we at Charleston have done a good job of having "student-led" activities, conferences, and programs. For example, it is only since Leaders for Life that we began having students lead assemblies and emcee our 5th grade Awards Ceremony.

Laura Anziano, 5th Grade Teacher, Charleston Elementary

What I like about student-led conferences is not having to stay home and wonder what everyone is saying about me.

Corbin, Student