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Popular biz book inspires Seaview Elementary students in Edmonds


Kate Betzold at Seaview's "Leadership Day."

For four years, Seaview Elementary students have turned to a bestselling business book from 15 years ago to sharpen their leadership skills.

Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was an instant bestseller when released in 2004. Turns out it’s not just for grownups – Seaview kids use the book for guidance in classrooms and at home, too.

They presented the skills they’ve learned from it – in addition to art, music, and skits – to community members at the school’s fourth annual “Leadership Day.”

The event was open to community members and started and ended with assemblies, where students performed and presented what they’ve been working on throughout the year.

“‘Leadership Day’ is an opportunity for students to show that we’ve learned about how to be a good leader,” one student said.

“We have different jobs within our classrooms and the school, such as class leaders, school announcers, library assistants, lunch helpers, kindergarten bus helpers, and more. We believe everyone can be a leader in any way that they choose. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re helping your school community make a bigger difference.”

“Our students have worked really hard for this day, and are excited for this,” said Leslie Bennett, Seaview’s office manager.

Art pieces from each student, made at school or at home, filled the gymnasium, where guests could browse through paintings, drawings, sculptures and more.

“We have incredible art to show,” said Principal Heather Pickar. “We have one from every student, so that’s 440 art pieces. The art is from all year long, and from many different pieces. Some are fresh, and some are from previous times.”

The event emphasized “Leader in Me,” which is an adaption of the “7 Habits” for children. The curriculum, also created by Covey, focuses on independence, collaboration, conflict resolution, and other strengths for students to work on as they become young adults.

“It’s the curriculum we have chosen to do at our school to make student leaders,” Pickar said. “We are the only one in Edmonds School District with it.”

Students also introduced each of the “7 Habits,” and presented ways they work with others and take care of themselves. Those include being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first.

Students throughout the day demonstrated ways they share with a sibling, make a gift for a parent, or listen before speaking with a friend.

Sara Zekanovic, left, and Luci Allen at Seaview's "Leadership Day."

After the opening assembly, student tour guides led groups of guests to different areas of the school, including the library, classrooms, and a multipurpose room filled with science projects, while orchestra students performed in the outdoor hallways.

Tour guides also showed guests the outdoor classroom project under construction. The Seaview Elementary PTA raised funds for the outdoor classroom, and the district matched it with a grant to make the project possible, said Will Wisner, the PTA vice president. The outdoor classroom includes a nature sanctuary and nature trail, where students will learn by getting closer to nature.

“Our school is the only school in the area to do (“Leadership Day”),” he said. “It’s a great school, and we just keep growing. We have our own little niche up here at Seaview, with really invested teachers.”


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