Lighting the path for others to follow
Posted on 03/28/2022
Two people cut a cake while students clap

Meadow Woods Middle School became the first OCPS school to earn the coveted Lighthouse School certification from Leader in Me by Franklin Covey Education. 

They celebrated their success with a Leadership Day to share their journey with parents and other school leaders. Stallion Ambassadors (students from different grade levels who spearhead student voice) presented the different parts of the process and what they learned along the way. 

“Your resilience, your support; your parents, the teachers, the leadership team members, the assistant principals along with John Wright, our area superintendent, is how we’ve been able to do this. This was a team effort. This is what synergy looks like,” Principal Marisol Mendez said at the Leadership Day celebration. “We are proud to announce that we are Meadow Woods Middle Lighthouse School of Innovation.”   

This recognition did not occur overnight. In 2016, Meadow Woods Middle School became a FranklinCovey Leader in Me school. A Leader in Me school adopts the See-Do-Get mindset to effectuate change in its students, faculty, staff and the entire school community. Through this program, they transformed the school culture, positively influenced behaviors and shifted paradigms. Through collaboration they addressed bullying, social-emotional learning, attendance, mental health, college and career readiness and more. 

As a Leader in Me school, members have an opportunity to pursue the Lighthouse Certification which is normally a three year process. In 2020, Principal Mendez set her sights on obtaining the designation for Meadow Woods MS and, in January, successfully achieved that goal in less than two years. 

The Lighthouse School panel recognized Meadow Woods for achieving remarkable results in school and student outcomes by successfully demonstrating: Ongoing learning and leadership development among school administrators and staff; Effective leadership instruction to all students; and Family and school partnerships centered around the 7 Habits and leadership principles (responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal).

Every two years, more than 600 schools earn the Lighthouse School Certification and Meadow Woods Middle is one of five middle schools named in the state of Florida by FranklinCovey who serve as beacons of lights to their community and other schools.