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Wausau School District first in state to implement ‘Leader In Me’ program

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Wausau School District is adopting a 'Leader In Me' program initiative for its upcoming school year.

Wausau become district in Wisconsin to implement the nationwide program.

The goal is to enhance skills related to fundamental socio-emotional learning that will be centered around leadership, culture, and academics.

Teachings will come from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People starting with students at the age of five through graduation.

The seven habits include managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy, maintaining positive relationships and making responsible decisions.

"We're really looking at leveling the playing field," Wausau School District Director of Pupil Services Angie Lloyd said. "Some of our kids come in already having a lot of those skills, but a lot of our students come in and they don't have those skills. So we need to explicitly teach that to students."

WSD has around 8,100 students and Lloyd said starting to teach them these fundamentals at such a young age will be beneficial to their long-term success post grade school.

According to Lloyd, this program will go beyond the classroom, specifically in a way that will better prepare students for the workforce when the time presents itself.

Lloyd stated data from businesses nationwide show they're getting employees right out of high school or college that can't follow multi-step directions, set goals, or monitor progress toward a goal.

Teaching soft job skills at a young age could ultimately help students develop successful habits.

"The paradigm of everybody has genius doesn't mean everybody is a genius," Lloyd said. "It just means we all have strengths and it's our job to help them realize what their strengths are, and keep kids building on those because every child brings something to the table."

Every staff member will be trained in time for the program to kick off this fall.

Rashad Williams

News 9 Reporter

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