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LIVING LESSONS [with gallery]

Champs reinforce habits for AES students

For Andalusia Elementary School teachers and administrators who have been teaching the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to their students, the Andalusia High School baseball team, which won the state championship Wednesday, was a living lesson.

And so it came to pass that, less than 24 hours after winning the state title, the team paraded through the halls of AES to reiterate the importance of the Second Habit, “Begin with the end in mind,” and the Sixth Habit, “synergize.”

AES Principal Alane Brunson said a group of teachers worked with the coaches, administrators and central staff to pull the mini-parade together.

“It was one of those things people had talked about, tied to The Leader in Me program,” former AES principal and current system curriculum coordinator Patty Taylor said. “Our kids had a goal and worked towards it. It was cool to see them walk around with that trophy.”

Taylor said the event came together quickly “because we have some mamas that teach at the elementary school and we all taught those boys.”

Head baseball coach Tyler Dent and AHS principal Dr. Daniel Shakespeare helped make it happen, she said.

“We initially were shooting for Friday morning, but we realized that was graduation practice, so we went with it today,” she said.

As the Bulldogs waited outside of AES, they could already year the cheers and yells of the elementary students waiting indoors.

AES teacher Julie Hardy explained.

“We decided to connect the second habit, begin with the end in mind, and the sixth habit, to synergize, with the baseball team winning the state championship,” she said. “If we start making these connections in real life then hopefully it will make things stick with the students.

“They wanted to win a state championship, so they started making little goals to achieve that,” Hardy said. “They had a plan and they executed it.”

She said that the sixth habit connects because the team was able to synergize and work as a team to achieve their goals.

“If we start making these connections early on in their lives, then they can realize that any goal can be achieved,” Hardy said. “Making goals and working as a team is so important.”

AES student Emmy Mixson said that the second habit ties in well with the baseball team.

“They set a goal with the end in mind,” Mixson said. “Every practice and every game they had that goal in their head and it made them work even harder.”

Jacob Fleming was able to attend the state championship game.

“It was so exciting,” Fleming said. “My favorite part was when they won. It really inspires me to do well in school so I can be like them.”

Hardy said they had a plan to try to teach these habits to the kids ever since they started the Leader in Me program three years ago.

“Whether it is academic or in sports, we want to get these habits in their head so they can become successful in anything they do,” Hardy said.

The Leader in Me program is based on Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits, which are to be proactive; to begin with the end in mind; to put first things first; to think win-win; to seek first to understand then to be understood; to synergize; and to sharpen the saw.