The following was published in the Courier on Sunday, June 26, 2016.
Written by reporter Andrew Wind andrew.wind@wcfcourier.com.

WATERLOO — The Cedar Valley’s Leader in Me schools will soon be receiving more support and training locally.

Leader Valley, a talent development initiative of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, recently announced an expanding capacity to do that work. Leader in Me, created by Utah-based FranklinCovey, introduces students and teachers to the principles of Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and helps to put them into practice.

Leader Valley staff is receiving extensive training and certification from FranklinCovey in two areas as well as adding a new position, according to a news release. The opportunity to expand capacity has evolved because of a commitment to Leader in Me shown by the Alliance, regional partners and the community.

“We are implementing Leader in Me in an unprecedented fashion,” said Alliance CEO Steve Dust. “Our regional, multi-district approach has yet to be attempted anywhere else. As ‘extensions’ of the FranklinCovey team, we can increase and expedite support to the growing number of Leader in Me schools.”

During 2016-17, 21 schools will be supported by Leader Valley, up from 19 during the past year. They include schools in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo districts and Cedar Valley Catholic Schools, as well as St. Patrick Catholic School.

The first area of growth for Leader Valley is workshop facilitation, which will allow it to lead and facilitate nearly all content delivered to area Leader in Me schools as part of their training and implementation. As certified facilitators, the staff will be equipped to deliver training and assistance, previously done by FranklinCovey.

The other area is the opportunity for staff to become certified coaches. Coaching is an integral part of the school transformation process. Leader Valley staff will work closely with building leaders to help them achieve school culture goals.

Teri Trask, the outgoing principal of Waterloo’s Orange Elementary School, will fill the key position of facilitator and coach with Leader Valley. As Orange principal, she led the school to Covey’s elite Lighthouse status. Trask’s new role will center on facilitating training, innovative programming, coaching, and ensuring maximum impact with students and within school cultures.

“Teri is one of those leaders that has the power to impact people and schools in a profound way,” Melissa Reade, Leader Valley director, said in the news release. “We are excited to tap into Teri’s passion of leadership development and student empowerment, as well as her unique skill set related to facilitation and coaching.”

For more information on the Leader Valley initiative and Leader in Me, contact Reade at (319) 232-1156 or mreade@cedarvalleyalliance.com. Or go online to www.leadervalley.org.