Leadership is a big deal at Deer Run Elementary School.

Leadership is a big deal at Deer Run Elementary School.

The school last week hosted 130 teachers and administrators from throughout the state for a leadership symposium focused on the Leader in Me program adopted by the school in the fall.

"We got a grant from the I Am a Leader Foundation," Principal Susann Wittig said about implementation of the program.

"It provided us with five-day training for teachers in August," Wittig said.

"We did a book study on it last year and felt that it was a good fit for our school community to teach leadership."

The Leader in Me program focuses on seven habits, formed from the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

The habits focus on being proactive, having a plan, not procrastinating, listening, balance and teamwork.

The March 24 leadership symposium at Deer Run let the school show off how it's incorporated the Leader in Me program into its curriculum.

"One hundred and thirty visitors will come to the school to visit to see our Leader in Me in action," Wittig said.

Action included a welcome from students, visits to classrooms and a musical about leadership penned by fifth-graders.

In the classroom of second-grade teacher Katie Baker, students watched videos in groups of two of situations and had to identify habits that characters used.

Along with working together, students also used reading and writing skills as they provided proof for each answer.

Other students showed off the program by talking about teams they participated in.

Fifth-graders Caroline Gross and Egan O'Hara are part of the community outreach team that has collected food for the food pantry and clothing for homeless shelters.

"It's been an inspiration," Gross said of the program.

"It's helped us work as a team and achieve goals."

"It's helped me be a better friend and make new friends," O'Hara said.

All Deer Run students, with the exception of those in kindergarten are on the teams that range from a welcome team and photography team to a spirit team and friendship team.

Students listed their top three interests before being put on teams, Wittig said.

Each team works to utilize the seven habits in their jobs.

The friendship team works against bullying and when they see a student sitting alone at lunch or on the playground, they join them.

The tech team maintains computers and tablets and also helps students use them.

"We're sort of a junior support team," fifth-grader Louis Wenger said.

Fifth-grader Kennedy Faller was part of the welcome team last week, and walked around discussing the Leader in Me program with visitors.

"I like them," she said of the seven habits. "I think they've helped improve some things."