Berrian staff look to expand global distinction - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Berrian staff look to expand global distinction

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Faculty and students cheer after learning the news about the Lighthouse School distinction. Faculty and students cheer after learning the news about the Lighthouse School distinction.
Student pies a teacher in the face to celebrate the news. Student pies a teacher in the face to celebrate the news.
Students laugh during the celebration of the Lighthouse school announcement. Students laugh during the celebration of the Lighthouse school announcement.
Principal Chrissy Cox talks during the announcement. Principal Chrissy Cox talks during the announcement.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Global recognition as a Lighthouse School for Berrian Elementary School in Quincy, after years of a leadership program. The honor comes with a bittersweet twist.

Students and staff held the announcement in the gym with some music, fun and applause. The school reached the title of a Lighthouse School by global company FranklinCovey. Teachers say it's had a big impact on the students and themselves.

"I found a way to organize my life more," Speech Therapist Tara Stark said. "Be a more effective person. Even found a leader in me, even when the little kids found a leader in themselves. 

Principal Chrissy Cox was an integral part of rolling out the "Leader in Me" program six years ago to get the title..

"I really believed in that process and the theory," Cox said. "So when I became the principal here, we started."

The title won't stay around a long as Berrian will close when QPS opens the new schools. However, Cox doesn't look at it as a disappointment. 

"We can be beacons of light as we embrace a new journey in the new K-5 transition," Cox explained.

Staff believe the designation has also been a benefit outside the school walls, into the student's homes.

"Our families look at developing their own mission statements and taking their own leadership practices at home," Stark added.

Staff thanked Cox for her dedication to the program, moving her to tears..

"Our whole team has been fabulous in this process," Cox explained. "I think you just have to have an open mind and as a leader, that open mind is a vehicle for change."

While the school is closing, Chrissy Cox will still be a principal. In 2017, Cox was announced as the principal for the school being built near 36th and Harrison Streets.

Berrian marks only the ninth elementary school in Illinois to receive the Lighthouse designation. Ellington School, Blessed Sacrament and Camp Point Central Elementary also have the designation. Two schools in Hannibal also hold the Lighthouse status. 

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