WINTERS - When Kari Calcote came back to Winters ISD as an administrator two years ago, it was a dream come true.

WINTERS - When Kari Calcote came back to Winters ISD as an administrator two years ago, it was a dream come true.

The 2004 WHS graduate had come a long way to get back to her alma mater and is anxious and excited to promote the values she learned and incorporate new innovative ways of learning into the curriculum at the campus.

Calcote returned to her home (school) turf last fall and this fall will be her second year as elementary school principal.

This year, she is excited to implement “The Leader In Me” a program designed by Dr. Stephen Covey which promotes a logical, sequential and balanced process to help schools proactively design the culture that reflects their vision of the ideal school.

Calcote, a graduate of Angelo State University and who has worked in the Abilene ISD, the Region 15 Service Center and at Gorman ISD, said the point is to promote leadership among the students. For the pat several months, she has developed her team and the staff at the school have attended to schools, and read all of the books associated with the program.

“We want every child on our campus to become leaders,” Calcote said. “It is a shift in the way we approach education and everyone has to be a part in developing that.”

The idea, she said, is to get kids, parents and the community involved.

“We need to teach integrity and values and academics will follow suit,” Calcote said.

Content from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is a key component of the overall “The Leader in Me” process. The seven habits include things such as responsibility, vision, integrity, teamwork, collaboration and renewal.

Winters ISD Superintendent Bruce Davis believes in the program whole- heartedly. He hopes within a three-year timeline that there will be improvements across the board in test scores, attendance and discipline issues.

“It all goes together,” Davis said. “It is going to mesh well and it all goes back to creating that success.”

This is more than just the implementation of a mantra and idea. The visuals are all over the school.

“We are changing the attitude and vision of the school,” Davis said.

Over the summer, the lockers at the school have been painted and there are colorful murals in the entrance, that feature a large tree, with the goals going up and down the trunk.

Plus, Calcote says this year parents will be invited to monthly meetings so that they can be a part of their child’s success.

“We want to be transparent,” she said. “We want them (parents) to see and be a part of that.”

“I’m very excited,” Calcote said. “We’re going to have great things happen.”

Calcote has worked hard to bring her vision back to her hometown. She replaced the former principal Jennifer Payne.

“I wouldn’t be a principal anywhere else,” she said.