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Leader In Me Program Earns National Honor

The National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA), headquartered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has selected winners in its 2006 Exemplary Initiatives Competition, and Lone Star College-Kingwood earned honorable mention honors in the "Organizational Change" category for its highly-successful Leader In Me program.

NCIA is a professional organization affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). The awards recognize outstanding ways to enhance the quality of higher education provided at the two-year institutions in the United States.

Each year, community colleges submit a variety of "Best Practices" that correspond to annual award categories. This year, the 18th for the Exemplary Initiatives Awards competition, NCIA officials solicited entries in six broad areas; Student Retention and Success, Curriculum Innovation, Organizational Change, Assessment of Student Learning, Workforce Development, and Responding to Community Needs.

"This recognition is a direct result of having some truly excellent and innovative staff members who are undaunted and try to do the very best for their fellow co-workers," said Dr. Bill Coppola, vice president for instruction at Lone Star College-Kingwood. The administrative support from Lone Star College-Kingwood President, Dr. Linda Stegall, "made this project possible," he added.

The Leader In Me program was created by the Teaching and Learning Staff Development Committee. Modeled after the award winning Scholarship of Teaching program for faculty, the program began in fall 2005 and has over 70 staff members have successfully completed the program intended to help participants develop the leadership qualities they possess and use them in whatever job they perform.

The program runs for 8 consecutive weeks with 90 minutes dedicated to each session.  The session titles and speakers are selected by the committee, and all full-time staff members are encouraged to participate in the program. Participants are engaged in interactive sessions presented by experts intended to revitalize, inspire, and promote thinking outside the box.

Dr. Stegall applauded the Leader In Me program facilitators in particular for the success of the program. Debra Blackburn facilitated the first year and Linda Cundiff this past year. Cundiff, who will continue as facilitator in the fall, was recently recognized for her program leadership as the "catch of the month," part of the FISH program of customer service at Lone Star College-Kingwood.

"It takes just the right person to motivate and maintain enthusiasm over a period of weeks and both Debra and Linda have done that," said Dr. Stegall.  "I think the program is very deserving of the award.

Awards were presented at the NCIA Celebration Breakfast in April, as part of the group's Instructional Leadership Academy in Tampa, FL.

Register now for the first session of summer classes beginning June 4 through July 11. The second summer session begins July 12 and ends Aug. 16. For more information about summer classes, call 281-312-1600 or visit kingwood.lonestar.edu for a complete schedule of classes.

The Lone Star College System is among the largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas. It comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Tomball, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College–CyFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For more information about Lone Star College System and its programs, visit www.lonestar.edu or call 832-813-6500.