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Terry A. Sauvageot
Richmond Elementary School
Kanawha School District
South Charleston, West Virginia

Being named a West Virginia Success School and a Title I Distinguished School six years in a row are among the achievements of Richmond Elementary School under the leadership of Principal Terry A. Sauvageot. At the prekindergarten through fifth grade school which serves 262 students---all of whom receive free and reduced meals---building not just academic proficiency but also confidence and leadership skills are ongoing priorities for Sauvageot. Inspired by a colleague, Sauvageot introduced her staff to the Leader in Me program which centers around Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. After sharing her experiences, conducting a book study, and achieving staff buy-in, Sauvageot and her staff were trained in the summer of 2010 and in turn trained other interested schools. Parents were also trained during Family Nights using Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families. In the two years since implementation, the Richmond staff has seen increases in student self-confidence, team work, creativity, leadership, problem solving, tolerance of differences, manners, and academic achievement. Additional results include dramatic decreases in discipline referrals, a new sense of teacher and family pride, an improved school climate, and Richmond being recognized as the 230th Leader in Me school worldwide. Sauvageot was also named Outstanding Employer of the Year by the state’s DOE and Arts Division of Rehabilitation Services, which recognizes exemplary practices in employing people with disabilities. Sauvageot says that students have benefited from the talents of great teachers and a belief that they can achieve, regardless of limitations. Sauvageot holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Math, an M.A. in Education Administration, and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from Marshall University.