Creating teacher leadership teams will help to strengthen leadership qualities, and creating a community of student leaders helps develop student leadership and, in turn, supports school culture.

Infuse a sense of pride in everything that you do

“Success builds success,” Casas said.

In Bettendorf, student successes are celebrated with framed artwork and pictures, photographs and certificates of accomplishment, and through recognition during special events and ceremonies.

Walls display quotes and positive affirmations and photos of past graduates, and displaying artwork and projects instills a sense of pride among student groups.

Casas said that while some might hesitate to display so many damageable items throughout the school, for the most part, Bettendorf’s students strive to preserve the displays, artwork, and posters, and property destruction is rare.

“I’m never going to say that nothing’s ever happened, but it’s very, very infrequent. When that happens, I take it as an opportunity to learn. The more kids you can recognize – they don’t want somebody defacing them so they’re not going to turn around and deface someone else’s work,” he said.

Laura Ascione

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