Begin with the End in Mind

This concept is one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (and Teens).  It was a topic shared with student leaders during the RISE program offered in March as a companion to the Summer Leadership Camp Program that was suspended during the summer of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.  

As school organizations gear back up after being mostly virtual 15 months of school, it is probably more important than ever to focus on this concept.  This year there is a large percentage of students in our high schools have not experienced a normal opening and closing of school for some time.  The way things were done in the past may not be relevant for many of our student leaders.

A great tool to help student councils and other groups to begin with the end of in mind is the Award of Excellence rubrics.  The rubrics were designed to be used a guide for a successful year.  They facilitate self-assessment and are designed with a development focus versus a judgmental focus.   The Award of Excellence (AOE) rubric sections include: Organization & Structure, Focus Areas / Vision for the Year, Use of SMART Goals, Project Planning Process, Evaluation, Meetings & Record Keeping, Service to School & Community, Communication and Leadership Training.  Each section is broken down into clearly defined sub-points.  Rather than making the completion of the Award of Excellence a second semester project, using the AOE rubrics from the beginning of the school year provides the greatest benefit to the organization.  The AOE Scoring Rubric can be accessed on the Michigan Student Leadership website at under the Awards / Award of Excellence tabs.  Take a look at these criteria for excellence and use them as a tool to begin with the end in mind as your group’s student leaders work to have a great and productive 2021-2022 school year.