Hard Work U Logo

News and Events

The Ozark Visitor

Faithful Lives

Events and Activities Calendar

News from Hard Work U.®

Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Cell: (417) 365-2727
Email: vcoleman@cofo.edu

February 08, 2017

College of the Ozarks hosts the 2017 Character and Leadership Education Conference

gGina Crump, First PLACE! Coordinator, and Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character educationGina Crump, First PLACE! Coordinator, and Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education at College of the Ozarks, work together to host the 2017 Leadership and Character Education Conference on Feb. 3, 2017.

Emily Rector, Brooke Miller, and Christine Kucera Senior elementary education majors (from left to right) Emily Rector, Brooke Miller, and Christine Kucera attend the 2017 Leadership and Character Education Conference on Feb. 3, 2017, to gain valuable tips from educators as they get ready to begin their own teaching careers.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — The Keeter Center for Character Education at College of the Ozarks hosted a Character and Leadership Education Conference last Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

The objective of the half-day conference was to provide ready-to-go character and leadership ideas for K-8 teachers who desire improvement in discipline, classroom behavior, test scores, and attendance.

Dr. Sue Head, vice president for cultural affairs and dean of character education at College of the Ozarks, gave opening remarks and the order of the day’s events.

“The goal of the Character and Leadership Education Conference was to provide tangible, easy-to-implement ideas for teachers that cultivate a culture of character and leadership,” said Head. “In addition to the teachers and counselors who attended, we had College of the Ozarks education majors, who are preparing for their futures. What a great opportunity for them to be gleaning ideas from experienced teachers.”

An introduction of the schools was given by Gina Crump, First PLACE! Coordinator.


  • “Becoming A Leader in Me School: Our First Year Journey” — presented by Ben Gibson and Amber Shuck, Hollister Elementary
  • “Leaders Know, Go, & Show the Way!” — presented by Raqual Fairchild, Mike Fransen, Amanda Frymire, Kayla Turner, and Judy Walters, Blue Eye Elementary
  • “Student Learning with a Purpose” — presented by Luciana Brown and Bethany Siebert, Willard Elementary
  • “Building Values One Job at a Time” — Liz Turner, Jessica Woody, and student leaders Anna Cardwell, Jade Robinson, and Lydia Ventresca, Forsyth Elementary
  • “Learn! Lead! Succeed!” — presented by Jennifer Coffer, Cara Futrell, Amanda Graves, Emily Hutcheson, Sarah McDowell, Kim Nelson-Graham, John Post, and Amelia Yates, Willard Elementary School
  • “Going All Out for All Kids: Developing Leadership Skills in ALL Students” — presented by Kim Pingleton and Lori Whorton, Buchanan Elementary

 “I was able to gain knowledge for what teaching in a real classroom setting will be like,” said Brentyn James, senior elementary education major. “The Leader in Me conference equipped me to build leaders in each of the students I will work with in the future.”

About First PLACE! The Leader in Me

Over 10 years ago, the College, through its Keeter Center for Character Education, took a leadership role in developing the First PLACE! character initiative and is now adding leadership to its efforts. The strong foundation and continued support of the business and education partners for First PLACE! is providing an opportunity for students across the Ozarks to learn leadership skills in addition to growing in good character.

The Leader in Me, which is a school process dedicated to transforming the leadership culture and performance in schools, is helping with the efforts. 

More and more students in Taney and Stone Counties are positively impacted through the Leader in Me, which is based on the work of Dr. Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Covey describes leadership as a choice, not a position. Teachers are committed to encouraging all students to choose to be leaders of good character.

First PLACE! used to stand for Partners Linking Arms for Character Education; now it stands for Partners in Leadership and Character Education. First PLACE! is focused on decreasing disciplinary issues, increasing standardized test scores, and increasing attendance, as well as creating a more positive climate in the area schools.

With the addition of leadership development, students will be even more equipped to make a positive impact in their communities and the world.

“In order to change the culture, it takes everyone linking arms and moving towards a common goal,” said Head. “College of the Ozarks has been helping develop character and leadership in young people for more than 100 years. We are glad to have a leadership role in this worthy community initiative.”

For more information, contact Valorie Coleman, public relations director, at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a Christian, liberal arts college located on a 1,000-acre campus in Point Lookout, Missouri. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience.

The college earns numerous accolades yearly, including being named the #1 Best Value College in the Midwest for 2015 by “U.S. News & World Report.”  The Keeter Center — the College’s upscale lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked the No. 1 Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2016. It features fine dining, historic lodging, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on the College of the Ozarks campus.

To achieve its vision, College of the Ozarks pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, begun in fall 2012 for high school students, and the S. Truett Cathy Lower School, opened in fall 2014 to K-sixth grade students. Seventh and eighth grades were added in fall 2015, completing the K-college model. For information, call the public relations office at (417) 690-2212 or visit www.cofo.edu. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.



02.08.17 – Paige Arnett


White rectangular Hard Work U logo
Hard Work U.®

© 2017 College of the Ozarks 100 Opportunity Ave. Point Lookout, MO 65726

Main Number: 1.800.222.0525

Keeter Center Ralph Foster Museum Campus Store Lab School (K-12) Directory Campusweb