Thunderbolt Middle School
695 Thunderbolt Ave.
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
Phone (928) 854-7224  |  Fax (928) 854- 7482

“Capturing Kids’ Hearts” at Thunderbolt

A message from Principal Mulligan

In 2011 I was honored to be chosen as the principal of Thunderbolt Middle School in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Thunderbolt has been an Excelling school for many years. Academics were solid. My challenge was to address the culture. An outside observer commented that Thunderbolt staff and students seemed “compliant, but not committed.” My first priority was to create a positive and inviting learning environment for all.

I have always considered relationship building one of my strengths. I could draw in even the most challenging of students in the classroom and I have earned the reputation as a principal who cares about staff. I embraced this new challenge and believed I could begin to create a culture of positive and caring adults.

Although I've always felt successful in building relationships I didn't know exactly how it happened and certainly couldn't explain it to others. Through Capturing Kids' Hearts I now have the tools to intentionally create the positive relationships that are critical to maximizing the growth in students.

Because of the ongoing generosity of our community every Thunderbolt teacher is trained in the Capturing Kids' Hearts process.

The greatest impact we are experiencing is in our attendance and discipline data. Our student absence rate has improved from 5% prior to Capturing Kids' Hearts implementation to 2.3%. This is a reflection of the positive culture created by this process. Students want to be where they know people care.

Our discipline issues have decreased as well. Prior to Capturing Kids' Hearts implementation there were 40 discipline hearings for long term suspension. This has decreased to nine hearings for the 14/15 school year. In addition, our state reportable discipline incidents decreased by 56%.  Once again, students are responding to a culture of caring that happens through the intentional processes of Capturing Kids' Hearts.

We are changing lives at Thunderbolt Middle School by capturing our students' hearts.

If you would like to see CKH in action at Thunderbolt, enjoy our video at: https://vimeo.com/113770417.

Mari Jo Mulligan, Principal
Thunderbolt Middle School
Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Our thanks to K-12 Foundation, Lake Havasu Family Eyecare, Red Onion, Lake Havasu Sunrise Rotary, London Bridge Rotary, Partnership for Economic Development, Soroptomist International of Lake Havasu City, and other generous donors for funding this training.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts website
More about the program from Principal Mulligan