One of 88 Schools in the Nation to Receive this Distinction
Congratulations to St. Cyril of Alexandria, an Independence Mission School, for being named a 2019 National School of Character by Character.org in Washington, D.C. St. Cyril was one of 88 schools in the U.S. to receive this honor and to join the ranks of Character.org’s highest distinction – National Schools of Character.
“These schools’ representatives, including educators, parents and students, are working together to create stronger communities focused on character. We are honored to validate their efforts and continue coaching them along their journeys,” said Doug Karr, Character.org’s President & CEO.
For St. Cyril, the journey to achieving this great accomplishment began about five years ago when they joined some other Independence Mission Schools and incorporated Character Counts into the everyday school climate. Over the summer, Kindergarten teacher, Janet Hunter, and Principal, Sister Barbara Montague, went to the Character Counts Champion Training Seminar. They took what they learned to the school and began to drive the important message of Character education among staff and students. The next summer, Assistant Principal (then 7th Grade teacher), Terri Power, and 8th Grade teacher, Jeanne Bellwoar, were trained as Character Champions.
Over the years, the consistent focus on implementing the six pillars of character, led to a dramatic transformation in the school climate, leading to the school’s recognition in 2018 as the first PA State School of Character. This year, St. Cyril decided to apply for the National School of Character distinction, and was honored to get the title. With this success, St. Cyril hopes to help other IMS schools on their character education journey, and through a grant, has teamed up with the leaders at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School to help improve their program.
“Character education helps students to understand the importance of doing what is right, even if no one is watching; we use it every day to lead our students on the road to success,” said Terri Power, Assistant Principal. “Our teachers include a connection between Character education and the curriculum and we frequently see it used in Literature, History, Religion and throughout our Art and Music Programs.”
Character.org is a national advocate and leader for character in communities including schools, districts, families, workplaces and sports organizations. Since Character.org’s School of Character program’s inception, they have impacted nearly 1,000,000 students through the Schools of Character process.
Each year, Character.org certifies schools and districts at the state level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development which has a true positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate. Criteria for selection are based on Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, which include providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort.
To learn more, please visit Character.org’s website.