(Pennsauken, NJ) – Character.org recently announced that both campuses of Camden County Technical Schools were named as 2020 National Schools of Character. They are among only 84 schools and seven districts from 15 different states to receive this prestigious distinction, and earn the right to use the National School of Character name and logo for 5 years, 2020–2025.
Character.org is a nonprofit organization based out of Washington, DC, that advocates for the advancement of character development in communities, schools and workplaces.
“It is a great honor for both of our schools to be named 2020 National Schools of Character,” said Pat Fitzgerald, Superintendent of CCTS. “Employers who hire our career-trained students consistently comment that they are very pleased with their positive attitudes and their strong work ethic. Thanks to the daily implementation of character education and reinforcement of core values by the staff, our students learn that good character is an important part of being successful in school, work, college, and life. I was proud when both schools were designated as New Jersey Schools of Character, and it is very exciting that they are also receiving national recognition for what they are doing.”
“We are very proud of the dedicated employees and outstanding students of the Camden County Technical Schools,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to CCTS. “They continually demonstrate their use of character development to improve academics, positively impact student behavior and enhance the overall climate.”
“The students and staff at the Pennsauken Campus of CCTS embody our core values of Respect, Responsibility, and Service Learning,” said John Hourani, Ed.D., Interim Principal of the Pennsauken Campus. “One example is in the way our students and staff find fulfillment in serving community members who are in need by volunteering at a local soup kitchen. This school is truly deserving of this award.”
“Focusing on the Warrior Way, a set of core values established by the School of Character Committee has continued to transform the daily interactions of our staff and students,” said Wanda Pichardo, Principal of the Gloucester Township Campus of CCTS. “They see the Warrior Way values posted on the walls of the hallways, classrooms, cafeterias, and other common areas, and it is included on every school meeting agenda, the student handbook, and student identification cards. Students can easily recite: Respect, Perseverance, Citizenship, Integrity, and Innovation as the Warrior Way because of the effort of the School of Character Committee to ingrain it into their daily lives and school culture.”
“We are pleased to announce and celebrate the schools and school districts who have earned this national recognition,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of Character.org. “Each of these schools and school districts has put in place a comprehensive approach to help their students understand, care about, and consistently practice the core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens.”
Since its inception, the National Schools of Character program has impacted nearly 3 million students, staff, parents, and community members. The schools and school districts who apply must meet the rigorous standards articulated in Character.org’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools. Each school is evaluated by a team of trained educators and includes a site visit to assess how a school’s “shared values” are motivating students to do the right thing.
“These schools and school districts serve as exemplary models for all schools and districts across the nation,” adds Lori Soifer, who directs the Schools of Character program. “The educators at these schools are inspiring their students to treat all people with respect and dignity. They are teaching their students to be honest and trustworthy, to contribute their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.”
Character.org will honor the 2020 National Schools of Character during its next National Forum. The complete list of the 2020 National Schools of Character is below. To learn more about the schools and school districts being certified, please visit www.character.org/schools-of- character
About Character.org: Founded in 1993, Character.org is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to provide the voice, visibility, and resources for educators to build nurturing and supportive school cultures that focus on core values and character strengths vital to student and school success. Character.org is widely known for its 11 Principles, a comprehensive framework developed by school leaders and character development researchers. During the past 20 years, more than 900 schools and school districts – after an independent and rigorous evaluation process – have been certified as National Schools of Character. The vision for Character.org is to expand our work to families, sports, and the workplace. Visit www.character.org to learn more.