Forging Exemplary Character and Leadership Skills In Students


Educating students in character, leadership, and college-readiness skills.

Students spend most of their young lives in our classrooms. Average students learn reading, writing, math, and science. But extraordinary students have also developed the character and leadership skills of truly exemplary global citizens.


Today’s students are exposed to thousands of negative influences each week from the entertainment industry, peers, and social media. Sadly, many students lack strong parental influence to guide them in good decision making as they interact with negative stimuli.

Decades ago, most educators shied away from teaching values, concerned that it wasn’t their responsibility to impose their own values on their students. The debate between parents and administrators on whether values should be taught alongside academics in schools came to an abrupt end in 1999 when two boys opened fire at Columbine High School, killing 15 students and themselves. This horrific and unprecedented display of school violence has permanently altered the national conversation on character education. Instead of debating if we should teach values in the classroom, we’re now discussing how to teach them most effectively.

Character education is an intentional process of forging in students the ethical values that have been widely affirmed by all cultures through the centuries, such as courage, diligence, respect, compassion, justice, self-control, empathy, and service.


Character education was a major objective for the first public schools in the United States and has been legislatively mandated or encouraged in most states. Quality character education transforms students from average to extraordinary and prepares them for lives of influence and success as global citizens. Exemplary character is now regarded as THE difference maker between average and extraordinary students.

Throughout time, societies have recognized the need to educate the coming generation of adults to pass on knowledge and skills. Recorded history from long before the present era emphasizes that education must also develop character. One of the great education reformers, Horace Mann, in the 1840s, helped to improve instruction in classrooms nationwide, advocating that character development was as important as academics in American schools. (U.S. Department of Education. Character Education…Our Shared Responsibility.

Character Education

Schools that forge exemplary character and leadership skills in students become places that students, parents and teachers want to learn, volunteer, and work. Openness replaces defensiveness. Social barriers dissipate. Judging and feelings of being judged are replaced with acceptance and a real connectedness to the school.

Practically speaking, it’s much easier to teach students who happily exercise self-control, patience, and diligence. No surprise that teachers report a higher rate of job satisfaction in schools with a character education program. Administrators report district-wide improvement in test scores, reduced disciplinary escalations, fewer dropouts, and a reduction of negative behaviors such as isolation, violence, early sexuality, and substance use.

Is it any wonder that opinion polls show more than 90% of Americans support the teaching of values including honesty, democracy, acceptance of people of different races and ethnic backgrounds, patriotism, caring for friends and family members, and moral courage in public schools? When educators weave character education into the fabric of their classrooms, the culture and climate of the campus shifts dramatically as students treat each other differently. The positive impact on academic achievement is profound and indisputable.

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Forging exemplary character and leadership skills in students.

High school and middle school curricula that train students to take personal responsibility, make high quality decisions, build relationships successfully, and communicate professionally.

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Character, leadership, and college-readiness skills for middle and high school students

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“Nothing is of more importance for the public weal, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue.”

Benjamin Franklin


Forging exemplary character and leadership skills in students pays off!



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