Stephanie Koritko, a seventh grade student at Godley Station School was honored as the first CHARACTER COUNTS! ® Student Ambassador of the Month during a ceremony held April 21, 2012 at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.
Jaime Hanna, museum educator and facilitator for the CHARACTER COUNTS! ® program, says that the program developed by the Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics back in 1993 is the workable resource they wanted to offer area students, faculty and staff. “It just keeps character education simple and easy to understand,” Hanna says. The program focuses on what it refers to as the Six Pillars of Character ®: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. These sought after attributes are integrated into every aspect of student education. They are examined during lessons, during parent-teacher discussions, and with school staff.
“Our school and community now speak a common language when it comes to character,” says Godley Station Principal Allison Schuster-Jones. “Everyone knows exactly what is expected and what that behavior looks like. We put the spotlight on positive character and model appropriate behavior,” she adds. The result of such efforts are exciting, Principal Schuster-Jones says. “We are thrilled Stephanie received this recognition. She is a great student. She is hardworking, kind, caring, and always a great citizen.”
Godley Station Counselor Janet Baxter nominated Stephanie for this honor after witnessing the student handle an insult with uncommon reserve. “We look for those teachable moments all the time. I was so proud of Stephanie in that moment.”
Stephanie’s response to being honored garners the same respect that her actions did that day. “I think it’s cool to be recognized because it’s not easy to be kind if others pick on you in a negative way,” she explains. “Everyone should take character into account because it’s the right thing to do. Everyone has feelings that can be hurt.”
WTOC is working with the Mighty Eighth to recognize students with good character. Stephanie’s recognition included, among other prizes, a framed certificate, a CHARACTER COUNTS! ® T-shirt, and tickets to The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum. To nominate a deserving SCCPSS sudent, please click here.
CHARACTER COUNTS! ® and the Six Pillars of Character are registered trademarks of the Josephson Institute. For more log on to: www.CharacterCounts.org.