Creating Safe Spaces that Nurture Learning

When it comes to flourishing in school nowadays, scientific evidence is mounting that confirms what many of us have suspected all along—that if we want children to truly learn, and to perform better in life as both students and citizens, then we have to educate them in an environment that they see as safe, caring … Continue reading “Creating Safe Spaces that Nurture Learning”

Happy Campers Building Character

By Mark Hyatt, President & CEO Before the summer slips away from us all, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment here to talk about the wonderful experience that occurred June 16-21 at CEP’s  second Leaders of Character Camp (LoCC), hosted once again by my alma mater, the U.S. Air Force … Continue reading “Happy Campers Building Character”

Empathy: To lead is to listen and to learn

Thank goodness my wife opened my eyes to the importance of empathy before I became a father and a school leader. To be honest, for the first half of my life, I was so driven to achieve the task at hand that I struggled to understand why some people just couldn’t show up, get to work and do what they had to … Continue reading “Empathy: To lead is to listen and to learn”

The Legacy of an Honorable Man: Remembering Sandy McDonnell

One year ago, a great American died.  His name was Sandy McDonnell.  He was an honorable man who left behind a remarkable legacy.  It is one we can all learn from. Sandy was brilliant.   After graduating from Princeton and completing graduate school in Colorado, he worked on the Top Secret Manhattan Project during World War … Continue reading “The Legacy of an Honorable Man: Remembering Sandy McDonnell”

National Schools of Character Lead Post-Sandy Service Learning

Eloisa DeJesus-Woodruff, Principal of 2012 National School of Character (NSOC) Richard Stockton Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey was so moved by the devastation being faced by her fellow citizens in New Jersey and New York in the wake of Sandy that she returned from the National Forum ready to act. She had a vision … Continue reading “National Schools of Character Lead Post-Sandy Service Learning”

How can we create more just and democratic schools?

In Marvin Berkowitz’s Hot Topic discussion this afternoon, he didn’t hesitate to cut right to the point. “We need to make schools less like prisons,” he said. “When you think about it, it’s disconcerting how much the analogy fits. How can we create more enlightened and just schools?” Marvin’s talk focused on utilizing empowerment and … Continue reading “How can we create more just and democratic schools?”

President’s Post: Leadership’s Most Essential Ingredient

Remembering Sandy McDonnell’s Commitment to Character Education

The world lost a great leader when CEP’s co-founder and Chairman Emeritus Sanford N. McDonnell passed away in March. The overwhelming outpour of emotions from those who knew him and whose lives he had touched inspired CEP to archive the sentiments and prepare a book of memories for the McDonnell family. Our Vice President, Joe … Continue reading “Remembering Sandy McDonnell’s Commitment to Character Education”

What’s Different for Students in a School of Character?

In schools of character: Bullying is rare 87% of students attending 2011 National Schools of Character reported in climate surveys that they felt safe school or that bullying was rare (with 27 of the 44 NSOC reporting data in this category). Eldridge Park Elementary School (Lawrenceville, NJ): 100% of 3rd graders report feeling safe at … Continue reading “What’s Different for Students in a School of Character?”

‘Bully’– It’s Time to Stop Talking!

Last Friday I had the honor of representing CEP at a special White House screening of the movie, Bully.  The movie is heart-wrenching.  When it was over, I felt sad, disappointed, emotionally drained and angry.  I can remember thinking to myself, “My gosh, how in the world can we as a nation allow this sort … Continue reading “‘Bully’– It’s Time to Stop Talking!”

What Sandy Showed Me

 I have a very heavy heart right now because Sandy McDonnell passed away. You see, he was my hero. Like many others who knew and loved this great man, I now feel a huge emptiness in my life that I know will never be filled. I loved Sandy like a father. It was a great blessing to … Continue reading “What Sandy Showed Me”

Welcome to the official CEP Blog on Character

Here you will find articles from CEP Members, Leaders, Speakers, and select authors from around the country and the world. As a CEP Member please feel free to make comments about the articles you see here. We welcome feedback and suggestions!

O, Captain, my Captain

“Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it certainly reveals it.”  –John Maxwell, leadership and management author  Recently, we have witnessed and celebrated the heroics of two captains.  The first was Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, who successfully landed his jet on the Hudson River and then made sure that every passenger was safely out of the cabin … Continue reading “O, Captain, my Captain”

More on Integrating Character Education

Dr. Peter R. Greer, former headmaster of Montclair Kimberly Academy (NJ) and member of CEP’s Blue Ribbon Panel, adds to the dialogue on integrating character education into the curriculum. He is the author of “Character Education on the Cheap”  []

What is the impact of awards programs on students?

Lara Maupin, Associate Director of the National Schools of Character, reflects on her son’s feelings about end-of year awards. We welcome your comments on the value of awards and how best to foster intrinsic motivation. Click on the comment button below to responds.

Ignite “The Passion for What is Right” in Teens

Pam Bylsma, assistant principal at Hinsdale Central High School (IL) offers her insight into developing intrinsic motivation in teens. Over the course of eight years, Hinsdale Central High School has evolved into a culture where students exhibit ethical and performance values, earning us recognition as a National School of Character.  How did we develop our … Continue reading “Ignite “The Passion for What is Right” in Teens”

Unethical, Illegal, or Just Dumb?

By Joe Mazzola, CEP Executive Director I’ve been following the trial of former Congressman William Jefferson in the Washington Post.  (You probably remember the case. He was found with $90,000 stashed in his freezer.  The money, marked by the FBI, was allegedly to be used to bribe the VP of another country. Jefferson was charged … Continue reading “Unethical, Illegal, or Just Dumb?”

Celebrating Cultural Differences in a Caring School Community

This post was written by Ron Tucker, principal, Bayless Junior High School, St. Louis, MO In this era of high-stakes testing and ever-increasing accountability, educators across the country have become familiar with the term “as evidenced by” when it comes to defending their school improvement plans. While testing is important, we know that developing healthy, … Continue reading “Celebrating Cultural Differences in a Caring School Community”

“Character By Design” – Systematic Character Education Curriculum Development

Submitted by Donna Dunar, principal, Alta Leary Elementary School What’s that old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention”? In 2009, we earned National Schools of Character (NSOC) winner status; in 2008, we earned standing as “finalist.” As a finalist in the NSOC process, our site visitors rightly recommended that we work on the integration of character … Continue reading ““Character By Design” – Systematic Character Education Curriculum Development”

The Greenfield Way: Transforming our School Culture with Character-Based Discipline

By Claudia St. Amour, counselor

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