Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership (PECIL) opened in 2016 with an overall school focus on STEM, Character, Leadership, and Service Learning. The school administration, faculty, staff, and students developed the school’s core values, known as Keys to Success. Core values were infused into daily classroom practices, school events, and disciplinary practices to fully embed them into the school culture.

The staff recognized the need to model and demonstrate traits of kindness, grace, and perseverance; they recognized the importance of teaching the whole child through the character initiative and seeing the impact of this initiative on our students. The goal was to create a school culture in which students, parents, and staff feel valued and respected in a safe and positive environment to teach, learn, and grow.

All stakeholders were involved in building the culture of character and supporting the core values through providing activities for service learning and community service as well as by participating in school events that support our character initiative. Everyone knows the school’s core values and the role they play in supporting our school vision/mission that all stakeholders helped create.

“Character Education has had a big impact on our entire school climate. The 11 Principles of Character Framework has been an excellent resource for us to evaluate our school’s culture and climate as part of our school’s continuous improvement process,” said Ms. Shirlrona Johnson, Principal of PECIL. “We have been intentional in the relationships we have built with our students, each other, and other stakeholders.”

Johnson continued, “We believe we are teaching our students the traits necessary for success in not only school but in life. Being a responsible citizen, being a team player in the workplace, and helping them to develop empathy and compassion for the plights of others-and know they can take moral action- are all part of why Character Education is important in schools. Our school is not a perfect place, but we are all growing and learning together because of placing emphasis on Character Education.” 

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