Educating for Character
St. Genevieve is proud to have been at the forefront of educating for character since 1999. Our goal is to not only prepare students for college if that is the route they choose. More importantly, we do our best to prepare our students to live next door to you.
This education doesn’t rest in only one teacher’s schedule or one particular class. It is just as much the job of every student in the school as it is the job of the principal. It is just as much the job of the secretary or custodian as it is the biology or religion teacher. Our teachers admit that when it comes to character education, we are all students.
Character Education is not one more thing to put on a teacher’s plate; it is the plate.
There is no one way to educate for character; we aim to think outside the box in order to provide many opportunities for moral growth. Therefore, we host a variety of guest speakers throughout the year. Through their stories and experiences, we hope to learn some of life’s most important lessons. We look for people who can motivate us to make good and positive personal choices as well as to inspire the leaders within us all.
Although the series is mandatory for middle and high school students, parents from all grades are encouraged to attend.
Since 2000, each school year begins with our staff and our entire middle school and high school visiting the Hollywood Bowl and attending a concert. Prior to the concert, we have a giant school picnic that has become a much-anticipated tradition. Students are grouped in “family homerooms,” which includes several students from each grade level to build community throughout the grades. Seniors provide the organizational leadership to plan the picnic, and everyone learns the value of teamwork. Students often cite this annual event as one of their favorites.
Character Education is simply the most important component of the academic experience. We all have memories of being teased, called names, and in some instances beaten up because of our height, style of dress, ethnicity, gender, mannerisms — anything that makes us different.
– Patrick Palmeter, Associate Director
Focus on Good Character
All teachers are encouraged to incorporate the Six Pillars of Character as they choose a destination and prepare for any off campus trip.
Whatever the method, wherever it takes place, our program in character education provides an opportunity for our students, our teachers, and as often as possible, our parents to be challenged on topics ranging from racism, ageism, sexism, sexual orientation, disability discrimination, religious discrimination or national origin.
One of our proudest accomplishments since our program began in 1999 is our leadership and promotion of GOOD CHARACTER.
The Six Pillars of Character
When you drive onto our grounds, you enter through six pillars, each one displaying a bronze plaque listing the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
When you enter our gym, you will see those same six pillars imprinted on the wall. In the library, you will notice the words etched on the windows. Our students are reminded everywhere on our campus, that there is nothing more important than to be a man or woman of character.
Making You THINK!
It’s a novel idea for a school these days. Too often schools are about memorizing and reciting information.
One hallmark of our character education is a monthly television show “Making You Think” that’s broadcast to our middle and high school students. This hour-long panel discussion highlights some of the most current, controversial, provocative, ethical and sometimes silly topics of the day. We discuss the world of politics, sports and social issues. Often we talk about issues that affect us directly, such as cutting in the lunch line or copying homework.
The panel is comprised mostly of students and staff, but can also include alumni or special guests. Conversations are lively and all opinions are welcome. A top priority is to create informed students who are open to listening to the opinions of others, even when they disagree. We strive to present discussions where all participants can learn something, especially how to express opinions or disagree with opinions of others in a respectful manner. The goal of Making You Think is to create citizens of good character who are curious, informed and respectful.
“To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
– Teddy Roosevelt
Find Out More
Michael Josephson, founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and Character Counts! is a great friend of the Valiant community. In fact, it was Michael who presented us with a National School of Character award on November 2, 2003. That was our Celebration of Character, celebrating our designation as a National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about the Character Counts! movement that is sweeping our nation, visit the Character Counts website.