Finalist for 2013 National District of Character

Orrville, Ohio, March 1, 2013 – Orrville City School District has been named a National Finalist in the Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 2013 National Schools of Character (NSOC) program. Of the 131 schools across the country that applied for the designation, 35 were chosen as National Finalists. Orrville was the only school district in Ohio selected.

“These schools are safe places that have developed cultures of respect and trust,” said CEP President Mark Hyatt. “They show us how an intentional emphasis on character and climate translates into creating the conditions necessary for learning, safety, and success.”

The Orrville district completed the Schools of Character application in early December and was selected as a 2013 Ohio District of Character in early February. Once a school or district has achieved the state recognition, it is put forward for consideration to receive the National School of Character designation. Only schools that have received the state designation are eligible for the national award.

“I am thrilled to be among the finalists,” said Beverly Waseman, Orrville Elementary School principal and chairperson of the Heartland Character Education Committee. “Orrville is committed to character education and has been for 20 years. We have such a great program here and a unique partnership among students, teachers, administrators, parents and the business community; the recognition is a wonderful affirmation of the things we have been doing all these years.”

“We are honored to have the opportunity to share the inspirational stories of more school communities doing what’s best for children day in and day out,” said Lara Maupin, NSOC Director. “These are schools where parents feel supported in their most important job – raising good kids.”

The 35 National Finalists were selected based on the quality of their written applications. In March and April they will undergo an intensive screening process that will include site visits and analysis of the impact of their character-related efforts on academics, student behavior, and school culture.

The 2013 National Schools of Character will be announced in early May. CEP will honor these schools and districts at the 20th National Forum on Character Education, to be held October 24-27, 2013 in Washington, DC. Visit www.character.org to learn more about the NSOC program and the 2013 National Finalists.

Maribeth Badertscher, chair of the Heartland Education Community, Inc., said that Heartland is proud of the district’s accomplishment and eager to help with the next step of the process. “The Heartland Education Community, Inc. was formed to support the school district and to shift the focus from school to education and shift the responsibility from school to community,” said Badertscher. “We will be working with the schools to help prepare for the site visit from the Character Education Partnership. We want to welcome the CEP to Orrville and show them that our entire community is dedicated to character education.”

The Heartland Education Community, Inc. was founded in 1991 as a coalition of volunteer community members dedicated to exploring ways to leverage the talent and resources of the community for the betterment of education. For more information, visit www.heartlandorrville.com.