A school’s main priority is to educate students and provide them with the academic skills necessary to be successful in our society. It is equally important for schools to help produce good citizens of society. In other words, character is just as important as academics.
People with education, money and power sometimes lose their moral compass. Politicians, business and religious leaders, and celebrities have all had their share of disgrace- just look in today’s newspaper.
If we have straight A students who do not understand the values of honesty and fairness and grow up to cheat others, we have failed. If our students are accepted into the best colleges but don’t care about anything other than themselves, we have failed. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike”.
At our school, we focused on character traits every month so our students can understand what it means to be a person of good character. Respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship, caring, and fairness were all traits we celebrated this year. I want to thank the families who took our lessons home and helped their children understand that being successful in life is more than getting good grades. Good character cannot be only learned at school.
Our success as a community and nation depends on our ability to educate young people who are intelligent and compassionate citizens of the world. I believe that this will happen. However, the task is big and it will take all of us working together to be successful.