Effective Character Education at Sentinel Career Center by ProQuest


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Effective Character Education
at Sentinel Career Center
By Pat Huston-Holm

have fairness, caring, responsibility,
trustworthiness, respect and citizenship
on their backs—a white-lettered message
on the burgundy T-shirts they wear. Ev-
erybody from the custodian to the student
to the teacher will tell you that these are
more than words. Along with honesty,
mutual support, self motivation and more,
these qualities are practiced as part of the
school’s character education program—

                                                                                                                                                       PHOTO COuRTESY OF SENTINEL CAREER CENTER
and it’s working.
   The Sentinel Career Center, located in
Tiffin, Ohio, was a recipient of the 2010
National Schools of Character Award,
announced by the Character Education
Partnership (CEP) in May. In October,
Sentinel, along with 14 other recipients
around the country, will be honored               Each year approximately 50 Sentinel students and staff help the Lions Club
during the National Forum on Character            make popcorn balls to sell to the community for the club’s service projects.

Education in San Francisco. Recipients
will provide details on their programs in      schools’ paperwork documenting their                       education with the Ohio Department of
breakout sessions and will be highlighted      climate and activities aligned with the                    Education. OPCE partnered with the
in a 2010 “award-winning practices”            principles, some schools are chosen for                    department to provide professional devel-
booklet. Sentinel is the first career center   a site visit. A Blue Ribbon Panel of five                  opment in character education to the 40
and the third Ohio school to receive this      noted professionals in character education                 Ohio schools and districts that received
designation since the award began more         makes the final selection.                                 small grants in the late 1990s. Since that
than 10 years ago. The school was a state          “Since early this year there has been                  first character education push by former
recipient and a national finalist before       widespread media attention on bullying                     Sentinel Director Hank Elchert, the
getting the top award.                         of students and the horrific consequences,                 career center has been making continuous
                                               and all because of the way they were                       progress in implementing a comprehen-
So What is a School of Character?              treated by peers at school,” Frontera said.                sive program that integrates good char-
Lucy Frontera, executive director for          “Let’s do what we can to focus on the                      acter in everything the school does. The
Ohio Partners in Character Education           schools that are doing what they can to                    process and the persistence at the career
(OPCE), points to the 11 Principles of         reinforce positive moral actions. Sentinel                 center have been rewarding and fun to
Effective Character Education. As the          is one of those schools.”                                  watch, Frontera said.
cornerstone of the CEP philosophy, the             She recalls her first connection with                      “Ohio’s career-tech schools are ahead
principles serve as a guideline for School     Sentinel when it participated in a                         of other high schools in recognizing the
of Character planning. After evaluating        state-funded pilot project in character                    importance of character education,” she

8   T e c h n iq u es   SEPTEMBER 2010                                                                                           www.acteonline.org
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