Hamilton Township’s Grice Middle School has been certified as one of the 84 schools and seven districts in 15 states to qualify as 2020 National Schools of Character.

Selections are made by Character.org, a national advocate and leader for character development in schools and communities.

“We are pleased to announce and celebrate the schools and school districts who have earned this national recognition,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of Character.org. “Each of these schools and school districts has put in place a comprehensive approach to help their students understand, care about, and consistently practice the core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens.”

Since its inception, the National Schools of Character program has impacted nearly 3 million students, staff, parents, and community members. The schools and school districts who apply must meet the standards articulated in Character.org’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools. Each school is evaluated by a team of educators and includes a site visit to assess how a school’s “shared values” are motivating students to do the right thing.

“These schools and school districts serve as an exemplary model for all schools and districts across the nation,” adds Lori Soifer, who directs the Schools of Character program. “The educators at these schools are inspiring their students to treat all people with respect and dignity. They are teaching their students to be honest and trustworthy, to contribute their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.”

“Congratulations to the entire Grice Middle School community for this well-deserved honor. The character education on display at Grice is a fine example of the shared values the students, teachers, and administrators have for each other. They have worked hard for this designation and I am proud of them and their efforts,” said Dr. Scott Rocco, Superintendent of Schools.

Grice Middle School principal David R. Innocenzi added, “I am extremely proud of the staff and community for making this hard-to-achieve dream become a reality. Over the years, the Grice Middle School Staff never lost sight that our number one priority was not ourselves, but our students. We not only teach character, we model it every day.”

Character.org will honor the 2020 National Schools of Character during its next National Forum. For more information, go online to character.org/schools-of-character.

Founded in 1993, Character.org is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to provide the voice, visibility, and resources for educators to build nurturing and supportive school cultures that focus on core values and character strengths vital to student and school success. During the past 20 years, more than 900 schools and school districts have been certified a National School of Character.