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Yorktown Schools Gain National Notice For 'Character' Education

The Yorktown School District was honored as a district of character.
The Yorktown School District was honored as a district of character. Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- The emphasis on character education in the Yorktown Central District garnered national recognition this past weekend in the nation's capital.

Yorktown received the National Character Award at the 23rd National Forum on Character Education in Washington, D.C.

The District joins four public school districts in the country, and is the first in Westchester County, to receive this designation by Character.org .

The Washington-based nonprofit supports the advancement of character development in schools, communities and workplaces.

“Our district and our staff have a strong commitment to character development for all our students in all our schools," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Napolitano.

Schools and districts selected are ones that demonstrate a focus on character development efforts that show positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate.

The district learned the news back in May after completing an application process that included a site visit.

Napolitano Jackie Carbone, Board of Education President, and district staff were invited to be honored this month at the organization’s national forum.

Additionally, the Superintendent Marie Horowitz, principal at Mildred E. Strang Middle School, will make a presentation at the “From One School to a District of Character" forum.

Horowitz and Library Media Specialist, Dr. Donna Baratta are being trained at the conference to become evaluators and site visitors at other districts seeking state or national recognition.

Last year, the middle school was one of five individual schools in the state, and the only one in Westchester County, to be named a 2015 National School of Character.

Subsequent to that honor, the district was honored as a State School District of Character, the only one selected in New York.

The award recognizes the District’s ongoing commitment to character education, which is reflected in its mission statement, core beliefs and practices.

Character.org designated 67 schools and four districts from 15 states as National Schools and Districts of Character for 2016.

“These character initiatives create conditions for learning where students are thriving and growing into ethical members of our society. They are developing lifelong skill sets they will leverage well into their adult lives," said Becky Sipos, president and CEO of Character.org.

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