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Neuwoehner High School Named 2024 State School of Character

February 23, 2024 - For the third time, Neuwoehner High School has been named a State School of Character by Character.org. Neuwoehner is one of 15 schools recognized in Missouri and 87 recognized in the nation. State recognition is given to schools and districts that have achieved a high standard of excellence in the area of character development through their implementation of Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education.

“Recognition as a State School of Character speaks to the focus and dedication our students, staff, and families put forth to ensure we are all contributing to the success of all students,” said Kim Fine, principal of Neuwoehner. “We are so proud to be recognized for this important work that supports students in reaching their goals for successful adulthood.”

The Neu Crew, a teacher-led committee by Michelle Cantino and Kyla Yount, supports character education initiatives. They drive the culture at Neuwoehner using positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), character education, recognition, and restorative practices initiatives. Each month, the school focuses on a character trait, teaching its meaning and what the trait looks like in action. 

“Character education is essential and tied to everything we do here at Neuowhener,” said Yount. “The 11 Principles of Character really help to make the connections of how our efforts align. Character Education is learning how to do the right thing, no matter what, creating a caring environment, and most importantly, being the best version of yourself.”

Students then model these traits through service learning projects throughout the school year. This year’s projects have included Socktober (collecting socks for homeless shelters), Puppy Poppers (selling student-made dog treats and donating proceeds to Stray Rescue), and a Children’s Hospital Drive (students collected coloring supplies and created coloring books to send to Children’s Hospital). 

“Service projects give students voice and choice on how they can get involved with their community,” said Cantino. “Oftentimes, classrooms will vote on the project that they want to complete as a class or learning community. It’s awesome to see everyone have a role in projects and work together to see that everything comes together in the end. We also frequently have community members come to Neu to accept projects so that students can see the connections and contributions they have made.”

Neuwoehner will be postponing any celebrations until announcements for the National School of Character are made in August. 

Schools named a State School of Character hold the designation for five years and are eligible to be evaluated for recognition as a National School of Character. To see the full list of schools recognized at the Missouri level, please visit the Character Plus website.