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USD 431 receives Promising Practices award
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WASHINGTON D.C. —The Character Education Partnership in Washington D.C. has announced Hoisington High School will receive a Promising Practices award for implementing unique, specific and effective character education strategies as a part of the National Schools of Character program.
It  awarded 297 Promising Practices to schools, districts, and organizations from across the United States, as well as from Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Winning practices were selected from a record-breaking 537 applications. Thirteen schools in Kansas were chosen.
“I’m very pleased with the efforts of faculty and students at HHS in promoting integrity and character,” said Bill Lowry, superintendent of schools. “We want to provide a positive atmosphere to promote  learning and growth for  each student.”
Hoisington was chosen because of creating the Cardinal Core values at the school. The students chose responsibility, honesty, positive attitudes, grit and respect as the values they wanted to emphasize, according to HHS Principal Meg Wilson.
These values are painted on the wall at the front entrance at the school. It also includes a tile mascot of a Cardinal, made by former student Kade Cook. The district will integrate the values into the curriculum.
"Serving as the administrator, it is important to have a vision for the school district that addresses the social, emotional, and character skills needed to support academic achievement.  Students learn best in respectful, safe and civil school environments," said  Wilson.  "It is important that we make intentional efforts to embed these skills throughout our school day." 
These efforts have included introduction of the Link Crew, which is where members of the junior and senior class are matched with freshman to help them with the transition to high school. On Aug. 21, freshman will meet with the Link Crew for most of the day.
The students also have planned a back-to-school event on Aug. 24 which includes a volleyball scrimmage, yearbook signing, fall team recognition, football scrimmage, tailgate party for students and families and a dance from 9 p.m. - midnight.
“Students at Hoisington High School create the vision of how they want their school culture to  look and feel by creating a display of their chosen core values,” said the CEP website.
 “These practices showcase so many creative and unique ways of dealing with challenges educators face each day,” said Lisa Greeves, manager of the Promising Practices program. “CEP is proud to recognize these educators and to give them an international platform upon which to share their hard work.”
This year’s winning practices include unique anti-bullying programs, successful integration of academics and character, self-motivation and goal-setting strategies, service-learning activities, and community outreach.
Wilson has been honored for her efforts at implementing character education in the past. She was chosen to speak to the state of Kansas’ representatives and senators about character education, spoke at a national seminar in California, and was co-chair of the committee charged with developing K-12 social, emotional standards passed by the state school board.
CEP will honor the 2012 recipients at the 19th National Forum on Character Education in Washington, DC, Nov. 1–3.