Lindbergh School District, Sappington receive national character recognitions

Character is a priority in the Lindbergh School District and it shows in a big way as the Character Education Partnership, or CEP, recently recognized Lindbergh’s outstanding character education program, naming Sappington Elementary School a National School of Character and Lindbergh the National District of Character.

“CEP selected only 10 schools in the country and one school district out of a record number of applicants for this national recognition. To have Lindbergh recognized with these two awards is a tremendous honor as well as a tribute to Lindbergh staff, students, families and the Board of Education, who make character education a priority,” Jim Sandfort, Lindbergh superintendent and chairman of the CHARACTERplus Superintendent’s Council, stated in a district news release.

“This is only the second time that a school district and a school within that district have been honored in the same year. It may also be the first time that a district has been honored as a National District of Character and had two schools (Kennerly and Sappington) that were National Schools of Character. We are very proud of you,” stated Sandy McDonnell, chairman emeritus of CEP, chairman of CHARACTERplus and chairman emeritus of the McDonnell Douglas Corp.

Sappington Elementary and Lindbergh were identified earlier this year as two of the 25 finalists for national recognition.

After an intense application process and an extensive on-site visit from nationally renowned experts in character education, Lindbergh and Sappington were selected for the national honor.

Lindbergh has a long tradition of character education. Academics and character are part of the district’s mission “to develop competent and caring graduates.”

Nancy Rathjen, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, stated, “We believe that by creating a safe and caring learning community, students thrive academically. Lindbergh’s commitment to improving student achievement and character education is evident, and these are the district’s two primary goals.”

Sandfort stated, “Although it had its formal roots in the late 1980s, I would like to believe it really began in 1949 with the establishment of the school district. Though we have changed, evolved and grown in our work since 1949, the underlying values of the district have remained the same. Expressing competence and care have always been united as one.”

Lindbergh and Sappington will be recognized at CEP’s National Forum on Character Education in October in Washington, D.C. They also will receive a monetary grant for outreach, enabling Lindbergh to serve as a national leader and model for other schools and districts seeking to improve their character education efforts.

“We have experienced tremendous growth through the entire application process, as well as the visits from national experts in the field of character education,” stated Amy Richards, Lindbergh’s character education coordinator. “Lindbergh will continue our best efforts to build and enrich our endeavors in character education. We look forward to sharing ideas with other schools to enhance their efforts.”