State Schools of Character, Rising Stars Honored During End-of-Year Celebration
The Tuscaloosa City School District honored two schools and almost two dozen students for demonstrating good character during the 2022-2023 school year in a Monday afternoon ceremony.
Oakdale Elementary and Skyland Elementary School were designated as State Schools of Character by Character.org in January. District leaders presented the schools with their banner designations, which will remain in effect until 2028.
Dr. Lucille Prewitt, Oakdale's principal said she was ecstatic to receive the designation which was made possible through the principles that were taught to students.
"Character is a standard of excellence," Prewitt said. "We strive for excellence each and every day. Adherence to one’s values and principles is based on what you do daily. We teach our students they must live a life of character, their values must be attached to principles and those principles must be adhered to develop character."
Skyland's principal, Selena Speight, said she is proud of the faculty, staff and students for making character development a priority and has seen the difference in her students through their ongoing efforts.
"At Skyland, we focus on determination, optimism, accountability, and respect," Speight said. "We reflect daily on our core values, and it is evident in the positive culture we have at our school. It is essential that our students have the skills they need to be productive citizens because character plays a vital role in the student's academic success and emotional well-being. We have noticed positive changes through student actions."
During the ceremony, the Rising Star Character Students of the Month were recognized. One student was selected to represent each school in the district for their outstanding character efforts inside and outside of school.
The program, in partnership with Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, Child Abuse Prevention Services and Legal Services of Alabama, was started in August and honored two to three students each month.
Lydia Avant, director of public relations for TCS, said she enjoyed surprising students and felt it was a good way to honor those who make positive choices and allow others to follow in their footsteps.
"Surprising students every month with the Rising Star Character Award was a highlight of my school year in the Tuscaloosa City Schools," Avant said. "It's critical that we recognize students who are making good choices, who are responsible and are empathetic toward their peers because it celebrates those students. By recognizing them, hopefully, they also serve as an inspiration for their classmates."