Who We Are

PACE began in 2009 in Spokane Valley to promote the importance of good character through partnerships with schools, businesses, public agencies, residents, faith-based organizations and community service groups. Working from a common list of monthly character traits, partners promote and integrate each trait into the regular activities of the organization.

Mission Statement

PACE inspires and supports exceptional character through education, community partnerships and recognition

Vision Statement

PACE envisions communities of exceptional character.

What We Do

Each month features a character “trait of the month” which is the focus of a multi-faceted communication, motivation and educational program for an entire month. For example, “honesty” as a trait could be addressed in a variety of ways:

About PACE: schools

In school

Educators integrate discussions of traits into classroom and school-wide activities for the month, which are reinforced with special projects and activities, and are tied to achievement awards or other positive feedback methods. Schools invite community leaders to speak to illustrate the trait and motivate students.

about PACE: homes

At home

PACE encourages parents through school materials, parent meetings, volunteer programs and visibility of the trait in their community to discuss monthly traits with their children.

about PACE: community

In the community

Businesses, civic organizations and community service groups are asked to support the messages for montly traits through discussions, programs and various means of communications with their employees and/or members. Community partners carry out their commitment on an on-going basis. Local college and community classes also include discussion about the importance of the traits with participants.

about PACE: media

In the media

Various media publications produce public service announcements defining and advocating the monthly character traits. PACE social media posts and a monthly newsletter inform the media of relevant events and activities. Guest columnists are asked to write on the trait of the month.

Spokane Valley Chapter

In 2009, PACE began in Spokane Valley!

The chapter began with the goal of promoting the importance of good character through partnerships with schools, businesses, public agencies, residents, faith-based organizations and community service groups. The valley-area school districts Central Valley, East Valley, West Valley, Freeman and Tekoa, along with Valley Christian Schools and Pioneer School, were the initial districts and schools to join PACE to help bring character to light in their communities.

Five years later, other districts expressed interest in being a part of PACE, and the leadership recognized the opportunity to spread the light of good character. However, as PACE is community-based, they reasoned it made sense to localize the partnership aspect of PACE. Therefore the idea of area chapters was born and the Spokane Valley Chapter was named and the new West Plains chapter was created.

West Plains Chapter


The idea for a West Plains Chapter of PACE came to fruition in 2013 as a result of collaborative efforts between Cheney Public Schools, Medical Lake School District and the West Plains Chamber of Commerce. Within a few years, Davenport School District had also joined the chapter. Schools within three districts recognize students monthly for their exemplary character and along with support from our generous PACE sponsors one student from each school is selected annually to be recognized during the West Plains PACE Awards Breakfast.

In 2017, a PACE Schools of Character initiative was launched, with Windsor Elementary in Cheney as the first recipient of this honor.

Since its inception, the West Plains Chapter has seen tremendous growth. In 2019, PACE partners were given the opportunity to sponsor a character trait of the month. This has proven to be a great opportunity for organizations to show their support of character education and recognition while strengthening relationships between the West Plains schools, community members and local businesses.

Interested in forming a new PACE chapter for your area?

While school districts from Eastern Washington develop interest in forming new PACE chapters, in the meantime all individual schools are welcome to become involved with PACE. Find out more about our Partners and partnership best practices here. Once you are ready to join us, please consider taking the partnership pledge.

We look forward to having you join us and help bring character to light!


Contact us for more information

Leadership Team

PACE Leadership Team includes the following representatives from local organizations:

Debbie Tully, Whitworth University, PACE President
Rhett Barney, Lee & Hayes, PLLC, Chair of Governance Committee
Connie Kliewer, NEWESD 101, Co-chair of PERC & Chair of Nominating Committee
Brandie Evans, KiDDS Dental, PACE Secretary
Kelley Hinrichs, Communities in Schools (Cheney School District), Chair of Marketing Committee

Cheri Hollenback, Dishman Dodge Chrysler Ram Jeep, PACE President Elect and Chair of Awards Committee
Marla Nunberg, Central Valley School District
Buffy Nustad , STCU
Ian Robertson, ChangePoint Northwest Center for Housing
Patrick Roewe, Spokane County Library District

Randy Russell, Freeman School District
Kyle Rydell, West Valley School District
Cindy Sothen, Central Valley School District, Co-chair of PERC Committee
Wendy Van Orman, Quality Hardwood Floors
Tammy Kimberley, West Valley School District
Cindy Wendy Dingus, PACE Treasurer
Tracy Poindexter-Canton, NEWESD 101