Outstanding Seniors Honored with PACE Character Cords
Graduation day for more than 250 seniors in the Class of 2020 included visible recognition of their outstanding character. Along with their cap and gown, these students were proudly wearing a PACE Character Cord, a new program launched by PACE last year.
The teal, white and gold cords were awarded to students who displayed excellent character during their high school years, in much the same way that those who excel academically or athletically are recognized. Nearly all high schools across the four Valley school districts – Central Valley, East Valley, Freeman and West Valley – participated in the PACE Character Cord program in 2020.
PACE hopes to expand the program to all Valley high schools for the Class of 2021 and welcome West Plains PACE Chapter high schools, as well.
Several years of research and planning culminated in the PACE Character Cord program. PACE representatives first met with student leadership groups at University High and West Valley High to discuss what was working well with PACE in their respective schools and what more could be done to support and elevate PACE in each setting. Students expressed excitement about some form of recognition in their senior year and a formal title for this honor that could be added to their resumes or college applications. Further research and discussions with school administrators led to an enthusiastic response to the idea of awarding PACE Character Cords.
In keeping with the grassroots nature of PACE, participating high schools and school districts were encouraged to set their own criteria for awarding a PACE Character Cord. PACE offered the suggested criteria as any student having earned a PACE Character of the Month award during their time at the high school.