What is School of Character?

The PACE School of Character Award is not a competition—but rather an opportunity to receive feedback as well as recognition for growth and excellence in the area of character development. The process is modeled after the well-researched and time-tested National Schools of Character program run by the National Character Education Partnership.  The PACE Board has adapted the process so that its partner schools can earn recognition for their character education achievements and build upon these in pursuit of distinction as a State School of Character.


Review the Rubric

School of Character

Meet the next PACE School of Character at the Awards Banquet. We’re hoping it will be YOUR SCHOOL!

NOTE: Application deadline for the 2023 PACE School of Character Award is March 1st, 2023.

What are the benefits of a PACE School of Character?

  • Schools have the opportunity to reflect on their practices and programs and assess their level of implementation against a recognized standard of excellence.
  • Schools gain insights into what high-quality character education looks like in schools, helping them to improve and strengthen their own programs.
  • Schools receive guidance, feedback, and recognition at no cost—other than their time.
  • All schools that apply and are determined to have met a standard of excellence are recognized as schools of character at the PACE annual awards banquet. PACE Schools Character are invited to pay it forward as they serve as a resource to other schools.
  • Thanks to the generosity of STCU, each school achieving PACE School of Character status will receive $1,500 to apply toward character development supplies, events or initiatives.

What does School of Character involve?

  • Identify of a team of at your school to spearhead the process.
  • Select a sample group of stakeholders to take the PACE Character Education Survey so you will have baseline data. (A link to this survey will be provided during your application process.)
  • Work with your PACE support team to complete the application process:
    • Complete the PACE Criteria Review tool to determine current evidence as well as ideas for future growth.  Please see our PACE School of Character rubric for examples.
    • Submit evidence to support your attainment of at least one item in each of the 11 Principles of Character Education.
    • Include a statement describing planned use of the STCU Scholarship Funds should PACE School of Character status be attained.
    • Complete a form assuring participation in the subsequent Educator’s Workshop.
  • Use feedback from the PACE Curriculum and Resource committee to broaden and deepen the character development efforts at your school.

To learn more about the road to PACE School of Character recognition, contact Dr. Connie Kliewer or Cindy Sothen. For more information about State and National Schools of Character, you can find a wealth of resources at www.character.org.