“Being recognized for a second time as a State School of Character is a testament to the families, staff, and students who consistently live out our noble mission. The School’s focus on character development drew me to Union Academy, and in the short time I have been here, it is apparent that character is deeply embedded in who we are and aspire to be,” stated John D. Marshall, Head of School.
The Character.org committee evaluates the implementation of The 11 Principles Framework for Schools: A Guide to Cultivating a culture of Character and gives feedback on a school’s strengths and suggested areas of growth. Schools are required to submit written details and provide examples of how the 11 principles are implemented in the school community.
Since Union Academy’s recognition in 2016, administration and staff have focused on expanding established character programs and fostering intrinsic motivation in students as well as providing more leadership opportunities for students to spread character in the community.
“I am extremely proud to be part of a school community that prioritizes character as one of its core values. Being named a State School of Character highlights not only the hard work but the heart of our teachers, students, and staff. Our school goes beyond the traditional curriculum to provide a positive and caring learning environment,” said Cynthia Mitchell, UA Character Coach.
UA’s mission of Challenge, Character, and Community has been the guiding principle since the school was established in 2000. The School’s goal is to create a culture in which students are taught to model the eight UA character traits and develop into good citizens who volunteer and invest in their community. Students K-12 participate in volunteer work and are encouraged to find ways to demonstrate good citizenship at school and in the community.
Dr. Arthur Schwartz, Character.org’s President, stated in the organization’s press release, “We congratulate these schools on achieving State School of Character designation is a year filled with so many challenges. The educators and parents at these schools work together to ensure that every child understands, cares about, and consistently practices the core values that form the heart of each family and school. We are honored to recognize their efforts and share their inspiring work with schools and school districts throughout the United States and internationally.”
Union Academy’s application will move on to the national level to be considered for Character.org’s highest distinction of National School of Character. The 2021-22 UA enrollment lottery is currently open through March 1 and can be accessed on the UA website www.unionacademy.org.
About Union Academy: Established in 2000 as the first charter school in Union County, UA is a K-12 NC tuition-free public charter school which focuses on Challenge, Character and Community, preparing its students for success in college or a career of their choice. Union Academy serves almost 2,000 students who are enrolled through a public lottery. UA is a National School of Character, a Charlotte Observer Regional Top Workplace (2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020), and the 2020 Charlotte Business Journal #1 Healthiest Employer.
About Character.org: Founded in 1993, Character.org is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. We work with schools, families, workplaces, and communities to educate, inspire, and empower people of all ages to be ethical and compassionate citizens. Our 11 Principles for Schools is a comprehensive framework that helps schools and school districts improve academic achievement, student behavior, and overall positive school climate. Visit www.character.org to learn more about the National Forum and the Schools of Character program.