Schools of Character Leadership Council
The Schools of Character Leadership Council ensures overall quality assurance of our Schools of Character and recommends processes to make Schools of Character sustainable. The council includes membership from the Education Advisory Council, coordinators, regional partners, staff and Character.org Board members.
Phil Brown is a Consultant for the National School Climate Center. He has presented at numerous Character.org Forums and currently serves on Character.org’s Educational Advisory Committee. After serving in the NJ Department of Education, he created and directed the Center for Social and Character Development at Rutgers University that conducted research on evidence based prosocial programs. He established the NJ Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development that developed the State Schools of Character program for Character.org. Among his publications are the two volume, Handbook of Prosocial Education (2012) and School Discipline: A Prosocial Perspective (2016).
Joe is the founder and CEO of One World United and Virtuous, an organization committed to improving human understanding and cooperation. The primary vehicle is One World Youth Clubs which are in six countries. The goal is creating a global learning network of leaders of character, knowledgeable of the world around them and capable of changing it for the better. Previously Joe worked in emerging market finance for 30 years with a focus on South America and recently completed 8 years as Town Supervisor of the Town of Rye, New York.
Kent is an Account Executive for Character First Education and manages their sales and training.He graduated from Colorado State University and worked at US West Communications as a technician, HR manager, and trainer. He began working for CFE in 1976 and supervised curriculum development, teacher training, and program deployment. He has presented training in the US, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Mongolia in companies, schools and families. Kent and his wife, Kathy, live in Fort Collins, Colorado. They have five children and thirteen grandchildren.
Doug Karr is President & CEO of Character.org, helping to infuse a culture of character in schools and communities throughout the world. With more than 25 years of successful business leadership and community-building experience, Doug brings his vision and enthusiasm to this role, providing corporate direction and strategy to incubate good character in the world via Character.org’s many gateways to the youth.Doug says, “Character is the ultimate success factor in any human endeavor. I’m passionate about Character.org because we are transforming the world, one student, one school, one business, one community at a time.”Before joining Character.org, Doug spent ten years with non-profit groups focused on building strong communities and helping the disenfranchised. A social and business entrepreneur, he also led several successful start-ups, including a non-profit 501c3 in the DC metropolitan area as well as a for-profit consulting firm that helped incubate and grow new ventures and small businesses.Doug began his career in healthcare and has held leadership positions at world-class universities and teaching hospitals as well as with private-sector business and information management firms. In 2001, he co-founded and led American Teleradiology Nighthawks (now Nighthawk Radiology Services (NASDAQ:NHWK), which was a pioneer in the telemedicine field. At the time telemedicine was moving from an idea to an niche; now, telemedicine and medicine are one and the same.Throughout his career, Doug has firmly believed in the value of education, mentoring and incubating new ideas to improve outcomes for individuals as well as organizations. Doug has mentored, coached and taught in various settings, including public and private schools as well as with various businesses and nonprofit organizations. He believes that character education is foundational to a successful life and is synonymous with a high quality, well-rounded education.Doug completed his undergraduate studies in Business and Psychology at Virginia Tech where he was also a swimmer. He received his Masters in Health Science with a concentration in Finance and Administration from The Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Doug and his wife Dana have been married for over 25 years and they have four young children who are passionate learners and avid athletes.
Linda McKay advocates for federal and state policies that support social, emotional and character development in schools. She has been a leader in the character education field for over 20 years, working with schools, parents, students, businesses, and foundations across the country. She was a Presidential-appointee in the US Department of Education, where she served as senior advisor for character education. Prior to her federal service, Linda directed CHARACTERplus in St. Louis, Missouri. She has also served as a member of several national boards and commissions dedicated to promoting civic participation, service learning, ethics, and moral education. She was a founding member of Character.org and has co-authored numerous publications about character education and ethical decision-making.
Kasey McKee is a modern-day strategist who elevates brands and increases cash flow through innovative solutions to complex problems. She serves as the Executive Director of CharacterPlus – the longest running, community-wide character education initiative in the country. In partnership with schools, the CharacterPlus team creates caring, high-achieving learning environments where young people are inspired to become upstanding, engaged citizens and make a positive impact in the world. Kasey holds a Master’s in Business Administration. In her private time, she enjoys sharing a meal with lovely people, reading a good book, and being outdoors. She resides in O’Fallon, MO with her husband and daughter.
Sheril Morgan joined Character.org in 2014 after two years of volunteering as the Oklahoma co-coordinator. As a result of the impact of the 11 Principles on her professional career, she believed all schools should use the framework to improve school life for students, teachers and parents. Now, the National Director of the Schools of Character programs for Character.org, she works with volunteers, public and private schools nationally and internationally helping them develop cultures of character. Sheril has been a public school educator with multiple levels of experience of school leadership with a masters in school counseling. She is the proud mom of 3 boisterous boys who keep her on her toes and her passion is helping people become their best version of themselves while becoming that version of herself.
Lori Soifer is the State Schools of Character Co-Coordinator in Michigan. She is an emeritus founder of the Community of Character Coalition in Birmingham Michigan, and former Trustee and past President of the Birmingham Public Schools Board of Education.
William Trusheim is the president of the NJ Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development. Before becoming superintendent in Pequannock, NJ, Dr. Trusheim served for 14 years as principal of Pequannock Valley School (A 2006 NJ School of Character and National School of Character Finalist). Dr. Trusheim served as a coach in two Rutgers University CSCD projects on changing school cultures and advancing PLCs. He is active in various school climate initiatives and works with the United Way of Northern NJ. He is also the Resource Center Director and Course Facilitator for the SEL Academy, a credentialing program of the College of Saint Elizabeth and Rutgers University.
David B. Wangaard is the President/Director of The School for Ethical Education (SEE) in Milford, CT. David was a math teacher and school principal in Alaska before earning his doctorate in Ed. Leadership. He has been applying character education strategies in schools since 1984. David has authored or co-authored three books for character educators, presented at many Character.org Forums and currently serves on Character.org’s Educational Advisory Committee. His main program focus with SEE is developing and implementing programs to improve student ethical functioning in support of positive character.
Sora Wondra joined Character.org in 2013 after several months of volunteering and conducting legislative research on character education. She assists with Character.org’s development and advancement efforts. Prior to joining Character.org, Sora taught psychology to gifted and talented students in the U.S. and also lived abroad in the Republic of Georgia, where she taught English as a Foreign Language and conducted research on educational reform. She has an M.Phil. in Education from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Psychology from Coe College. Sora is a member of the Pi Lambda Theta Education Society, has been a Cambridge Overseas Trust Scholar, and is a recipient of the Linnie E. Schloeman Prize in Teacher Education Excellence at Coe College. When she’s not working or otherwise supporting the efforts of educational improvement, Sora enjoys backpacking and mountaineering with her husband, Nic Wondra.