Character Education Partnership Announces 2014 National Schools of Character Finalists

March 7, 2014 – Washington, D.C. – The Character Education Partnership (CEP), a national advocate and leader for the character education movement, has named 50 schools and districts as national finalists in the 2014 National Schools of Character (NSOC) program. The NSOC program recognizes schools and districts that have demonstrated, through a rigorous evaluation process, that character development has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate. CEP has provided this program to K-12 schools and districts in the U.S. since 1998.

The National Schools of Character program 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 through CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework. National Schools of Character hold their designations for five years. CEP showcases the NSOC in an annual publication and on its website. The honored schools earn the right to use the NSOC name and logo

Since its inception, CEP has awarded over 250 schools with the distinction of a National School of Character. However, receiving NSOC distinction isn’t everything as there are many benefits for participating in the NSOC process, including:

  • Schools gain insights into what high-quality character education looks like in practice, helping them to improve and strengthen their own programs.
  • Schools have the opportunity to reflect on their programs and interventions and assess their level of implementation against a recognized standard of excellence.
  • Schools receive guidance, feedback, and recognition at no cost to the schools—other than their time.

“Being nominated for a NSOC award is very prestigious, but this initiative isn’t about receiving an award. It is about doing the hard work in the classroom and community to transform schools and help kids that is important,” said Becky Sipos, CEP Interim CEO. “We congratulate and are very proud all who participated in this process and their focus on developing their schools into fantastic places to learn, grow and create ethical and enthusiastic future leaders in this country.”

In March and April, the 50 finalists will undergo an intensive screening process that includes site visits, conference calls, and analysis of the impact of their character-related efforts on academics, student behavior, and school culture as part of the consideration to be named a National School of Character.

The 2014 National Schools of Character will be announced in mid May. CEP will honor these schools and districts at the 20th National Forum on Character Education, to be held October 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Visit to learn more about the National Forum, the NSOC program and the 2014 national finalists.

The finalists represent 16 states, with Missouri having the highest number of schools with 16. The 2014 National Schools of Character Finalists are:


Imagine School at Town Center, Palm Coast
Imagine Weston, Weston

Circle High School, Towanda

John Poole Middle School, Poolesville

Derby Middle School, Birmingham
Harlan Elementary School, Bloomfield Hills

Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul

Antonia Middle School, Barnhart
Bernard Middle School, St. Louis
Blades Elementary School, St. Louis
Blevins Elementary, Eureka
Hiram Neuwoehner High School, Town and Country
Ladue Middle School, St. Louis
Lindbergh Schools, St. Louis
Margaret Buerkle Middle School, St. Louis
McKelvey Elementary, Maryland Heights
Mehlville School District, St. Louis
Mill Creek Upper Elementary, Belton
Oakville Elementary School, St. Louis
Oakville Middle School, St. Louis
Robert H. Sperreng Middle School, St. Louis
Sherwood Elementary, Arnold
Willow Brook Elementary, St. Louis

New Jersey
Cheesequake Elementary School, Matawan
Cherry Hill Alternative High School, Cherry Hill
Eastern Christian School Association, North Haledon
Gibbsboro School, Gibbsboro
James A. McDivitt Elementary School, Old Bridge
Lawrence Township Public Schools, Lawrenceville
Oxford Central School, Oxford
Pauline J. Petway Elementary School, Vineland
Raymond E. Voorhees Elementary School, Old Bridge

New Mexico
New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell

New York
Canandaigua Middle School, Canandaigua
Grand Avenue Elementary School, North Baldwin
Harrison Avenue Elementary, South Glens Falls
Smith Street School, Uniondale
West Sand Lake Elementary, West Sand Lake

North Carolina
Colfax Elementary, Colfax
Southern Guilford Middle School, Greensboro
Southwest Guilford Middle School, High Point

Centerville Primary Village North, Centerville

Hilldale Middle School, Muskogee
Sadler Arts Academy, Muskogee

Charles Boehm Middle School, Yardley
Pennell Elementary School, Aston

South Carolina
Saint Joseph School, Columbia

Southside Elementary School, Angleton

Capitol West Academy, Milwaukee
Woodlands School, Milwaukee