Edison High School Character Awards
Character Traits of the Month
September - Goal Setting
October - Honesty
November - Responsibility
December - Caring
January - Perseverance
February - Citizenship
March - Fairness
April - Trustworthiness
May - Respect
June - Justice
A Brief History
Character Coalition was started around 1996 by an English teacher, Mary Eiswerth, who wanted to recognize students with good character. Edison has a tradition of high academic and athletic achievement and she felt we should recognize students who make a difference at the school due to the decisions they make, the way they treat others, how they handle adversity, and so on. The Josephson Institute and the Character Counts program were helpful in figuring out how to create the Character Coalition at Edison. Although it started as a coalition with teachers, students, and parents, it was later changed to the Character Awards because there are multiple other clubs that students can join to do service activities and help the school. Now the main focus of the Character Awards Committee, which is made up of certificated and classified staff members, is to emphasize the importance of character by rewarding the good qualities we see in students.
Each month teachers may nominate one student to receive a Character Award certificate. This certificate could be to highlight the specific character trait of the month or it could be to recognize a student for a different character trait.
End of the Year Awards
In the spring we ask for nominations for our overall character awards. Each teacher may nominate up to two students. For this final award, the students who are nominated go through a screening process to ensure that the students who receive these awards have consistently demonstrated the highest level of character in all facets of their high school career.
Our big event is the end of the year awards night. The students who win an overall character award are invited to our awards night. During the awards night each student receives an award and takes a picture with their nominating teacher or the principal. Students who were nominated by two or more teachers are called up again and receive a medallion. Finally, we present the "Pillar of Character" award. This goes to the student who was nominated the most times that year. Their name is engraved on a bronze plaque and added to the "Pillar of Character" area on a concrete pillar in front of the library. A list of the students invited to the awards night is included in the Principal's Newsletter and the "Pillar of Character" winner's name is displayed on the school marquee.
Character in the School Community
In addition to the monthly and year-end awards, the character traits are a big part of the Edison community. A different character trait is etched on the windows to enter each hallway. The character trait of the month is often displayed on the school marquee. Teachers have a poster in their classrooms listing the character traits of each month. Some teachers choose to teach lessons based on the character trait of the month. This is a small way for the Edison staff to focus on the positive and be proactive in enforcing good choices among students by encouraging essential traits for life instead of just punishing students when they don't make good choices. This program doesn't eliminate discipline issues in our school, but it's a way that we can emphasize the positive things we see on our campus.
What is the difference between the monthly Character Awards and the end of the year Character Awards?
Monthly Character Awards: Every two months, Edison staff members are invited and encouraged to nominate two students to receive a Character Award for a certain character trait. The staff members may nominate students for one of Edison’s designated monthly character traits or they can choose another character trait. The students receive a certificate. We hope that the students take pride in being noticed for displaying good character. Many teachers have up to 180 students, so being awarded a monthly certificate is a great honor. List this award on your college and scholarship applications, tell teachers about this when they are writing you a letter of recommendation, display it proudly on your notebook…we see something in you that we want to acknowledge and celebrate!
End of the Year Character Awards: In the spring, staff members can nominate up to two students to receive an overall Character Award. We feel strongly that to receive this end of the year Character Award, a student must show good character throughout the day and throughout his or her high school career. It is for this reason that there is a screening process for this award. Teachers may nominate a student that has already given a monthly award or it can be a student who hasn’t been recognized throughout the year.
If I received a monthly Character Award, do I automatically get invited to the end of the year Character Awards Night?
Unfortunately, no. While the same title is used, the monthly and end of the year Character Awards are different. Only students that were specifically nominated for the end of the year Character Awards (and went through the screening process sent to all staff members) are invited to the Character Awards.
What should I wear to the Character Awards Night?
There is no dress code, but your teachers will be there and you will be taking a picture with your nominating teacher or the principal. We suggest that the girls wear nice pants or a skirt and that the guys wear pants and a nice shirt. If you are coming straight from a game or practice, that is fine – come in your uniform. Ultimately, we just want you there to be able to celebrate you!
How can I use my Character Award?
First of all, we hope that this is a source of pride. Character is integral in all areas and someone on the staff saw something special in you. Your character has made you stand out - way to go! These types of awards are great to put on college applications, scholarship applications, and job applications. When you ask a teacher or staff member for a letter of recommendation, make sure your Character Awards are listed on your resume!
I still have questions. Where can I get more information?
Please email Tricia Lindquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of past “Pillar of Character” Award Winners, please click here: