SCSC Member School Honored for Character Development

Community of Peace Academy opened 24 years ago with a vision by Dr. Karen Rusthoven to educate the whole child—mind, body and will. A strong focus on character development has been core to the school’s identity, so it was no surprise when CPA became a three-time State and National School of Character. 

The Minnesota Schools of Character certification recognizes schools and districts at the state level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development that has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate. Schools and districts named as a State School of Character can move on to the national evaluation process for consideration as a National Schools of Character. Each year, Synergy & Leadership Exchange works in collaboration with Character.org to certify Minnesota schools and districts. 

 “At Community of Peace Academy no one person is responsible for character development and education. We wouldn't have the success we do if that was the case. Character education happens in every area of our school—the playground, the hallways, the gym, the cafeteria, and of course, the classroom. Every staff member is responsible for the development of every student and this responsibility is shown in everything from simple greetings to courageous conversations,” shared Molly Huml, CPA middle school curriculum coordinator.

Community of Peace Academy was celebrated May 23 at the Character Recognition Awards in St. Paul. They were honored as a 2019 Minnesota School of Character and also received a Minnesota Promising Practices award. South Central Service Cooperative was an event sponsor and CEO, Dr. Les Martisko, and board members Mike Pfeil and Keith Wenner were at the event to congratulate CPA. The event coincided with Governor Walz proclamation of May 23 as Character Recognition Day in Minnesota. 

CPA’s Minnesota Promising Practice Award was for “Junior Class Days of Service.” The goals of the practice are to inspire service in elementary students, expose juniors to a variety of service opportunities so they will continue volunteering into adulthood, develop leadership skills in the junior class, build relationships among elementary and high school students, and support those in need in the community. 

Synergy & Leadership Exchange administers the annual process on a state level to showcase innovative and effective best practices. Minnesota Promising Practices are shared on the Synergy website to serve as an idea generator for other schools. Synergy has presented 94 Minnesota Promising Practices Awards since 2008. Visit the Synergy website to view award winning practices or learn more about the Minnesota Schools of Character and Promising Practices program.

Community of Peace Academy with School of Character banner