Neal Elementary Honored for Character Education Program

LA PLATA, Md. (November 16, 2011)—The Maryland Center for Character Education (MCCE) recognized Mary B. Neal Elementary School as a Maryland State School of Character at an awards ceremony held recently at Stevenson University. Neal was chosen as a Promising Practices in Character Education 2010 National award winner. Recognized schools have instituted, developed, and are continuing comprehensive character education initiatives in their school communities.

As part of the National Schools of Character awards program, the Character Education Partnership (CEP) gives Promising Practices awards to schools and districts in the United States and elsewhere for implementing unique and specific strategies in character education.

Schools from around the state use the criteria from the Character Education Partnership’s 11 principles of Effective Character Education to demonstrate their excellence as a leader in character education. “Character Education is the foundation of our school and each year we keep building on it,” said Neal Principal Carol Leveillee. Neal was recognized for principle four –- creates a caring school community -– with the creation of town meetings to aid in relationship building.

Town meetings are a time when students from each grade level meet as a group along with the administration, teachers and school counselor. The purpose of the meetings is for students to have an opportunity to learn about good character choices, work together as teams and form caring bonds between themselves and adults in the school. Topics of discussion include: schoolwide expectations, learning about the three R’s– respect, responsibility, and the right to learn, team building exercises and facts about Mary B. Neal, the person for whom the school is named. Leveillee said town meetings “are just one part of the Character Education program here at Neal” with students building relationships by working with each other on service -– learning projects.

The Maryland Center for Character Education (MCCE) recently named Eva Turner Elementary School as a 2011 Maryland State School of Character. Thomas Stone High School was also named a 2011 School of Character Honorable Mention and 2010 Emerging School of Character awards recipient. The program recognizes schools that demonstrate an outstanding school climate and academic performance. For more information on the MCCE, visit

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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