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Lincoln Elementary Named National School of Character

June 9, 2021


Lincoln Elementary Receives Third National School of Character Distinction

On May 11,, a national advocate and leader for character development in schools and communities, certified 47 schools and 1 district as National Schools of Character. Of the 47 receiving this distinction, the Lincoln County R-III School District’s Lincoln Elementary was one of nine in the state of Missouri. Additionally, Lincoln Elementary was one of only three in the state to earn this distinction for the third time. 

“We are pleased to announce and celebrate the schools and school district that have earned
this national recognition,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of “The educators at these schools model and reinforce the core values of respect and dignity. They are teaching their students to be honest and trustworthy, to contribute their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.” 

Since its inception, the National Schools of Character program has impacted over 3 million
students, staff, parents, and community members. The schools and districts that apply must meet the rigorous standards articulated in’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools. A team of trained evaluators assesses each school. 

Following the initial distinction, schools are invited to complete the application process every five years. In 2020, the application team at Lincoln Elementary debated if the timing was right. After great consideration, the committee decided that this was absolutely the right time to highlight the perseverance and character that their staff, students, and families exhibit even in the most challenging circumstances. Dr. Holly Hite, Lincoln Elementary Principal noted, “It is a great honor to be recognized as a National School of Character.  We have an amazing staff, awesome students, and a wonderful community that supports us.  It takes every member of the team to be successful, and I am so proud of the entire Lincoln Elementary family. They are truly the ones who have earned this honor for our school.”  

As noted above, Schools of Character must meet set standards around 11 Principles. Of these 11, it was noted by the evaluation teams that Lincoln Elementary excelled in principles 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 11.  

  • Principle 1: Core values are defined, implemented, and embedded into school culture. 
  • Principle 2: The school defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing. 
  • Principle 4: The school creates a caring community. 
  • Principle 5: The school provides students with opportunities for moral action. 
  • Principle 8: All staff share the responsibility for developing, implementing, and modeling ethical character. 
  • Principle 10: The school engages families and community as partners in the character initiative. 
  • Principle 11: The school assesses its implementation of character education, its culture and climate, and the character growth of students on a regular basis. 

"We congratulate these schools for completing the application and review process in a year that has been anything but typical," adds Lori Soifer, who directs the Schools of Character program. “Each of these schools has put in place a comprehensive approach to help students understand, care about, and consistently practice the character strengths that will help them flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens." will honor the 2021 National Schools of Character at its next Annual Forum, to be held virtually, October 20-22, 2021. The complete list of the 2021 National Schools of Character can be found at Learn more about the district and schools being certified today on our website. 

About Founded in 1993, is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to provide the voice, visibility, and resources for educators to
build nurturing and supportive school cultures that focus on core values and character strengths vital to student and school success. is widely known for its 11 Principles, a comprehensive framework developed by school leaders and character development researchers. During the past 20 years, more than 1,000 schools and school districts – after an independent and rigorous evaluation process – have been certified as National Schools of Character. The vision for is to expand our work to families, sports, and the workplace.