Feature Story: 2018 National School of Character

  • National School of Character Wylie ISD has been named a 2018 State School of Character by Character.org., a worldwide organization whose vision is “for people everywhere to be educated, inspired and empowered to be ethical and compassionate citizens.” Wylie ISD is the only district in Texas, and one of just five nationwide, to earn this honor.

    The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) is the Texas sponsor of the award. Each year, Character.org and its state affiliates select schools and districts that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development which has a true positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate. Wylie ISD’s character education program, “The Wylie Way,” is now eligible for the National School of Character Award. 

    “Recognition for state assessments is a reflection of what students learn. Recognition for values and character is a reflection of who they are and who they will become,” said Dr. David Vinson, Wylie ISD superintendent. “Raising kids ‘The Wylie Way’ is now receiving state and national attention and is a shining example for teaching values and helping kids to achieve their goals.” 

    While there are many components that contribute to achieving a high level of success, there is one element which must be present in order to do so—hope. Studies show that, without hope, individuals struggle to achieve their goals. It is for this reason that Wylie ISD works to ensure that its students and staff members exhibit hope and feel encouraged by the possibilities which surround them. Wylie ISD is the highest achieving school district in Texas, and this is not by accident. The “Wylie Way” program inspires hope, the biggest indicator of academic success. By setting a standard that every student will have at least one positive relationship with an adult mentor, the district creates an environment that fosters student success that reaches far beyond graduation. Mentors and faculty members work with students to help them identify their strengths, map their potential career pathways, and build their character. The results have been remarkable. “The Wylie Way” has led to an increase in engagement and a decrease in the achievement gap. And, it is now recognized as a state and national standard to build character, hope, and student achievement. 

    Seven years ago, the board of trustees set a goal for working to instill ethical and community values within students. Today, Wylie ISD has become both state and nationally recognized for raising kids with values and character who will grow up to become happy, helpful, and HOPEFUL adults. In Wylie ISD, the sky is the limit. Life is good—the Wylie Way. 

    For more information on the National Schools of Character, visit http://character.org/schools-of-character/