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Cottage Grove Middle School receives Character Recognition Award

CGMS Character Recognition Award

On Thursday, May 10, Cottage Grove Middle School was honored as a 2018 Emerging Minnesota School of Character at the Character Recognition Awards ceremony, held at the Science Museum of Minnesota. 

Cottage Grove Middle School was one of only six schools and four community programs honored by Synergy & Leadership Exchange for excellence in character and ethical leadership development. The celebration coincided with Governor Dayton’s proclamation of May 10 as Character Recognition Day. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon presented the proclamation at the ceremony. Representatives Tony Jurgens and Keith Franke congratulated Cottage Grove Middle School at the event, and Senator Karla Bigham provided a letter of commendation, which was presented at the ceremony, offering thanks and gratitude for the foundation of character the school is building in young students.

Through the Schools of Character’s 11 Principles framework and mentoring with a National School of Character, Cottage Grove Middle School has gained an understanding of how character education is most effectively implemented to become part of their culture. School leaders, staff, students and community members are embracing the 11 Principles, creating a strong foundation for a schoolwide character education initiative, and the school is making impressive strides towards becoming a School of Character.

“We know students achieve more when they feel great about where they go to school, and we know staff perform at their best when they love where they work,” said Josh Eidem, Assistant Principal at Cottage Grove Middle School. “We’ve always had a great foundation here because of the positive character of our community and our families. As we embed our character education work deeper into what we do, we expect our students and staff to make an even greater positive contribution to the community.”

“I have been impressed with the positive changes I have seen over the past few years by the students and staff of Cottage Grove Middle School! I have seen students being more willing to work together and treating each other with respect, being inclusive and inviting new students into the school,” said Cottage Grove mayor Myron Bailey.

The Minnesota Schools of Character designation recognizes schools and/or districts that excel in exemplifying the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education and demonstrate outstanding initiatives yielding positive results in student behavior, school climate and academic performance. Synergy & Leadership Exchange sponsors the program in partnership with Character.org, a national nonprofit organization. Twenty schools and districts have been named either an Emerging, Honorable Mention or Minnesota School/District of Character since 2008.