Panelists: Students and teachers from area schools, state character education director Charlie Abourjilie and Guilford County school board member Susan Mendenhall.
...District leaders asked Charlie Abourjilie, a Southwest High School teacher, to oversee the initiative.
In 2001, the General Assembly passed the Student Citizen Act, requiring all public schools to teach character.Abourjilie then left Guilford County Schools to become the character education coordinator for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and oversee efforts for the state's 2,300 public schools.
said Guilford County
has a strong program, in part because its schools have taught character education longer than most other schools.
"So much of what I do is based on what goes on in Guilford County
, " he
Character education is taking root in schools across the country.
"You have to involve your student leadership more, and you have to have an athletic component," Abourjilie
said schools can use office referrals, suspension rates, student attendance and parent-teacher surveys to get an idea whether a program works.