Building Recognition Old Bonhomme Elementary

Old Bonhomme Elementary Recognized as Missouri State School of Character

The students pose with their School of Character banner.

Old Bonhomme Elementary School is one of only 15 schools in Missouri to receive the State School of Character designation.  The program is conducted by CHARACTERplus®, a division of Cooperating School Districts, and is the most rigorous award process in the field of character education.

See the video created by Old Bonhomme Physical Education teacher Connie Jander at Old Bonhomme’s School of Character banner presentation on May 16, 2013.

  • In 2011, Spoede Elementary School became the first school in the district to earn the Missouri State School of Character distinction.
  • In 2012, Ladue Middle School was named a Missouri State School of Character and was recently informed the school is a finalist in the National School of Character program.
  • Now, Old Bonhomme Elementary School has been named a 2013 Missouri State School of Character and will soon learn if it will join Ladue Middle School in the running to be a National School of Character.

“We are all proud of the character of our students and the collaborative efforts of staff and parents to support character development at school every day,” states Old Bonhomme Elementary School’s Principal Cheryl Kirchgessner.  “It is always wonderful to be recognized and we’re thrilled to be going on to be considered for national recognition too.  I really enjoyed the process of writing the application with our committee and reflecting on all the wonderful things happening for students at Old Bonhomme.  Character Education is embedded in so many of our curriculum and extra-curricular projects that the most difficult part was narrowing down to meet the length requirements of the application.”

More than 130 indicators are assessed, including the reduction of bullying and incivility and the development of intrinsic motivation, meaningful curriculum, student empowerment, staff collegiality, service, and shared moral leadership among staff, students and parents.

“We are extremely proud of the schools that have achieved this honor,” said Liz Gibbons, director of CHARACTERplus.  “The staffs in these schools have created a positive environment in which students feel safe and connected to adults and each other.  These schools are truly able to focus on learning and academic achievement thanks to the cultures they have created.”

Dr. Kim Stallons is the current principal of Spoede Elementary School.  Dr. Vicki VanLaere is the principal of Ladue Middle School, and Cheryl Kirchgessner is the principal of Old Bonhomme Elementary School.