CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Ron DiLorenzo, who is dean of students at Wheeling Park High School, is the 2007 recipient of the Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year Award.
DiLorenzo, who received the award during Wednesday’s West Virginia Board of Education meeting, also was recognized at a dinner that evening at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
“I am very proud and honored,” DiLorenzo said. “During my 38 years in education, I have always believed that character education plays an important role. I always emphasize respect. That one little word accomplishes so much.”
DiLorenzo began teaching music in Ohio County in 1970. He became a counselor at Wheeling Park in 1984 and has been dean of students since 1992. He was nominated for the award by his principal, Christine Carder, who said he embodies all six pillars of character: trustworthiness, caring, respect, responsibility, citizenship and fairness.
“The first word most students hear as they enter Wheeling Park High School and usually the last word they as they graduate is the word `respect,’” Carder said. “As dean of students, Ron explains to them that life at Wheeling Park includes respect for one’s self, respect for others and respect for the school. The emphasis on respect is Ron’s identifying characteristic.”
The Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year Award is named after former West Virginia Board of Education member Paul Morris, who received the first Character Educator of the Year Award in 2003. Morris, who died in 2005, served on the state Board for about 25 years.
“Character education has become such an important part of our children’s education,” said state Schools Superintendent Steve Paine. “Mr. DiLorenzo not only teaches the six pillars, but lives them everyday and instills their lessons in his students.”
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