CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Deb Austin Brown, a communications center teacher at Alban Elementary School in Kanawha County, is the 2010 recipient of the Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year Award.
At Alban, where about 49 percent of the school’s 346 students are from lower income families, Brown has worked to improve school climate and student behavior. She also weaves positive character traits and strategies for success in life throughout the school, across the curriculum, and into daily activities. One of her projects, Success Strategies, builds character by helping students develop strategies for lifelong success, such as the importance of using eye contact and maintaining good posture, among other characteristics. Students record the strategies, which then air on a Charleston-area radio station.
Character education emphasizes trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, caring, citizenship, justice and fairness, traits that play important roles as children learn how to be global citizens and view the world through a moral lens.
“Character education is an integral part of education in the 21st century,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools John T. Mattern. “Responsibility, respect and ethical behavior are as important in today’s global economy as math and science skills. Deb Brown instills these life lessons in her students.””
Brown has been a teacher for 35 years. She has a passion for teaching people to cultivate their character and unlock their potential. She is a recognized author and motivational speaker for building human potential.
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.
For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro in the WVDE Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.
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