CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Damon Hanshaw, assistant superintendent of Nicholas County Schools, is the 2012 recipient of the Paul J. Morris Character Educator of the Year Award. The announcement was made Wednesday during the West Virginia Board of Education's monthly meeting in Charleston.
“We are so proud to honor both Mr. Hanshaw and Mr. Morris,” said Wade Linger, West Virginia Board of Education president. “We know that building students’ character is as important as building their minds. Role models like Mr. Hanshaw make that possible.”
Hanshaw was honored for initiating a massive and comprehensive professional development of all professionals, service employees and central office staff to implement a countywide character education initiative in Nicholas County following research of multiple programs. This initiative addresses individuality and integration with the total school environment.
“Research tells us that character education can have a positive effect on student performance,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “Students who develop strong character at an early age demonstrate responsibility for their academic performance, respect for others and respect for themselves. In today’s global economy, learning responsibility and respect are as important as math and science skills.”
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.
Nicholas County Superintendent Beverley Kingery, who nominated Hanshaw for the award, said he is noted for being a model and example of character success in Nicholas County. He personally practices the aspects of high moral character, respect for others and caring for one’s fellow man in the school setting and the community, she said. He is highly respected by students and adults for his positive model of behavior that employees, students, and the community strive to immolate, Kingery said.
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.
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