Middle School recognized as 'State School of Character'

Image of the front of the middle school with a red banner that says pal-mac middle school. In the corner is a blue and white circular log that says school of character.

FEB.2,2023— The Pal-Mac Middle School received a prestigious award for the second time in five years.


The school learned it was named a 2023 State School of Character by Character.org, a nonprofit organization based out of Washington, D.C. 


Schools that apply must describe how the eleven principles are present within their programs 11 Principles.


The organization says it recognized schools like PMMS for “developing and implementing an intentional, proactive, and comprehensive approach that embeds character into all aspects of the school life.”


Specifically, Character found the school’s strengths lie within its Drop Everything and Lead (DEAL) initiative, as well as specific lessons during the “Nest Times,” among other areas. Nest is like a morning Home Base time where students meet with a teacher advisor for 20 minutes to start their day. The students participate in several activities.


“Having students take ownership and leadership for specific events throughout the school and community creates a sense of belonging and worth,” the report said.


Character.org says it evaluated 197 applications from schools and Districts across the country.  A total of 73 schools received the recognition, though Pal-Mac was one of just three schools recognized in New York.

The school first received the honor in 2018.


Principal Darcy Smith said:

“As principal, I am proud that we have again been recognized for our efforts to guide character development within our students alongside academic development. While so many initiatives were paused during the past few years, the faculty and staff at PMMS continued to make our character programs a priority for our students. Each year we review our programs and practices with the intent to have our efforts be meaningful and relevant to our students.”


Superintendent Dr. Bob Ike said:

"This recognition is further proof of our Middle School faculty and staff's dedication to its students. As a District, we pride ourselves on putting our students first. This includes providing programs tailored to helping them learn and grow."


The school will soon display a banner with the recognition on it.


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