Huybrechts stresses character development

As the first step toward a new emphasis on character education, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts will announce her theme for the upcoming school year in an all-upper school assembly today.

The theme, “Character, not circumstance, makes the person,” is a Booker T. Washington quote that Huybrechts hopes will remind students to model good character, she said.

“Just like the theme every year, it’s a reminder that we care about character education at this school, and that we want it to be a systemic part of education here,” she said.

Although Huybrechts said she had no way to gauge the effectiveness of themes in the past, she still thinks they serve an important purpose.

“There are no metrics to measure whether the character education theme is working or not, but I’d rather have a theme than not,” she said.

In addition to the theme, Huybrechts hopes to integrate character education into the classroom, which she has discussed with the Faculty Academic Committee.

“Like study skills, character education is better incorporated into the context of courses rather than as a separate entity,” Huybrechts said.

Although she thought students may not remember the full quote, she felt the overall message would stick with them, she said.

“I’m a little worried that students will forget it because it’s long, but I just think it’s a great quote,” she said. “Every little bit helps.”