Huybrechts gives weight to character

Your teachers need their summer break just like you do, but by mid-August, they’re eager to return to the work they do well and love to do: teach all of you.

And so we begin again.

Educator, author and leader Booker T. Washington first expressed the words what will become our character education theme this year. “Character, not circumstance, makes the person,” he said.

A good person has good character. Any of the circumstances of his or her existence — intelligence, wealth, appearance, talent — are always of secondary importance when compared to his or her character.

Being good — being trustworthy and kind and principled — is more important than being wealthy or smart or gifted. In the hierarchy of personal attributes, good character trumps them all.

Born a slave on a Virginia plantation in 1856, Booker T. Washington had no access to education as a young child. Many years later, and after he’d earned a Ph.D. and become the president of what is now Tuskegee University, he said this about his boyhood: “I had the feeling that to get into a schoolhouse and study would be about the same as getting into paradise.”

I hope you experience some elements of paradise this school year and that you remember that character, not circumstance, makes the person.

Warm wishes,

Jeanne Huybrechts