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Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights named State School of Character

school of character January 31, 2020 — Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights today received a state award for its emphasis on character education.

VHECH was named a 2020 State School of Character by Character.org, a national organization advocating for character education in schools.

VHECH is one of just four schools in Alabama, and the only school in the Birmingham metro area, to receive this designation, according to a release today from Character.org. As a State School of Character, VHECH will now be eligible to be named a National School of Character later this year.

VHECH was first recognized by Character.org in 2019 with a Promising Practices award for its character education program, “Safe and Happy Heights.” The program provides students at VHECH with clear expectations, positive behavioral supports, and a common language among faculty and staff when discussing character education, according to school counselor Cortney McKinney.

"The plan is based around what we call 'The Big Three,' which are: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Your Best, and we provide students with ways they can display The Big Three throughout school," principal Alicia Hunsberger, Ed.D., said.

The school has incorporated fun ways for students to learn these concepts, such as quarterly pep rallies called Rebel Rallies which celebrate all the ways students are learning, serving, and modeling character education.

"I am so proud of the work our school community is doing to ensure that we are are educating the whole child. Our staff is dedicated to raising smart and kind kids. It is an honor to be recognized as a State School of Character," Hunsberger said.