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 2018 Character Recognition Awards Ceremony
 
Governor Dayton proclaimed May 10 as Character Recognition Day in Minnesota. In celebration, Synergy & Leadership Exchange honored six schools and four community programs for excellence in character and ethical leadership development at the Character Recognition Awards ceremony. Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon presented the Character Recognition Day proclamation and along with Minnesota Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Kevin McHenry offered congratulations to the honorees. Fred Kiel, Ph.D., author of “Return on Character” and founding partner of the leadership development and strategic analytics firm KRW International, delivered an inspiring keynote. Entertainer Stevie Ray served as the Master of Ceremonies. 
 
Honorees were recognized in three different categories: Minnesota School/District of Character, Minnesota Promising Practices Award and Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award. A blue-ribbon panel of experts is utilized to evaluate and make recommendations for each award category. The 2018 honorees:
 
Emerging Minnesota School of Character: 
  • Cottage Grove Middle School – Cottage Grove
Minnesota Promising Practices Awards*:
  • Coon Rapids High School – Coon Rapids
  • Lakes International Language Academy – Forest Lake
  • Northfield Area Learning Center – Northfield
  • North Star Academy – Duluth
  • Raleigh Academy – Duluth
Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award:
  • Community Outreach Program, Inner City Tennis – Minneapolis
  • Minnesota Future Problem Solving Program – Brownsville
  • Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government – Minneapolis
  • outh Performance Company – Minneapolis
*Lakes International Language Academy, North Star Academy and Raleigh Academy have practices that were selected by Character.org to receive a 2018 national Promising Practices Award and will be honored at the National Forum on Character Education Oct. 4–7, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
 
 
Keynote speaker Fred Kiel, Ph.D.

Congratulating the MELA honorees (l-r) Lt. Col. Dave Foster, Minnesota Character Council members Deborah Yunger and Dave Adney, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, and Synergy executive director Wanda Sommers Wall
2018 Honorees 
Community Outreach Program


Coon Rapids High School


Cottage Grove Middle School


Lakes International Language Academy


Minnesota Future Problem Solving Program


Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government


Northfield Area Learning Center


North Star Academy


Raleigh Academy


Youth Performance Company

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