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Spotlight Story: Monthly Character Breakfast

High Point Schools Partnership is highlighting Montlieu Academy of Technology. Keep reading to learn more about their Monthly Character Breakfast.

Q: Who/what group started this program? How did it come to your school?

A: Jennifer Cooper, former assistant principal and now current principal at Millis Road Elementary School. Cooper had implemented and facilitated this at Johnson Street Global where she served as a curriculum facilitator at the time of its inception

Q: Please explain, in detail, what this program is?

A: The monthly character breakfast is designed to allow each classroom teacher to nominate a student from their respective classroom (Pre-K- 5) who exemplifies the character trait of the month put forth by Guilford County Schools.  For example, this September teachers nominated students who showed responsibility.  The teacher writes a short narrative of why the selected student received nomination and our principal, Kimberly Scott, reads each award aloud at a podium.  Additionally, Montlieu Academy Communities in Schools Coordinator finds a guest speaker to speak about the topic from within the community. 

For example, in December, Pastor Parker, the spiritual life director from Wesleyan Christian Academy spoke via live stream in our school’s cafeteria about kindness.  Furthermore, because of the pandemic our Magnet coordinator/facilitator, Brent Miller live streams the event so that parents can see their children recognized as parents are still not allowed in the building due to the coronavirus pandemic.  And it wouldn’t be a character breakfast without food! Biscuitville English Road has been our faithful food sponsor since January 2020, generously donating 75 biscuits along with condiments for each event. 

Q: Where does this program take place?

A: The cafeteria at Montlieu Academy of Technology. We are able to socially distance and all speakers and guests report to the virtual building to celebrate our student recipients. 

Q: When does this program occur? Is it a one-time thing or does it occur regularly?

A: Once a month from September through April.

Q: Why does your school support this program? How does it benefit your school/community?

A: Our school celebrates monthly character breakfasts simply because character counts! We admonish our scholars daily to show our three school-wide standards of respect, self-discipline, and integrity.  While most of us can recall students at awards ceremonies celebrated for good grades and attendance, very rarely do we get to publicly recognize students who are good young people. 

The Guilford County Schools counselors are tasked with teaching monthly character traits so the program fits in with the North Carolina guidance curriculum.  Students who are often overlooked because their behavior is compliant are celebrated and recognized in this monthly event.  Early in my career, I heard, “what you focus on, you get more of.” I believe this is true with the character breakfast.  Students want to be seen as demonstrators of strong character and we are fortunate to have this event at our school and supported by our High Point community to reinforce this desire in tomorrow’s leaders.

Thank you so much to Elizabeth Strable, School Counselor at Montlieu Academy, for sharing this story. We look forward to hearing about more great things from Montlieu Academy of Technology!

To find out more about High Point Schools Partnership and our work, please visit our Facebook page and check out our page on Guilford Education Alliance’s website.