March 6, 2015

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Character.org, a national nonprofit encouraging character education across the country, has named Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham a 2015 Virginia School of Character.

“ This is a tremendous recognition and we are thrilled to receive it,” the schools’ president, Brig. Gen. (retired) Don Broome, said in a prepared statement.

According to a news release from Hargrave, the recognition “validates Hargrave’s character development program as a positive driver for student academics, behavior and morals.”

The school’s character development program is one of its “Four Pillars,” which also includes academics, athletics and spiritual growth, Broome said Thursday.

“ This really has been an overall effort on the part of faculty, staff and our trustees,” Broome said. “It really says a lot about Hargrave.”

HMA, which is affiliated with the Baptist General Assembly of Virginia, was previously named a 2014 Emerging School of Character.

Broome said the school has a program, Character Across the Curriculum, that focuses on a character trait each month and integrates it into Hargrave’s academics. For example, the school is emphasizing diligence this month and including it in classes such as math and English, Broome said.

Also, the school’s chaplain incorporates diligence into Tuesday and Sunday sermons, pointing out instances of the trait shown by figures in the Bible, Broome said. It’s also stressed in the school’s sports programs.

“ Coaches will take a few minutes at practice and talk about it,” Broome said.

The school has strived to exceed student character education standards outlined by Character.org, according to the news release.

Character.org has awarded more than 500 schools with distinction of State School of Character. Criteria for the designation include providing students opportunities for moral action, fostering leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts.

Character.org was founded in 1993 and is based in Washington, working with schools and districts to inspire, educate and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens, according to the news release.

Hargrave is an all-male military school focused on college preparation and character development. Founded in 1909, the school serves grades 7-12 and one postgraduate year.

Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee.