Fresno State’s University High School was among six high schools in the Valley that were recognized for their admirable character education programs during the Kremen School of Education and Human Development’s 31st annual Character and Civic Education Conference on Friday at the Fresno Convention Center.
The Fresno Unified School District chartered University High won the Bonner Center for Character Education’s 2015 Best Practices in Civic and Character Education alongside schools such as Central and Fowler highs schools.
University Provost Lynnette Zelezny welcomed attendees to the conference and reminded them of the importance of their future profession.
“Please note that your work is critical to all we are and who we hope to become,” she said. “Every teacher, every student, everyone here is helping to put the San Joaquin Valley on the path to prosperity.”
Eduardo Briceńo, co-founder and CEO of Mindset Works, opened the conference with a keynote speech “A Growth Mindset Foundation for Character.” He talked about how students with a positive mindset had a better chance at learning and improving their skills than students who had a fixed or negative mindset.
Professor Dr. Jacques Benninga, head of the Bonner Center, emphasized that the purpose of the conference was to teach future teachers in the school’s credential program to focus on not just being excellent educators in terms of content, knowledge and understanding.
“But also to focus on basically what it is that the public schools nationally and in our area are designed to do — promote excellent citizens and adults for democracy,” he said.
Benninga said that the conference didn’t just want to recognize work done already by schools in character education, but “also to instill in our own students the fact that they have a responsibility for the character development of the students and a responsibility for their own professional ethics.”