Journeys in Character

Journeys in Character
Our nationally recognized program in character education is called JOURNEYS. Educating character is the job of every member of the community. It doesn’t fit into only one teacher’s schedule or one particular class. It is just as much the job of every student in the school as it is the job of the principal. It is just as much the job of the secretary or custodian as it is the biology or religion teacher. Our teachers admit that when it comes to character education, we are all students.

There is no one way to educate for character; we aim to think outside the box in order to provide opportunities for moral growth. Therefore, we host a variety of guest speakers throughout the year. Through their stories and experiences, we hope to learn some of life’s most important lessons. We look for people who can motivate us to make good and positive personal choices as well as to inspire the leaders within us all.

“Character Education is simply the most important component of the academic experience. We all have memories of being teased, called names, and in some instances beaten up because of our height, style of dress,ethnicity, gender, mannerisms — anything that makes us different.”
-Patrick Palmeter
Associate Director

Field trips for the entire school usually take place two to three times per year. Each fall, our annual trip to the Hollywood Bowl is a highlight to begin each school year. For the last sixteen years, our entire student body and faculty attend a concert at the world famous Bowl. Prior to the concert, we have a giant school picnic that has become a much anticipated tradition here. Students are grouped in “family homerooms,” meaning that several students from each grade level are grouped in order for students to get to know kids from other grades. Seniors provide the organizational leadership to plan the picnic, and we all learn the value of teamwork. 
Group discussions are an integral part to JOURNEYS. Our thinking is challenged by our teachers, and even more by our peers. Topics have ranged from gum-chewing on campus to cheating on tests to controversial issues of racism and bullying.

“To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
- Teddy Roosevelt

Whatever the method, wherever it takes place, our program in character education provides an opportunity for our students, our teachers, and as often as possible, our parents to be challenged to be on many different JOURNEYS which will allow us to become our moral best!

The Six Pillars Of Character
When you drive onto our grounds, you enter through six pillars, each one displaying a bronze plaque listing the six pillars of character:
When you enter our gym, you will see those same six pillars imprinted on the wall. In the library, you will notice the words etched on the windows. Our students are reminded everywhere on our campus, that there is nothing more important than to be a man or woman of character.
Michael Josephson, founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and Character Counts! is a great friend of the Valiant community. In fact, it was Michael who presented us with a National School of Character award on November 2, 2003. That was our Celebration of Character, celebrating our designation as a National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about the Character Counts! movement that is sweeping our nation: