2021 State Schools of Character

CharacterPlus®, the longest-running character education initiative in the country, is proud to announce the area’s eleven schools named 2021 Missouri Schools of Character. These schools have demonstrated a focus on character development which has positively impacted academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate. Nationally, 76 schools and one school district received the honor this year, as did two international schools.

CharacterPlus is the Missouri affiliate for the State Schools of Character process and evaluates all Missouri schools and districts who apply. This recognition is given to schools who have achieved a standard of excellence in the area of character development through their exemplary implementation of Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, a framework for whole-school improvement.

One of the highlights of our year at CharacterPlus is recognizing the hard work and dedication of these schools. This year’s honorees include:  




Barretts Elementary (Parkway)*
Bayless Elementary (Bayless)*
Bayless High (Bayless)*
Belton Middle (Belton)
Busch Middle School of Character (SLPS)*
Craig Elementary (Parkway)*
Don Earl Early Childhood (Fox)*
Geggie Elementary (Rockwood)*
Lincoln Elementary (Lincoln County R-III)*
Woerther Elementary (Rockwood)*
Wright City West Elementary (Wright City)

* indicates the school has renewed

its designation after five years

Additionally, four Missouri schools received the designation of Honorable Mention during this year’s evaluation process. They include:

Academy of Entrepreneurship Studies Middle (SLPS)
Frontier School of Innovation – Elementary (Charter)
Nottingham Community Access and Job Training Academy High (SLPS)
Troy Middle (Lincoln County R-III)


Schools named a State School of Character hold the status for five years and are eligible to be considered for National School of Character. If a school is designated a National School of Character, they also hold that designation for five years. National Schools of Character are announced annually in May.

The State Schools of Character program in Missouri is managed locally by CharacterPlus and is generously supported by Emerson. CharacterPlus, located in St. Louis, is a membership-based nonprofit organization committed to equipping school stakeholders with the resources they need to provide high quality character education. Through CharacterPlus, schools receive evidence-based development and training in effective character education for school transformation.  


The 11 Principles of Character Education and State Schools of Character are trademarks of Character.org in Washington, DC. Character.org and CharacterPlus have been partners in character education since 1993.

For additional information about this recognition or each school’s journey to State School of Character designation, please contact Nicole Diehl, Missouri Schools of Character Coordinator, at ndiehl@characterplus.org.