MORRISTOWN, NJ – Hard-working, responsible, honest, kind and respectful are qualities that the teachers and staff at Morristown High School look for in their students.  Early in the year, Principal Mark Manning, asked his staff to come up with five characteristics that they wanted students to embrace. Manning wanted to continue a character education curriculum at the high school level but felt it had to be developmentally appropriate to be effective.

“We needed to do something subtly so that the kids wouldn’t turn their minds off”, commented Manning. “We wanted a message that was subtle, yet powerful so that we could initiate change.”

Much like the Student of the Month, Manning implemented the Heart of a Colonial Award. MHS teachers nominate students who have displayed these five characteristics. There is no limit to the number of student nominated. The name of each nominee is displayed on the bulletin board in the atrium and a letter, from the principal, is sent home,  acknowledging the recognition.  The name of each nominee is then put into a bowl and at the end of the month, Principal Manning picks one name out of the bowl. The student chosen receives a $20 gift certificate, donated by a local business.

Sign Up for E-News

“We wanted to continue working these characteristics into conversations and weave them into our interactions in a constructive way”, said Manning. “The award recognizes students for things that aren’t recognized on a report card but contribute to a positive school environment.”

Since the beginning of the school year, 207 students were honored. The nominees for October are:

Julia Kubin

Dilmer Dubon

Jacqui Miller

Ninoska Lopez Medina

Ryan Cunningham

Luis Barrera Rosales

Jose Villanueva

Emily McLaughlin

Lisa Barber

Alfred Maler

Ninoska Lopez Medina

Troy Beston

Eric Dalpe

Danielle G. Simon

Stephen Bergeman

Kenneth Sierra Caceres

Julissa Umanzor

*Caroline Grossman- received the $20 gift certificate*

Sarah Holick

Nile Birch

Matt Prusso

Valentina Correa

Patrick Daly

Roberto Osorio

Priya Sapra

Luke Tappen

Zachary Crowe

Ann Marie Cantarero

Michael Arce

Jose Santos

Heber Mendoza

Kate Dobbs

Nicholas Bates

Nazario Lopez

Daritza E, Melgar Lopez

Emma Palumbo

Grace Thomas

Meagan Zimberg

Grace Scanlon

Nicole Danielson

Anthon Bono

Kyle Northan

Gabriela Conlan

Tristan Smith

Danielle Simon

Jose Santos

Ada Paterson

Matthew Rulon

Tommy Cromie

Erik Vataker

Nicole Barkemeyer 

RJ Steele

Victoria Leiva

Sean Lacy

Abigail Griggs

Dilcia Perez

Sebastian Arias

Lisa Barber

Nashaly Montalvo

Teachers were given five maroon and white t-shirts, one for each characteristic. The t-shirts are worn on Fridays and the teachers are able to wear whichever characteristic they want.

“The shirts are meant to engage the student with what’s important,” said Manning. “The words , BE KIND are written in English on the front and the words, BE KIND are written in Spanish on the back. This initiative has been very positive. We are holding each other accountable.”