MORRISTOWN, NJ - “Be a voice, not an echo,” encouraged Bella Veiser ’18 at The Peck School’s recent Honor Code Assembly.
 
“The honor code has prepared us to enter high school, college, and beyond, with independence, confidence, integrity and good judgment. Although we may face competitive situations with individuals who do not share these values, I feel the moral foundation we have developed at Peck will help to distinguish us and allow us to thrive in whatever challenges lie ahead. Use The Peck School’s Honor Code to help guide you through your academic journey and to voice words that are honorable,” Bella advised.
 
As a Peck eighth grader and a member of the school's InDeCoRe council, Bella spoke eloquently to the entire school community during this annual tradition at Peck. Each year, all members of the Peck community retake the oath of honor and then representatives from each grade, faculty, and the administration step forward to autograph a written version of the code to commit their classmates and colleagues to the pledge…
 
 
We, the members of The Peck School, actively value consideration, respect for others, and a sense of personal responsibility.  We are committed to the consideration of others and the practice of high ethical standards.  We, therefore, pledge to conduct ourselves according to our values and to act honorably and with personal integrity.

So reads The Peck School’s Honor Code. First adopted in 1999, the Honor Code expresses the integrity and ethical standards valued by every member of the Peck community. The code is one critical component in the school’s InDeCoRe program, which stands for Individual Development, Community Responsibility, and it is just one of many traditions throughout the year that celebrate and anchor character development at the school.
 
Discussions about honor, Peck’s unofficial motto “Consideration of Others”, and Peck’s stated Core Values (Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Loyalty, Empathy, and Perseverance) occur on a daily basis within Peck’s program: emerging during classroom projects, addressed directly in assemblies and special presentations, and as constant themes guiding Peck’s Athletics program.  

At the Honor Code Assembly, Head of School Andy Delinsky also addressed the assembled students and explained, “At Peck, we are very focused on helping each of you, as individuals, grow into the best version of yourselves. We are also focused on building the best community we can, a community where people feel safe, valued, and respected. We achieve both, if we all commit to the Honor Code.”

The students also had a chance to travel back in time and step inside the fifth grade shoes of Peck’s current third grade teacher, Katie Bruno. Ms. Bruno shared a story from her childhood detailing a not so honorable action she took as a child and the lesson from it that she has carried for life. “From this memorable experience,” she told the students, “I learned the repercussions of betraying someone’s trust, and learned the importance of taking responsibility for my own actions, and being accountable to others. I learned to accept my challenges as a student and ask for help when necessary. Lastly, I learned what it means to honor myself and follow my moral compass.”
 
Ms. Bruno was singled out at the start of the academic year, for the school’s most distinguished faculty award. At the annual Welcome Back Dinner, she received the Disciplina Ad Vivendum Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. She is a teacher who not only shines in the classroom, but as a member of the Peck community.