For the second time in four years, Oakwood Elementary School has done what very few schools do even once. It’s the only school in the county and one of four from Maryland to be named a 2015 National School of Character by Character.org, a national leader and advocate for character education.

Needless to say, the school has made a name for itself paying equal attention to character building and to academics. The 313-student school was the only elementary school to be invited to the national celebration held recently at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. A cadre of students, parents, and school staff attended and presented at the event.

“We haven’t been stagnant in our methods,” Principal Donna Usewick affirmed. “Just as our students are improving and excelling in their academics and social development, we resolved to do the same. This is the result of positive culture building through the teaching of 11 Essential Character Traits.”

Schools that earn the national award meet a gold standard of excellence by “providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership, and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts.”

Oakwood also won the national award in 2011.