Character Development Conference Focuses on Safe Schools

Area Students Win “Character” Essay Contest

Caring, Civility and Challenge. According to the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) Character Development Center, those are the Three C’s needed build safe schools.

The 2008 Character Development Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 30 to July 1 at Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice on the USD campus. The conference will focus on creating a safe school environment for all students.

“Creating safe schools that are caring, civil and challenging requires a curriculum and instructional strategies that help students learn alternatives to violence,” according to organizers.

The goal of the conference is to find ways to:
• Help adults and students create a school and home environment that is peaceful and conducive to nonviolent attitudes and behaviors.
• Develop conflict resolution skills and problem solving skills.
• Identify peer mediation strategies.
• Involve students in leadership roles.
• Help students develop skills like taking turns, negotiating, compromising, communicating, sharing, avoiding conflict, acknowledging feelings, appealing to authority.
• Develop empathy and courage.
• Practice service and the Golden Rule.

In preparation for the conference, area students took part in an essay contest on the topic of “Why Character Matters.” More than 114 essays were received in three categories – elementary, middle and high school. All winners will receive a plaque. First place winners will be awarded $100, second place winners will receive $75, and third place winners will receive $50.

In the elementary school division, the winners were: 1st place – Ryan Hastings, a fourth grader at Solana Highlands Elementary School. 2nd place – Johannes Osyka, a fifth grade student at All Hallows Academy. 3rd place – Dalton Robinson, a fifth grader from Toler Elementary School.

In the middle school division, the winners were: 1st place – Megan Micheletti, an eighth grade student at All Hallows Academy. 2nd place – Megan Hastings, in eighth grade at The Bishop’s School. 3rd place – Connor Mollon, an eighth grader at Mountain Empire Middle School and Kelsea Fleming, an eighth grader at Coronado Middle School.

In the high school division, the winners were: 1st place – Erin Brining, an 11th grade student at Cathedral Catholic. 2nd place – Kendall Lord, 11th grader at The Bishop’s School. 3rd place – Navid Barkzai, a 12th grade student at St. Augustine High School.

For more information on the conference, go to

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing and Health Science.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.