Willow Bend Academy provides a moral compass for our students. College admissions officers are asking high schools to focus less on “brag lists” and more on leading students to have good morals and ethics.  There is growing concern in our country about our youth lacking a “moral compass.” In a recent survey, forty percent of students identified getting into a good college as being more important than being a good person. In a similar parent survey, fifty percent stated that getting into a good college was more important.

Early American educators believed that “educating for character” was essential to the success of a democratic society because a healthy democracy demands civic virtues, such as voluntary compliance with laws, respect for the rights of others, concern for the common good, and participation in public life.

Last summer, I facilitated a group of public high school teachers in a government-sponsored convention in Guatemala labeled “Una persona moral es un activo para la sociedad.” (A moral person is an asset to society.) While other countries have realized the need to revitalize character education, the attitude in the U.S. has been changing in the opposite direction since the mid-twentieth century, and continues today, so now there is much more government emphasis on passing standardized tests than on producing a generation of people of good moral character.

I recently received an invitation to a four-day conference on “how families and schools can raise respectful, moral and happy children.” It reminded me of the blessing our students have simply by being enrolled at Willow Bend Academy.

Ideally, the family is the source of deep emotional nourishment for children and teens, but research indicates that this rarely happens in a typical U.S. household. Young people need caring relationships with adults. First with an adult in the family, and second, with an adult outside the family.

Our teachers and staff at Willow Bend Academy are among the most caring adults anywhere – already fully engaged in helping parents raise respectful, moral, and happy children, without sacrificing academic quality.

Thank God daily for the influence our teachers provide.

Ed Pilkington, Superintendent