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Character Counts

Six Pillars of Character
The Six Pillars of Character is an integral part of the Highland Park community philosophy. To become more productive citizens of the future, children need to develop a set of core values that they can build on and call on throughout their lives to guide their behavior and attitudes. They also need adults serving as role models of good character.  Six building blocks of character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship – form the foundation of character education. These building blocks are inseparable parts of a complete attitude that will help children reduce risk behaviors, improve achievement and develop personal integrity, and for adults to live together in a civil manner.

These goals cannot be accomplished through the efforts of any one teacher, parent or institution. The responsibility for developing a nation of morally conscious students must be shared by all. Only through shared commitment can we hope to raise the level of character consciousness. 

Character Counts Pillar Award: The Character Counts Steering Committee is a collaboration between the City of Highland Park, North Shore School District 112 and Highland Park High School, which honors nominees whose beliefs, attitudes and actions consistently exemplify the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The Character Counts Steering Committee selects and presents the "Character Counts Pillar Awards,” and is now seeking nominations for these awards. Nominees must live, work, volunteer, or attend a school in the North Shore School District 112 boundaries. Criteria for the nomination do not include activities performed within the normal scope of one’s job. Nominations must be submitted by someone other than a family member.

Nominations for the 2025 Character Counts Pillar Award will open in the fall of 2024.

For more information contact Christina Earle at 847.926.1861 or

An awards ceremony was held on April 11, 2024 to acknowledge this year's recipients. Please see the list of recipients below, along with a recording of the ceremony.

2024 Character Counts Award Recipients

   District 112 & HPHS Students
   Neena Edison
   Alexander Aburto
   Cole Stein
   Emerson Raynor
   Linnea Davis
   Jace Brown
   Naidelin Perez
   Alexandra Lopez
   Carlos Angelina
   Anna Neblo
   Charlotte Udani
   Jagger Barnes
   Valentina Sequeira
   Tristan Perkes
   Isabel Davis
   Grayson Figenholtz
   Maddie Hintermeister
   Roark Cooper
   Lili Richter
   Benen Cahill
   Imaan Bokhari
   Riley Waxman
   Doug Anderson
   Evelyn Muelver
   Elias Pinto Mejia
   Kaiya Kumlien
   Ryder Lamberti
   Logan Rotter
   Scarlett Helfand

   Highland Park Community
   Rabbi Michael Schwab 
   Leah Brajer 
   Deborah Finn 
   Dan Gross
   Karen Weiss
   Roxanne Hejnowski
   North Suburban Synagogue Beth El: Israel Heroes
     - Jen Deutch
     - Nami Goldenberg
     - Renee Kahn
     - Stephanie Luger
     - Yael Mirelman
     - Allison Nemirow
     - Danielle Pearl
     - Chari Shifrin
     - Jorie Sigesmund
     - Maureen Lewis
     - Richard Zelin