Virtues education is one of the pillars of our charter school.
Prior to opening Sheboygan Leadership Academy, our entire staff attended a two-day training in The Virtues Project. The faculty embraced the virtues, and integrated them into every phase of their curriculum. The 52 virtues that we teach are qualities we want to see in our children and future leaders. Virtues language is an integral part of our school language and life. The virtues have truly become the culture of our school community. Whether listening to middle school students campaigning for Youth Leadership Council, to hearing our first grade teacher teach "tact" to her class, to seeing the virtues describing
Dr. Martin Luther King displayed throughout our halls, to virtues education opportunities for parents...the virtues are alive and prominent at Sheboygan Leadership Academy.
Peggy Henseler, Principal
"Going into my training with Val and Terry, I wasn't sure what to expect. I
was a little nervous and a little skeptical. I came out feeling renewed,
refreshed and joyful. It helped me to realize that if I could get out of my
own way, others would see my virtues and honor them. It reminded me to see
others through the virtues as well. I now incorporate The Virtues Project into every aspect of my parenting, writing and training. Thanks for empowering meVal and Terry!"
Hilary Bilbrey (Mother, Author, Founder: Inspired By Family
To Whom It May Concern: I am writing in support of the Virtues
Project. I feel those exposed to it can potentially have an inspiring,
life-changing experience. Valley New School is an innovative, project-based,
student-driven charter school in the Appleton Area School District. Students,
grades 7-10, attend the school. I am an advisor and administrator at VNS. Our
mission is �to create a learning community that empowers individuals to become purposeful adults.� Staff and students alike are proactive about building a positive culture that promotes individuality, personal freedom, and self actualization so that students feel confident and equipped to pursue their
passions and life goals. Such a culture requires that all members are
accepting of each other so that community members feel safe to take risks.
When I was introduced to the Virtues Project at the Youth Worker Coalition
conference in the spring of 2007, I was inspired to attempt to expose my
entire school community to the positive outcomes the project can create. Terry
Rahn and Valerie Hess, Master Facilitators of the Virtues Project,
administered a day-long workshop at Valley New School to staff, students, and
parents on November 2, 2007. A member of the administration for the Appleton
Area School District as well as an Appleton Area School District School Board
Member attended as well. The response from the VNS community and the positive outcomes from this day were overwhelming. Students reacted with comments like, �I feel the [Virtues] project could help people discover about themselves what they want to improve, and shows people parts of themselves they never thought about before,� and �The way we act affects others just as much as ourselves,�and �I learned Change can be simple.� The VNS community as a whole was inspired to integrate Virtues philosophies into our culture. One student states, �I feel hopeful that the Virtues Project will have a positive impact on our school culture. We have interacted with everyone in a way that changes our perspective about each other.� I have personally observed several instances where students or staff have utilized Virtues acknowledgements to empower a fellow VNS community member. Also, the district administrator was inspired to share the opportunity with other principals in the district. I have seen the power of the Virtues project and its ability to spread. I strongly believe that the implementation of the Project into any setting will have strong positive impact on the culture and individuals involved.
Nicole Luedtke, Valley New School, Appleton, WI
I attended Terry and Val's Virtue's Workshop two years ago and
nearly every conversation, and experience is still quite vivid. Both Terry and
Val modeled excellent communication, provided valuable tools, and created a warm, trusting atmosphere in the two-day training. I live and work with adolescents, have two young children of my own and I use the principles taught
everyday. My students enjoy doing a "Virtues Pick" and my four-year-old
includes the words in daily conversation. This is how we bring about positive,
lasting change in the world!
Nadine Wetzel-Curtis, Residential Coordinator
Lake Country Land School, a Montessori Learning Environment
Dunn County WI www.lakecountryschool.org
To whom this may concern: I became involved with Virtues Project
this past winter. It has helped me professionally, personally and as a parent.
Some of the teachings of use of language I was already doing with my children
as they have been growing up. Learning that an actual program exists has given
me more tools to expand what I was already trying to do to build positive
language usage in our home. The affirmations have helped me gain more
confidence. The validation I feel is immeasurable. I have two sons ages 19 and
16. We as a family do Virtues Picks weekly with our family night. We set aside
one night a week for us to keep connected with our busy schedules. My sons
have shared the Virtue Cards with their friends. Many of these kids come over
to the house, call me mom and then ask where the cards are because they want
to pull a card to read. My oldest son plans to use Virtue Project ideas with
his summer job at a camp. He applied to be a Resident Assistant at the college
he attends. He wants to use Virtue Picks as an activity with college students.
My youngest son brought the idea to his senior patrol leader with his Boy
Scout Troop. He hopes that the Virtue Project will enhance and supplement the
moral and character development that Boy Scouts are known for. These ideas
could be used for other community activities too. How the Virtues Project has
helped me professionally was to help understand the depth to some words we use
and misuse. I feel that the Virtues Project work inspired greater
understanding in myself and I was able to create a resume' recently that I
feel very proud of. Personally, I am involved in the Family Life Committee at
my church. I am using the Virtues Project as part of a program. I am telling
other churches about it and it seems to be well received. I created a workshop
using information form the Educator's Guide and have been teaching it to
confirmation classes. The flexibility, adaptability and creative tailoring
within the guidelines of the Virtues Project make this universal model
limitless. I truly value the Virtues Project.
Ethel C. Quisler MS NCC, Howard�s Gate,
I have been through Terry and Valerie�s Virtues Project workshops. I
left with so much more than the knowledge I gained from their workshops, but
so much enthusiasm for how to incorporate the Virtues project in everyday
relationships, my work place and for organizations I volunteer with. I feel
that they are very careful to make sure everyone feels comfortable, included,
cared for; and that everyone will leave with a solid understanding of the
Virtues concepts. Terry and Valerie model very carefully with clear examples
of using the virtues project-- even in how they relate to each other and their
students! I left so excited about the Virtues knowledge I gained, as well as
all the possibilities for using virtues that I was inspired to finish training
to become a Virtues facilitator as well! So far, I have taught after school
classes in Virtues education, given my religious education students the chance
for meaningful virtues discussions-- as they gain awareness of virtues in
themselves and each other. As a Children's Assistant at a public library, I
acknowledge virtues during preschool story times and school-age program
activities, to create a safe, comfortable and positive library environment
where all can feel successful. I feel the Virtues Project is a highly
empowering tool...it allows people to see and share the very best in each
other and in themselves!
Holly Cook, Children�s Assistant, Public
Library Platteville, WI
�The strategies of The Virtues Project Bridge the communication gap
between staff and children by providing words to connect in a positive way.�
Sarah Nowak, YMCA Site Supervisor, Stevens
�The comment that impacted me the most was when a 17 year old client
said that The Virtues Project taught him that he wasn�t born bad, but that he
was born good. �
Kay Von Feldt, RN Northwest Guidance &
Counseling Center, WI Rapids, WI
The Virtues Project helps us build conscious knowledge about how to
live our daily lives day by day. It provides a good strategy for reminding us
that we can control our behavior and actions in a way that supports and
encourages us to become nobler, principled and ethical people.
Nancy & Robert Eady, HS teachers, Conserve
School, Land O�Lakes, WI
The Virtues Project has created a foundation to stand competently
on. It has changed the atmosphere and attitude of the staff and children in
our Child Development programs.
Sally Glennon, Child Development Director,
YMCA, Stevens Point, WI
�The session that I enjoyed the most while attending the Region V
Head Start Association Conference was �Awakening the Gifts Within.� It was the
very first session that I took part in and it was a great way to start my
experience at the conference. It was a very empowering workshop that helped
inspire people to look at themselves and others with a new light-the light of
practicing virtues. Three ways that I will use the information gained from
this workshop are as follows: *By strengthening my inner self as a teacher, a
mother, a wife and as an individual to become more centered and believe in
myself and my abilities. *By becoming a stronger and more confident person, I
will set an example for my students to believe in themselves and have
confidence as learners in the classroom and to practice treating others as
they wish to be treated. *By looking for the good in others and acknowledging
that virtue in others will help to maintain good communication and
relationships with whoever I encounter. This will help me to be a better team
member within our collaboration and be a supportive and caring person to all
my co-workers by acknowledging my virtues and the virtues of others.�
Shonna M. Stachowski, Fergus Falls Head
Start Teacher, Fergus Falls, MN
I attended "Awakening The Gifts Within" and the Virtues Project
Three Day Facilitator Training with Terry Rahn and Valerie Hess, and I highly
recommend attending both of these trainings. My capacity to appreciate others
and to see their virtues has increased and will hopefully continue to
increase. My understanding and appreciation for the Five Strategies of The
Virtues Project continues to grow. The Spiritual Companioning process has been
very useful to me personally in helping me gain insight into myself and to
forgive myself for pain that I caused others. I am striving to employ
Spiritual Companioning in my listening and being with others and have
experienced its power to help others also. Terry & Valerie use the Five
Strategies of The Virtues Project to create an environment which fosters
openness, safety, personal and spiritual growth, while having fun and learning
about The Virtues Project. I continue to gain appreciation of the five
strategies and the tools available through The Virtues Project such as the
virtues cards, the four books, the musical CD and the videos on DVD's. The
value I received at the trainings was well worth the time and money I spent. I
encourage anyone and everyone to take their trainings.
Vicki Taylor D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy
Thanks Val for sharing the evaluations with me!! It actually brought
tears to my eyes to see the impact your workshop had on the staff and that
they will not only apply what you and Terry taught here at the club but in
their own personal lives as well!! It is my goal to keep the momentum going
throughout the entire year so that staff will continually use the virtues and
see them as part of their everyday lives!! Thank you to you and Terry again!!
This workshop could not have come at a better time! I will definitely be in
touch about further workshops and trying to find grants to apply for them!!
Nicole L. Bessey, Director of Operations & Programs, Boys & Girls
Club of the Wisconsin Rapids Area, WI
While serving as a coach for a Peak Potentials 2010 Life Direction's Course, attended by 700 participants, Valerie received the following coach evaluation comments:
She took the time to listen to my issues.
She offered me excellent advice.
I plan to start to take the steps she suggested and get rid of all the negative thoughts in my head.
Thanks for your help � I will be in touch.
Talking w/ Valerie was so helpful.
She helped me get in touch w/ my self confidence.
During a process with her I clarified how I will manifest my mission.
Life provided me the coach I needed.
Working with the cards helped me to find what I had to do to take the next step.
After this experience I was open to do my vision board w/ passion.
She helped me get in touch w/ intense feelings I experienced at Warrior Camp; peace, joy, confidence, love for myself & others
I will contribute & make a difference!
While serving as a coach for a Peak Potentials 2010 Life Direction's Course, attended by 700 participants, Valerie received those coach evaluation comments