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Georgia says Gainesville High is a school of character
GHS in running for national award
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Gainesville High School has been named a 2008 State School of Character.

Each year, the Washington, D.C.-based Character Education Partnership names 10 public and private schools and districts as National Schools of Character.

The recognition is based on "outstanding work in improving the behavior and learning of their students through character education," according to the organization’s Web site.

Some states, including Georgia, conduct State Schools of Character competitions as a preliminary step to the national awards, which are presented in November at the organization’s National Forum on Character Education.

Schools and districts will learn in March if they are a finalist.

National winners receive a $20,000 award, half of which must be used for outreach to other schools and districts

Kennesaw State University in Cobb County and the Character Education Partnership administer the Georgia Schools of Character Award.

"Many worked hard in the application process and it was very competitive," said Gainesville High campus principal Mike Kemp.

Linda Youngblood, principal of GHS’ Arts and Sciences Academy, said the process to seek the honor "was a lot of fun."

"I think it truly reflects what we do at Gainesville High School and how we work very hard to try to build character in our students every day," she said.

Centennial Arts Academy in Gainesville was a national winner in 2006.

"Hispanic students make up about half of Centennial’s student population," the organization says of the school on its past winners Web page.

"The school has embraced its community’s changing demographics and welcomes each child as a worthy individual with tremendous potential."