The Fresno State Bonner Center for Character Education and Citizenship named John Muir Middle School as a 2021 Character and Civic Education Award recipient. High schools and junior high schools can only win the award once every four years. John Muir Principal Dave Whitmore said that John Muir, who has been eligible since 2012 has won the award three times–for 2012-2013, 2016-2017 and for 2020-2021 school years.The application criteria for this school year had been altered to include more focus on civic and democratic education in addition to character education. Principal Whitmore said the first step is to put in an application to the Bonner Center outlining the school’s practices. The center then chooses schools to visit and validate what they had in their application. Normally, Bonner Center representatives visit the school in person however, due to COVID-19 this year’s visit was done virtually via Zoom.
Principal Whitmore said that for the presentation John Muir staff presented a video (which can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHFwuuWQ_vs&feature=youtu.be) and then held Zoom meetings with administration, teachers, parents, classified staff and students.Also, due to COVID-19, The Bonner Center did not hold an in-person award ceremony but instead collaborated with the John D. Welty Center for Educational Policy and Leadership’s Virtual Conference to hold a virtual Bonner Winner Showcase which was scheduled last week.The Bonner Center recognizes exemplary schools of character. In even years the award program recognizes valley elementary schools; in odd years they recognize middle and high schools.Principal Whitmore says his staff will hold an award presentation at the next Corcoran Unified School District Board meeting Tuesday, March 9.