By: Ashley Winterstein
The Queen Anne’s County Character Counts! Program has been inviting community members to serve as character coaches in local classrooms for nearly ten years. For the 2009-2010 school year, 111 committed citizens have volunteered fifteen minutes of their time each week to share lessons of good character with our youth.
Among this influential group are two volunteers that already have a large presence in Queen Anne’s County Public Schools. Deputy Scott Collins and Deputy first class Jeremy Davidson are School Resource Officers that work at Kent Island High School and Queen Anne’s County High School, respectively.
As School Resource Officers, they remain at their assigned high school during school hours and assist the staff and students with law related questions and concerns. Their main goal is to ensure the safety of the students and personnel in attendance.
With the support of the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, both Deputy Collins and Dfc Davidson are able to volunteer as character coaches one day each week.
Deputy Collins coaches his youngest son’s 6th grade class at Centreville Middle School, while Dfc. Davidson was assigned to Matapeake Middle School. Unfortunately, an injury in 2009 prevented Dfc. Davidson from coaching much of this school year.
In true Character Counts! fashion, Deputy Collins offered to cover his class in order to continue the character building lessons at Matapeake Middle School. Deputy Collins now serves the time of two coaches so that Dfc. Davidson’s class will not miss the valuable activities and discussions about the Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
Both veteran coaches agree that the interaction with the students is the aspect of coaching they enjoy the most. Dfc. Davidson explains, “Prior to my current job, I was a high school history teacher. I feel like I’ve been able to sort of come “full circle” now that I’m assigned to the school system. I get to interact with the high school students, and Character Counts! allows me to spend time with some of the younger students as well.”
Deputy Collins enjoys the activities and the excitement of the students. He feels that becoming a coach is a great idea because, as he admits, “The students I coach look forward to seeing me every week.”
The bond between a Character Counts! coach and their students can be strong and filled with mutual respect and admiration. The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to thank both Deputy Scott Collins and Dfc. Jeremy Davidson for the time and energy they have volunteered to spread the message that character does truly count.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the Character Counts! program, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or firstname.lastname@example.org.