Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others.

—US Dept. of Education, Character Education … “Our Shared Responsibility”


During the 2020–2021 school year, character education was a critical component in maintaining a responsible, safe and respectful school community at Berlin Elementary. The virtual assemblies made it possible for students and teachers at BES to stay connected and feel part of their greater school community, whether attending school in person or remotely.

Principal Tracy Kent and the BES Character Education Committee met frequently throughout the school year to plan and carry out the assemblies. These created opportunities for students to present content and skits on the monthly mantras or themes.

“I am pleased that we were able to continue our monthly assemblies this year in a virtual manner,” said Principal Kent. “Our students look forward to these opportunities to come together as a school community to acknowledge and celebrate one another.”

As we begin the month of August and think ahead to the 2021–2022 school year, it is appropriate to ask your elementary students, as well as those who are now the newest members of the Middle School community, about “moving up.” During the last week of school for students in Kindergarten through 4th grade, “moving up” was a visit that took place after the last character education assembly. It was a trip down memory lane for the 5th graders at the time, who went back to Kindergarten to talk about their favorite BES memories.

The 5th graders had visited the Berlin Middle School a few weeks earlier. There they had been welcomed by teachers and staff as well as by a rousing and inspirational performance by members of the chorus and Middle School band ensemble.

As part of their visit to the Middle School, the 5th grade students were taken on a “scavenger hunt” by peer leaders from 6th grade. This hunt was to find important rooms and meet staff members who will be friendly faces and resources when they arrive in September. The 5th graders were also able to ask their peer leaders candid questions to help feel at ease with the transition to Middle School.

Fifth grade students also got to know the 6th grade teaching staff and met Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Mr. Charles Paravella. Principal Mrs. Kimberly Brownell will be a new face to welcome all BMHS students this school year. Please learn more about Berlin Middle/High School’s newest administrator, Principal Brownell, here on her Principal’s page.

The Principal’s page is a new feature on the website this year for both BMHS Principal Brownell and BES Principal Kent. These pages have a Principal’s Corner, which will provide the latest news and information directly from the desk of the Principals. Please find Principal Kent’s here. 

Meanwhile students in Kindergarten through 4th moved up for a visit to the grade level they will be attending this fall. The grade level teams gave presentations to the students where they talked about the goals, expectations and the learning adventures the students will embark on. Students were able to ask many questions of the teachers and see what a classroom at the next grade level will look like and share the excitement of moving up with their entire grade.

This is always a special day at the end of the year and one to ask your students about as the next school year approaches. Berlin Elementary classroom placements will be sent home by email in mid-August this year, so please keep an eye out for an email from BES.

Principal Kent is looking forward to having everyone back in the classrooms this fall and is excited for the latest building improvements to be used and enjoyed by the students and staff. Mrs. Kent also looks forward to the school-wide character education assemblies starting back up again and to handing out merits, Mountain Climber and Mountain Guide awards again to her BES Mountaineers.

“We will definitely continue our assemblies in some fashion in the new school year to connect as a school and promote the values that promote learning and growth for our students,” said Principal Kent.

Mountaineers Mantra
The Mountaineers are WE!
Berlin students all agree!
We climb, we climb, we climb!
We do it every time!

Mountaineer Merits are given throughout the month by BES staff and bus drivers to celebrate students who are demonstrating these traits. The students are given merits, which are deposited in the Mountaineer Merit container found in the Elementary School’s main hallway. At the assembly each month Principal Kent draws 10 merit recipients, (5 from Kindergarten to 2nd grade and 5 from 3rd to 5th grades) who then receive a prize.

Mountain Guides and Mountain Climbers are chosen by the teachers each month. Mountain Guide awards go to students who consistently follow the expectations at school and serve as role models for others. The Mountain Climber award goes to students who are working really hard and showing improvement to meet the behavior expectations.

Congratulations to the following Mountaineer award recipients from June: 

Mountaineer Merits: Jaxson Homiak, Aiden Mallory, Aidan Kelly, Duncan Thompson, Ellie Schaaphok, Garrett Burdick,  Nicholas Meyers, Summer Levin, Logan Chittenden and Demi Kormos

Mountain Guides: Jaxson Mayeaux, Stanton Murray, Zaiden Gardner, Maya Sykes-Gundlach, Lucas Demers, Isabella Ray, and Clair Schaaphok

Mountain Climbers: Ryder LeBlanc, Ellie Schaaphok, Sarah Schaaphok, Eli Swim, Emma Leblanc, Christopher LaMountain, Serenity Bond-Devine, Matthew Schaaphok, Logan Chittenden, Aryn Hunt and Garrett Burdick