The goal:

Education Based--Community Embraced

For information on training opportunities, please contact the Josephson Institute of Ethics at 1-800-711-2670 or check out the following link:


The Josephson Institute and its CHARACTER COUNTS! project conduct training seminars throughout the country. Perhaps the best way to bring CHARACTER COUNTS! to your school and community is to a Student Development Workshop (SDW). A SDW is an intensive, three-day class that prepares and certifies individuals to return home and train colleagues. Also available: one-day introductory awareness programs, in-service training, advanced seminars for SDW graduates and sportsmanship training for coaches and sports officials.

Student Development Workshops (SDW) are three-day CHARACTER COUNTS! courses that prepare teachers, youth leaders and other youth-influencing adults to teach principled reasoning and ethical decision-making based on the Six Pillars. SDW graduates work with each other as a team to help youth in a single community.

Training Goals

Whether the CDS is hosted by a community or is an open-enrollment session, attendees leave the program with:

  • A solid understanding of how the values represented by the Six Pillars of Character are manifest in the lives of children, and the adults who teach them.
  • Realistic strategies for teaching and reinforcing these values. Teachers should see how character education enhances, and needn’t take time away from, substantive course work.
  • An understanding of the obstacles to introducing an aggressive character development program to a community — how to deal with apathy, skepticism, hostility, and political and religious concerns.

Pursuing Victory With Honor –

Ethics in Sports Seminars


IDEAL FOR: coaches, athletic directors, counselors, sports officials and administrators


  • how to build character through coaching

  • the ethical aspects of sport and sportsmanship

  • practical decision-making techniques

  • professional responsibilities of coaching

A great way to begin or expand your initiative

One Day Training Workshops or Inservice Programs

  • Introduction to Character Education – can be adapted for school or community.

  • Moving Character Education From Words to Action – an advanced workshop that provides specific instructional strategies for teachers to use in implementing a character education initiative.

  • Curriculum Integration- Connecting Character to State Standards

  • Being a Leader in Character Education – used as an administrative leadership workshop for central office and school administrators.

  • Support Staff and Their Role in Character Education – training for non-certified staff i.e. bus drivers, clerical, lunchroom.

  • Student Leadership – training middle school or high school students to be leaders in bring character education to a school.

  • Workplace Ethics – training for employees on ethical decision-making.

  • Building a Community Coalition—assistance is provided on the steps a community can take to build a community coalition supporting character education.

  • Principals and Administrators

  • Ethics Is The Oil For The Friction Of School Life

    This informative presentation will provide school leaders with effective tools and strategies to promote the qualities and traits associated with good character. In promoting ethics as the key to a successful school culture, you will learn how to :

    • Establish ethical standards within a school and the training necessary to uphold them;

    • Bring a consistent "ethics language" to any school or department.

    • Prepare an ethical decision-making model that can be used to guideemployees when confronted with difficult issues related to moral right and wrong;

    • Elevate an awareness of the importance of shared beliefs and consensus values;

    • Create a praiseworthy ethical environment.

    Excellence and Ethics in the Workplace

    Ethical standards and practices are a necessity for every organization - and an outright requirement for many. More than ever before, school administrators are instrumental in creating an ethical climate. This informative presentation can provide practical tips on how a school leader can become effective catalyst for significant change in people's attitudes by promoting respectful and responsible behavior throughout the organization; and through incorporating organizational values into everyday behaviors. This down-to-earth address gives leaders a step-by-step process and tools for Creating a Culture of Ethics and Excellence in the Workplace.


    Building an Ethical Culture in Your School

    Ethics asks us to consider whether our actions are right or wrong. It also asks us how values play out in everyday decisions that administrators make. This presentation shares straightforward and highly practical tools designed to help school administrators implement a systematic approach to creating an ethical culture within a school or department. You will leave with strategies on how to make effective and ethical decisions, useful practices for hiring faculty of character and ways that your school can visibly, consistently and pervasively articulate and advocate specified core ethical values as the only acceptable way of doing business.

    Instilling Touchstones of Character

    Based on Gary's book where intentional strategies are shared for integration into a class. The book includes a presentation on the following traits: Character, Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility,   Fairness, Caring, Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication, Gratitude, Perseverance, Resilience, Growth Mindset, Setting Goals, Critical Thinking, Decision Making


    “This was the best in-service experience I’ve had in my 32 years as a classroom teacher.” -Tracy, CA


    “I loved the program and the way the day was structured – I’m energized!” - Fostoria, OH


    “The speaker was really great, professional and knowledgeable” – Los Angeles, CA


    "Gary not only challenged me to think of my role as a character educator but also really touched my heart. I have been changed!" - Philadelphia, PA


    “A life-changing experience for me as a teacher.” – St. Mary’s County, MD


    “Our community can now get on board in making our community better.” – Barrington, IL


    "Dr. Smit is extremely enthusiastic and effective when it comes to sharing with teachers the integration of character education into the life of a school.  Next to Tom Lickona, he was the best here. I was lucky to hear him speak." - CEP Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA


    "This was by far the best institute day I've ever attended. Gary used practical strategies to make character education come alive for me as a classroom teacher." - Martinsville, IN


    Back to Home Page


    For a quick look at a training, go to the following link in You Tube for a recent character education seminar conducted in Singapore.

    Gary Smit Training Seminar


    Partial list of Trainings


    School District Inservices


    Yorkville Community School District 115, Yorkville, IL

    Barrington Unit School District 220, Barrington, IL

    Libertyville School District 70, Libertyville, IL

    Arlington Heights School District 23, Arlington Heights, IL

    Henry School District, Henry, IL

    Glenview School District 34, Glenview, IL

    Darien Center Cass School District 66, Darien, IL

    North Shore School District 112, Highland Park, IL

    Elk Grove School District 59, Elk Grove, IL

    Oswego School District, Oswego, IL

    Winfield School District 34, Winfield, IL

    Addison School District 4, Addison, IL

    Minooka School District, Minooka, IL

    Lyons School District 103, Lyons, IL

    Princeville School District, Princeville, IL

    Inola School District, Inola, OK

    St. Cloud Schools and Community, St. Cloud, MN

    Palmyra School District, Palmyra, NJ

    Martinsville School Corporation, Martinsville, IN

    Oak Grove School District, Libertyville, IL

    Tri-County School District, Wolcott, IN

    Gilroy, CA

    Lafayette, CA

    Tonkawa, OK

    Salina, KA

    Summit, MS

    Poway, CA

    Coolidge School District, Coolidge, AZ

    Waynesboro School District, PA


    Multiple Presentations – School District/Community


    Batavia Community Unit School District 101, Batavia, IL

    Barrington Unit School District 220, Barrington, IL

    Bolingbrook, IL

    Elgin School District U-46, Bartlett, IL

    Addison School District 4, Addison, IL

    Wood Dale School District 7, Wood Dale, IL

    Bensenville School District 2, Bensenville, IL

    Broadview, IL

    Round Lake C.U.S.D. 116, Round Lake,  IL

    C.C.S.D. 93, Carol Stream, IL

    Clinton Community School District, Clinton, IA

    Aspen School District, Aspen, CO

    Beloit, WI

    Tracy Unified School District, Tracy, CA

    Fostoria Public Schools, Fostoria, OH

    St. Mary’s County School District, Leonardtown, MD

    Henry School District, Henry, IL

    Oak Grove School, Libertyville, IL

    Evanston, WY

    Orono, MN

    Eagle Heights Academy, Youngstown, OH

    Manor Independent Schools, Manor, TX

    New Mexico School Administrators

    Fontana Unified SD, Fontana, CA

    Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Los Angeles, CA

    Ray Center, Des Moines, IA


    School In-services


    Madison School, Wheaton, IL

    Yorkville Middle School, Yorkville, IL

    Mead Jr. High School, Schaumburg, IL

    Keller Jr. High School, Schaumburg, IL

    Hoffman School, Glenview, IL

    Batavia Middle School, Batavia, IL

    Lindop School, Broadview, IL

    Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale, IL

    Kimball Middle School, Elgin, IL

    Hoover Elementary School, Schaumburg, IL

    Fenton High School, Bensenville, IL

    Bolingbrook High School, Bolingbrook, IL

    Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Wheaton, IL

    Oswego, IL

    Aspen Elementary School, Aspen CO

    Tracy High School, Tracy, CA

    Aspen High School, Aspen, CO

    Romeoville High School, IL

    St. Michael School, Wheaton, IL

    Alexandria High School, Alexandria, IN

    St. Michael School, Wheaton, IL

    Northrup High School, Ft. Wayne, IN

    Brentwood Elementary, Victorville, CA

    Reno, NV

    Xenin Secondary School, Singapore

    Raffles Girls School - Singapore

    East View Primary School - Singapore

    Jerling Junior High, Orland Park, IL

    San Jose CA


    Community Presentations


    Breaking Free, Aurora, IL

    Downers Grove, IL

    Barrington, IL

    Bloomingdale, IL

    YMCA, Ottawa, IL

    University of Illinois Extension Service, Bloomington, IL

    Glen Ellyn, IL

    Olney, IL

    Cary, IL

    Chicago Heights- Flossmoor, IL

    Anderson University, Anderson, IN

    Livermore, CA

    Owosso, MI

    Boys and Girls Club - Pasadena, CA


    International Trainings

    Character Institute Singapore (7 years)

    Singapore Ministry of Education

    CHARACTER COUNTS - Bogota, Colombia

    Tus Valores Cuentan, Puerto Rico

    Colegio Menor, Quite, Ecuador

    Escola Americana, Rio, Brazil

    Escola Ethos, Goiania, Braiazil

    Colegio Jean Piaget, Santos, Brazil

    Karl C. Parrish, Barranquilla, Colombia,

    Bridges to Goodness, Lagos, Nigeria

    Ministry of Education, Bermuda

    Ministry of Education, AbuDhabi, UAE


    Not-for-Profit Organizations, Governmental Entities


    Lincoln Challenge Program, Rantoul, IL

    DuPage County Health Department, Wheaton, IL

    Illinois Resource Center, Chicago, IL

    National Guard Challenge, Phoenix, AZ

    Bolingbrook Park District, Bolingbrook, IL

    Ethics for School Board Members & Administrators, Visalia, CA

    Los Angeles Unified School District Coaches Training, Los Angeles, CA

    United Knowledge, Singapore, Singapore

    Principal's Partnership

    Wyoming Principals

    Owosso, MI


    State or National Conferences

    Lake/McHenry County IASCD, Gurnee, IL 2001

    Illinois Association of School Boards, Chicago, IL  2001, 2002, 2003

    Southeast Regional Character Ed Conference, Chattanooga, TN – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

    Midwest Regional Character Education Conference, 2005

    Southwest Regional Character Ed Conference, Dallas, TX - 2004, 2005

    National School Boards Association, New Orleans, LA – 2002, 2004

    Youth-At-Risk Conference, Savannah, GA – 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005

    Character Education Partnership Conference, Philadelphia, PA - 2000, Denver, CO – 2001, Atlanta, GA – 2002, Arlington, VA - 2003 - Washington DC - 2013, 2014, 2015

    Alternatives to Suspension, Orlando, FL - 2002, 2003, 2005

    Cooperating School Districts – St. Louis, MO – 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008

    Kentucky Safe Schools Conference- Louisville, KY - 2003, 2004

    Anderson University, 2004

    Mobile, AL Mega Conference - 2007

    Principal's Partnership San Antonio, TX, 2007