From left – Scott Raecker, Executive Director of Character Counts In Iowa, Lowell Ernst, Pella Character Counts, Emily Drey,Lowell Ernst, Pella Character Counts, Jodi Bokhoven, Lowell Ernst, Pella Character Counts, Clint Brown, Lowell Ernst, Pella Character Counts, Marta Codina, Character Counts in Iowa board member, Jim Aipperspach, Character Counts in Iowa board member and Pella Mayor Jim Mueller

The Iowa Character Awards Dinner was held last Friday, at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines. Pella was well represented. Character Counts In Iowa annually presents the Iowa Character Awards to Iowans who consistently demonstrate good character.

Doug Cutler, of Pella Community Schools, was honored as the Educator of the Year. The educator award is presented annually to an educator or administrators who teach and model good character and impact students through innovative character development.

But that's not all - as the Community of Character of Award was presented to Pella. Several members of the Pella Character Counts Board of Directors were present to accept the award on behalf of the community.

"It's a great honor not only for the board, but for the community of Pella," Board member Clint Brown said. "This is not an individual award, this is something the whole community can celebrate. We are very proud, just to be nominated. Hats off to Doug too, he has done some amazing things for kids in and out of the classroom. He leads by example."

The community award, which Pella received, is one that looks for an Iowa community that has developed an active task force and a comprehensive, sustained community-wide initiative to support good character and has integrated character development throughout the community.

Since 2005, more than 100 individuals and organizations from across the state have received an Iowa Character Award.      

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