Ceremony honors citizens who display character

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Christy Scott of the Barrington Junior Women’s Club, and Al and Dyeanne Koller, both of Palatine | Laura Pavin~For Sun-Times Media

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More than 50 people crowded into Barrington’s Village Hall for the Barrington Junior Women’s Club’s Character Counts! awards ceremony June 11 during which six citizens were honored for representing one of six pillars of character within the community: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Character Counts! is a national program that works with groups and school districts to teach the importance of character in the workplace, home, school and elsewhere. The awards ceremony is only a small portion of the organization’s work within the community.

Barrington has participated in the national awards program since 2001, and has awarded roughly 60 pillars to local citizens most deserving of the honor. Awards are typically given to individuals who are rarely recognized for their commendable deeds.

This year’s Character Counts! awards ceremony was sponsored by the BJWC, which sent out and reviewed the nomination applications and hosted the ceremony during part of the village’s board of trustees meeting.

“For the awards, we encourage members of the community to nominate an individual to be recognized for the good works that they do in our town,” said Christy Scott of the Barrington Junior Women’s Club.

Each recipient was nominated to represent the pillar that he or she most epitomized.

Sixth-grader Kayla Bach received the pillar of caring for helping others sincerely without the expectation of being recognized for her deeds.

Parent volunteer Julia Bishop was awarded with the pillar of citizenship for her commitment to the community and Hough Street Elementary School students.

VFW Post 7706 member and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Fitness Center employee Al Koller received the pillar of respect for his ability to make those around him feel important and worthy.

District 220 school bus driver Sylvia Maxwell was awarded the pillar of trustworthiness for taking care of her elementary school passengers by knitting blankets for them in the winter and singing songs with them to keep bus rides fun.

Director of Salem Methodist Preschool Cindy Schaeffer was granted the pillar of responsibility for her genuine feelings of responsibility toward those around her and her ability to foster a school environment that is compassionate and caring.

Countryside Elementary School aide Eileen Schroeder was given the pillar of caring for her time spent ensuring that each of her students understood class materials.

“Tonight we celebrate the members of our community who set a wonderful example by living these pillars every day,” Scott said. “It’s in celebration of thanks for the many behind-the-scenes expressions of characters that we as individuals need to exhibit in our community.”