There’s more going on at FishHawk Creek Elementary School than reading, writing and arithmetic. School administrators place a focus on character development, fostering ethical, responsible and caring young people as well as intelligent ones.

Guidance counselor Maria Pizzichetti said the school contracts with Core Essentials, a nonprofit organization in partnership with Chick-fil-A, which provides the yearly curriculum.

A different value is highlighted in the program each month. This year’s values have included knowledge, creativity, gratitude, generosity, self-control, honor, conviction, hope and responsibility.

Each month, teachers select one student in their classroom who exemplifies that character trait. The students are presented a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A kids’ meal and a certificate at the monthly awards ceremony.

Pizzichetti said the school followed a different curriculum in the past and with the addition of new character traits she is seeing students who are becoming student of the month for the first time.

Monique Kucera, parent of first grade student Brandon Kucera, is proud of her son for being selected as the student of the month for the character trait of hope in his classroom. His teacher, Mrs. Hodgkins, selected him because of his positive attitude in every situation.

“I think it is wonderful to have that positive recognition for doing things that are good,” said Kucera.

Chick-fil-A marketing director Cindi Benton said three schools in the area are currently participating in the program and hope others will participate in the future.

“We support education and hope our materials will help educators teach these values so that each student will treat others right, make smart decisions and maximize their potential,” she said.

For more information, visit

Previous articleGarden District May Get Reclaimed Water
Next articleChildren Learn And Explore Through Children’s Board KidzCreate Gallery
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.