Meet Our 2016-17"Fans of Dr. Bob"

1st MidAmerica Credit Union

Arvest Bank - South Noland Road

Blake Roberson State Farm Insurance

CenterPoint Medical Center

Commerce Bank

East Alton Community of Christ

Eastern Independence Rotary Club

First Federal Bank

Grace Christian Church

Graceland University

South Crysler Community of Christ

Stewardship Capital

Ted's Trash Service

Three Trails Animal Hospital

Trinity Church of the Nazarene



Students Recognized for COMPASSION in DECEMBER







Little Blue | Melana Dominguez


Mallinson | Michael Hayne

Mill Creek

Ott | Andrea Rincon

Procter | Brayden Martinez

Randall | Jervin Riddle

Santa Fe Trail

Spring Branch

William Southern

Sugar Creek


Three Trails


Sunshine Center

Independence Academy | Bryan Johnson


Bingham | Owen Schultz


Pioneer Ridge | Jennifer Carlson


William Chrisman

Van Horn


Traits of the Month

January:  RESPECT – to show consideration to self and others

February:  COOPERATION – to respectfully play and work with others

March:  INITIATIVE – to act and make decisions on your own

April:  PERSEVERANCE – to continue trying in spite of difficulties

May:  SELF-CONTROL – to express your feelings in an appropriate manner

June:  COURAGE – to remain strong when faced with difficulty

July:  LOYALTY – to be faithful to a person, a team or an idea

August:  AMBITION – to have strong determination to accomplish goals

September:  RESPONSIBILITY – to be accountable for your actions

October:  INTEGRITY – to do the right thing

November:  CITIZENSHIP – to be a productive and responsible resident

December:  COMPASSION – to understand the challenges of others and to want to do something about it


Student Honors and School News Appears Monthly!




Hanthorn Early Education Center:  December Staff Honoree:  Elaine Dunn

Little Blue Elementary students and staff did an excellent job raising money for the Holiday Helpers Change Challenge!  December Staff Honoree: Deborah Huffman

Mallinson Elementary and Sugar Creek Elementary teamed up to collect money for the Holiday Helpers Change Challenge. Student Council created a spirit week where students wore crazy hats, comfy pajamas and one day everyone wore their clothes backwards! It was so much fun! Students had an opportunity to send candy cane grams (a sweet treat and message) to each other to benefit the Holiday Helpers Change Challenge. Student Council worked as a team to attach candy canes to the more than 700 sweet notes!

Ott Elementary collected items for Great Plains Animal Shelter to show compassion to the homeless cats and dogs of Independence. As a way for us to support the animal shelter and have some fun, we are having a festive spirit week! Students donate food or small amounts of change daily celebrate their donations and caring hearts through festive wear.

  • Monday, Dec. 12th: Green Day - Wear all of your green stuff! The more the merrier!!
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13th: Christmas Pajamas - wear your cozy, wintery pajamas!
  • Wednesday, Dec. 14th: Christmas Accessories - Wear ALL the jingle jewelry, socks, hats, headbands, bracelets, ties etc. you can find!
  • Thursday, Dec. 15th: Ugly Sweater Day - Wear the wackiest winter sweater you have.
  • Friday, Dec. 16th: Red Day - Wear as much red stuff as you can!

Another way students are learning about compassion is by making cat and dog toys for animals at the Great Plains Animal Shelter. Students will meet with buddy classrooms to learn about compassion and complete the animal shelter project.  As of December 21, 689 items were collected for the Great Plains Animal Shelter.  December Staff Honoree: Gina McCaulley

Procter Elementary Superheroes demonstrated compassion with their "super hearts" by giving so much to the Holiday Helpers Change Challenge it exceeded the combined total from previous years. During classroom lessons, students led some pretty interesting conversations about what compassion "looks and sounds" like. They even included the compassionate acts of Milli, our therapy dog and made her holiday stars along with birthday cards. Students made Christmas cards for community agencies with their signature helping hands. Additionally, our Kindness Tree in the front lobby is taking on a life of its own with the many acts of kindness displayed by our students each and every day.  December Staff Honoree: Terri Brewer

Randall Elementary: December Staff Honoree: Stephanie Moergen

Santa Fe Trail Elementary showed compassion in December with students and staff donating to Holiday Helpers Change Challenge. SFT set a new record by collecting over $800! In classroom lessons students are discussing what compassion looks like and how we can do even small things to help others. Students listened to the book "How Full Is Your Bucket" or "Zen Ties" and then watched the video "Kindness Boomerang." After discussion, students created drops for a classmate. These drops are displayed in the hall by the counselor's office. It is heartwarming to see all the wonderful things we have to say about each other!  December Staff Honoree: Lanny Coil

Sycamore Hills Elementary students had a short, but busy month.  December events included a food drive, Holiday Helpers Change Challenge and a pet drive for Great Plains SPCA.  Great Plains is a community partner with Sycamore and students were able to help with pet toys, food, treats and donations.  December Staff Honoree: Sharon Redding

Independence Academy had a food drive in the month of December for Salvation Army. During Spirit Week students participated by providing a food donation or an act of kindness. IA collected hats, scarves, and gloves for all students in need. Donated items were distributed at our Holiday Happenings, where we invited students and their families, staff members and community partners. We served chili and rolls, did crafts and took family pictures. All children who attended were provided with hats, scarves, and/or gloves.  December Staff Honoree: Katie Davis

Bingham Middle School:  December Staff Honoree: Tiffany White

Pioneer Ridge Middle School Character Council volunteered to wrap gifts at Barnes and Noble; all donations received will be donated to a local charity. Character Council is excited about giving back to the community. The Pioneer Kindness Club was busy "lighting our halls” with kindness messages! Students wrote messages about acts of kindness on paper Christmas lights.  December Staff Honoree: Vicki Sisel


What is CHARACTERplus?

CHARACTERplus is a program adopted by the Independence School District in 2008. The purpose of CHARACTERplus is to emphasize positive character traits in all areas of a student's life.

In 2008, parents, community members, teachers and counselors gathered together to determine "traits of the month" that they believe reinforce the positive character traits already being taught in many homes.

The traits are blended into the curriculum, extracurricular activities, and are displayed throughout the community. The Independence School District believes that modeling character traits may be the most effective way of passing them on to students. Studies in schools with similar programs have noted significant positive changes in office referrals, parent relations and school leadership.


The Many Ways Character is Developed

Character is developed every day through our interactions and choices.  Schools within the Independence School District use a wide variety of activities, recognitions, and partnerships as part of comprehensive efforts to support POSITIVE CHARACTER, STUDENT LEADERSHIP, and SERVICE LEARNING. Two of our schools chose to pursue formal recognition for their character development efforts.  

Congratulations to Christian Ott Elementary and William Chrisman High School!  

Both hold National School of Character and Missouri School of Character designation!


How Can I Support CHARACTERplus?

It is easy to sign up as a supporter of CHARACTERplus. You will receive monthly trait signs that you can print out and put in your home or business, get updates on CHARACTERplus in the schools and in the community, and get a copy of the Student of Character logo to print out on your stationery or business correspondence, or set as your screen saver. In addition, parents should feel free to contact their school to see how they can help support CHARACTERplus. If you are a business or organization wanting to display a banner or sponsor a school as a Fan of Dr. Bob, contact the Elementary Education Office (816-521-5300  x10008).


Business, Faith, and Civic Organizations

YOU can Become a Fan of Dr. Bob

Are you a community member, business leader, or an organization that wants to help create a Community of Character? It's easy! You can donate your time, services or dollars to support CHARACTERplus in our schools. CHARACTERplus teaches students of all ages how to be good community members by promoting character in all facets of life!


Community Member of Character Award

Do you know someone in the community who deserves to win the Dr. Bob Community Member of Character Award?

The nominee must live or work in Independence but cannot work for the school district.

You can nominate a community member by contacting the Elementary Education office (816) 521-5300  x10008.