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Lab School explores character with inaugural Book Club read

Filed in BCHS, Student Spotlight by on January 30, 2019

Most teachers hope that character building plays a role in their individual classrooms. Sometimes it’s difficult to find time as part of a crowded curriculum to explore character development in depth. That’s why two English teachers in the Lab School at Bethlehem Central High School have decided to bring that discussion to the forefront, by offering a Book Club for parents, faculty, and students alike.

The bestselling book The Road to Character by David Brooks is the Lab School Book Club’s first read.

“One of the things I love about Lab School is the opportunities we have to cultivate the whole person and not just the student,” said English teacher Andrew Rickert. “When (fellow teacher) Jack Rightmyer recommended this title be our first in the book club, I thought it sounded like the perfect fit.”

Rightmyer, a veteran English teacher at the high school, interviewed the book’s author, David Brooks, about a year ago and knew the premise behind the piece when he and Rickert collaborated on the project.

Rightmyer explained, “It profiles a number of significant historical figures who you might not necessarily hear all that much about; Ida Eisenhower, for example. By hearing about their lives and their hardships you can get to learn what it took in order to overcome great odds and come out a better person.”

On January 10, a group of Lab School students gathered for an informal discussion on the first half of the book. Several parents also attended, as well as several non-Lab School faculty members.

“It was really uplifting to see so many community members come together to share some pizza and discover the diversity of views we have about what helps shape character. We were reminded that you don’t have to look at prominent historical figures to become inspired. There are outstanding people of great character right here in our community,” said RIckert.

The group plans to meet again on February 12 to continue their discussion. Extra copies of the book are still available. Contact Andrew Rickert at for more information.

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