The 35th annual Conference on Character and Civic Education, hosted by Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Fresno Convention Center’s Exhibit Hall, 848 M St.

The Conference on Character and Civic Education is the longest running character education conference in the U.S. and is designed specifically for students in the teacher education credential programs at both Fresno State and Fresno Pacific University.

This conference is intended to provide hundreds of student teachers with important concepts and considerations related to the ethical implications of what teachers do as professional educators. The student teachers will be provided with information on local civic agencies that assist children and families with life issues.

They will also be presented with ethical issues facing today’s teachers and provided professionally appropriate ways of dealing with those issues and with strategies to enhance character strengths in their students. The conference will reinforce the fact that student teachers have a vital role in shaping a child’s character.

The morning will start off (8:30 a.m.) with keynote speaker Justice Charles S. Poochigian, of the Fifth District Court of Appeal. Poochigian will speak to the teaching credential students about civility and civil dialog – a topic that is crucial in today’s society.

Following Poochigian’s keynote speech is the Exemplary Schools Recognition Awards Ceremony. Awards will be given to 12 exemplary Central Valley middle and high schools of character. Each elementary school can bring representatives (both leadership and students) to the conference. The schools being recognized and honored are listed below:

  • Alpine Vista Elementary School, Tulare City School District
  • Central High School, Central Unified School District
  • Clovis East High School, Clovis Unified School District
  • Clovis West High School, Clovis Unified School District
  • Grant Middle School, Kings Canyon Unified School District
  • F. Kennedy Jr. High School, Hanford Elementary School District
  • Kings Canyon Middle School, Fresno Unified School District
  • Los Tules Middle School, Tulare City School District
  • Reyburn Intermediate School, Clovis Unified School District
  • Scandinavian Middle School, Fresno Unified School District
  • Sequoia Middle School, Fresno Unified School District
  • Washington Academic Middle School, Sanger Unified School District

The remainder of the conference includes 25 breakout sessions on professional ethics and professional decision-making and recognition of exemplary teachers and administrators of the year from Fresno and Tulare Counties.

The Fresno County Office of Education’s 2018 Teacher of the Year is Carmen Garvis, Sanger High School, and the Tulare County Office of Education’s 2017 Administrator of the Year is John Pendleton, principal of Wilson Elementary School.

For more information, contact Dr. Jacques Benninga at 559.696.9741 or