The Jeff Hayden Character Award: The Jeff Hayden Character Award was established during the 2005-2006 school year by then Freedom Elementary Principal Dr. Keith Kline. The award will be given out annually to a sixth grade girl and boy that demonstrate the traits which the school refers to as “Freedom Pride”. Sixth grade teachers make the choice through a 3 step process. They select independently, and then vote independently, until they get to the top five students for each gender. Then through a discussion they select the two students that best demonstrate Freedom Pride. This involves looking at student’s history at Freedom including academics, specials, recess, lunch, bus, etc.

Freedom Pride, the school’s character education initiative, was lauded as one of the nation’s finest and includes working with students on the development of strong character as a means to both improve academic performance and to prepare students for life.

In its tenth year, Freedom Pride focuses on the following Freedom Pride Skills: Responsibility, Respect, Citizenship, Compassion, Self-Discipline, Honesty, Motivation, Integrity and Teamwork. Community service projects and working with struggling students in unique ways are also part of the Freedom Pride Mission.

The Jeffrey Thomas Hayden Foundation is honored to be associated with Freedom Elementary and proud that they chose to name their prestigious Character Award after Jeffrey. Thanks to Principal Sabrina Hubert for continuing the tradition established by her predecessors.

Jeffrey T. Hayden Memorial Award

The Jeffrey T. Hayden Memorial Award was established in October of 2004 at Lakota Ridge Jr. High School in West Chester, Ohio. The schools principal, Mr. Ed Rudder, counselor Susan Fraley and athletic director Douglas Carlberg, along with the staff at Ridge Jr. have been instrumental in creating and promoting this award, which will be presented annually at the school’s Fall Sports Award Banquet. The award is open to all 7th and 8th grade students that participate in a fall sport. Student athletes are nominated by their coaches and a final decision is made by a selection committee. Recipients of this award will be someone who exemplifies the special characteristics of Jeff, who is a good friend to others, who works hard in practice and on game day, and most of all, excels in the classroom. Also, the recipient of this award is someone who is a positive influence and who displays courage in the face of adversity. The recipient will receive an individual plaque and their name will be engraved on a permanent plaque that will hang in the school.



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