The sixth "Coastal Empire Conference on Ethics" had its biggest turnout yet this year.
The conference, co-sponsored by the West Point Society of Savannah (WPSS) and The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, was a day-long event that drew 150 high school students, educators and parents from area schools in six Georgia and South Carolina counties, including Bryan.
"Our country needs ethical leadership today more than ever before," said WPSS President Joel Daniels in a media release.
Daniels said the conference, held each year on the Monday before Thanksgiving, motivates students and educators to work together to develop and improve high school programs to show the importance of establishing and maintaining high moral and ethical standards.
Major Jeffrey Odegaard is the JROTC educator at Richmond Hill High School. He took two of his students, Jean Navedo and Amber Amory, to the program.
"The students were really impressed with this. They always come away excited about it," he said, noting this is his second year attending. "It’s mostly run by West Point Cadets from this area; they explain what the West Point Code of Honor is and how their ethic and respect programs work. They take the students into groups and talk to them about different ethics topics based on day-to-day life."
Odegaard said the program is beneficial to everyone who participates, noting the conference has given him ideas on how to teach ethics in the classroom.
Roughly a quarter of the educators at the conference are specifically JROTC educators, which Odegaard said makes the program very helpful to him.
George Woods, chairman of the conference and a member of the West Point Society of Savannah’s Board of Directors, said he was pleased with the turnout.
"I think the conference was overall a great success. We had one of our best turnouts from both Georgia and South Carolina. (Guest speaker) Dr. Lockamy gave a great presentation, and the West Point team was excellent," he said, noting there were five new schools invited to attend this year.
Contact the Conference Chairman, George Woods, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register for the 2008 conference.