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Character Education

Esse Quam Videri (to be rather than to seem).

For over 175 years, Boys' Latin School has been instilling the core values of courage, integrity and compassion in each boy as embodied in our motto, Esse Quam Videri (to be, rather than to seem). Now, more than ever, we understand the importance of character education.  

We purposefully keep our core values in the forefront of all that we do. Whether you are working on friendships while working on math problems or earning respect regardless if you earn a win, you will be learning – and earning – the rewards of doing what’s difficult. And what’s right.

"I am filled with so much gratitude and pride for how this School has shaped my character."

Boys' Latin Answers the 5 Questions You Need to Ask Schools About Character Education


Character education is woven into every aspect of a Boys' Latin education. It begins with our youngest learners and continues through graduation.

Lower School

In the lower school, boys are taught to identify and practice values. Each grade takes on a value at the beginning of the year—integrity, compassion, teamwork, respect, etc.—which is then woven throughout the curriculum and activities outside the classroom. The culmination of character education in the lower school comes in fifth grade. Fifth graders, who focus on the School’s motto, Esse Quam Videri—To Be Rather Than To Seem, ask themselves big questions like, Who is your authentic self? What are your beliefs? Knowing yourself is a lifelong pursuit. On Lake Avenue, boys start in kindergarten.

Middle School

The middle school years can be a particularly challenging time for boys, but we have found that this provides incredible opportunities for growth. During dedicated middle school advisory time, teachers work closely with students to tackle difficult subjects in a caring manner, engaging in lessons focused on social and emotional learning.  These workshops focus on several topics, such as mindsets and goals, values and relationships, coping skills and friendship and peer conflict.

Upper School

In the upper school, we purposefully keep our values in the forefront of all that we do, and students are challenged to think beyond themselves. Through freshman advisory sessions and the sophomore seminar program, boys explore topics such as leadership skills, wellness and building community in a free-flowing exchange of ideas. Juniors and seniors participate in reflective retreats designed to deepen connections and build empathy. And boys have the opportunity to exercise their values as leaders, such as the student Honor Board and the student-created Senior Counsel, whose purpose is to support underclassmen in navigating life in the upper school.

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Our commitment to our values shapes our community. It's felt in the way our boys care for, challenge, and support one another. And, we will continue to focus on character education because we know it is critical to preparing boys for the real world.

Chris Post Headmaster

Focussing on our core values gives us a way to incorporate integrity and compassion into things that we do every day, but now it’s purposeful and consistent.


Stephanie Lange Fifth Grade Teacher