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What We Do

Cultivating good character in Martin County since 1996!
CHARACTER COUNTS! is a collaborative of community organizations, schools, businesses and individual citizens committed to the development and enhancement of individual and community character.
The "Six Pillars of Character" - Trustworthiness, Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship - serve as guideposts for the countless choices children and adults are asked to make on a daily basis.

The Six Pillars of Character


Be Honest. Don't deceive, cheat or steal. Be reliable: Do what you say you'll do. Have the courage to do the right thing. Build a good reputation. Be loyal: Stand by your family, friends and country.


Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule. Be tolerant of differences. Use good manners; not bad language. Be considerate of the feelings of others. Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone. Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.


Do what you are supposed to do. Persevere: Keep on trying. Always do your best. Use self control; be self-disciplined. Think before you act: Consider the consequences. Be accountable for your choices.


Play by the rules. Take turns and share. Be open-minded; listen to others. Don't take advantage of others. Don't blame others carelessly.


Be kind. Be compassionate and show you care. Express gratitude. Forgive others. Help people in need.


Be an active member of society. Commit to volunteering. Do your share to make your school and community better. Cooperate. Stay informed; Vote.
Be a good neighbor. Obey laws and rules. Respect authority. Protect the environment.


  • Rob Tweeddale, Chair – Kowalski, Tweeddale & Association / Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., Bank of America
  • Dot Brooking – Tykes & Teens, Inc.
  • Missi Campbell – Community Volunteer / Crystal Lake Elementary
  • Victoria Defenthaler – Community Volunteer
  • Cara Gabrielson – Community Volunteer / Riverbend Academy
  • Mark Lively – Lively Orthodontics
  • Blake Norman – American Global of Florida LLC
  • Dianne Pierce – Community Volunteer
  • Terri Stone, MCSD Liaison – Martin County School District 
  • Robyn Vanover – Community Volunteer / University of South Florida
  • Carol Houwaart-Diez – CEO, United Way of Martin County
  • Holly Laiben – Director, CHARACTER COUNTS! in Martin County

Martin County School District - District CHARACTER COUNTS! Committee

  • A.J. Diaz
  • Theresa Iuilucci
  • Terri Stone
  • Sydney Thomas
  • Michelle Villwock
  • Mary White

Tee It Up for Character Golf Committee

  • Mark Brechbill – Mark Brechbill, CPAs
  • Blake Norman – American Global of Florida LLC
  • Phyllis Kordick – Community Volunteer
  • Liz Snyder – Keiser University College of Golf Management
  • Rob Tweeddale – Kowalski, Tweeddale & Association / Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., Bank of America 
For more information about CHARACTER COUNTS! contact Holly Laiben at 772-283-4800 ext. 234 or