Amy Smit

Southwest Iowa Planning Council and Schuler Elementary receive 2022 Iowa Character Awards

DES MOINES (August 4, 2022) – The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University hosted the 2022 Iowa Character Awards on Friday, July 29, at Prairie Meadows Event Center. Twelve Iowa individuals and groups were recognized for their exceptional character, including the Southwest Iowa Planning Council and Schuler Elementary from Atlantic.

An Iowa Character Awards primetime special featuring the 2022 award recipients will air on Fox affiliate stations during the following dates and times:

  • Fox 17 (Des Moines) on Tuesday, August 9 from 8-9 p.m.
  • Fox 28 (Cedar Rapids) on Friday, August 12 from 6-7 p.m.
  • Fox 44 (Sioux City) on Saturday, August 13 from 5-6 p.m.

The Iowa Character Awards special will also be posted at

The Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO) received the Business of Character Award. SWIPCO provides technical services and administers grants for local projects. The SWIPCO team takes pride in going above and beyond what’s expected to make their communities better places to work, learn, and raise families. When floods ripped through several towns, caused millions of dollars in property damage, and destroyed more than 100 homes, the SWIPCO team jumped to work. The staff worked tirelessly to help the affected communities find resources to rebuild. Hamburg city clerk, Sheryl Owen, said, “When we needed help with residential buyouts and new housing development after the [2019] flooding, SWIPCO was there for us every step of the way.” That’s just one example of the individuals, organizations, and cities who benefit from their diligence, passion, and hard work.

Schuler Elementary received the School of Character Award. Schuler Elementary is part of the Atlantic Community School District in southwest Iowa. Their school serves 4th and 5th-grade students. The students are fortunate to have nearly 30 teachers and staff to guide them on their educational journey. Schuler Elementary values the importance of a strong curriculum that engages students in learning in authentic ways to help them think beyond the classroom. Using CHARACTER COUNTS! to guide them, Schuler Elementary believes that modeling and practicing good character is valuable for staff, students, parents, and the entire community. It is their goal to provide students with the tools they will need to become caring and respectful citizens who are motivated to make a positive impact on the world.

The Ray Center annually recognizes Iowans who show the Six Pillars of CHARACTER COUNTS!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. Since 2005, the organization has recognized more than 150 Iowans for showing good character.

The 2022 Iowa Character Awards are presented by Hy-Vee, FOX 17, Prairie Meadows, Murphy Enterprizes, and Alliant Energy. For a complete list of 2022 Iowa Character Award recipients or to submit a 2023 nomination, visit

The Ray Center helps create strong, vibrant communities that value positive, healthy relationships and respectful behavior. Through public awareness and programming grounded in, families, and communities.


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Southwest Iowa Planning Council

Schuler Elementary