Three pillars of Port Washington and Saukville were recognized Monday for their contributions to the community by the Character Counts initiative.
Former Port Washington Police Chief Richard Thomas — who brought the program to the area — received a 2012 Award of Outstanding Character, as did Tami Wojciehowski and Joanne Wiesner during the Character Counts celebration at the W.J. Niederkorn Library.
Character Counts started in 2005 as a joint effort of the city of Port Washington, village of Saukville and Port Washington-Saukville School District. Michael Weber, PWSSD superintendent, said Thomas approached him with the idea of supporting the area’s youth through the six pillars of Character Counts:
The city, village and school district renewed their commitment to these values by signing a joint resolution on Monday, and Thomas said the program sets an example worth following.
“It’s really evolved into what I consider to be a national model, for other communities, other school districts, business communities,” he said in accepting his honor Monday. “If you’re going to do something right, come to Port Washington, come to the village of Saukville, come to our school district here, and you can learn how to do something like this the right way.”
Recipient Joann Wiesner retired from the Port Washington School District after 27 years. She has been a member of the Oscar Grady Library Board in Saukville for more than 25 years, many as president. She also was a Meals on Wheels volunteer, a Blood Center volunteer and serves on the Saukville Board of Review.
“It’s been a joy doing all the things I’ve been involved in,” Wiesner said to about 75 members of the community. “This is a lovely award.”
The third recipient, Tami Wojciehowski, was part of the parent group at Lincoln Elementary and Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and now does the same at Port Washington High School. She’s been heavily involved in Port Washington Youth Baseball and has been the volunteer coordinator for the school district and a primary organizer of the high school homecoming tailgate party.
“She is a tremendous ambassador for the six pillars and I’m real happy to know her,” said Port Washington High School Principal Eric Burke.