Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law, was named the 2011 Pillar of Responsibility by San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District. The honor is part of the school district’s “Pillars of Character” curriculum.

Northside teachers weave lessons about the six pillars (caring, citizenship, fairness, responsibility, respect and trustworthiness) into classroom activities and the Northside Education Foundation selects six NISD graduates to represent each Pillar of Character. Pillars are nominated by members of the community and must be a Northside graduate. Then, the six alumni serve as the centerpiece at the Foundation’s annual fundraising gala and each visits schools. An added bonus – a poster of the current year’s pillars hangs in all 6,000 classrooms in Northside schools to remind students that everyone has the potential to be a Pillar of Character.

Cantú, a 1957 graduate of what is now known as John Marshall High School (previously Northside High School), was greeted at Marshall High School with cheering students and the marquee announcing his visit. He toured the school, visited with students and even had a look at a 1957 yearbook chronicling his senior year. Cantú also spoke at Monroe May Elementary on what responsibility and education mean to him as well as responding to a peppering of questions from the curious crowd of fifth graders.

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