School for Ethical Education
326 West Main St.
Suite 204
Milford CT 06460
Contact Information
Address 326 West Main St.
Suite 204
Milford, CT 06460-
Telephone (203) 783-4439 x
Fax 203-783-4439
Web and Social Media

The School for Ethical Education (SEE) recognizes the need for an increased focus on ethical behavior within human interactions. We also affirm the contribution of sound ethical reasoning in the advancement of ethical behavior. To promote our vision, SEE uses a variety of methods to provide educators strategies to support positive character formation in their students.

A Great OpportunityHelpThe nonprofit has used this field to provide information about a special campaign, project or event that they are raising funds for now.
SEE hosts an annual Character Celebration on the first Wednesday in May to honor student work in SEE programs and a regional leader that is a character exemplar.  Donors are welcome to sponsor tables for students, their parents/guardians and teachers who are invited to attend. For more information visit- 
A Great Opportunity Ending Date 01 2018
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1997
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director David B Wangaard Ed.D.
Board Chair Mr. Peter M Donovan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wright Investors' Service
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years

The School for Ethical Education (SEE) recognizes the need for an increased focus on ethical behavior within human interactions. We also affirm the contribution of sound ethical reasoning in the advancement of ethical behavior. To promote our vision, SEE uses a variety of methods to provide educators strategies to support positive character formation in their students.


John Winthrop Wright founded The School for Ethical Education (SEE) in 1995. As a nonprofit organization recognized as tax-exempt by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, SEE provides courses and programs for teachers, parents and students to advance ethical behavior in schools and communities. Mr. Wright’s vision for school improvement focused on expanding opportunities for teachers and students to learn how ethics in action creates character. This phrase became the school’s motto and recognizes the power of positive ethics in the creation of character. The core ethical concepts or virtues Mr. Wright desired to promote included respect, responsibility, caring, justice, honesty, truthfulness, courtesy, citizenship and the principles of the Golden Rule. The goal of positive character development is integrated into all programs offered by SEE. With the passing of Mr. Wright in 1996 and his wife Mildred in 2002, SEE has become independent of its host of 20 years, Wright Investors’ Service, a private investment management and financial advisory firm headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

SEE administers its programs out of its offices in Milford. Staffing varies with program funding but is currently functioning at about 2 full-time employees. Program income is earned through grant writing, private and corporate donations, fees for consulting and teaching services along with the royalty income from published materials. A meaningful strategy of the agency is to seek collaborations with larger agencies to bring the mission of comprehensive character formation to students.


The School for Ethical Education (SEE) celebrates 21 years of working to advance ethics in action. SEE continues to implement its core programs that include: Youth: Ethics in Service (YES) service-learning projects in schools; Integrity Works!, which is focused on advancing strategies for academic integrity; Laws of Life essay writing program as a writing assignment that helps students reflect on positive values; and our teaching and consulting programs that include contracts with schools and other agencies.

SEE piloted a new project in 2016-16 called Reasoning with Ethics and provides a free subscription to teachers for weekly current events cases as discussion prompts for their students.  The goal of the project is to help teachers support the practice of ethical reasoning with current events and be able to transfer the skill to academic content. 

An estimated 13,000 students were either directly or indirectly impacted by SEE programs in 2016-17.  All SEE programs are described on our website at


SEE’s most pressing needs include financial support to: (1) provide free professional development services to teachers, (2) develop additional on-line video lessons as a professional development strategy, and (3) research the most effective marketing strategies for the message of ethics and character education.

CEO Statement

Not many agencies trace their mission back 400 years. One of SEE’s distinctions is a generational vision that its founder, John Winthrop Wright, shared with one of his early American ancestors John Winthrop, the first Governor of Massachusetts. Still on board the Arabella in 1630, Winthrop wrote of his hopes and dreams for the new colony he was leading and the life he wished for the settlers. Winthrop articulated this ‘life’ to mean life in the community. It was his belief that life in the community, with a clear requirement for personal character, was essential. Winthrop added justice, mercy, and love to personal character as foundational for successful communities. The first governor outlined four practical steps to achieve such a community.

  1. The first step was to see a vision of community. Winthrop noted that everyone should see themselves living within a community, that we ought to account ourselves knit together.
  2. The second step recognized the importance of describing the common good. Winthrop defined the common good to include a valuing of what each individual adds to the community.
  3. The third step Winthrop suggested focused on what works to improve our lives. It was assumed that what constitutes the good to improve my life would not be radically different from the good to improve another individual or the community life.
  4. The last step Winthrop described was the principle to bear one another’s burdens. By practicing these steps, Winthrop believed that the settlers could create a City Upon a Hill, which would promote individual and community success.

Winthrop’s writings in 1630 are full of hope and promise and are a foundational proclamation for a responsible and caring community. It admonishes us and points out the rocks of individualism on which we, over 380 years later, find ourselves shipwrecked and the cause of much of social dysfunction.  The words of John Winthrop remind us what the early colonists were attempting to accomplish and what we seek to accomplish today. John Winthrop Wright, as a descendent of John Winthrop, has provided SEE the vision and resources to continue the important task of community building to promote ethical behavior and develop positive character.

SEE’s distinction continues with the support that it receives from Wright Investors’ and how that support leverages all other income to the agency. In addition, after 21 years of operation, the agency is uniquely qualified in experience and published works to advance its mission in Connecticut and beyond.

Board Chair Statement

I have served as the Chairman of SEE’s Board of Trustees and Wright Investors’ Service since 2002. John Winthrop Wright, the founder of SEE and Wright Investors' began this unique linkage in 1995 when he included within his estate plan the donation of his ownership of Wright Investors’ stock (privately held) to SEE. Mr. Wright recognized the need in US culture to focus on ethical behavior for the success of free and honest capitalism. It was with that concern that he founded SEE and sought to develop the agency to advance ethics and positive character in youth.

With his passing and my accession to the Chairmanship of Wright Investors’ and SEE, I have continued to support the mission of youth ethics and character formation for the benefit of our greater culture. Certainly we don’t need more Bernie Madoffs or Enrons to see that our culture struggles to sustain ethical principles for the greater good of society.

We recognize there are not enough police or regulators to enforce the laws in a society where its population is lacking a commitment to ethics. Our work with SEE is one small contribution to address our nation’s need to advance ethical and character formation in youth. Wright Investors’ was specifically honored in 2010 with a national award by InvestmentNews for Wright’s historical and continued support both monetarily and with in-kind donations of SEE’s mission.

SEE has chosen to collaborate with schools to accomplish its mission to advance ethics in action. We are particularly optimistic about our recent advances to promote academic integrity as a need that requires ethical development of students in secondary schools. Our research-based approach shows much promise for success and has great opportunity to resist the epidemic of cheating that is proven to exist in our nation’s high schools.

As noted in our Needs Statement, one of our great challenges is the indifference we face both in society in general and in public schools specifically as we seek to advance strategies that promote ethics and character. Internationally, it is far too easy to see how corruption and ethical weakness corrodes the ability of governments and business to help their nation’s to prosper. We believe we are fighting a battle to resist those same pressures in the United States and welcome all those that would join us in this cause to advance ethics and positive character.

Peter M. Donovan

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Elementary & Secondary Schools
Secondary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Community Service Clubs
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development-Citizenship
Areas Served
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
State wide
West Haven

Most of SEE's programs serve communities in Connecticut; however, SEE does have consulting contacts throughout the US and SEE's Integrity Works! program includes a network of schools in the US and Canada.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

SEE's mission recognizes that many societal needs would find some positive mitigating impact in the demonstration of prosocial ethical and moral reasoning in support of positive character.  Character development requires an intentional and proactive decision by a community to implement a variety of strategies in a comprehensive manner to have meaningful impact on students or adults. SEE supports programs for comprehensive character development through strategies such as service-learning to practice youth leadership and reflection, academic integrity to resist cheating, essay writing to support reflection and dialogue about positive values and character-based decision making to resist anti-social behaviors such as bullying.


Youth: Ethics in Service (YES) supports teachers and after-school program leaders to implement effective service-learning as defined by (1) students engaging in planning and implementation of meaningful projects, (2) teachers connecting academic goals to service work, and (3) all participants completing planned ethical reflection activities and project evaluation. Service-learning has been an important project strategy of SEE’s since 1998. SEE’s development of YES has been supported by Federal Learn and Serve funds and grants from regional foundations.

Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) / K-12 (5-19 years) / At-Risk Populations
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Annually the YES program engages hundreds of students in a process that allows them to learn while serving others and reflect on the challenges and benefits of serving.  The service experience supports student character and academic development while also providing a benefit to the community served (peers, seniors, environment, school, community, foreign program).

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Students that leave secondary schools will have a full awareness of what is required to live as an ethical citizen in the United States and will have developed a commitment to and skills to support their ethical awareness. 
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

SEE completes site visits to YES teams and seeks evaluation feedback from YES teachers/coordinators and requests end-of-project evaluation by students and adults.


SEE has completed the third year of an implementation and evaluation study regarding academic integrity in high schools. The primary purpose of this project sought to investigate student beliefs, perceptions and observations about cheating in their school and test the effectiveness of an adult/student collaborative committee to promote a school culture in favor of integrity along with advancing a network of professionals committed to supporting academic integrity.

Population Served General/Unspecified / General/Unspecified / General/Unspecified
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

A sufficient number of teachers and schools are recruited to participate in the study. Lessons that arise from existing curricula are designed and written that effectively develop student moral awareness, judgment, commitment and behavior in support of integrity. Pre and post evaluation of student beliefs, attitudes and behaviors document a significant improvement in student commitment and behavior in support of academic integrity.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

The next stage of this project will implement and evaluate a theory-driven, research-based model of moral functioning to promote academic honesty among high school students. The project offers an adaptation of James Rest’s Four Component Model of Moral Functioning to create, implement and assess academic lessons aimed at developing students’ moral awareness, judgment, commitment and character. In doing so, the project seeks to ameliorate a form of dishonesty that is epidemic among secondary students and illuminate a bigger question regarding strategies to promote the moral development of youth.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

SEE in collaboration with research colleagues from UCONN and other partners to be arranged will monitor this project.

Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.

Past program success can be observed in the documents placed on SEE’s Integrity Works! website and the national publication of a Tool Kit by the Search Institute, which provides educators tools to implement academic integrity projects within their own schools. All three schools that SEE studied during the implementation of their own integrity program were successful in creating school wide recognition of integrity issues. The schools were all promised anonymity within the study. One of the schools was successful in having the faculty and school board approve a new Academic Integrity Policy handbook, which was presented to all students this year.


The Laws of Life essay program is a writing project with a focus on character development. Laws of Life provides students in grades 5-12 the unique opportunity to reflect and write about their core values, principles and ideals that will guide them throughout their lives. Writing with Laws of Life encourages a dialogue between students and their teachers, parents and community members to advance excellent writing, positive values and character. The writing process for Laws of Life can be integrated into many academic subject areas such as English literature, language arts, history and health. Laws of Life is a non-sectarian, academic activity that typically identifies universal ethical principles and laws of life such as – love, service, perseverance, honesty, respect and courage. These values are recognized to be life affirming, support positive citizenship and transcend religion, culture and national borders.

Population Served / /

The process of making a good choice (an ethical choice) may be influenced by many factors such as a person’s values, family training, community norms, emotions and/or self-interest. With all the factors that influence choices, students find it difficult to explain how they prioritize options to make a good decision.

The activities and skills taught through application of The Golden Compass provide a compass needle that always points to alternatives in support of positive character. In the Golden Compass program, teachers and students are provided exercises to create a skill base for character-based decision making.  Following the basic skill development, The Golden Compass program provides 56 dilemmas to help students practice character-based decision making. The dilemmas are circumstances that are relevant to the life of middle school and high-school students while at school, home or in the community and include situations to resist bully behavior.

There is often more than one good option to solve life’s dilemmas. The Golden Compass provides activities to help students practice reasoning skills while validating the importance of positive character to guide decisions. The activities and process provided in The Golden Compass program are suggested for use in homeroom settings, class meetings, advisory/advisee periods, health-education classes, discipline plans and language arts and social studies classes that evaluate the decision of characters in literature or history.

Population Served / /
Description John Winthrop Wright Ethics in Action Award seeks to highlight leaders who demonstrate positive character. Named after SEE’s founder, John Winthrop Wright, this annual award recognizes individuals who demonstrate authentic commitment to ethics and positive character in their leadership.  Nominations are invited through submission of the SEE nomination form.
Population Served / /
CEO/Executive Director
David B Wangaard Ed.D.
Term Start Sept 1995
SEE Executive Director since founding in 1995
Teacher, school principal-- 1984-1993
Biologist for USFWS - 1977-84
Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 31
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation No
Collaborations, Washington, DC
The International Center for Academic Integrity, Clemson University
Center for the 4th and 5th Rs, SUNY, Cortland, NY
Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN
Board Chair
Mr. Peter M Donovan
Company Affiliation Wright Investors' Service
Term Nov 2002 to Aug 2019
Board of Directors
Mr. Christopher Gallo CPABlumShapiro & Co.
Mr. James Macdonald Peoples Bank
Mr. Joseph Mazzola N/A
Ms. Peggy Perillie Community Volunteer
Ms. Enza Richards N/a
Ms. Sara Roche N/A
Mr. Michael Thomann Sikorsky
Dr. David B. Wangaard SEE
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 3
Risk Management Provisions
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Life Insurance
Professional Liability
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Development / Board Orientation
CEO Comments

Board recruitment has been a challenge with our mission focused on what some consider an esoteric need as opposed to issues such as hunger, education equity, housing… Our main criteria for board membership is to find individuals that are committed to the advance ethics and character in our culture and through education. We believe ethics and character are essential to truly meet the needs presented in education and poverty. We have participated in CFGNH board recruitment introductions and part of my responsibility is the ongoing recruitment of board members. We seek a diversity of representatives in background and experience but who share a commitment to ethics and character.

Fiscal Year Start Sept 01 2016
Fiscal Year End Aug 31 2017
Projected Revenue $198,270.00
Projected Expenses $198,270.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Form 990s
Form 9902011
Form 9902010
Form 9902009
Form 9902008
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
2015-16 Annual Report2016View
Annual Report2011View
Annual Report2010View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201120102009
Total Assets$1,479,317$1,474,110$1,555,180
Current Assets$42,455$88,954$1,549,290
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$6,598$50,922$65,551
Total Net Assets$1,472,719$1,423,188$1,489,629
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201120102009
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --John Templeton Foundation $128,050John Templeton Foundation $96,036
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --The Winthrop Corporation $53,500State of CT, Common Ground School $34,500
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --State of CT, Common Ground School $32,000Community Foundation for Greater New Haven $20,000
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
CEO Comments SEE is working to develop its product line in professional development for teachers and seeks to gain more income from fee for services for on-line professional development.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 326 West Main St.
Suite 204
Milford, CT 06460
Primary Phone 203 783-4439
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director David B Wangaard Ed.D.
Board Chair Mr. Peter M Donovan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wright Investors' Service


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