James McDivitt, Among Three Old Bridge Schools, Re-certified as State School of Character

  • The James McDivitt Elementary School, along with two other Old Bridge elementary schools, received re-certification this week as a 2019 New Jersey School of Character by Character.org.NJSSOC


    Cheesequake and Raymond E. Voorhees elementary schools also were each named a 2019 State School of Character.


    “James A. McDivitt School is excited to be re-certified as a New Jersey State School of Character 2019,” said McDivitt Principal Laurie Anne Coletti. “Our students, staff, and parents work collaboratively to ensure our culture of respect is strong. Student outreach to peers, community needs, and local organizations have developed into solid service learning events. Congratulations to the McDivitt family of students, staff, and parents who make our school a welcoming environment focused on student achievement while demonstrating leadership and good character.”


    Since its inception, Character.org has recognized more than 565 schools with the distinction of State School of Character. Criteria are based upon Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, which includes providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership, and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts.


    The application process is an opportunity for schools and districts to receive thoughtful feedback for growth and excellence in the area of character development through Character.org’s 11 Principles of Character. It also is a method of recognizing exemplary schools and districts in the nation.


    Character.org will honor the three schools at its National Forum on Character Education set for the weekend of Oct. 24-27 in Washington, DC.


    Character.org, founded in 1993, is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. It works with schools, families, workplaces and other communities to inspire, educate, and empower people to be ethical and compassionate citizens.


    Each year, Character.org (formerly The Character Education Partnership, CEP) selects schools and districts that demonstrate that their focus on character development has had a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate. Selected schools will serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results.


    Through an in-depth and rigorous evaluation process, these three Old Bridge schools were among schools nation-wide found to be exemplary models of character development in 2018.


    The three schools’ applications have been forwarded to Character.org for consideration in the National Schools of Character program.


    Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Hoeker expressed her excitement over the news. She was principal at Madison Park when the school earned the recognition; she also is a former principal of the Alan B. Shepard School, the Old Bridge School District’s first National School of Character, and she has led teams to bring character education to the district’s 12 elementary schools as well as the middle schools and high school.


    “Old Bridge is proud of our schools for continuing our mission to teach youngsters the impact that good character has both locally and globally,” said Hoeker. “In addition to striving academically, our students demonstrate strength in helping others and being good citizens well beyond graduation and we are grateful for the work being done.”


    Old Bridge boasts a total of 15 State and/or National Schools of Character, plus the National District of Character.