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Leroy Gordon Cooper Elementary School Named 2016 National School of Character

The Leroy Gordon Cooper Elementary School, along with two other Old Bridge elementary schools and one middle school, received national recognition this week by

Cooper, Alan B. Shepard Elementary School, Virgil Grissom Elementary School, and Carl Sandburg Middle School were each named a 2016 National School of Character. will honor the four schools at its 23rd National Forum on Character Education set for the weekend of Oct. 14-15 in Washington, DC. is a non-profit group that supports the advancement of character development in schools, communities, and workplaces across the US and globally. 

“We are extremely proud of this year’s designated schools and districts for their dedication to character development, which has proven to increase the well-being of so many students’ lives across the United States and beyond,” said Becky Sipos, president and CEO of “These character initiatives create conditions for learning where students are thriving and growing into ethical members of our society. They are developing life-long skillsets they will leverage well into their adults lives.”

Last year, Old Bridge Township Public Schools was named one of three National Districts of Character in the United States by In addition, in 2015 five elementary schools and Old Bridge High School were each named a National School of Character. The elementary schools are: M. Scott Carpenter, Memorial, William A. Miller, Walter M. Schirra, and Southwood.

Each year, (formerly The Character Education Partnership) 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 are then expected to serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results.

Through an in-depth and rigorous evaluation process, these four Old Bridge schools were among the 67 schools nationwide who were found to be exemplary models of character development in 2016.

“The Cooper community is honored to be named a National School of Character,” said Principal Cathy Gramata.  “On behalf of the parents, students, and staff, we look forward to not only continuing to uphold the many programs and activities which identified us for this award, but also to create and seek out other ways to implement the meaning of character within our school. A big thanks to all for your support.”