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Four Old Bridge Township Public Schools Named 2016 National School of Character

Three Old Bridge elementary schools and one middle school received national recognition this week by

Alan B. Shepard Elementary School, Leroy Gordon Cooper Elementary School, Virgil Grissom Elementary School, and Carl Sandburg Middle School were each named a 2016 National School of Character. is a non-profit group that supports the advancement of character development in schools, communities, and workplaces across the US and globally. 

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.

Old Bridge now boasts 15 National Schools of Character, 15 State Schools of Character, in addition to the National District of Character honor. (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.

Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Hoeker, who has led teams to bring character education to the Old Bridge School District and is a former principal of the Old Bridge School District’s first National School of Character in 2011, expressed her excitement over the news.

“Our schools continue to serve as role models showing their determination to not only meet but exceed the expectations outlined in’s 11 principles,” said Hoeker. “Staff and students ‘Pay it Forward’ regularly while demonstrating empathy, care and concern, for others both locally and globally. We are OB Proud.” will honor the four schools at its 23rd National Forum on Character Education set for the weekend of Oct. 14-15 in Washington, DC.