Madison Park Elementary School
Parlin, NJ
Old Bridge Township Public Schools

The elementary school years set the tone for developing the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary for children to become healthy, confident learners. Our character education evolution reflects our diversity (20+ languages) and our socioeconomic status (50% of students receiving free or reduced lunch). Our mission is to draw on our diversity, teaching tolerance and developing caring natural instincts. Aligned with cultural traditions, Madison Park families strive to instill core values in their children; we help them connect to and expand them. CEP’s 11 principles, a base for our behavioral and academic expectations stressing common vocabulary, modeling and student responsibility, bring positive self-esteem to students and staff. Dr. Hoeker, former principal of our district’s first NSOC, was appointed to lead our school in 2011, bringing new ideas and renewed staff interest in CE. Facing challenges of 65% of students achieving proficiency on standardized tests, 13% mobility rate and poor student attendance, we formed a core CE team representing staff, students and parents. Using CEP resources, including Alfie Kohn’s vision to intrinsically motivate students, the team met and mutually agreed upon values, initiatives and a plan for moving forward.

Signature Practices

Lesson Plan: Exploring Our Cultural Customs
Students interview family members and research their cultural heritage and traditions. The purpose is to share their findings, knowledge, and experiences with classmates.


Since the implementation of character education the environment is much calmer. Not that there isn't conflict, but when it occurs the students use the six pillars of character education. They recognize situations that warrant a discussion about conflict and the Pillars and are not afraid to initiate it.
- Cassandra Halligan - 3rd Grade Teacher

Students respond to phrases such as "Do the right thing" as we empower them to adjust their own behavior. By utilizing CE in every part of our day we develop responsible, caring citizens.
- Laura Gula - Paraprofessional Aide

My school makes me feel welcomed. When my friends and I walk into the school the teachers, the principal, and even my peers say hello of just smile and make eye contact with me.
- Kaya - 5th Grade

Madison Park has an exceptional staff, which is kind, friendly and care about the students. With a variety of needs I admire how our teachers collaborate to celebrate our diversity. I am proud to have my son attending Madison Park with the nurturing and guidance he receives daily.
- Kristin Tomasso

Every day we see how the children are cared for and treated with respect. It is helpful that the pillars of character are posted throughout the school as a constant reminder for the children and staff alike.
- Debbie Dianora - Before/After School Child Care Coordinator

Contact Information

Dr. Kathleen Hoeker
33 Harvard Road
Parlin, NJ 08859
Phone: 732-360-4485