Alan B. Shepard Elementary School
Old Bridge, New Jersey
2011 and 2016 National School of Character

Alan B. Shepard Elementary SchoolIn 2002, Shepard’s first character initiative was born. A “No Tolerance to Bullying Policy” was implemented along with introduction of the districts new Elementary School Counseling Program (ESP). The school began to take a proactive approach to social and emotional development and the part-time counselor began infusing social problem solving skills training and core value education into her work with students. Gradually, the faculty began to realize that they needed to broaden the role of character education¬†and expand it to ensure that it was not taught in isolation. In 2004 a character education committee was formed. After input from students, staff, parent and the community, the Character Counts program was adopted. Next, a partnership with Hamilton Township was created. Ideas were exchanged and the program soared to new heights. Eventually the school became a National School of Character, but the momentum did not stop there. Shepard school was the impetus for district-wide transformation helping the district and 11 of it’s schools become National Schools/District of Character. After 2 changes in principals, school counselors and only 4 teachers remaining of the original staff that brought the school to national acclaim, our school continually reinvents itself to meet the needs within. Every year we create new initiatives because educators, parents, students and administrators are truly synergistic as they bounce ideas and plan for the months ahead.

Jean Czarkowski
33 Bushnell Road
Old Bridge New Jersey 8857