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Old Bridge school achieves Blue Ribbon status

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OLD BRIDGE — Already a National School of Character, the Old Bridge School District can now add a National Blue Ribbon School to its list of honors.

Cheesequake Elementary School is the first school in Old Bridge to be recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.

“The selection of Cheesequake Elementary School as our first National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence speaks volumes about our educators, our families, our community, and most of all our children,” said Schools Superintendent David Cittadino. “Cheesequake School serves as our template of quality in education as we continue to move at a remarkable pace toward recognized excellence throughout our 15 township schools. Having our first Blue Ribbon School coupled with our 15 National Schools of Character in Old Bridge will forever solidify our reputation as a superior school district.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized Cheesequake Elementary School, one of nine in the state to be recognized, on Sept. 28.

The recognition is based on the school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” DeVos said. “You are visionaries, innovators, and leaders. You have much to teach us. Some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

“We are humbled and elated to receive this prestigious award from the United States Department of Education,” said Cheesequake Principal Thomas Ferry. “This is a wonderful moment for our school and the Township of Old Bridge. My talented staff and hard-working students have an unwavering commitment to excellence and focus on growth… I am incredibly proud of the staff, students, and parents of the Cheesequake School community and am honored to serve as their principal.”

Kathleen Hoeker, assistant superintendent of the Old Bridge Township Public Schools, said the district is proud of the outstanding progress of all of the staff and students at Cheesequake School.

“They set the bar high, and with drive and determination they have achieved this most distinguished honor,” she said. “They possess the expertise, skills, and knowledge to serve as role models for others and will serve as such, as the very first Blue Ribbon School in Old Bridge.”

The Old Bridge Township Public School District already has 15 National Schools of Character and 15 State Schools of Character by Character.org.

On Nov. 6-7, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate the school at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Some 342 were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017 based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

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