SBHS named a National School of Character

Honor shared only by 3 other public high schools in U.S.


SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The Character Education Partnership (CEP) has named South Brunswick High School a 2011 National School of Character (NSOC).

“We’re quite privileged to be honored alongside more than 40 other schools to be accorded this honor,” SBHS Principal Timothy Matheney said.

In total, 38 public schools, three charter schools, two private schools and one school district were named a 2011 National School of Character. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia were represented in the award choices.

“It is truly inspiring to see what these schools have been able to accomplish by coming together around a shared purpose,” CEP President and CEO Joe Mazzola said.

“We see over and over that when schools embrace the critical role they have in shaping the character of young people, achievement andmorale go up and bullying and discipline problems go down.”

SBHS was one of eight schools in New Jersey and one of only three public high schools in the country awarded the honor.

“We’re in esteemed company,” Matheney said of being one of the only high schools.

Schools are judged on the CEP’s established 11 Principles of Effective Character Education.

According to the CEP’s website,, these principles include: “The school community promotes core ethical and performance values as the foundation of good character,” “The school creates a caring community,” and “The school provides students with opportunities for moral action.”

SBHS first submitted an application on the state level, where they were awarded a similar distinction. From there, the school’s application was forwarded for national review .

Matheney said the designation “represents not one single initiative or program but a general approach of the school to developing good character in its young people.”

NSOC Director Lara Maupin explained the awarded title further.

“Schools of character are places that bring out the best in everyone — students, staff, and even parents and community members.”

Even though the honor lasts for three years, Matheny said SBHS will not sit back and simply enjoy it.

“We do plan not to rest on our laurels but to see how we can do the job of building strong character even better.”

At a recent Township Council, Mayor Frank Gambatese praised the school for its award.

“To me it’s really telling,” he said of being a NSOC.”

CEP will honor the 2011 National Schools of Character at the National Forum on Character Education, to be held Oct. 19- 22 in San Francisco. Contact Sam Slaughter at