Award Year: 2017

Cheesequake Elementary School

111 Route 34
Matawan, NJ, 07747-3738

(732) 360-4552

Dr. Thomas Michael Ferry, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Old Bridge Township Public Schools

School Website

School Twitter


Cheesequake's mission is to inspire the love of learning, embrace diversity, and cultivate a caring, respectful, supportive environment that is conducive to empowering individual achievement.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 8%
  • White: 55%
  • Hispanic: 8%
  • Asian: 28%
  • Two or more races: 1%
  • ELL: 8%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 53%
Cheesequake celebrating Pink Day, united as a school against cancer.

Cheesequake celebrating "Pink Day," united as a school against cancer.

Cheesequake Elementary School is situated in Old Bridge, New Jersey, a large suburban community located 25 miles south of New York City. Our Title I elementary school is focused on both character education and academic excellence. We implement and foster numerous character programs because we believe that a thriving school climate and culture are necessary conditions for optimal academic success. Through our Eagle Has Landed Program, a nationally recognized Promising Practice, multicultural celebrations, and other initiatives focused on our racial, ethnic, and cultural differences, we have transformed our diversity from a challenge to one of our greatest strengths.

In 2014 Cheesequake was named a National School of Character by, and our principal was invited to speak at the National Press Club in Washington DC to share how Cheesequake built a positive school climate and character education structures while concurrently focusing on academic rigor and excellence in teaching and learning. Purposeful use of technology, extensive use of assessment data, and staff sharing of a growing list of best practices promoted additional academic growth since that time. In 2015, Cheesequake was named a National Title I Distinguished School, one of only two New Jersey schools during that year to receive this honor. Our ever-evolving use of assessment data to pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses has allowed us to replicate data-proven areas of success and strengthen precise weaknesses. Every student and adult is encouraged to adopt a growth mindset, and mistakes and weaknesses are embraced as portals to continual growth.