The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce has named the Toms River Regional School District its 2017 “Distinguished Organization of the Year.”
In a notification letter to Superintendent David Healy, the Chamber wrote, “This honor is bestowed upon individuals and/or organizations which have shown community concern and demonstrated outstanding, unselfish service in single or multiple fields in the civic, social, legal, cultural, religious, educational, governmental, health, athletic or business life of the Greater Toms River area.”
Strides made by the district in recent years have led to noticeable growth and a banner year in 2017. Career Academies opened at each of the three high schools this September. The district has established and enhanced numerous community partnerships to the benefit of students and families. Schools have won national recognition for character, technology, and performance. Grant awards have provided considerable amounts of alternative funding, raised the district’s profile in the arena of highly competitive applications and, most importantly, positively impacted student achievement. Negative factors such as dropout rates, suspension rates and chronic absenteeism have markedly dropped while student performance related to advanced placement participation and SAT scores have increased.
Additionally, with the support of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce, Toms River Schools has worked to cultivate a strong school-town connection. Local business leaders have advisory roles in the ongoing development of the Career Academies, and direct student-to-business relationships are being explored. Schools are pursuing increased involvement with the town’s art council in order to enhance downtown aesthetically, culturally, and with increased opportunities for students. The district has worked extensively with area businesses and municipalities to develop and maximize the impact of community-wide events such as Jersey Shore Makerfest, NEA Big Read, the Harvest Festival, Halloween Parade, and many more. District personnel are members of the township’s Green Team, which strives to make Toms River a more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient community. All of these factors played a role in the district earning the prestigious designation, but its resume of recent accomplishments goes even deeper. Earlier this month, Toms River Regional Schools published “Our Story,” a comprehensive document detailing its recent accomplishments and future plans.
“This outstanding recognition is the direct result of the vision and support of our Board of Education and the hard work and dedication of our teachers, paraprofessionals, students, families, support staff, administrators, and our partners throughout Toms River,” said Healy. “Our investment in our instructional staff-- through increased and in-depth training and professional development-- has been a sound one, and our teachers exemplify what it means to have a student-centered approach. I cannot stress enough how proud I am to lead this district, and each of the remarkable people who comprise it should feel as honored as I do to accept this award, which I do on their behalf.
“Although it has a small town feel, Toms River is not a small community. I know first hand the vast number of worthy organizations eligible for this honor, which makes this all the more humbling and gratifying. We share this distinction with the many community partners who help us reach our goals each and every day.”
The school district will accept the honor at an October 19 ceremony hosted by the Chamber and held at Waters Edge in Berkeley Township. The Distinguished Organization of the Year is one of five awards to be presented that evening, among them the Distinguished Citizen award (Ralph Wolff) and Nonprofit of the Year (Georgian Court University). More information on the event including reservations and sponsorship opportunities is available on the Chamber’s website.
"The Toms River Board of Education recognizes the important role the Chamber of Commerce plays in Toms River,” said Board President Ben Giovine. “The Board is grateful to have its commitment to preparing students for college and career recognized by our local business owners. We also congratulate our teachers, support staff and central administration led by Mr. Healy whose hard work and unwavering commitment to our children and school community is being recognized by this honor."
For more information about the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Reception, visit https://tomsriverchamber.com/annual-awards-reception/.
To learn more Toms River Regional Schools and its recent successes, read “Our Story” at http://www.trschools.com/docs/2017/09/2Our-Story.pdf.