Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Olga Clement

  • "For leadership and encouragement of teachers and children in the face of challenge."
  • "Be prepared to give your best to everything you do."
Olga Sadosuk was born in Russia in 1903 and came to the United States with her family in 1912. Acquiring an education in Mt. Union, Pennsylvania, where her family settled was a challenge for Olga. Her father naturally brought his "old world ideas about a limited education for a woman and the role she would have in life. Nevertheless, Olga persevered in pursuit of an education and was graduated from Shippensburg State Normal School in 1926 as an elementary teacher. That fall she left home to go to Philadelphia to seek work. While walking with friends in Philadelphia, she saw an ad in the window of a Teachers' Agency for a teacher needed in an Ocean County school. She contacted Charles Morris, Ocean County Superintendent of Schools, came to Toms River to meet with him, and was hired as the teacher for the one-room Adamston School in Brick Township. Mr. Morris even introduced herto the woman in whose home she would board.

In the years between 1926 and 1947 Olga taught in Adamston, Ridgeway in Manchester Township, Bay Head, Point Pleasant Beach, Cedar Crest in Lacey Township, and in the two room Lavallette School, where she served as Teaching Principal. Serious illness, marriage, pregnancy, a board's practice of placing no teacher under tenure, and a desire to advance in her career account for the many schools in which she served.

After seven years of a most successful experience in Lavallette, Olga applied in 1947 for a position in a larger system--Toms River. Dr. Edgar M. Finck offered her a position as teacher of English in grades seven and eight, but again illness forced her to take a leave of absence until September of 1949, when she returned as a second.grade teacher. Her weekends during the next few years were devoted to studying for a Master's Degree at Columbia University in Supervision and' Administration of Elementary Schools which she received in 1952.

She began the 1952-53 school year as Director of Elementary Studies in the Toms River Schools. This time period after World War II and the ensuing years turned out to be a crucial time for the schools because of a rapidly increasing student body, a scarcity of teachers, and a staff which included many with little or no experience. This combination of circumstances placed great pressure on school leaders to provide adequate facilities and teachers for every classroom. For Olga, this growth in the number of students, staff, and buildings presented a real challenge. By the time of her retirement in 1964, she was supervisor of five elementary schools which involved a myriad of tasks and responsibilities.

To Olga, the time she spent with teachers and pupils, administrators and parents, and boards of education was not simply her time on the job for which she was being paid. Rather, her teaching, and that's what her career was all about, was her mission in life. She possessed an amazing array of skills and personal qualities that combined to make her a very outstanding educator. She was a skilled teacher, had a sense of humor, was a constant learner, possessed great human relations skills, was a very caring person and respected each child and fellow educator with whom she worked.

Any new challenge was accepted and met as she marshaled her many diverse resources. The Toms River Schools were most fortunate to have Olga in her supervisory role during a very difficult and crucial time for schools in Ocean County. Forty years have elapsed since Olga's retirement. She was one hundred years old on November 17, 2003 and is a resident of Medford Leas in Medford, New Jersey. Her body may be a little frail, but her mind and spirit are alive and well. Congratulations, Olga, for the wonderful life you have enjoyed and for your outstanding' contributions in the field of education!


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