Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Notable Classmates

Barbara T. Carlino

The Toms River Schools Hall of Fame is proud to induct into its ranks Barbara Tilton Carlino, Class of 1936, for her distinguished career of service to the Toms River Schools, to the students of our schools, and to the community itself.

In 1936, shortly after her graduation from Toms River High School, Barbara Carlino became the first full-time secretary of Toms River High School. In that capacity and over subsequent years, Barbara established the pattern of excellence and the tradition of discipline that promoted that excellence---a tradition of doing it right the first time. Her career began in that old brick building called the "J" Building on the downtown campus. In 1951, she moved to the new high school building on the top of the hill. In 1970, she honored the request for her services at the new Toms River High School North. In 1977, she became the secretary to the Curriculum Committee, once again in the "J" building. Barbara finished her forty-five year career in the complex of offices on Washington Street that houses the displays of the Hall of Fame.

Sometimes job labels obscure the realities of what the job entails, and that is especially true for secretarial positions. A school secretary is responsible for the accurate daily attendance records because those records are the basis for the state's recompense to the community for its share of the cost of education. Then there is the daily school bulletin, school correspondence, general record keeping, and the conduct of ordinary office matters. There is maintenance of disciplinary and other records, sending transcripts to colleges, keeping accurate class rankings, and honor roll lists. We must add setting up the next year's schedule of classes, arranging teachers to teach the classes, and finally scheduling the students to fill those classes. Then there are the state reports--all of them--including the reports on teachers. Substitute teachers must be in place each day, payroll records are needed for the substitutes, and the payroll office must be informed of which teachers had absences. Then there are contractual matters like sports schedules. For graduation, awards lists must be developed and student records for graduation must be maintained and checked. Arrangements must be made for graduation, diplomas acquired, and a printed program created and checked. There are the small matters: typing and assembling courses of study, typing teacher tests, teacher handouts, letters of recommendation, and any and all duplication the system desires and admires. In Barbara's case, she became also the Superintendent's secretary when that person was ill or went on vacation, and for years she attended every football pep rally and sold tickets to the next day's game.

Barbara has been honored for her career of service. The 1947 Toms River High School Yearbook was dedicated to her, and in 1977 the Toms River High School North Yearbook was dedicated to her. The Captain's Log, published at North, had a featured article on her. Finally, after her forty-five years of service, the Board of Education presented Barbara with a plaque honoring her most distinguished level of service.

Barbara lists her interests and activities as swimming, walking, crossword puzzles, reading, and gardening. One should add weaving, for in 1951 she was honored by McCall's Magazine for her needlework in making Afghans. Presently, Barbara is still doing public service as a docent and as a teacher and guide to visiting groups to the Ocean County Historical Museum.

Barbara's service to our schools is one of the longest on record in terms of years, but, more importantly, it has been a record of service of the highest order, both unique and valuable. A poet once wanted to describe how vital the contributions of secretaries can be. So he wrote about a visiting alien from another world asking a wise man from this world, "What is a secretary?" And the Wise Man answered:

"Someone who can make ten decisions in a minute
While answering three phone calls
And listening to the complaints of three people in distress;
One whose patience rivals Job, whose energy exceeds the atom's;
Someone who makes the office run better
When the boss is away,
But whose own absence
Causes the whole edifice to tremble and sway."
The Alien considered these words and then he said,
"Such service must surely be priceless...
Surely the rewards are great."
"Now that is passing strange,"
Said the Wise Man,
"They give great service for meager reward
And often slim gratitude."
And then the wise man added,
"In my youth I wanted to be a secretary,
But I found I had neither the talent nor the virtue,
So I became a philosopher instead."

In these lines there is some hint to the merit and service that Barbara Tilton Carlino has given over her long career to the Toms River Schools. We welcome her to the Hall of Fame.


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