Dennis event

South Toms River Principal Dennis Holzapfel (far left) listens as Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent David Healy-- flanked by board members, STRE students, local police, and township officials-- reads an official district proclamation acknowledging and thanking Holzapfel for his service to the community.

Quick, Selfless Action During Pandemic Earns Praise From Many

Oct. 27, 2020-- Yesterday evening, the South Toms River community came out in full force to recognize South Toms River Elementary School Principal Dennis Holzapfel.

The longtime school leader was honored for his extraordinary, selfless, and ongoing service during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has proven especially helpful for a school population that has the district's highest rate of free and reduced lunch eligibility.

"Principal Holzapfel’s selfless dedication to his students and faculty doesn’t end at the school door at the end of the school day," stated a TRRS proclamation read aloud during the by Superintendent David Healy. It continued, "but is reflected in volunteerism to his community including but not limited to attendance every Friday at the South Toms River Fulfill Food Bank distribution, where he uses his own vehicle to transport food to dozens of needy families each week epitomizing what it means to be a child/family centered community leader."

The district wasn't the only organization to heap praise on Holzapfel for his efforts. Proclamations were issued by South Toms River Mayor Greg Handshy and the NJ Senate and General Assembly, among others.

Holzapfel was surrounded by colleagues, board members, representatives from the township and STR Police Department, families and, of course, his students. Read the full proclamations and view additional photos from the event below.