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Dec. 4, 2023-- In the summer of 2021, in advance of a pep rally in honor of P. David Correll, Amanda Fear and Joanna Sabato Eisman penned a lengthy and heartfelt tribute to the man, the longtime "Voice of the Indians" and a High School South institution, for Jersey Shore Online. A Facebook page dedicated to stories about him and the fond memories of the many students he impacted already existed.

If it's a tragedy to not tell someone how you feel about them and how much they mean to you while they're still alive, then it's a beautiful thing that so many expressed their love to Correll so often during his time here on Earth.

David Correll, Sr. passed away this past Saturday.

It's difficult to encapsulate what Correll meant to Toms River and particularly to South because he did so much, and was so much, and impacted so many people in myriad ways. He was, of course, the voice-- of football games and announcements, of one-on-one conversations and from the front of the classroom. It was a loud voice—his classes and lessons on “Indian spirit” often drowned out teachers in neighboring classrooms, much to students’ delight, and it reverberated throughout the school during morning announcements, throughout the stadium during games—a welcome voice, a familiar voice.

He was also an educator, a motivator, a friend and mentor.

But he was also so much more.

"Even while I served as principal there, I was never the person who always had all the answers or who even represented South," said Superintendent Mike Citta. "It was Mr. Correll. It was always Mr. Correll. He was the voice of the school, famously, but also the face of the school and its spirit. He positively impacted too many students, too many people to count, but I count myself lucky to be one of them. He will be sorely missed."

Correll's career in education spanned 43 years at South. His subject was history, and his commitment to honoring the past helped spawn long-lasting traditions at the school that he personally implemented-- from Senior Week, to the preservation of the Victory Bell, to the Most Loyal Fan Award and many more that remain to this day.

TR Spirit ruling the river since 1891

While superintendent, Mike Citta had artwork of David Correll commissioned, making him literally what he'd always been-- a fixture at the school.

He was inducted into the Toms River Hall of Fame in 2009, and his Distinguished Honor Medallion recognition writeup beautifully captured his legacy.

"It can be strongly argued that David has had the greatest impact of any educator in the long history and proud tradition of Toms River High School South," it reads. "It is staggering to think of the countless young men and women whose lives he has touched upon."

That incredible legacy continues through Correll's son, David Jr., who has occupied a similar "all everything" role at High School South, including advising and overseeing the school’s Spirit Leaders. Today, those student leaders, along with the High School South band, led a procession through the hallways and into the gym (right), playing music and cheering, exemplifying the spirit and energy David Correll personified at the school for nearly a half century.

As the tributes continue to pour in for the life and legacy of P. David Correll—be sure to watch the video below from Toms River’s own Sandra Levine, which is from 2014 but as relevant today as it ever was—everyone here at Toms River Regional Schools extends their heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends, and remains forever grateful for his dedication to his students, his colleagues, and the entire Toms River community. 

David Correll Sr photo courtesy of junior
P. David Correll
David Correll junior and senior

Father and son: David Correll Jr. is extending his father's legacy at HSS.

tribute playing for David Correll Sr December 4
Strike up the band for Correll Dec 4 photo 2
Strike up the band for Correll Dec 4 photo 3
Strike up the band for Correll Dec 4 photo 4

Toms River High School South sign
Photo by Jenna Mikels

Photo by Jenna Mikels photo 2
Photo by Jenna Mikels
South procession for Correll photo 8