Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Gerald Rich

  • "And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach."
The Toms River Schools Hall of Fame is pleased to recognize Mr.Gerald Rich with its annual Distinguished Honoree Award for his extraordinary 37 years career as a high school English teacher at Toms River High School/Toms River High School South. Upon his arrival at Toms River High School in 1951, after having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor's Degree and Masters Degree in English, with honors and Kappa Phi Kappa scholarship distinctions, Mr. Rich established for himself a reputation as an outstanding teacher of English. During his association with the school district, he taught college prep senior English, subsequently developed and taught the creative writing and speech course for over twenty years, as well as Humanities. Additionally, he was the founder and director of the school's literary magazine, Shard, was the first cross country coach in the County of Ocean, and was a coach of high school graduate commencement speakers for 35 years.

Throughout his association with the Toms River Schools, no one established a more renowned and deserved reputation for intellectual excellence and academic success than Mr. Gerald Rich. He brought to his responsibilities as a teacher, a keen insight and ability to stimulate the thought processes and creative talents of his students. Invariably, he could be counted upon to develop, in them, a profound appreciation for rhetoric and the ability to communicate both via the written and the spoken word.

Mr. Rich served in a variety of capacities outside of his high school teaching career which bear further witness to his extraordinary accomplishments as an English teacher and scholar e.g., Visiting Lecturer in English at Trenton State College for the years 1961-1970; Assistant Professor of Humanities at Ocean County College for the period of 1966 through 1995; a discussion leader of the Great Books program for four years; a teacher in the Evening High School division for eight years and Summer School instructor for seventeen years.

Mr. Rich is a highly decorated veteran of World War II, serving in the United States Infantry, 341st Regiment, 86th Division. Additionally, he was a free lance journalist for the Germantown Courier in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Among his many awards are his recognition as a distinguished teacher of the year, as a member of the faculty at Toms River High School South, a citation for career teaching from the Township of Dover, a yearbook dedicatee, induction into the Kappa Phi Kappa National Honor Society, induction into the Phi Delta Kappa National Honor Society, and an award from Ocean County College for twenty years of service.

Mr. Rich is recognized as one of the primary intellectual forces of the Toms River Regional School High School English Department. The many students that he has had the opportunity to work with over the years give clear testimony to his success and influence as a teacher and as a man. His dedication to, and commitment to, high quality instruction in the broad areas of English Language and English Literature, and the related analytical process that is necessary for students to follow in order to appreciate the expression of the great English masters, compels the Toms River Schools Hall of Fame Committee to recognize Mr. Rich for his remarkable contributions as a teacher in the school district for thirty-seven years. Mr. Rich essentially established the standards by which all high school English teachers are measured in the Toms River Schools. For commitment to excellence and the sheer joy of intellectual pursuits, the Hall of Fame is most pleased to recognize Mr. Rich as this year's Distinguished Honoree.

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