Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Albert J. Dietrich

  • "A leader in the pursuit of excellence for the Toms River Regional School District."
  • "Children are a product of their environment, and the Toms River community and schools provide a caring and safe environment."
Al Dietrich was born in Newark, N.J. to his parents Peggy and Al. He attended St. Augustine grade school which was a four room schoolhouse without running water. He graduated from Seton Hall Prep School and entered Seton Hall University for approximately one year. Al then joined the Air Force for a four year enlistment where he won the American Spirit of Honor Medal given for outstanding leadership to only one out of forty thousand basic trainees.

While still in the service he married Peggy Ann Eltzholtz, his wife of forty-four years. They have four children: Danny, Debbie, Darren, and Doug.

After the service, Al worked at various factory jobs, as well as Dunn & Bradstreet as a financial advisor. He also graduated from Seton Hall University with a bachelor's degree in Education. He received his master's degree plus 45 credits in administration. Al started his teaching career at Our Lady of the Valley High School in Orange, N.J. In 1963 he was hired to teach English at the Intermediate School in Toms River. He wrote the first teachers' contract, served as chief negotiator, and became president of the Toms River Education Association.

In 1971, Al was made Director of Federal Funds and became an aggressive seeker of federal and state monies. He also negotiated contracts for the administrators. Al held the position of Administrative Assistant as well as Assistant Superintendent. He was appointed Superintendent of Schools in 1979 and at that time was the youngest Superintendent in New Jersey. Known as a strong proponent of academic excellence, Al was also a staunch supporter of all aspects of extra curricular activities.

Al was an innovator of many programs that exist in our district as well as throughout the state. He developed the following programs: Alternate School-State Model, Alcohol & Substance Abuse Program-National and State Model, Peer Program-National and State Model, Missing and Exploited Children's Program, and lntergenerational Program. By the time of his retirement in 1991, Al had received more awards from the State of New Jersey and Federal Government than any other Superintendent in the history of the state.

Since his retirement, Al enjoys traveling with his wife. He also enjoys walking on the beach, gardening in his yard, and the companionship of his eleven grandchildren, Alex, Corey, Jackie, Kyle, Travis, Haylee, Noelle, John, Jimmy, Joey, and Amanda.

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