Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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Margaret F. Bartlett

  • "Anything worth doing is worth doing well."
Margaret F. Bartlett, or Peg to those of us fortunate enough to know her, grew up in Yonkers, New York. She attended Sacred Heart grade school and high school, where she graduated in 1964. Like many Catholic school attendees, Peg set her sights on an academic career. In 1964 she set off for Marian College of Fond du Lac in Wisconsin. She majored in English and minored in history and education. She received her BA in 1969 with honors. Peg returned to New York in pursuit of her career goals. She received her master's degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1971 with a concentration in social studies. Peg continued her studies at SUNY in the doctoral program, where she was offered a full academic fellowship.

During her time in Albany, Peg met a young man named John Bartlett who was pursuing a political science career in the doctoral program. Somehow, he persuaded this New Yorker to move to Pine Beach - a most fortuitous move for the Toms River School District - where they started careers and a family. They have two children, Jay and Meg.

In 1972, Peg entered the world of public education as a Language Arts teacher for the Toms River School District at Intermediate School East. She not only brought with her a wealth of knowledge, but also began to forge a vision of instructional acumen and curricular integrity for the growing community of Toms River. Her particular insights would not go unnoticed for long.

As a young teacher, with barely her feet wet, then Superintendent John Bennett recognized her potential and benefit to the school district. He appointed Peg Supervisor of lnstruction for Language Arts at the intermediate level in 1974. She remained in this position for 11 years. In 1985, she was offered the equivalent position for the Social Studies Department. During these formative years for the school district, Peg was instrumental in setting the tone and direction for the quality of instruction.

1988 proved a pivotal point in Peg's career -- this was the beginning of the fulfillment of her vision set in the academic headiness of her days at SUNY. She was appointed as District Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction. Peg set a standard of achievement within the supervisory cadre that was heretofore unmatched. As in her early teaching years, her work ethic and academic acuteness would not allow her to stay in this position for very long.

In 1992, Peg was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Her direct responsibilities included K-I2 curriculum and assessment, monitoring, state testing coordination, and staff development - although there were many who believed she had a hand in everything. Peg remained in this position until her retirement in 1999. During her tenure, programs, policy, instructional and curricular direction outpaced state and national standards.

Peg and John still live in Pine Beach; however, never one to bask in the sun on the porch, Peg was appointed to a highly prestigious position on the State Board of Education in 2001. She especially enjoys her work on the legal committee. In addition, she enjoys visiting regularly with her children, Jay in Manhattan and Meg in Hoboken. Peg's own words truly capture the essence of her commitment to education in Toms River, "In addition to my professional connection to the district, however, my personal connection as a parent is perhaps even more significant to me. My two children, who graduated from Toms River High School South, received an education that I know could not have been duplicated anywhere else."

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