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School Board Candidate Profile: Jack Reuther

Incumbent seeking second, three-year term to Toms River Regional

John  “Jack”  Reuther, 63, Arizona Avenue in Toms River.  Retired- Special Education Teacher 1971-2004  

Seeking second, three-year term on Toms River Regional School Board.

Experience, background:

Graduate of St. Rose High School  1967,  Trenton State College 1971 B.A. Education, Kean College 1975 M.A. Education.

Current Volunteer Experiences:
                      Silverton Homeowners Association-President- 15 years
                      Toms River Planning Board- 10 years
                      Toms River Recreation Committee- 10 years
                      Toms River Youth Advisory Council- 15 years
                      Toms River ADA Compliance Committee- 5 years
                      Patient Advocate Volunteer- Ocean Medical Center- 5 years  

Key  concerns about the Toms River Schools?

My key concern is to restore the excellent reputation the Toms River Schools has always had. We have gone through a crisis unlike any faced in the history of our school system. To the credit of our staff, they have remained focused on their mission in spite of many distractions. I want to continue to rebuild the trust and confidence of our community in our Board of Education. I plan on doing this by my actions, not by words alone.  

What issues do you hope to address in the coming term? And what do you think should be done to resolve those issues? 

  I hope to continue to review the policies and procedures of the Board of Education with the goal of making changes that would  improve communications and dialog with the community. When Gus and I were elected 3 years ago we were told “This is how we do things.” Our response was “ OK, but how do other school boards do things?”. As a result we brought in the New Jersey School Boards Association. The NJSBA reviewed our policies and procedures and made suggestions to improve community input and participation in our meetings. Those changes have since been implemented.    I will continue to listen to any suggestions and concerns brought to our attention. We will review them thoroughly and continue to be strong advocates of positive changes.    I also understand the importance of providing our students with the technology necessary for them to be successful in their future careers. I support all efforts to guarantee a safe and secure educational setting for both staff and students. I appreciate the close working relationship between the Toms River Schools and the Toms River Police Department. Chief Mastronardy and Superintendent Roselli continue to support all efforts for a safe school environment.  

What motivated you to run this year?

The main reason I decided to seek a second term is because I am the type of person that does not walk away from a challenge. There is still important work to be done. I have promised my wife that if I am re-elected I will serve 3 more years then pass the torch on to others. It has been frustrating to be labeled the “Ritacco Era” board member. Gus and I were on for 11 months when the FBI raided Superintendent Ritacco’s house. I remember after one of many disagreements I had with Mr. Ritacco I asked him if he ever regretted the day I was elected to the Board of Education. He responded “No Jack, I like it when people are honest with me and tell me what they think.” Whenever I had a difference of opinion with Mr. Ritacco or any other person on the Board of Education, I never expressed it in a disrespectful manner.  

How do you plan to serve the school board and the residents of Toms River in a meaningful way?

My method of serving the school board and residents in a meaningful way is simple. I plan to continue to be fair and honest with everyone. Whether we agree or not I will treat all with respect in my dealings with them. I make informed, careful decisions after I hear both sides of the story. I will do what I think is right and I will not be intimidated or reluctant to proceed with what I believe is the best course of action. I like the quote: “Speak louder than words.”

Anything else to add:
I would like to share my favorite quote:  “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong because some day in your life you will have been all of these.”  -George Washington Carver

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