Special to the Cape Charles Mirror by Andy Zahn
I began my teaching career at a one year old regional high school with grades 7 through 12 taking in most of the towns in southern Ocean County, NJ. Only Manahawkin on the main land joined the new school district along with all of Long Beach Island. The other mainland towns opted out and then needed to pay tuition for each student from their town, becoming sending districts. The new school replaced both Barnegat and Tuckerton high schools and is situated on 65 acres in Manahawkin, the largest high school campus in NJ. As time went by more and more students and more new buildings came online. Tuition also kept rising and the sending districts built their own schools but missed the opportunity to have the expensive seasonal homes on the Island pay a large part of the expenses.
The town mothers and fathers wanted a really great school with great educational opportunities for the local children and set the new school up on a 12 month basis with summer school for vacationers as well our own. They didn’t mind paying for the best teachers they could attract and when I arrived they had a dynamite faculty from all over the United States. At faculty meetings there was no such thing as “politically correct” and everyone spoke their mind. Tenure is reached after the first day on the 4th contract and as the original teachers ended their 3rd year, seven outstanding teachers who spoke their mines were fired by denying the 4th contract. The place was thrown into disarray with another bunch resigning. We never got back to what we once were although it is an outstanding great school.
Our school nurse was one of the townspeople pushing for this new school. A truly wonderful nurse, looking out for the 1200 students when it all began—she was also a very kind and generous person. She was also a realtor and very intelligent. She owned a home in Harvey Cedars on a short street that ended at the ocean front. After one nor’easter she said “one more storm and I’ll have oceanfront property”. Sadly, she was wrong.
The next storm, the storm of March 6, 1962, granted her vision but briefly as her house also went into the sea.
She moved to a house on a Lagoon and felt sorry for the poor ducks, swimming in the cold waters of Barnegat Bay and looking for food, and being kind hearts took to feeding the ducks. It was so nice, all the ducks coming to eat and the word “quack”, got out and many more ducks came to feed. They came from Beach Haven and Toms River and even from Monmouth County. Mariah Walker of Compass Rose Realty does enjoy a good night’s sleep but what in the world was that racket at 5 a m? The ducks were hungry and they were using their beaks to bang on the aluminum storm door.
They learned very quickly that they don’t need to work anymore and that they have a “RIGHT” and are “ENTITLED” to free food and if not happy they have a “RIGHT” to PROTEST and be as obnoxious as they wish.
Is there a moral to this story?