Since the day he began his tenure as superintendent of the Bordentown Regional School District on July 1, 2014, Dr. Edward Forsthoffer said he has enjoyed every minute of his time working with the Bordentown community.
Residing close by in Hamilton Township, Forsthoffer was familiar with the Bordentown area and decided to “throw his hat” into the ring when the position of superintendent became available seven years ago.
Things worked out for Forsthoffer as he received the position, being welcomed into the Bordentown community with open arms and learning about the “charm” that made the small-town school community a great place to work in.
Almost seven years to the day that he started working in Bordentown, Forsthoffer will walk into his office for the last time as Bordentown’s superintendent on June 30, officially retiring from the position and 34 years of work in the educational field.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it right ’til the end,” Forsthoffer said of his time as superintendent. “I’m going to miss the great people I got to work with in the school district. I had a very enjoyable experience here.”
Forsthoffer held the role of superintendent in both the East Windsor Regional School District and the Hillsborough Township Public Schools before coming to Bordentown.
Prior to becoming Hillsborough’s superintendent, Forsthoffer was an assistant superintendent in the Monroe Township School District for two years.
He came to Monroe after his first stint in Hillsborough where he started as vice principal of Hillsborough Middle School and then transitioned to becoming principal of Hillsborough Elementary School.
Fortshoffer began his 34-year educational career as a teacher in the Hamilton Township School District and has also worked in the Marlboro Township Public Schools.
Coming into a school district that was much smaller than the ones that he had previously worked in, Forsthoffer saw how the small-town community charm that Bordentown has made it a great place for children to grow up and learn in, he said.
“You got that small-town feel where people care for each other, ” Forsthoffer said when he came to Bordentown. “I got to know a lot of people in the district and in the community. The students and the staff were great. The parents embraced me since the day I started working here.”
Taking over for Forsthoffer will be Dr. Trudy Atkins, who was officially voted in by the Bordentown Regional Board of Education (BOE) on June 9 to become the school district’s new superintendent.
Atkins comes to Bordentown after working the last 14 years for the East Brunswick Public Schools.
Forsthoffer said he felt that his staff, BOE members and himself did a good job working together this past school year navigating through the coronavirus pandemic.
Wanting to retire at the end of the 2019-20 academic year, Forsthoffer stayed on through this school year because he wanted to make sure the school district was in a “good place” in the aftermath of COVID-19.
This past school year was mostly “unique” and not hard in the eyes of Forsthoffer, who said it was a pleasure working with his colleagues all school year to make sure the district continued its duties to do the best they can to educate the students in the Bordentown community.
“We found ways to work together and not make this a tough year,” Forsthoffer said. “I think we managed through the pandemic with few issues. We’re in a good place right now.”
Forsthoffer made his “last lecture,” as he says, back on June 17 when he spoke at the Bordentown Regional High School Class of 2021 graduation ceremony.
The speech itself was something Forsthoffer said he was looking forward to sharing at the graduation ceremony. While he was writing it, nostalgia kicked in as memories of his career in education and life itself made their way onto the page.
Giving examples like training to compete in a full 26.2-mile marathon, Forsthoffer shared his “four principles” for success after graduating high school to the Class of 2021. Those principles are: seek change and new ideas, be nice and courteous, appreciate what you have, and lastly, dream.
It had always been Forsthoffer’s mindset on wanting to go out on a “high note”.
As he walked off the stage at Bordentown Regional High School and congratulated the Class of 2021 graduates for their achievement, Forsthoffer said he felt he had accomplished that feeling he had wanted entering retirement.
Future plans to travel with his wife, Michele, and becoming a grandfather are things Forsthoffer looks forward to as he enters retirement this summer.
That said, Forsthoffer knows by the time fall comes around and when school resumes for the 2021-22 school year that he’ll miss being in the hallways of the schools across Bordentown.
In Forsthoffer’s eyes, he and Bordentown were always a “good match” and adds he will continue to be the biggest cheerleader of the community going forward.
“Bordentown is a great place for many reasons,” Forsthoffer said. “Part of it is its small-town charm and the other is that it’s a true community. They all click for a magical ingredient to make it a great place to be a part of.”