Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent David Healy has announced his retirement effective January 1.

Healy, who was hired in 2014 in Toms River after previously serving as superintendent for the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional District and assistant superintendent in Middletown, said in a written statement released Thursday morning that it was just time.

“It just feels right, and I have complete confidence in the team we have assembled to continue our mission and fulfill the ongoing vision of this district," Healy said. "When you know, you know.”

Healy said his goal for the remainder of his time as superintendent that the district will have returned to a blended-learning model or, ideally, full in-person instruction.

“It has been my sincere pleasure and distinct honor to lead what I consider to be the finest school district within the most child-centered school community in the state of New Jersey,” Healy said. “I have immense pride in what we’ve been able to accomplish, gratitude for the relationships and friendships that will last beyond my retirement, and confidence that Toms River Regional Schools is better positioned to confront the many challenges facing public school districts in New Jersey.”

Healy said he has been considered retiring since the end of the 2019-2020 school year, following the retirement of longtime colleagues assistant superintendents Marc Natanagara and Deb McKenna but he said he felt there was unfinished business in tackling the school funding formula and implementing COVID-19 related plans in the district including for graduations and a plan for learning.

The Toms River Board of Education was notified of Healy’s decision to retire on Thursday morning.

“I must express my appreciation for the Toms River School Board and the members who have served throughout my tenure. They placed their trust and confidence in me and, throughout my time here, have provided the support necessary to achieve the many lofty goals we set for Toms River Schools," Healy said.

That feeling is mutual with the Toms River Board of Education.

“It is my sincere hope that Mr. Healy is as proud of his accomplishments with our Toms River Regional School District as I am to have worked with him to facilitate our community's collective goals,” Board President Anna Polozzo said in a statement. “As president of the Toms River Schools Board of Education, as a taxpayer, and a parent in our school district, I personally along with the entire Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education am very grateful for Superintendent David Healy's efforts for our community.”

Healy has been vocal in his opposition to the School Funding Formula which was signed into law and cut nearly $70 million from the district over the next ten years.

There are dozens of New Jersey school districts who were forced to scale back on spending and come up with new budget plans after the state took a Robin Hood approach by taking funds from districts doing well or hanging in there and giving it to underfunded schools.

In response, there have been district wide bus trips of students, faculty and staff to the Statehouse in Trenton by Toms River Schools to fight for funding.

Healy and the school board cut the jobs of 240 employees just before the start of the school year mostly positions related to students including bus drivers and school support staff.

Contact reporter Vin Ebenau at Vin.Ebenau@townsquaremedia.com