By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
After a quarter century of working as the business administrator in the Neptune City School District, William Folk has retired.
Folk who says “I have not lived a day of my life out of Neptune City” said his most proud accomplishment is the passage of a “long needed” $12 million 2005 referendum that expanded the facilities at the kindergarten through eighth grade school.
“It was very exciting to see the community come out and support that,” he said. “We really needed it…in my capacity I was focused on the facility so that was a big accomplishment.”
Folk, whose last day was Jan. 31, also said he was very honored to have the board name the academic achievement award for a graduating eighth grade student The William Folk Academic Achievement Award.
“Fifty years ago, I graduated from the Wilson School and I won that award. It really meant a lot to me…of any type of acknowledgement,” he said.
During his tenure as business administrator he says he worked for four of the six superintendents at the district.
Folk said it was remarkable that there have only been six superintendents since the school was founded. He also worked with 48 difference Board of Education members during that time.
He recalled always having had a good relationship with administrators and board members and he has great confidence in the future of the school.
“There are many new energetic staff members, and that’s good for the school,” he said.
He said the district has been able to expand it’s Chrome Book program and and many teachers are coming up with new ideas for their use.
Folk’s only concern is the fact that the district has been the underfunding by the state over the years. He said he does not believe that Neptune City receives it’s fair share of state funding, making expanding programs very difficult.
“We’ve been terribly underfunded by the state. Politics runs into the funding of the school distric; our state aid is flat,” he said. “We should be getting $400,000 more than we do,” he said.
But Folk, is characteristically optimistic.
“We always said we have the best education no money can buy,” he said.
Folk and his wife, Kathy, who have six children, and eight grandchildren with one on the way and says he will now have more time to spend with the grandchildren who all live locally.
He and his wife re already making travel plans.
Folk has worked as a tax accountant part-time and says he will now be able to expand that business.
“I’ll be doing the same thing, but won’t have to do it on nights and weekends,” he said. “We are taking a cross country trip, across the northern United States…after tax season.”
He said once on the West Coast they will take a cruise from Seattle to Alaska and then drive home along the southern United States.
Folk looks back fondly on his long and successful career.