NEWTON, NJ— Newton said goodbye to the man who created the mantra, Trust, Respect, Support, or TRS, that will forever live on throughout all of Newton. On June 19 Kurt Walton bid farewell the the district he served for 20 years.
Walton “has defined and maintained a positive school climate at his core for the past twenty years," Newton High School Principal, Jeff Waldron said. “Kurt’s energy, loyalty, passion and unyielding ability to find the best in each one of us has served the Newton School Community.”
Walton has served as the Assistant Principal and Affirmative Action Officer for the past seven years at Newton High School.
“I have enjoyed the Newton School district every day," Walton said. “I have had the privilege to serve. Each day is a great memory by itself.”
Most prominent among his many contributions to the betterment of the district is the development of the mantra TRS.
“Students, parents and educators alike understand our school climate is defined by three simple but powerful words…Trust, Respect, and Support. At the Newton School District, Kurt Walton has defined and maintained that core for the past twenty years. He will be greatly missed,” Waldron said.
Walton served as Athletic Director at Newton High School, Principal for two years and Assistant Principal for four years at Halsted as well as Principal of Merriam Avenue for a year.
He was a history teacher, Athletic director and head boys basketball coach at Wallkill Valley for eight years and then athletic director at Kittitanny for three years before he came to Newton in 1997. He was also nominated as the President of the Directors of Athletic Association of New Jersey.
There are many memories that Walton will keep forever with him, the following are some of the ones he wants to share with the public:
- Developing the TRS district character education program.
- Developing the Disque/Rampone Middle School Track Tournament.
- Yearbook dedicated to me in 2003 as the athletic director.
- Re-establishing the PRIDE Foundation and watching how great this group is in promoting our school and kids
Walton decided to retire to challenge himself by serving people in another manner. “I feel I have run a great race and served to the best of my ability. Now it is time to leave on top and proud of our school,” Walton said.
He plans to work at Ballyowen golf course and hopefully put together and develop, with the help of the Pride Foundation, “the Newton School District as a resource base for our community. Dr. [Kennedy] Greene, [Superintendent of Newton] is trying to establish the Newton Schools as a Community School and I would love to assist”, he said.
Walton said the decision to retire was a difficult one because he feels he still has so much to offer.
“I love the Newton community, but also believe it was the right choice. I love working with our children and parents at Newton. I wanted to build and develop relationships. I wanted each student to feel excited and proud every day they walked into our school and I wanted them to desire to find their purpose and dream in life. I love all the students in our school and I hope that they believed that also. I gave them my heart. I have lived a lot of my professional life around this quote: ‘Rules without a Relationship Mean Nothing at All.' Meaning you get their heart, you get their effort and they develop purpose. As for me, my wife has four more years to serve as a guidance counselor at High Point Regional. My daughter is now a teacher outside Philadelphia and my son will be a senior at Coastal Carolina University in the golf PGA program with a business degree.”
The outpouring of support shows Walton will be greatly missed by all staff; students, former and present within the Newton community, as well as the families of those whom he touched every day since he started with Newton 20 years ago.