Lenape school board vet Shinske ‘an inspiration to others’

Courtesy of Lenape Regional High School District
Ted Shinske (third from left), who passed away last month, at the groundbreaking for Seneca High. He was instrumental in many key initiatives, including building the school.

The Lenape Regional High School board of education (LRHSD) recently reflected on the passing of former long-serving member Ted Shinske.

He represented Shamong Township on the board from April 1997 to December 2018 and was instrumental in many key initiatives, including the groundbreaking initiative of building Seneca High School, according to a LRHSD press release.

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Shinske passed away on April 14 at 83.

In his 21 plus years of service, Shinske helped foster a professional and supportive atmosphere to help all Lenape district students be prepared to succeed. He served as board president from May 2011 to December 2013 and was part of several important initiatives, including negotiations with the Lenape district’s collective bargaining units.

“Ted was an inspiration to others in his commitment to the board of education and every Lenape district student,” recalled board member David Stow, who served as board vice president during Shinske’s time as president.

“His dedication to making the Lenape district great was visible at every board meeting and every board committee meeting that he attended.”

Shinske showed patience, resiliency and understanding in adapting to the different
leadership styles of each superintendent during his board tenure, starting with Dr. Daniel Hicks, continuing with Emily Capella, and then current superintendent, Dr. Carol Birnbohm.

“Mr. Shinske was the board president my first year as superintendent, and he provided me with an incredible amount of LRHSD history and support,” Birnbohm recalled. “He was a quiet, smart, generous and kind gentleman, who had a knack for seeing the big picture and getting others to see it as well.”

Another long-serving board member, Dr. Robert Bende, will remember Shinske fondly.

“I knew Ted prior to when we were on the board together so I will miss him both as a dear friend and also as a board colleague,” he said.

Shinske had a long career as an entrepreneur, owning and operating a series of hair styling businesses in the area and a transmission business in Vineland. He retired in 1994 when he sold The Locks Shop in Lake Pine. His love of learning led him to attend trade school and take courses to ensure the success of each of his businesses and he earned a private pilot license in the late ’60s.

A graduate of Rancocas Valley Regional High School, Shinske is in the school’s athletic hall of fame for baseball. He was known for his skills as a shortstop, according to his obituary.

Shinske was the son to the late Theodore W. Shinske and Burnis (Jennings). He is survived by his wife Bette; his sons, John and Jim; and his five grandchildren, JD, Jessica, Caroline (Thomas), Mike, and Tommy.

Shinske loved spending time with his wife, watching his grandchildren’s activities and playing with his dogs over the years: Cassie, Sultan, Daphne and Tina.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Indian Mills United Methodist Church, 89 Indian Mills Road in Shamong, or any animal shelter.

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