Hamburg School Superintendent Richard E. Jetter, who is now on administrative leave while police investigate him over his claims that his car was vandalized in May, has emphasized staying positive throughout his career in education.
On the school district’s website, Jetter posted a poem called “Advice from a River” as well as a play list of 38 “songs to make you happy,” among them Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves and “Everything is Awesome” by Tegan and Sara from “The Lego Movie” sound track.
Jetter often refers to the book “The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy” by Jon Gordon and the district’s website features photos of drawings and signs made by students and faculty depicting bright yellow “energy” school buses.
“Thank you for your support and positivism. Our ‘Energy Bus’ is fueled up and ready to take on another terrific day with your children. We are strong!” he wrote in a letter to the district while serving as interim superintendent after an article detailing the chaos on the Hamburg School Board appeared in November.
And when a rally was held in support of Jetter after the damage to his car was discovered following a May 6 meeting, community members held up a yellow energy bus sign.
Jetter has written several opinion articles that have appeared in The Buffalo News, including an essay titled “More should say ‘yes’ to using the word ‘no’ ” that appeared in 2010.
Jetter, 39, who lives in the Town of Tonawanda, is a married father of three who is a grandfather to two children through his stepson.
He was appointed superintendent to the Hamburg district in March, after being named interim superintendent in July 2013. He had been the district’s assistant superintendent for human resources and technology.
According to his resume, Jetter earned his Ph.D. in learning and instruction from the University at Buffalo in February 2010. He earned his bachelor of arts in English from UB, a teaching certificate from SUNY Buffalo State, and a master’s in English education as well as a certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership and Facilitation at UB.
He worked as an English teacher and in alternative education for Erie 1 BOCES, then taught in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District and as an adjunct professor at Buffalo State. He was principal at Franklin Middle School in the Ken-Ton district from August 2003 to July 2007 and was interim principal of Holmes Elementary School from July 2006 to November 2006.
He then became principal at Spruce Elementary School in the North Tonawanda School District, a position he held from July 2007 to August 2011 when he came to the Hamburg district.