joe-mcgovern-familyKnollwood School graduate Joseph McGovern Jr.,USMC is pictured with his parents Joseph Sr. and Theresa, after the ceremonial unveiling of his photo on the school’s “Wall of Honor.”

Press release from Fair Haven School District

joe_mcgovernA ceremony was held on September 26 to honor Joseph (Joe) McGovern Jr., who graduated eighth grade at Knollwood School in Fair Haven in 2012. Joe’s photo has been added to the school’s “Wall of Honor” display featuring graduates who are proudly serving their country in the armed forces.

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CINDY ZIPF 062816Cindy Zipf is pictured addressing a crowd at Rumson’s Bingham Hall on recent pollution issues in the Navesink River. The Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action returns to the borough on October 18, for a free public lecture event sponsored by the Rumson Garden Club.

From press materials furnished by Rumson Garden Club; Monmouth Conservation Foundation

The middle of October will see two free public-welcome discussions — one in Rumson, one in Fair Haven — that aim to furnish the public with updated information on the effort to address the pollution problem in the Navesink River, as well as provide tips on ways that individual residents and business owners can pitch in to help improve the quality of our area’s waterways.

On the morning of Tuesday, October 18, the Rumson Country Club is the setting for a special lecture entitled “Watershed Mindfulness: We Are All Connected to the Sea;” presented by Rumson Garden Club and featuring as guest speaker Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of the Sandy Hook-based nonprofit Clean Ocean Action (COA).

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Fair Haven Transition DayIt’s an “enduring and endearing tradition” that scores of Fair Haven students have participated in throughout the years — and this past Monday, the third graders at Viola L. Sickles School hopped onto their bicycles or boarded the “big red trolley”  as they celebrated their move to nearby Knollwood School during Transition Day. A song and memory-filled Parent Show, an informative tour of their new school, and a special performance by members of the Knollwood glee club, band and orchestra were enjoyed by the incoming fourth graders, with the highlight of the day the traditional rolling journey that saw the kids cheered on by district administrators, eighth grade peer leaders and teachers from both schools.


Knollwood spellerKnollwood School fifth-grader Jacob Brown, claimed first place in the school’s Annual Spelling Bee on January 26,  with his correct spelling of the word “nonplus.” The ten year old son of Melanie and Jason Brown competed against grade-level spelling champs Aaron Bernstein (8th grade), Alex Fratto (7th grade), PJ Rawlins (6th grade), and Sammi Samuels (4th grade). Next up for Jacob is county-level competition in the Regional Spelldown, held March 14 at Monmouth University. 


knollwoodFrom left, Joe Perrotto and Denise, Stefani, and Charlie Sciametta at the ceremony marking the unveiling of Anthony Sciametta’s photo (top center) on the Knollwood School “Wall of Honor.”

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Anthony Sciametta, a 2011 graduate of Knollwood School in Fair Haven, has joined the special “ranks” of those commemorated with a photo on the “Wall of Honor.”

Commissioned and designed in 2011 to honor graduates serving their country in the armed forces, the “Wall of Honor” is featured in a main hallway at Knollwood School. Anthony’s photo  was unveiled at a ceremony held on the afternoon of December 16.

A 2015 graduate of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, where he ran four seasons of Cross Country track and was named Captain of the team as a senior, Anthony received the “U.S. Army Top Future Soldier Award” as Central Jersey’s most outstanding recruit. Anthony enlisted in the Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in 2015 during his senior year at RFH, and graduated from Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA on December 11, in the presence of his parents Denise and Charlie and his twin sister Stefani. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, First Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, at Fort Drum, NY and traveled there immediately after his graduation.

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FH schoolsFair Haven Police Sergeant Jesse Dykstra, Knollwood School eighth grader Joey Laughinghouse and Sickles School Library Media Services Specialist June Sustick discuss goals for the future of the school district.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Fair Haven community members collaborated in a unique way at a recent Strategic Planning Workshop tied to the future success of the school district. The workshop entitled “Defining Action Steps” was held on December 1 at Knollwood School, and facilitated by Dr. Charles Ivory and Dr. Gerard Woehr of the nonprofit Education Information and Resource Center (EIRC).

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google fhPress release from Fair Haven School District

Thanks to a partnership between Google and the Fair Haven School District, students from Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools enjoyed a recent a “virtual reality” field trip experience, courtesy of an event showcasing Google Expeditions. The schools were among the first chosen for beta testing, from a wait list of approximately 6,500 schools.

Google Expeditions associates visited both schools on November 17 to introduce Expeditions to students in grades one through eight. Expeditions is a program that Google has created — using a cardboard viewing device, smartphones, and the Google Expeditions app — to create a virtual experience of places and activities. Google views Expeditions as the “next level” in learning, since students can actively engage in the lesson.

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Fair Haven makerFair Haven School District EdTech Coach Chris Aviles joined students from Knollwood School in a “Maker Faire” event at Barnes and Noble in Eatontown.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, a group of eight students from Knollwood School joined Chris Aviles, EdTech Coach for the Fair Haven School District, in a special “Maker Faire” event that allowed participants an opportunity to experience some of the latest trends in 3D printing, robotics, coding, and more.

The event, held at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers location in Eatontown, took place between November 6-8. Event sponsors included such tech companies as Ozobot, SPRK, and Protocol.

Barnes and Noble representatives invited Aviles and his students to participate during an “Innovation Lab” program offered to fifth and sixth graders at Knollwood School. The EdTech Coach agreed, and on November 7 the eight Knollwood students helped facilitate two hands-on workshops — a “Little Makers” session for ages 5 and up, and “Junior Makers” for ages 8 and up — that allowed youngsters to explore the creation of structures using Lego brand building materials.

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FH week 2Laraine Gaunt holds up the letter “R” for respect while addressing Sickles School students, as Principal Cheryl Cuddihy looks on.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

During the week of october 5 through 9, Fair Haven schools marked a state-mandated “Week of Respect” with meaningful activities and new initiatives designed to encourage kindness and acceptance.

Sickles School welcomed Laraine Gaunt on Monday for an official kickoff of the new yearlong campaign, “It’s OK 2B Different.” Gaunt, an educator whose grown children had attended Sickles School, helped to create the program. She spoke to students in Pre-Kindergarten through third grade classes about the importance of respect.

“Treat others the way you want to be treated,” Gaunt told the students. “Be a buddy, not a bully, and you will soon learn everything it takes to be a good friend.”

“It’s OK 2B Different” is based on the premise that teaching young children respect for individuals (even the bully) will promote understanding and tolerance before bias, hate, and prejudice can occur. “The color of love is always the same in the eyes of a child …” is the philosophy behind the program, which received its official start at Sickles School in 1978, when it was written and introduced by the school’s administration, teachers, and parents.

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Harvest Fest 1From left, Harvest Fest Co-Chairs Christine Hayden and Kim Kennedy and Sickles School Nurse Nora Navarro and her daughter Sophie display information and ideas for the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Saturday, October 3 came in on a wave of coastal flood warnings and hurricane trackings — but despite having to relocate from its usual out-of-doors venue to the All Purpose Room of Knollwood School, The Fair Haven School District’s annual “Harvest Fest” was once again a resounding success. And on an autumn afternoon more soggy than crisp, the inclement weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of volunteers or attendees at the fundraiser for the Fair Haven Parent Teacher Association.

Harvest Fest 2015 featured a plethora of games, a pumpkin decorating contest, and exciting live performances. Refreshments available for purchase included soup and sandwiches from BFF Market in Fair Haven. Seed to Sprout, a new Fair Haven eatery, generously donated cookies to the bake sale, which also featured homemade baked goods.

Approximately 100 parent and school-age volunteers (from seventh grade through high school) kept the action going for the large crowd. PTA Co-Chairs for this year’s Harvest Fest were Christine Hayden and Kim Kennedy.

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knollwood 1Knollwood School is the place, and October 7 the date for “Fair Haven Pride,” the first of four public-welcome workshops in the borough’s Vision 2020 strategic planning initiative.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

The Fair Haven School District will host a series of four workshops to elicit suggestions from the community as it embarks on “Fair Haven Vision 2020,” a 2015-2020 strategic planning initiative. The first workshop, “Fair Haven Pride,” is scheduled for October 7 from 7 to 8:30 pm, and will be hosted in the all-purpose room at Knollwood School All-Purpose Room.

Additional 7 pm workshops are scheduled to take place at Knollwood School on November 11 at 7 pm (“The Vision”), on December 1 (“Defining Action Steps”), and on January 21, 2016 (“Data Night”). Each will adhere to a strict 90-minute time-frame, and those wishing to participate are not required to attend all four workshops.

“Our district’s goal is to engage school employees, parents, students, community members, business owners, and government leaders in the plans being made for the future of our school system,” said Fair Haven School District Superintendent Nelson Ribon. “I encourage attendance at any or all of these workshops, where we hope to engage the entire community in an important conversation about the needs and expectations of our schools.”

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knollwood 1Graduating third graders from Sickles School made the transition to incoming fourth graders at Knollwood School, in a ceremonial ride to their new school on June 11. Then on June 18, a separate ceremony marked the transition of Knollwood’s Class of 2015 to the next freshman class at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

From press materials furnished by Fair Haven School District

The Fair Haven School District celebrates the “transition” of students from third grade at Viola L. Sickles School into fourth grade at Knollwood School in a big way. Held on the afternoon of June 11, this year’s Transition Day saw teachers and students from Viola L. Sickles School cheering from the sidelines on Willow Street, as the third graders began their journey on bicycles and the big red trolley. Escorted by members of the Fair Haven School District staff and administration, as well as eighth-grade Peer Leaders, the students headed toward Knollwood School on Hance Avenue. They were greeted along the way by many well-wishers holding signs and shouting encouragement.

At the grades 4-8 Knollwood School, the third graders were given a tour by the eighth grade Peer Leaders, learned about the school’s music program, and attended a brief assembly hosted by Principal Kevin Davis, who remarked that “It’s always so much fun to greet the incoming students at Sickles School and bring them over to Knollwood.”

Then in a separate ceremony on the evening of June 18, the graduating Knollwood School eighth graders marked their own transition to the next stage of their education career — as incoming freshmen at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

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Press release from Fair Haven School District

The Fair Haven Board of Education honored the achievements of Knollwood School students with a pizza party and ceremony held at the school on the evening of June 9.

There was plenty to celebrate, as Board members, along with Superintendent Nelson Ribon and Principal Kevin Davis, recognized accomplishments that included a championship finish by the Knollwood School Girls Softball Team, as well as outstanding showings by the school’s musical groups and participants in a regional Spring Stock Market Game.

Softball coach and Literacy Teacher Christina Jarosinki noted that her team accomplished the noteworthy feat of clinching both their division and league championship titles, by defeating Tinton Falls to claim the SISBL title.

“It has been an absolute honor to watch the team grow and progress, and it has been beautiful to see the eighth graders embrace the sixth and seventh graders,” said Jarosinski. “This year, we all learned lessons from one another and it truly felt like we were a family.”

Knollwood Softball Team members include eighth graders Alina Arko, Sarah Finley, Jeanne Gagliano, Jackie Hanson, Erin McKay, Amanda Merton, Jamie O’Donnell, Maggie Ryan, and Gillian Thorp; seventh graders Jane Banahan, Kirsten Felsman, Chloe Freglette, Kate Halcrow (Manager), Katherine Harby, and Ceci Newman; and sixth graders Cece Arko and Devon Reid.

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Sickles School 4Volunteer Risa Bertodatti assists third grade students with a hands-on activity during Understanding Differences Day at Sickles School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Each year, an innovative day-long program at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven helps third-grade students explore and celebrate differences. Presented on May 15, Understanding Differences Day featured hands-on activities and presentations throughout the day, hosted by school staff members and volunteers.

Covered topics covered physical disabilities (including visual and hearing impairments), as well as developmental and learning disabilities. Students engaged in interactive learning activities that included the maneuvering of crutches and wheelchairs (supplied by Little Silver Pharmacy), the making of name tags using Braille, and a demonstration of how a visually impaired person might keep track of money and organize food.

Guest speakers included Lori Timney, who is hearing-impaired and who shared her life experiences with students. Volunteer Sarah Maris helped students to understand the challenges faced by individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Sickles School Social Worker Nicole Green and Sickles School Psychologist Ashley Goral hosted an information session about learning disabilities; this session included presentations by students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School who discussed their personal experiences and ways in which they have learned to cope through the years. At the conclusion of the morning and afternoon sessions, all of the third grade students participated in reflective writing sessions based on what they had learned.

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Knollwood Stock MarketPress release from Fair Haven School District

Knollwood School students George Clough, Patrick Malpass, and Charles Newbury of Fair Haven achieved the First Place finish in the Southern Region of New Jersey Spring Stock Market Game.

The three fifth-graders, members of the Knollwood School Stock Market Club, competed against over 100 other teams in the Stock Market Game, which ran for 10 weeks ending in May. With a “virtual” $100,000 to invest, they made a profit of $6,977.56.

As winners of the top prize, they attended an awards ceremony on May 26 at Stockton College and presented a short speech about their experience.

“Each of us had different ideas for choosing companies to invest in,” said George. “I chose General Electric during the week that it was number one on the Dow Jones; Charles chose Ford because the price of the stock was low and it was a solid company that had performed well in the past, and Patrick chose Sony because he loves gaming PS4.”

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FH artVisitors to the Fair Haven School District Art Show admire self-portraits created by eighth graders at Knollwood School.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

“Make Your Mark” was the theme of the Fair Haven School District Art Show, with more than 1,000 pieces of student-created original art displayed at Knollwood School on the evening of April 14.

This year’s edition of the annual show represented the District’s implementation of new standards in the visual arts.  The new standards focus on essential questions to help develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills, with students are encouraged to create, present, respond, and connect their artwork to ideas that have personal meaning.

Kindergarten through third grade students at Viola L. Sickles School, and fourth through eighth grade students at Knollwood School each contributed at least one project for display.

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LesterAuthor Lester Laminack conducted workshops for young writers, and addressed parents and teachers on the topic of the writing process, during his recent visit to the Fair Haven School District.

Press releases from Fair Haven School District

An appearance by a talented special guest speaker — and some events that featured the talents of Fair Haven students — were among the highlights of the late winter and early spring at Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools in Fair Haven.

On February 26, the  rousing musical No Strings Attached was presented by the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Performing Arts Troupe at Knollwood School. Inspired by the familiar tale of Pinocchio, the show tells the story of Carl, a young boy seeking to dodge all responsibility. He makes a deal to trade work for fun — and unwittingly ends up transforming into a puppet member of the Magical Mystery Marionettes. Carl learns that “no strings attached” is not all he had hoped for — but with the help of his loyal friends, he recovers his human powers in time to help save his beloved father from the mouth of a whale.

Directed by Social Studies teacher Alison Dooley and Literacy teacher Gabrielle Illiano, the production featured Lisa Sandoli as Carl/Pinocchio, and Jacob Gerbman as Gepetto. The 25-member cast also included Lucas Tucker as Cricket, Grace Gallagher as Blues Fairy, Isabella Mitterando as Professor, Giovanna Darcy as Madame Azure, Anna Phillips as Marionette/Dipstick, Nora Doonan as Marionette/Fox, Fiona Lenahan as Cat, Mikey Bogardus as the Driver, Lauryn Jones as Tina Tuna/Peg, and Blodwen Bindas as Mary Annette.

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tri districtPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Returning to the auditorium at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, the annual Tri-District Music Festival is slated for the evening of Tuesday, April 7. The free performance is open to the public and will take place at 7 pm.

Tri-District features student musicians from Forrestdale School in Rumson and Knollwood School in Fair Haven, as well as RFH. It offers a unique opportunity for the high school and “sending district” students to perform together, and always provides top-notch entertainment and a rousing finale featuring all of the participants. This year’s lineup includes Combined Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Jazz Band, and Flute Choir.

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seussStudents at Viola L. Sickles School in Fair Haven listen intently as they try to guess the identity of a “mystery reader” during the school’s birthday celebration for Dr. Seuss.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Even a cranky “Grinch” would have been smiling at the Fair Haven School District’s birthday celebration for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel — the writer and cartoonist (1904-1991) best known under his pen name, Dr. Seuss.

The extravaganza at Sickles School kicked off on March 2 – Suess’s birthday and “Read Across America” day — with a “Birthday Celebration” assembly.  Kindergarten-through-third grade students, attired in red and white in honor of the Seuss character “The Cat in the Hat,” listened as faculty members, onstage but hidden by the curtain, acted as “mystery readers.” When challenged to guess the teachers’ identities, the students succeeded “one hundred percent.” The entire assembly then took part in a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

The fun continued as Guest Readers from the community visited classrooms to share Dr. Seuss books. Guest Reader Kevin Davis, Principal of the fourth-through-eighth grade Knollwood School, read a few of his favorites to third graders. Another celebratory event at Sickles was the creation of a “Books Will Build You Up” music video (which can be viewed here), featuring students and staff celebrating the joys of reading.

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addie copePress release from Fair Haven School District

Addie Cope, a fifth-grader at Knollwood School, is the winner of the school’s second annual Spelling Bee, held on February 2 — a competition that the ten year old student  won by correctly spelling the word “jocularity.”

The daughter of Fair Haven residents Carolyn and Jonathan Cope will now participate in the 31st annual Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune Spelldown, to be held at Monmouth University in West Long Branch on March 16-17. Spelldown will feature spelling champions aged eight through fourteen from Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties. The winner will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

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