There’s a new photo on the Wall of Honor at Knollwood School in Fair Haven. Another former student is being honored at his alma mater for serving his country.
A photo unveiling ceremony was held at the school on Nov. 29 to honor Jamie Laughinghouse, U.S. Marine Corps, a 2013 Knollwood School graduate and a 2017 graduate of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH).
Jamie has completed his boot camp training at Parris Island, South Carolina on Nov. 22. He will soon be headed to Camp Geiger, and then to Camp Lejeune, for three months.
Special guest speaker at the photo unveiling ceremony was Joshua Zager, a 1985 graduate of Knollwood School who lives in Fair Haven with his family. As a U.S. Marines fighter pilot, Zager served twenty years and flew over 40 combat missions in Afghanistan.
“I was honored to be asked to say a few words today as Jamie joins our brotherhood, and of course the first words I want to say to Jamie are ‘Semper Fi,’” Zager said. “But beyond that, I need Jamie to know that just as the Fair Haven Fire Department keeps watch over us all every night, the U.S. Marine Corps also keeps a watch and keeps us all safe. In the uncertain world in which we live, we feel safe because of the FHFD and because of the Marine Corps. Jamie, I want to thank you for joining our long line. I know that you will achieve great things.”
Covered by an American flag, Jamie’s photo was unveiled by Zager at the conclusion of the ceremony and is now officially added to the Knollwood School Wall of Honor.
Featuring Knollwood School graduates who are proudly serving their country in the armed forces, the Wall of Honor is located in the main hallway of the school. It was commissioned in 2011 by Co-Chairs Betsy Koch, an eighth grade science teacher at the school, and Joe Perrotto, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jamie was joined at the unveiling ceremony by family members, teachers and administrators, and supporters from the community. They included Wall of Honor co-chairs Perrotto and Koch as well as members of the Wall of Honor Committee: Superintendent of Schools Sean McNeil, Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, Former Fair Haven Board of Education member Katy Frissora, who was instrumental in organizing the ceremony, and Knollwood School Special Education teacher Nicole Bryant.
Also on the Committee but unable to attend the ceremony were Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Rick Robbins, who designed and built the Wall of Honor display, and Army Veteran and former Fair Haven Chief of Police Darryl Breckenridge.
“In 2011 when this Wall of Honor was commissioned, its purpose was to recognize and honor Knollwood graduates serving on active duty in the armed forces of the United States,” Perrotto said in his remarks. “With the addition of Jamie, this display will have reached its capacity plus one by year’s end. In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined that this display could not handle the amount of graduates serving on active duty at one time from a town the size of Fair Haven. This is something that the school community and the entire community of Fair Haven should be very proud of. As long as this display is here, the graduates who have made the decision to serve their county shall not be forgotten and their sacrifice and service not taken for granted. Congratulations, Jamie. Thank you for your service, and may God keep you safe.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Jamie expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community.
“While at boot camp, I received so many cards and letters with the message of ‘You are never alone, your Fair Haven family is always here with you,’” he said. “I want to thank all of you for being here today, especially those who organized this ceremony. There’s no place like the Fair Haven community.”
The Wall of Honor was made possible with funding from the Knollwood School Student Council. Jamie’s photo will remain on display for the duration of his service on active duty.
Knollwood graduates currently featured on the Wall of Honor along with Jamie are: Alex Hile, Class of 1990, U.S. Navy; Christopher Richards, Class of 2000, U.S. Navy; Joel Hyduke, Class of 2001, West Point Graduate, U.S. Army; Kenneth Ebner, Class of 2005, West Point Graduate, U.S. Army; Christopher Hofer, Class of 2006, U.S. Air Force; Brendan Reiss, Class of 2007, U.S. Army; Brian Truex, Class of 2008, U.S. Navy; Keegan Finn, Class of 2008, U.S. Marine Corps; Matthew Murray Valko, Class of 2010, U.S. Marine Corps; Anthony Sciametta, Class of 2011, U.S. Army; Joseph McGovern, Jr., Class of 2012, U.S. Marine Corps.
Adjacent to the Wall of Honor is a plaque bearing the names of Knollwood School graduates who have completed their service. Made possible by the support of American Legion Post 168 in Red Bank, this plaque features: Craig Cannon, Class of 1984, U.S. Army; Joshua Zager, Class of 1985, U.S. Marine Corps; Scott Beattie, Class of 1991, U.S. Army; Shaun Foley, Class of 1996, U.S. Marine Corps; Matthew Perrotto, Class of 1999, U.S. Army; Wayne Coy, Class of 1999, U.S. Marine Corps; Will Miller, Class of 2001, U.S. Army; Michael Humphreys, Class of 2003, U.S. Army; Bobby DeCanio, Class of 2004, U.S. Marine Corps.
Jamie is a native of Fair Haven. He is the son of Dr. Kenneth Laughinghouse and Lisa. His siblings are Joe, Katie, Kelly and Emily.
If you know of someone who may be eligible for recognition on the Knollwood School Wall of Honor, please contact Joe Perrotto at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Wall of Honor display, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/WallOfHonorKnollwood
— Edited press release from the Fair Haven School District