A ceremony was held on Sept. 26 to honor Joseph (Joe) McGovern Jr., who graduated eighth grade at Knollwood School in Fair Haven in 2012.
McGovern Jr.’s photo has been added to the school’s Wall of Honor display featuring graduates serving their country in the armed forces.
McGovern Jr., son of Fair Haven Police Chief Joseph McGovern Sr. and a 2016 Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) graduate, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during his senior year. In the spring of his senior year at RFH, he received the prestigious American Patriot Award from the Corps.
McGovern Jr., surrounded by his parents Theresa and Joseph Sr. and members of the community, attended the ceremony during which his photo was unveiled. Former Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge, Fair Haven Superintendent of Schools Sean McNeil, Knollwood School Principal Amy Romano, and former Board of Education member Katy Badt Frissora, who was instrumental in setting up the ceremony, were in attendance.
“Joe is a great young man who I have had the privilege to know through his participation in scouting,” Frissora said. “He exemplifies the best of what our schools turn out.”
The 18-year-old McGovern Jr. headed off to basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina just days after his high school graduation. He graduated boot camp on September 16th. Following the ceremony at Knollwood School, Joe traveled to Camp Geiger, North Carolina for infantry training. Joe will discover his assignment after completing infantry training.
Located in the main hallway of Knollwood School, the Wall of Honor was commissioned in 2011 by co-chairs Betsy Koch, an eighth grade science teacher at the school, and Fair Havenite Joe Perrotto, who served as a Marine.
“The Wall of Honor recognizes those Knollwood graduates that have made the decision to serve their country … it was commissioned to make sure that their service and sacrifices are recognized and not forgotten,” said Perrotto during the ceremony. “It is also a tribute to the families of these young men who also will be making sacrifices and experiencing an emotional roller coaster during their son’s service to the United States of America.
“Another purpose for this display is to remind all Knollwood School students that these heroes walked the same hallways and attended the same classes as they are doing now … and that they should share the pride of knowing that their school produced these fine young men.
“May God bless Joe McGovern and his family, and keep him safe.”
The Wall of Honor was made possible with funding from the Knollwood Student Council and was designed and built by Rick Robbins, supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for the Fair Haven School District. Currently featured on the Wall of Honor, along with Joe McGovern, are:
· Kenneth R. Ebner, Knollwood School Class of 2005, U.S. Army;
· Keegan Finn, Knollwood School Class of 2008, U.S. Marine Corps;
· Shaun Foley, Knollwood School Class of 1996, U.S. Marine Corps;
· Joel Hyduke, Knollwood School Class of 2001, U.S. Army;
· Brendan Reiss, Knollwood School Class of 2007, U.S. Army;
· Christopher Richards, Knollwood School Class of 2000, U.S. Navy;
· Anthony Sciametta, Knollwood School Class of 2011, U.S. Army;
· Brian Truex, Knollwood School Class of 2008, U.S. Navy.
A new addition 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:
· Scott Beattie, Knollwood School Class of 1991, U.S. Army Special Operations;
· Bobby DeCanio, Knollwood School Class of 2004, U.S. Marine Corps;
· Craig Cannon, Knollwood School Class of 1984, U.S. Army;
· Wayne Coy, Knollwood School Class of 1999, U.S. Marine Corps;
· Michael Humphreys, Knollwood School Class of 2003, U.S. Army;
· Will Miller, Knollwood School Class of 2001, U.S. Army Ranger;
· Matthew Perrotto, Knollwood School Class of 1999, U.S. Army;
· Joshua Zager, Knollwood School Class of 1985, U.S. Marine Corps.
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.
— Edited press release from Fair Haven School District