Tag Archives: Fair Haven Schools

In Memoriam: Josie Menna, Beloved Fair Haven Schools Lunch Aide

The Fair Haven schools community is in mourning over the loss of a treasured lunch aide — Josephine Menna.

Memorial services begin today at 3 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank for the woman who began her career in the borough at 78, serving up students, teachers and the community a lot of love, a little bit of advice and some homemade gifts, a flood of social media comments conveyed.

Revered as a “beloved lunch aide and friend,” Josephine “Josie” Menna, a longtime Red Bank resident, “passed away peacefully” on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, aptly joining her husband Tommy to whom she was married for 32 years, her obituary said.

Josie Menna was aunt of Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, who paid tribute to her on Facebook upon her death:

“Lent began this evening with the arrival in Heaven of my 90 something aunt, Josephine Figaro Menna, whom I affectionately called the honorary mayor of Garfield Place in Red Bank. She was the wonderful widow of my uncle Thomas Menna, co owner of the legendary West Bergen Market and the mother of Gregory and Gary Figaro. An extraordinary woman and person of boundless charity and good will still delivering meals to housebound ‘seniors’ at her age every week and bringing the eucharist to those who were immobile and could not attend Mass.”

Family was the center of Josie Menna’s life, according to her obituary. Though family, as many Fair Havenites saw it, extended for Josie to the kids and teachers in the lunchroom and beyond.

Continue reading In Memoriam: Josie Menna, Beloved Fair Haven Schools Lunch Aide

Rewind: Read Across America in Fair Haven Schools

Superintendent Sean McNeil as Beast, Sickles School Principal Cheryl Cuddihy as “Fairy Godmother” and third grade teacher Rose Raibick as Mrs. Potts.
Photo/Fair Haven School District

The Fair Haven school district recently hosted a Horton the Elephant-sized celebration of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

Each year, the March 2 birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, a/k/a Dr. Seuss, is remembered throughout the U.S. with the Read Across America program.

Continue reading Rewind: Read Across America in Fair Haven Schools

Retro Father of Fair Haven Schools

Former Fair Haven Schools Superintendent Robert Chartier and son Michael circa 1960s Photo/courtesy of Michael Chartier
Former Fair Haven Schools Superintendent Robert Chartier and son Michael circa 1960s
Photo/courtesy of Michael Chartier

By Elaine Van Develde

He was known as the patriarch, and perhaps patron saint, of schools in Fair Haven.

He was steadying, calm, encouraging influence — never pushed by politics, never mired by mass red tape, always out for the students’ benefit.

A perpetually sage, serene smile set on his face, Robert Chartier, for many years, stood in front of Knollwood School welcoming his village full of students every single day, watching them learn and grow — fixated on seeing to it that they flourish.

He was always present, always available, always receptive. Under his leadership, students, always seen as unique individuals, soared to hit their full potential. They were all his kids. That’s simply how he saw it.

You could say that, over the years, Robert Chartier was proud papa to thousands. It was that simple to him. As principal for a stint at Willow Street School (now Sickles), then longtime principal of Knollwood and finally superintendent of Fair Haven schools, he retired many years ago, but he is still around. And the lessons learned from this iconic administrator are not forgotten.

Friends of the former top schools administrator’s son, Michael, were thrilled to see the above Father’s Day throwback photo of a young Mr. Chartier and his son.

And, since he is still so fondly recalled as that father figure by former Fair Haven students, many of whom are now parents in the borough,  the photo is our Retro Pic of the Day.

Thank you, Mr. Chartier, for being a great dad of education to so many!

Share your memories of Mr. Chartier with us.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature an interview with the iconic leader of Fair Haven schools in the future.