Tag Archives: Knollwood School

Retro Knollwood Grad Fashion

Knollwood Class of '74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde (yours truly) and Wanda Becker. Photo/Sally Van Develde
Knollwood Class of ’74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde (yours truly) and Wanda Becker.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Eighth graders in the Rumson-Fair Haven area have graduated.

Photos are popping up all over social media. And these crews of grade school cronies seem to have a panache we eighth graders of the 1970s lacked. There they all are … posing, arms wrapped around one another, sporting stylish clothes, tans and toothy grins.

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Scene Around: A Knollwood Grad Gathering

Well, the rain didn’t hold out for Fair Haven’s Knollwood School Class of 2017, but, by the looks of things, it didn’t dampen the graduates’ spirits Monday night.

The graduation is and always has been indoors. But, a gaggle of guys and girls from the class gathered after the ceremony for a traditional photo down at Fair Haven Dock and a few others at the ol’ homesteads of grads, captured by mom Jenny Costello.

She said it was raining on the dock, but the grads persevered all in the name of that classic milestone snapshot … and a few more.

Take a look … and if you have any photos you’d like us to add to our gallery, please send them to us at evd@rfhretro.com.

Congrats to the Knollwood Class of 2017! 

The Stokes Connection

Half a century of Stokes! Today marks the milestone for Fair Haven students, parents and Knollwood School staff.

They’re homeward bound, satiated with 50 years of it all.

Some stalwart traditions have changed in the evolution of the trip, but one thing has remained the same — lifetime connections forged and pranks aplenty pulled.

One such classic story is that of Knollwood teacher and Stokes organizer Andy Dougherty and Jenny Jones Costello.

The two grew up as Fair Haven neighbors whose parents were best buds. They, of course, went to Stokes in the 80s. They forged a friendship, as their siblings also did, from the time they were babies. And they were mighty cute babies, as only their babysitter would know for sure (ahem). Call it another kind of family tie. Best of neighbors and second string siblings. It all started more than 40 years ago.

They both graduated from RFH. Still on the block. They spread their wings and flew the neighborhood coop for a bit. Eventually Andy ended up becoming a teacher at the very same school, though not on the block where his parents stayed until they passed away. Jenny and her family ended up back on the same block.

She ended up volunteering year after year to be a parent counselor at the camp. And, two of her children have already been indoctrinated into the Stokes tradition. Andy has become an anchor in the annual trip.

This year, Jenny was back for the 50th with her son Nick, like Mom, a pretty happy camper.

The kids have their own little pranks going on at Stokes. Hey, it’s a tradition. We’ll just pretend for now that such things no longer happen with the young ones. But, since the statute of limitations is up for the “elders,” or something like that, they got right back to it.

In the interest of keeping with tradition, Andy and Jenny revisited an old prank. It all has something to do with a swim suit and a case of botched identity … or not, Doug Herty. And laughs. Lots of laughs.

Hey, that’s what friends and Stokes are for!

So, raise some frozen underwear up the flagpole, put some itching powder in a sleeping bag (well, maybe not) and remember the good ol’ days.  Tradition!

What was your Stokes prank?


Fair Haven Students’ Visit with a Famous Author

Third grade students from Sickles School shared lunch and conversation with children’s author Patricia Polacco.
Photo/Fair Haven School District
A wish came true for students in the Fair Haven School District when children’s author Patricia Polacco paid a visit recently.

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Knollwood Students Get a Glimpse into the Life of an Author

Award-winning young adult fiction author Jordan Sonnenblick speaks to eighth grade students at Knollwood School
Photo/Fair Haven School District
Award-winning young adult fiction author Jordan Sonnenblick visited Knollwood School recently to give students a glimpse into the mind of a writer who explores teenage life.

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Rewind: A Look Back at Knollwood’s Chamber Music Recital

And the middle school musicians played on … in the Fair Haven School District’s annual Chamber Music Recital at Knollwood School recently.

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Retro Knollwood Show Time

“Times have changed,” as the lyrics to Cole Porter’s Anything Goes go …

Yes they have. And they haven’t.

The shows are still going on, but they’re quite different types of productions. The students at Fair Haven’s Knollwood School have staged Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.  The show went on in the beginning of the month.

And, way back in 1974, the school’s second ever musical was staged with the middle schoolers. You guessed it. It was Anything Goes.

Yes, times have changed, and mostly because these days they actually have junior versions of otherwise adult-like shows that aren’t really all that adult.

In fact, in those days, nothing was thought of doing a pretty darn adult musical that starred a, ahem, “lady of the evening” turned evangelist, a gangster and his maul, a stowaway, an heiress and a kooky English gentleman all aboard a ship and involved in madcap farce and love triangles.

Who knew? Well, the 1974 cast  of Knollwood’s version of Anything Goes certainly didn’t.

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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.

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PJ Rawlins: Knollwood Spelling Bee Champ

Fair Haven’s PJ Rawlins has been dubbed the spelling champ of Knollwood School and is headed to a regional competition.

The seventh grader won the Knollwood School Annual Spelling Bee on Jan. 31. By spelling the final word “feckless” correctly, he claimed first place in the school-wide competition for fourth- through eighth-grade students.

Competing along with PJ were eighth grader Alex Fratto, sixth grader Will Ross, fifth grader Michael DeFazio, and fourth grader Kate Cusick. The students were selected through competitions at the classroom and grade levels leading up to the school-wide spelling bee.

“I am amazed by our participants’ study skills,” said Knollwood School Principal Amy Romano. “This year, we had to dig deeper for more difficult words. I am impressed by all of our participants. Congratulations to all.”

Next up for PJ is county-level competition in the Regional Spelldown to be held on March 13 at Monmouth University.

— Edited press release from the Fair Haven School District

Show time at Knollwood: ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’

Thespians at Fair Haven’s Knollwood School are getting set to go on with a show in March — Beauty and the Beast Jr.

The 60-minute stage version of the 1991 Disney animated film and 1994 Broadway musical and is designed for middle-school aged performers.

The cast at Knollwood’s production is comprised of roughly 40 sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

The show tells the story of Belle, an adventurous young girl, and the Beast, her grisly captor, who is actually a young prince trapped under a spell. In order to break the spell, the Beast must learn to love another and earn love in return.

With the help of the staff at the prince’s castle, including a loving teapot, a charming candelabra, and a nervous mantel clock, Belle and the Beast find uncanny friendship and love. Beauty and the Beast Jr.  features classic songs from the Academy Award®-winning film score such as “Be Our Guest” and “Belle,” as well as original songs from the 1994 Tony®-nominated Broadway musical.

The March 2 Knollwood performance will be presented in the Knollwood School all-purpose room at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and donations of nonperishable food items for local food banks would be appreciated.

— Edited press release from the Fair Haven School District

Fair Havenite Soars to Eagle Scout Rank

Fair Havenite Michael Frissora has soared to the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout rank.

The award of the status, the highest attainment in scouting, was conferred by BSA Troop 67 Scoutmaster Michael Maier at a Court of Honor on Jan. 8 at Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church in Red Bank.

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