Retro Fair Haven 8th Grade Grads

Fair Haven eighth grade graduation from Willow Street School (Sickles) circa 1946
Photo/courtesy of Jane Croft


It’s an unprecedented graduation time in Rumson and Fair Haven this year. These pandemic days, in Fair Haven, eighth grade students are being met with a diploma, Superintendent Sean McNeil, Knollwood School Principal  Amy Romano and a mini front-yard graduation snapshot in time and ceremony. It started this week. 

While eighth grade graduations have taken place in various venues over the years, from what was Willow Street School (now Viola L. Sickles School) to Knollwood and then to Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, there’s never yet been a front lawn march to Pomp and Circumstance. Yet, this year’s comes close. 

So, in honor of the eighth grade students graduating Knollwood School’s Class of 2020, we take a look back in a reprise of an eighth grade graduation post from June 18, 2018, featuring the Class of 1946. 

Some things have changed in Fair Haven. One of those things is the name of the elementary school and its days of not always being elementary. The Viola L. Sickles School, for a long time, was known as Willow Street School.

There were times when attending Sickles was a matter of where you lived in the borough, not your grade. Then there were the days of everyone starting at Knollwood, going to Sickles (or Willow Street) for fifth and sixth grades and then back to Knollwood to wind up the middle school experience and graduate. Graduation traditions have changed. They’ve also grown. 

One thing has remained a constant, though: students’ love of and loyalty to learning in their hometown. 

Back in 1946, though, while love of and loyalty to a Fair Haven hometown was strong among students, so they say to this day with fervor, eighth graders graduated from what was Willow Street School.

Forever Fair Havenite Jane Croft was there in the 1940s and has shared her graduating class photo with us. She still lives in the borough. 

Take a look. Recognize any of these longtime Fair Havenites?

Congrats to the Knollwood Class of 2020!