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Rumson Fair Haven Students Unveil Long Awaited Wall of Honor



Rumson Fair Haven Students Unveil Long Awaited Wall of Honor

On Thursday, May 27th, 2021, student members of the Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School Veterans Appreciation Club unveiled their year-long project, the RFH Wall of Honor, to honor alumni who are currently serving in the United States Military. In addition to current club members, the event was attended by RFH staff, Board of Education members, administrators from both RFH and Fair Haven and family members of those honored on the wall.  Sophomore Jackson Champeau’s rendition of the National Anthem set the tone for the ceremony which began outside the front of the high school.  Club president, Tyler Izzo, detailed the vision for the project before passing the podium to Rumson police officer Brian Doherty.  Doherty, RFH Class of 1991 and veteran of the United States Army, delivered a keynote address emphasizing the sacrifice that young Bulldogs make upon enlisting after they leave RFH, the importance of community support and the timeliness of the day’s ceremony, days before the country will memorialize veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. He dedicated his speech to Private First Class Jamie Riley, a Fair Haven resident and RBC graduate, who was killed in service in 2019.  Following, Mr. Eric Zullo, advisor to the Veterans Appreciation Club, presented each member with a piece of a tattered American flag that can no longer fly donated by RFH Industrial Arts teacher, Dino Pagano (RFH Industrial Arts teacher and father to  First Lieutenant Logan Pagano, Class of 2014, United States Army) and Operation Jersey Cares, a veteran non-profit organization. Before the conclusion of the event, attendees gathered inside the halls of RFH to witness the unveiling of the Wall, currently honoring 15 active duty personnel (listed below). The event was live streamed for invitees that couldn’t attend the ceremony in person. You can view the NFHS recording of the ceremony here.

Club founders Mike Ponenti, James Greeley and Mike Cushing (Class of 2020) proposed the idea of a Wall of Honor to RFH administration last year before the pandemic began but their planning came to a halt once school shut down.  This September when school reopened, new club officers picked up where the former left off.  The club is currently led by Sophomores Tyler Izzo (president), George Kressler (vice president) and Jack Campbell (secretary).  Currently in its third year, the RFH Veterans Appreciation Club strives to give back to the community, and specifically, local military and veterans. Throughout the year, they hold fundraisers, organize events to commemorate military holidays, participate in local community service events, and partner with local organizations to support the military and veterans.  An annual care package drive through a partnership with Operation Jersey Cares has become their largest event.  Now that their latest project has come to fruition, updating the Wall of Honor annually by removing and donating pictures to those who are discharged from the service, while adding those graduates who continue to enter the military and serve the country will become another focus. 


Current Honorees:

  • James Alexander Hile, Class of 1994, United States Navy
  • Margaret Brainard Bland, Class of 2003, United States Army
  • Kenneth R. Ebner Jr., Class of 2009, United States Army
  • Christopher Hofer, Class of 2010, United States Air Force
  • Brendan Reiss, Class of 2011, United States Army
  • Kevin M. Alter, Class of 2011, United States Marine Corps
  • Brian Hapeman, Class of 2011, United States Army
  • Edward (Woody) Rago, Class of 2012, United States Army
  • Liam Reddy, Class of 2013, United States Army
  • Matthew M. Valko, Class of 2014, United States Marine Corps
  • Logan Pagano, Class of 2014, United States Army
  • Anthony Sciametta, Class of 2015, United States Army
  • Luc Cogger, Class of 2016, United States Marine Corps
  • Jamie Laughinghouse, Class of 2017, United States Marine Corps
  • Theo Addison, Class of 2017, United States Army


To view the ceremony, visit Rumson Fair Haven Regional’s site on the NFHS Network or click here.


A picture of the Wall of Honor


Mr. and Mrs. Pagano get a closer look at the Wall of Honor


The family members of honorees, Mr. and Mrs. Pagano, current educators at RFH, and the Laughinhouse family (further above) beam with pride at the unveiling ceremony.



Sarah Fitzgerald, RFH Press Release Writer or 732-842-1597 x. 277