LB Learning …
Learning in the city …
The ultimate historical account of Long Branch — the 1940 bio-book Entertaining a Nation — gives “praise to the city’s three fighting superintendents” for guaranteeing the city’s educational heritage. They being: Thomas G. Chattle, Christopher Gregory and Charles T. Stone.
Thanks to those people and those who came after, the city has a long and notable record of producing quality students. Formal education for Long Branch really started in West Long Branch in 1780 at a schoolhouse on Cedar Avenue.
It wasn’t until 1812 when the first Long Branch school opened on Broadway and then expanded in 1840. John Wood was the first schoolmaster. The original Long Branch Primary School No. 1 was opened on Broadway in 1870; built for about $50,000. That same year the first Garfield Avenue school was also opened.
The first Long Branch board of education was formed in 1873 and within three years the city’s first high school on Prospect Street was opened. Dr. James Green was the first principal.
Today there are eight Long Branch Public Schools located throughout the city including about 5,800 students and 475 teachers. Total annual city spending on education now reaches $110 million; LB taxpayers cover about half the cost and the rest is state aid. For 2021: Francisco Rodriguez is the Superintendent of Schools and Tasha Youngblood Brown is President of the Board of Education.
Following are some photos of the city’s schools through the years:
Long Branch High School on Westwood Avenue, 1937.
Long Branch High School, 1940. Opened in 1926; closed in 2007.
LBHS, 1934. When it was also hosting “Monmouth Junior College.”
LBHS, 1950s. Designed by Ernest A. Arend; the construction cost was $683,000.
LBHS, 1950s. The current student body is about 1,500.
LBHS, 1990s. When the brick, 28-room, two-story school opened it held 600 students.
LBHS postcard, 1950s.
New Long Branch High School front, 2016.
Old Long Branch High School front sketch, 1992.
Chattle High School after a fire, 1966.
Chattle High School on Morris Avenue, early 1900s. Opened in 1899 and closed in 1966.
Chattle High School on Morris Avenue, 1905. Named for Dr. Thomas G. Chattle — “the father of the city school system” — who became superintendent in 1857. A physician, he also served in the NJ state assembly and senate.
Chattle School building still simmering after fire, 1966.
Chattle High School, 1919. The $78,000, four-story brick building opened in October 1899.
Chattle High School (l) and LB Middle School (r) on Morris Avenue, 1908.
Chattle School Building fire, March 1966. Some 650 junior high students were evacuated from the Morris Avenue school in under 2 minutes.
Bressett Stadium at LBHS (2,000 capacity), 2019. The football field was named in honor Edison E. “Ted” Bressett, a longtime high school Athletic Director and coach who died in 1966.
LB school’s athletic team name, 1963.
Long Branch High School original school song, 1927. Written by Rudolph Winthorp and Louise Bruske
Harvard man was a LB high school principal for over 25 years. APP, April 1937.
Long Branch High School Relay-Running Champs, April 1938.
“Best Ever” — 1976-77 Long Branch High School varsity basketball team. Gerry Matthews coached the guys squad to an undefeated 30-0 season and a NJSIAA Group III state championship. That Green Wave team included two future NBA players, Clinton Wheeler and Alex Bradley. They have some competition, though. The 1969-70 LBHS team led by Coach Bob Walsck turned the same trick — perfection (26-0) and a title. Plus, they did what no other Monmouth County high school team had ever done, complete an undefeated season. Plus, they won the first state title in school history.
Old graded school “Grammar School” on Prospect Avenue (l). The Chattel High School is behind it on Morris Avenue, 1960s. Chattle burned down and the Grammar School was torn down years later when the city built the Anastasia School.
Long Branch “Grammar School,” early 1900s.
“Graded School” on Prospect Avenue, 1943.
Grammar School on Prospect Avenue, 1906.
“Grammar School” on Prospect Avenue (r). Chattel High School (r) on Morris Avenue, 1950s.
The school which opened for classes in September 1876 has had many names — the “Graded School,” “Prospect Street School,” and “Grammar School.”
LB Grammar School, early 1900s.
LB Intermedial School. The 13-classroom junior high school opened in 1912 on Morris Avenue. It cost $137,000 to build.
Old North Long Branch School area, 2018. Also called the “Church Street School,” the three-story brick building was gutted by fire in April 1928 but reopened the following year.
North Long Branch School, 1980s. The original four-room school opened in 1891; four more classrooms was added in 1900. The school closed in 1979. After sitting dormant for 40 years it’s being converted into high-end condos.
North Long Branch School on Church Street. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
The Broadway School at right, mid-1950s. The city’s first official school building opened on Broadway in 1812.
The Broadway School, 1950s. Built by R.H. Hughes, it opened as a four-classroom school in 1890. Additions came in 1903 and 1931, expanding to 8 classrooms. In the mid-1970s, it held nearly 350 students. The school closed in 1981.
Broadway School, 1960s.
Broadway School at the time of its closing in 1981. In 1984, Arthur and Frank Siegfried acquired the red brick building for $50,000 and added $2 million more in renovations. Today, it’s an office building.
Bucktown School on Norwood Avenue, 1930s. Built in 1840 by George Northam.
Liberty Street School, 1940s. Established as a “colored school” in 1903, under pressure from the local NACCP the city school board integrated the school in April 1947. The school cost was $76,000.
Liberty Street School, 1954. The school was expanded from 2 classrooms to 6 in a 1924 addition.
New Gregory School on Monmouth Avenue. Opened in 2007, the school cost $24 million.
Old Gregory School at Seventh and Joline Avenues. The eight-room brick school opened in 1924 — named for Christopher Gregory, a city Superintendent of Schools for 32 years (1889-1921).
Gregory School, 1940s. Today it’s a senior citizen apartment complex.
George L. Catrambone Elementary School on Park Avenue. The K-5 school was opened in 2014. Mr. Catrambone worked in the city’s school system for nearly 40 years, starting as a special ed teacher and retiring as assistant superintendent.
Catrambone Elementary School. The 109,000-square-foot school was built by Greyhawk Construction; the cost was $43 million. It replaced the old Elberon School that opened in January 1954; which had eight classrooms and cost $379,000.
Amerigo A. Anastasia School on Seventh Avenue. Opened in 2005, the grammar school cost $24 million. It was named for Dr. Anastasia, a longtime city pharmacist and school board president. The school on Morris Avenue had been the old “Anastasia School.”
Old Morris Avenue School is demolished. Long Branch Daily Record, July 1973. The school was opened in 1911.
Dedication of the Amerigo A. Anastasia Learning Center on Morris Avenue. Long Branch Daily Record, October 1973. From left: Victor Burke, school principal; Milton Hughes, city schools superintendent; Rev. C.P. Williams, city schools board president; “Doc” Anastasia; and LB Mayor Henry Cioffi. Construction cost of the elementary school was about $1.5 million. Anastasia served on the city’s board of education from 1946 to 1971.
Lenna W. Conrow School, 1958. The Long Branch Avenue school was opened in 1955 and 3 years later was named in honor of its retiring principal, Miss Conrow, who started teaching at the North End school in 1904.
Kindergarten graduation at the Lenna W. Conrow School, 2021. Built for $370,000 and opened in November 1955. It was K-3 with 214 students. City school’s superintendent at the time was Harmon Bradford and E.M.T. Carr was city school board president.
Joseph M. Ferraina Early Childhood Learning Center on Avenel Blvd. Opened in 1999. Ferraina who started as a Spanish teacher in 1973, ran the city’s school system from 1994 until 2011 and helped secure massive state funding for many new schools.
The Joseph Ferraina (l) and Lenna Conrow (r) schools sit side-by-side off Avenel Blvd, 2021. The Ferraina school cost $6.5 million and was the first in the state to offer free pre-school.
West End School on West End Avenue. Opened as a two-classroom school in 1900, it was rebuilt after a 1921 fire. In 1950, seven classrooms were added and in 1962 there it expanded again. When it closed in 2014, it was the city’s oldest operating school.
West End School, 1951. The NJ Repertory Company acquired the property for $2 million in 2016.
West End School, 2015.
Garfield School in ruins, April 1963. It was the city’s oldest school at the time of the fire, according to the Long Branch Daily Record. The school was built in three sections — the first in 1870, then additions came in 1886 and 1931.
The Garfield School, 1963. Parts of the school date to 1870, according to the Long Branch Daily Record.
Garfield School on fire, April 1963
Garfield School on fire. Long Branch Daily Record, April 1963. The 13-classroom school was insured for about $370,000.
Garfield School in ruins after fire, April 1963.
Garfield School, 1954.
New Garfield School on Garfield Avenue under construction, 1964.
Garfield School pennant, 1966.
Garfield School kindergarten class, 1921.
LB Schools Superintendent Joseph Ferraina at the opening of new Gregory School, 2007. At that time thanks to Abbot district funding the city received nearly $200 million to built/renovate 8 schools.
And religious education in Long Branch …
Star of the Sea Academy on Chelsea Avenue, 1940s.
Star of the Sea Lyceum, 1950s. Designed by Jeremiah O’Rourke & Sons in 1900; construction cost was $45,000.
Star of the Sea Lyceum. The Catholic elementary school at Third and Chelsea Avenues was made of limestone.
Star of the Sea Lyceum School on Chelsea Avenue. Built in 1900; closed in 1986.
Star of the Sea Academy, 1968.
Star of the Sea Lyceum on Chelsea Avenue, 2019.
Star of the Sea Lyceum basement, 2019.
Star of the Sea Lyceum 1st floor, 2019.
Long Branch High School Archives — HERE