Learning in the city …
The ultimate historical account of Long Branch — Entertaining a Nation — praises “three fighting superintendents” for guaranteeing the city’s educational heritage. They were: Thomas G. Chattle (1834-1889), Christopher Gregory and Charles T. Stone (1874-1942). They were “brilliant and tireless champions of education,” according to the 1940 bio-book on Long Branch
Dr. Chattle: “Father of City Education.”
Dr. Chattle guided the city’s school system with “dedication and courage” from 1857 to 1889, Gregory was lead educator from 1889 to 1921 and Stone was the super from 1921 to 1936. Thanks to their foundational service and to the many who came after them, the city has a long and solid record of producing quality students — with able minds.
Formal education for Long Branch really started in West Long Branch in 1780 at a schoolhouse on Cedar Avenue property owned by Elisha West. It wasn’t until 1812 when the first Long Branch school opened on Broadway; it 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 school system’s first board of education was formed in 1873; George H. Green was the first president and Dr. Chattle was the first secretary. In 1876, the “Graded School” was opened on Prospect Street. Later it was known as the city’s “Grammar School school; it was torn down in 1968. Long Branch High School officially started in 1878-79. The Chattle High School was opened in 1899 and torn down shortly after a 1966 fire.
“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.”
Learning in Long Branch caught on quickly. By February 1900, according to the Asbury Park Press, the Long Branch school system included 2,600+ students with an 85% attendance rate. As a new century was arriving the district was already spread out over 11 buildings and had a $55,000 annual education budget. By 1903, the system included 3,500 students and 70 teachers.
In 1922 Long Branch High School joined the National Honor Society (students were assessed for scholarship, leadership, service and character). The first city students to be chosen were: William Pearsall, Milton Stein, John Metzgar, Helen Vetter, Herbert Rothstein, and Berta Scwartz.
Today there are eight Long Branch Public Schools located throughout the city including about 5,500 students and 475 teachers. Total annual city spending on education now reaches $50 million; city taxpayers cover about half the cost and the rest is state aid. For 2022-23: Francisco Rodriguez is the Superintendent of Schools and Lucille Perez is President of the Board of Education.
Following are some photos of the city’s school system through the years:
All Aboard — Long Branch Public School bus, 2023. In November 1986, the NJ Department of Education approved mandatory busing to integrate the city’s elementary schools.
Over & Above — Bresett Stadium at LBHS on Westwood Avenue, August 2023 (Dave Booth Photo). The complex honors Edison E. “Ted” Bresett, a longtime teacher/coach and AD at LB. He coached the first LBHS football game played on this field in fall 1927.
Hall of Learning — Long Branch High School sketch from its dedication day, Long Branch Daily Record, October 1927. “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”
Chattle High School on Morris Avenue, 1905. The first high school in Long Branch history opened in October 1899. The four-story, yellow-brown brick schoolhouse cost $78,000.
Chattle High School, 1919. Named for Dr. Thomas G. Chattle — “father of the city school system” — who was superintendent from 1857 to 1889. A physician, he also served in the NJ State Assembly and Senate.
Chattle High School, 1910s. Badly damaged in a March 1966 fire, the school was torn down shortly after.
“Roaring Inferno” — City firefighters battle fire at the Chattle School, Long Branch Daily Record, March 1966. At the time, it was a 650-student junior high school. Plans were to abandon the building in 1967. (Record staff photographer Paul DeNucci took this amazing shot.)
Long Branch High School
Long Branch High School on Westwood Avenue ground-breaking, November 1923. Zerbe Construction Company of New York built the school.
LBHS under construction, July 1926 (Greg Anderson Photo). The architect was Ernest A. Arend; who also designed Asbury Park High School.
LBHS under construction, July 1926 (Greg Anderson Photo).
Long Branch High School under construction, 1926.
LBHS under construction, 1926.
LBHS gym under construction, July 1926 (Greg Anderson Photo). When completed it had seating for about 900.
LBHS, 1934. When the brick, 28-room, two-story school opened it held 600 students.
Long Branch High School front sketch, 1992.
LBHS, 1937. The building was dedicated in October 1927. Final construction cost was $683,000.
Long Branch High School, 1940s. The school closed in 2007.
Long Branch High School, 2019. The current student body is about 1,500.
Long Branch High School, 2015.
Long Branch High School, 1940.
Long Branch High School, Spring 2023 (David Booth Photo).
Long Branch High School. APP, December 1933. When the city’s high school was hosting the new “Monmouth Junior College” and its 300 students. The college moved to its present WLB campus in 1955.
“Monmouth Junior College” logo, 1933. College classes were held at Long Branch High School for over 20 years.
LBHS at night, 2023.
LBHS postcard, 1950s.
New Long Branch High School front, 2016.
Long Branch High School original school song, 1927. Written by Rudolph Winthorp and Louise Bruske.
“Memorial List” — Long Branch High School students “Killed in Action” during World War II, 1947. William “Chief” Beatty – a Chattle High School grad and All-American lacrosse player at the University of Maryland — served as the LBHS Athletic Director from 1941 to 1953. The longtime teacher and coach died in January 1980.
Harvard man was a LB high school principal for over 25 years. APP, April 1937.
Chattle High School on Morris Avenue, 1906. The Class of 1925 would produce two city mayors — J. Paul Kiernan and Paul Nastasio, Jr.
Chattle High School, early 1900s.
Chattle High School on Morris Avenue (l) and Long Branch Grammar School on Prospect Avenue (r), 1906.
Chattle High School, 1910s (Eddy and Gloria Bruno Photo).
Chattle High School after a fire, 1966.
Chattle School building still simmering after fire, March 1966. Within a week the “ancient structure” was gone, according to the Long Branch Daily Record. Joseph Mazza & Sons did the demo for $8,500.
Two Schools — Chattle High School on Morris Avenue (l) and Long Branch Grammar School on Prospect Avenue (r), 1908.
Chattle School Building fire, March 1966. Some 650 junior high students were evacuated from the Morris Avenue school in under 2 minutes.
Chattle School Building at the time of its demolition. Long Branch Daily Record, March 1966.
Long Branch Grammar School
“The Graded School” on Prospect Avenue opened for students in September 1876.
“Grammar School” on Prospect Avenue (r) and the Chattel High School (l) on Morris Avenue, 1950s.
“Grammar School” on Prospect Avenue (l), 1960s. Chattle burned in 1966 and the Grammar School was torn down 1968 when the city built the Anastasia School.
“Grammar School — Long Branch, NJ,” early 1900s. Dr. James A. Green was the first principal in 1876.
“Graded School” on Prospect Avenue, 1911. The school was modernized in 1954 from its “dull, dark look,” according to the Long Branch Daily Record.
First opened for classes in September 1876, it’s had many names over the years — the “Graded School,” “Prospect Street School,” and “Grammar School.”
Grammar School, early 1900s. In June 1968, Muccio Excavating Company of Long Branch demolished the school for $14,000.
LB Intermedial School. The 3-story, 13-classroom junior high school on Morris Avenue was dedicated in January 1913. It cost $110,000 to build,
Long Branch Middle School on Indiana Avenue, 2022.
North Long Branch School
North Long Branch School, 1910s. The school closed in 1979.
North Long Branch School, 1994. After sitting dormant for 40 years, it’s been converted into high-end condos.
Old North Long Branch School area, 2018. 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.
North Long Branch School on Church Street. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
North Long Branch School on Church Street, 1970s. Locals called it the “Church Street School.”
Broadway School at right, mid-1950s. The city’s first official school building opened on Broadway in 1812.
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.
Broadway School, 1960s. The school closed in 1981.
Broadway School at 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 at Norwood and Brighton Avenues, 1930s. Built in 1840 by George Northam.
Liberty Street School
Liberty Street School, 1940s. It was established as a “colored school” in 1903, according to the Long Branch Daily Record. Construction cost was $76,000. In April 1947, under pressure from the local NACCP the city school board integrated the school.
Liberty Street School, 1954. The school was expanded from 2 classrooms to 6 during a 1924 addition.
Gregory School sketch at the time of its dedication, October 1924.
Gregory School at Seventh and Joline Avenues, 1940s. The facility cost $148,000 to build. Today it’s a senior citizen apartment complex.
New Gregory School on Monmouth Avenue. Opened in 2007, the school cost $24 million.
Old Gregory School, 2000s. The eight-room brick school is named for Christopher Gregory, a city Superintendent of Schools for 32 years (1889-1921).
City 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.
Gregory School on Joline Avenue undergoing conversion into the Gregory School Apartments, 2013.
Catrambone Elementary School
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.
Old Elberon School on Park Avenue, 1963. The eight-classroom school opened in January 1954 and cost $379,000.
A.A. Anastasia School
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
Lenna W. Conrow School, August 2023 (Dave Booth Photo).
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
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.
Joseph Ferraina (l) and Lenna Conrow (r) schools sit side-by-side off Avenel Blvd, 2021. The Ferraina school cost $6.5 million and Long Branch was the first NJ municipality to offer free preschool, starting in 1999.
West End 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 it expanded again. When shut 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.
Long Branch Leads the Way — Chattle High School football team, 1908. Note that the team both integrated and excellent. The squad won the East Jersey High School League “pennant” that year. W.A.D. Clark led the guys (while also serving as Chattle director of athletics from 1908 to 1915) and was assisted by H.M. Campbell. Front row, from left: Fisher, Bailey, Thomas, Throckmorton, J. Walsh, Bennett, Sylvester, and Warwick. Middle row, from left: Miller, Viracola, Burns, E. Walsh, Reisner, Tomasky, Moore, and Strollo, Top row, from left: Nathan Katz (team manager), Coach Campbell and Coach Clark.
LBHS football game, 1930s.
LBHS football game, 1930s.
Chattle High School football team, 1903.
Chattle High School football team, 1919.
Long Branch High School football team, 1939.
Best Ever — Sam Mills of Long Branch and the Pro Football Hall of Fame bust, August 2022. On the right is his widow, Melanie, and on the left is his NFL first coach, Jim Mora. A LBHS graduate, Sam died in 2005 at age 45 from intestinal cancer. MORE INFO.
Gridiron Greats — The 1932 Long Branch High School football team was “the greatest the school ever produced,” according to the Long Branch Daily Record in October 1948. Coached by Edison Bresett, the team went 7-0-1 (the Asbury Park game was declared a “no contest”) and captured the Central Jersey Group III title. The Green & White starting 11 were: Army Ippolito, Sam Madsen, Bruno Diamond, Marty Rafferty, Sol Juska, Frank Tokanos, Frank Anastasia, Vince Renzo, Bill Walling, Vern Woolley, and Johnny Boniello. Note: The 1961 LBHS football squad completed a perfect 9-0 season. The coach was Amedeo V. “Army” Ippolito (who also led 1951 and 1955 Wave teams to undefeated (but tied) seasons). After retiring from coaching, Ippolito was elected to the Long Branch City Council in 1965.
Bresett Stadium (dating back to September 1966) and Ippolito Field at Long Branch High School, July 2022 (Jason Corley Photo). Opened in October 2008, the complex honors Edison E. “Ted” Bresett, a 33-year teacher and coach and Athletic Director who died in December 1966, and Amedeo V. “Army” Ippolito, a five-time state champion football coach, Spanish teacher and city councilman who died in June 1980.
Lasting Talent — LBHS Football Head Coach Frank Glazier, Jr. (c) with team co-captains, George Balina (l) and Sam Mills (r), 1975. Mills went on to pro football glory. Inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022 — he played 12 seasons in the NFL mostly with the Carolina Panthers (the team retired his jersey number 51). A five-time Pro-Bowl linebacker, he died of cancer in April 2005. Glazier then in his first season at LBHS was paid $1,700 for coaching duties. Although he never achieved the Sam Mills-level of splendor in Long Branch, the football coaching camp he founded in 1976, Glazier Clinics, still operates today. Coach Glazier died in 1993.
Coach “Army” Ippolito is carried off the field at LBHS after a win, 1960 (APP Photo). Head coach for 20 years before being ousted in April 1964 — at that time the Long Branch Daily Record considered the Montclair native, “Mr. Football in Long Branch.”
Title Wave — Coach Jack Levy celebrates a championship. Some city football fans laud the 1986 LBHS squad as “best ever.” The team also complied a perfect season at 11-0 and were Central Jersey Group III champs. Jack Levy led with a quiet intensity and Bob Biasi guided the vaunted defense. Coach Levy — who took the LBHS job at age 24 in September 1978 — was a two-time MVP in football at Springfield College in Massachusetts. After resigning as Long Branch coach in May 1991, Jack left the district — serving ably as AD at Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch from 1992 to 2010. His untimely death in March 2022 sadden many fans.
LBHS football game, Fall 1946.
Bresett Stadium at LBHS (2,000 capacity), 2019. Named in honor Edison E. “Ted” Bresett, a longtime Long Branch coach and teacher, who started his Athletic Director duties at Chattle High in 1924. The dedication was in October 1966. Bresett coached the first LBHS football game played on this field in fall 1927.
Pride & Success — Dan George, LBHS football team Head Coach at his last game at Bresett Stadium, Thanksgiving Day 2021. During his 23-year tenure, Dan guided the Green Wave to three state championship, seven division titles and 152 victories in the Shore Conference. Coach George graduated from LBHS in 1983. Both his father and grandfather, William, Sr. and Jr., played football at LBHS.
“Green & White” — Long Branch Schools athletic symbol, 1963. The school’s main sports booster is the Green & White Association which dates to November 1935 — MORE INFO. The Phi Chi Pi fraternity — city school alums with a Broadway office — played an early leadership role. William Crawford was the first group president. The first membership fee was 10 cents.
Long Branch High School Relay-Running Champs, April 1938. One of the finest coaches in LBHS history was Melvin Rahn — the 400-meter oval at the high school is named in his honor. Producing fast runners was his specialty — as the school’s longtime track & field coach. During the 1930s his teams won 66 consecutive dual meets and seven state titles in a row. He founded the Long Branch Relays in 1933 and help found and was president of the NJSIAA. Born in Palm, Pa., Coach Rahn passed away in January 1951.
“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.
Long Branch High School Marching Band performs during half time of a New York Jets-Boston Patriots AFL game played at Shea Stadium in NYC, October 1968. Director of the 185-member band was Dominic Soriano and Nancy Bronson was Head Majorette.
LBHS Class of ’21 graduation set-up at Bresett Stadium (David Booth Photo).
LBHS Junior football team, 1939.
And religious education in Long Branch …
Star of the Sea Academy on Chelsea Avenue, early 1900s.
Star of the Sea Academy, 1940s.
Star of the Sea Lyceum at Chelsea and Third Avenues, 1910. Built in 1900, the Catholic elementary school closed in 1986.
Star of the Sea Lyceum at Chelsea and Third Avenues, 1907.
Star of the Sea Academy, 1940s.
Star of the Sea Lyceum, 1940s.
Star of the Sea Lyceum, 1920s.
Star of the Sea Academy on Chelsea Avenue, 1950s.
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 is 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.
The Star of the Sea Lyceum and a look east on Chelsea Avenue, 1905.
Star of the Sea Church on Chelsea Avenue, 1930s. The school was affiliated with the church.
Long Branch High School Archives — HERE
$1,269 — Average salary for a Long Branch teacher in 1922, Long Branch Daily Record.