Fair Haven native new Knollwood principal

Staff Writer


It may have taken Thomas Famulary quite a few years and an esteemed career, but he ended up right back in the Fair Haven Knollwood School principal’s office.

After a months-long search for the perfect person to fill the principal’s position, Fair Haven Superintendent of Schools William N. Presutti announced last week that Famulary, a native of Fair Haven, would take the post.

Now in his 40s, Famulary returns to the very school from which he received much of his elementary and middle school education. On Jan. 2, he will go straight to the principal’s office on good behavior to take charge at his alma mater.

Famulary, now a Rumson resident, took the long and winding road back to Fair Haven schools via stops in Colorado, Tenafly, Tinton Falls, and finally Manchester Township.

"Tom and Dan Bland (former Knollwood principal) seem to be making the same sort of move," said Presutti. "Bland went to Millstone to be closer to home, while Famulary is coming to us from the Manchester Township district to be closer to his home in Rumson — and of course to be an educator in a community he called home for so many years of his young life."

Famulary has been principal at the Manchester Township Elementary School for the past seven years of his career. Prior to his stint in Manchester, Famulary did some time in the vice principal’s office of Swimming River Elementary School in Tinton Falls.

Before his Tinton Falls time in the early ’90s, Famulary taught second grade and fifth grade in Tenafly.

Famulary started his education career in Colorado, where he was a K-6 music teacher in Loveland’s Thompson R2J school district. He also is an accomplished pianist. "From what I’m told, he’s extremely talented," noted Presutti.

Standouts on his academic achievement record are: a 1992 Governor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching, and receipt of a 1999 Geraldine R. Dodge Fellows for School Leadership grant.

Presutti was quick to mention that in addition to Famulary’s outstanding qualifications for the position, visits to school districts that he worked in cemented the decision to hire him. "Everywhere we went, people had nothing but wonderful things to say about him," Presutti noted.

As for his anticipated tenure at Knollwood, Presutti said with enthusiasm that he thought Famulary "will bring a unique perspective filled with excitement to the position."

Presutti mentioned that there will be a "get to know the principal" coffee scheduled for sometime in January at Knollwood School, Hance Road. Parents and interested community members are welcome to attend. The date for the event will be posted on the marquee outside of Knollwood.