The population of Marlboro Township experienced a growth spurt in the 1980s that required the addition of a fifth elementary school. In the words of the then Superintendent, Mr. Frank Defino, “A great deal of research evidence exists to indicate that the learning tolerances of individuals operate at optimum only within very narro environmental ranges. A school facility must be designed with an understanding of the learning-teaching goals and objectives in order that the building will be an aid, rather than a hindrance to the processes of learning. It must further be recognized that no one can predict with absolute certainty, what changes will be desirable in the process of education within the lifetime of a school plant built today. For these reasons the modern school building must be flexible and adaptable as possible and should facilitate changing educational methods and procedures.”
Frank J. Dugan Elementary School opened its door for approximately 600 kindergarten through sixth-grade students and 60 staff on January 4, 1988 with Mr. Thomas Ellsworth as principal. The school is located in the southern end of Marlboro Township on Topanemus Road, off of Wyncrest Road, and cost approximately $7.6 million to build. Presently, we serve approximately 630 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, and our current building administrators are Principal Richard Pagliaro and Vice Principal Justin Lavoie who oversee more than 80 faculty and staff.
Frank J. Dugan (pictured above), for whom the school was named, was a lifelong resident of Marlboro and served as secretary to the Board of Education from July 1, 1943 until Dec. 31, 1960. In addition to his responsibilities as Board Secretary, he fulfilled the duties of the Office of the Superintendent until 1959 when the first superintendent was appointed. From 1954 until 1961, he also held the positions of Custodian of School Funds and as a local tax collector. Known to be a meticulous and articulate individual, Frank Dugan played an integral part in the development of Marlboro Township and its educational program. Upon adorning our school with his name, it was said, "For those of us who knew him, his name on a school in this township will serve as a reminder of a very fine person who was a part of this school system." At the age of 71, Frank J. Dugan died in 1970.
When tasked with selecting a mascot, the staff sponsored a contest in which the student body would make the decision. Having received over 350 entries, the votes were tallied and found students had overwhelmingly selected what is affectionately known as the Dugan Dragon. This friendly green dragon has lovingly adorned book covers, folders, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other school "swag" for over 15 years. As seen on our school's website, the dragon proudly wears a golden yellow t-shirt with the word "Dugan" across its chest.