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School District to Remember Marie A. Hartnett, Former River Plaza Principal

Board of Education will take a moment of silence during Thursday meeting

Former River Plaza Elementary Principal Marie A. Hartnett, 66, died last week. Photo courtesy Marjorie M. Caruso
Former River Plaza Elementary Principal Marie A. Hartnett, 66, died last week. Photo courtesy Marjorie M. Caruso

Middletown educators will pause Thursday to remember Marie A. Hartnett, 66, the former River Plaza Elementary principal who died last week.

Hartnett, who began her career with the Middletown school district in 1985 and worked her way up to administrative positions, died on Thanksgiving Day.

Before leading River Plaza, she worked at High School South as a mathematics/computer science teacher, Supervisor of the Mathematics Department, and Assistant Principal.

A moment of silence will be observed by Middletown’s Board of Education Thursday night during a special meeting called for the approval of a theater lighting project at High School South.

"She was an amazing woman who was genuinely interested in and kind to everyone as attested by the many stories told at her viewing this past Sunday night and the numerous emails I have received from Middletown staff members who she hired, mentored, counseled, and cared for," said Marjorie M. Caruso, the district's director of Curriculum for Math and Science K-12 and 25-year friend of Harnett. "She will be missed greatly by many, many people."

“Her dedication to the students and teachers with whom she worked was well-known by all who had the pleasure of working with her,” reads her obituary.

The following was posted to her obituary notice on the Thompson Memorial Home website:

Marie was a graduate of Mt. St. Mary's Academy, North Plainfield. She received her BS in math and physics and her Master's in education from Georgian Court.

Marie was a parishioner of Church of the Precious Blood, Monmouth Beach where she was an active member of the choir. Marie will be remembered for always putting her family and friends first and foremost in her life.

After coming to Middletown Schools from Red Bank Catholic in September of 1985, Marie worked at High School South as a mathematics/computer science teacher, Supervisor of the Mathematics Department, and Assistant Principal. She then became Principal of River Plaza Elementary School, a job she truly loved with all her heart, spending her last two years in Middletown as District Director of Mathematics and Science and retiring in June of 2008.

Her dedication to the students and teachers with whom she worked was well-known by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.

Marie is survived by her husband of 45 years, Ronald “Ron” J. Hartnett; her mother Theresa Grisky, S. Plainfield a son Jeff and wife Kim Hartnett, Dallas, TX; daughter Christine and husband Michael Camilli, Freehold; and three grandchildren: Sara, Tom and Emma.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, Dec. 2 at Church of the Precious Blood in Monmouth Beach. Interment followed at Fair View Cemetery Mausoleum, Middletown.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in Marie's memory to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, PO Box 27106, New York, NY 10087-7106 or online at www.mskcc.org.

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