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Defino Central Elementary School Home of the Dolphins!

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History » History


Frank Defino Central Elementary School was founded in 1956. It was built on 20 acres of land formerly owned by Howard Maghan. The school opened in 1957-58 as Central School. As the township population grew, so did the school. The original school had 11 classrooms, a multi-purpose room, teacher's room and auxiliary rooms. In 1963 ten classrooms were added. Another addition was added in 1969 that included 16 classrooms, conversion of a multi-purpose room to a gym, a cafeteria, and renovations to other areas of the building. Then in 1996 a cafetorium and six more classrooms were added to the school.  The school experienced many grade changes over the years. They are as follows:
  • 1957-1968, grades K-8
  • 1968-1970, grades 1-8
  • 1970-1976, grades 6-8
  • 1976-1988, grades K-5
  • 1988-2001, grades Pre-K-6
  • 2002, grades 1-6
  • 2003, grades 1-5
In 1992 the Central School name was officially changed to Frank Defino Central Elementary School. The name was chosen in honor of Mr. Frank Defino, who served as the district's assistant superintendent from 1971-76, and as superintendent from 1976 through his retirement in 1992.

For many years, student enrollment at Defino was the highest in the district.  Portable classrooms were brought in to provide extra space to house many of our classes.  Work began in 2009 to build a new wing of six modern classrooms at the rear of our school.  All of our fifth grade classes were moved into the wing in school year 2011-2012.  Upon the passing of our beloved former Principal in January 2012, this new wing was officially dedicated as the Dr. Sandra N. Morris wing in the spring of 2012.

The official mascot of Frank Defino Central Elementary School is the Defino Dolphin. The Defino Dolphin is an intelligent, gray, bottlenose dolphin with a white belly that likes to "Ride the Wave of Knowledge," just like Defino Central students do. In 1999 a school-wide contest was held to determine what the school mascot would be. The dolphin was chosen because (like our students) dolphins are mammals, good learners, show great friendliness to people, and communicate with each other in a number of ways.