About Our Founder

Donald J. DeSanto was a school psychologist and a certified school administrator. He founded The Rugby School at Woodfield in 1977.  At that time, Rugby was approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education to accept learning disabled and behaviorally challenged students.

Mr. DeSanto was born in Brooklyn, NY on July 5, 1942 and had lived there before settling in Freehold Borough in 1977. He received his BA Cum Laude from St. Francis College, Brooklyn, and his Masters in Clinical/Child Psychology from St. John’s University, Jamaica Campus. He was a member of the Noon Time Optimist Club and the B.P.O. Elks Lodge both located in Freehold Borough. Mr. DeSanto was also a member of NAPSEC, Washington, D.C. Mr. DeSanto was a member of The Association of Schools and Agencies for the Handicapped, Hamilton Township, and received their Legacy of Caring Award.   He was a member of Marquis’ Who’s Who, and was the 2006 recipient of the Monmouth County Mental Health Association’s Tony Dowling Child Advocacy Award. He served as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee of Freehold, and was a member of the zoning board. Mr. DeSanto received the New Jersey Governor’s Arts in Education Award, and was a member of Psi Chi Phi Delta Kappa.

He was a loving husband, the proud father of three daughters, and a grandfather. He touched countless lives throughout his career as an advocate of children. His mission and memory continue on in the hearts of the staff and the work of The Rugby School at Woodfield.