Local military reaches out to community school

Col. Brian Jacobs, commander of the U.S. Army Fort Hamilton Garrison, and Command Sgt. Maj. Eva Commons recently visited P.S./I.S. 104 on Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, which is also known as “the Fort Hamilton School.

According to Garrison Public Affairs Officer Mark Getman, who also attended the meeting, Principal Suzanne Gordon “welcomed the  opportunity to meet with Col. Jacobs to discuss the importance of education outreach in the community as well as the collaborative educational opportunities that are available to the Fort Hamilton community.” 

Also attending were Assistant Principals Suzanne Gatto and Luci Hartmann, and Lisa Sheehan, the garrison’s student liaison officer. To add some levity to the occasion, the principal later brought out the costumed school mascot, a wolf named Alpha. Some of the students from military families living on the Army base attend this school.

Assistant Principal Suzanne Gatto, Command Sgt. Maj. Eva Commons, Principal Suzanne Gordon, Student Liaison Officer Lisa Sheehan and Col. Brian Jacobs.

The Fort Hamilton School has an interesting side story. The neighborhood in which it is located was a part of Kings County but not Brooklyn until much later. This southwest region was located in the Village of Fort Hamilton in the old Township of New Utrecht. New Utrecht was one of the six towns established by Dutch settlers and later became Kings County. New Utrecht encompassed all or part of present-day Bath Beach, Bay Ridge (Yellow Hook), Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton.  

Historically, while under the aegis of New Utrecht, it was known as the District 4 schoolhouse, a two-story frame building which was located on Fort Hamilton Avenue and 97th Street. On May 3, 1894, the Town of New Utrecht was annexed by the City of Brooklyn. Since Brooklyn already had schools designated with single digits in other areas, to avoid confusion the Brooklyn City Board of Education placed the number 10 in front of all the New Utrecht town schools. So P.S. 4 became P.S. 104, likewise Public Schools 102, 103, 105, etc.

However, the independent City of Brooklyn was short-lived. In 1898 it was merged into the City of New York and became one of the five boroughs.

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