Former West New York Superintendent Van Zanten passes away at 72


Former West New York Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Van Zanten passed away on Friday after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. His viewing with be at the Vainieri Funeral Home in North Bergen on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of Vainieri Funeral Home.
Photo courtesy of Vainieri Funeral Home.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Van Zanten, also member of the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame for his 24 years as the head coach of track and field and cross country (1966-1980), retired as West New York Superintendent of Schools in July 2010 after a whopping 43 years of working in education.

“After receiving a Doctorate in Education, Robert went on to spend 20 years serving as a Superintendent of Schools in several school districts, culminating his career where it began, in his beloved West New York, New Jersey,” his obituary says.

“Robert was an accomplished and highly respected educator who has appeared in several publications and received both national and state honors and awards.”

He also previously served on the Hudson County Schools of Technology Board, the same school where his son, Eric, teaches.

Van Zanten’s viewing will be at Vainieri Funeral Home, located at 5923 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in North Bergen, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 28th. A prayer service is scheduled to commence at 7 p.m.

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  1. Truly a great leader very smart and determined man he made his mark every district he served and made many people who they are today including me rest in peace

  2. Mr Van in my book was a nice guy I didn’t have as teacher however but he did catch me doing something I shouldn’t have but he didn’t turn me in I remember one night he got in a car accident outside my home when I seen it was him he ask to call a cop mind you this was like 10 years out of school he called me my first name Rest In Peace Mr Van

  3. RIP Mr. Van. . He was principal when I was in kindergarten and I remmeber his son was in my class. He was very nice and thought I was only 5, I remembered hik all these years. God bless Mr. Van and maybyou rest in peace.