“East…Always Moving Towards Excellence!”

Our mission is to work with the school community to provide a safe educational environment where students are stimulated to become lifelong learners, equipped with the knowledge and analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills to meet the demands of college and/or careers as informed citizens in a globally competitive market.

Greetings Raider parents, guardians, and friends,

District News!

As we worked to address millions in state funding lost, the proposed referendum discussed over the past year was put on hold. A new date for the vote has been scheduled for January 22, 2019, and three regional meetings are planned to discuss details of the NJDOE approved plan, school by school. Please come learn about planned facilities projects and ask questions so you are fully informed about what’s at stake for our communities. Each meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8PM in the auditoriums of the following schools:

For more information, go to:


Week in Review

Mrs. Casey Daniel and her wonderful Journalism Staff are thrilled to venture in the social media world updating parents on East daily activities.  Please check us out on Instagram (Tretoday_TheRaiderWay), Facebook (Tretoday_TheRaiderWay), Twitter (Tretoday_TheRaiderWay) and Website (Tretoday_Theraiderway.wordpress.com).  Emails to Mrs. Daniel can be sent to Tretodaytheraiderway@gmail.com).  Our daily Bulletin will be posted on our school website each day.

We returned from the holiday eager and ready to resume school activities (well maybe not so eager) on Wednesday.  I informed the students that as we transition back into school following the holiday it might be challenging.  We all enjoy sleeping in and relaxing.  However, I asked that we always remember that I have high expectations of everyone in this building.  Whenever we are in school, it is game day.  We are here to do our very best and to represent ourselves with pride.  I asked that our students make the best of their opportunities here to further their personal goals.  Students should look to absorb as much information as they possibly can and to learn how to apply that knowledge in meaningful ways.  Our attitudes are a reflection of who we are and what we stand for – so make it exceptional.  I hope the message was well received!  Mrs. Dawn Aulisi (Student Assistance Coordinator) hosted our Attitudes in Reverse student presentations in the Lecture Hall Monday and Tuesday.  Ms. Tricia Baker presented to our freshmen health classes to support our goal to create a community of understanding, kindness and empathy through mental health education and awareness.  Ms. Baker commented how well behaved our children were!  I was very pleased to hear!  

We held our district Referendum meeting Tuesday evening at East.  Superintendent Healy and Business Administrator Doering spoke to our East community audience regarding our goal to address much needed building repairs on budgetary limitations through our January 22, 2019 Referendum.  Mr. Healy and Mr. Doering provided an exceptional presentation outlining the respective costs to address the various essential building issues.  Attendees were also provided with a discussion of the projected taxpayer impact.  A question and answer session followed the presentation to ensure all present were clear on the Referendum agenda.  Being a member of this community and an employee of this district for more than 20 years, I appreciate the need for the Referendum and strongly encourage our families to get out and support the Referendum.  The tax impacts are relatively minimal and benefits will support the long-term growth of our schools.  Please go to the following website for further details.  Great job Mr. Healy and Mr. Doering for all your hard work supporting our children.  


Friday was quite a day.  As many of you are already aware, I sent home a News Blast informing our parents of the concern regarding an incident that was reported to East administration at the end of the school day on January 3, 2019.  An East student received an ‘Air Drop’ that included a generic meme from the Internet which included a picture of a gun and the caption stating, “Don’t come to school tomorrow”.  The information was forwarded to the Toms River Police Department and was investigated.  Based on their assessment, the threat was not deemed credible but was taken very seriously.  We took all necessary precautions to assure the safety of our students.  I spoke to all of our students during lunch periods to discuss the respective concern, my feelings on school safety issues, and our measures to ensure we are doing everything possible to provide a safe school environment.  

I would like to give a great big “Shout Out” to Dr. Marybeth Kretz, our Human Anatomy teacher.  Dr. Kretz is teaming up with RWJBH to help local youth learn about healthcare career options.  The program offers various East students with valuable volunteer experience in professions beyond physician or nurse.  According to Dr. Kretz, our students are really getting the feel of how a hospital operates and how it takes so many departments for it to function.  Dr. Kretz and our students were recently featured in Community Medical Center’s magazine.  Keep up the great work Dr. Kretz!

Our Interact and Key Clubs have accepted the challenge to support finding a cure for Blood Cancer!  Our goal is to raise $1,000 by the end of the month.  The Homeroom that collects the greatest amount of money will receive a lunch sponsored by The Olive Garden (love that salad and breadsticks).  

Great job to our Wrestling Raiders for their outstanding performance this past week at the Sam Cali Wrestling Tournament. Thirty-eight (38) teams participated in the 2-day tournament including several from out-of-state.  Great job to Michael Conklin for his performance in the tournament, losing in the finals to last year’s 5th place State finisher.  I would like to recognize Tim Irons and Richie Graff for their first wins over the weekend.  We are proud of you all!  Congrats to our boys bowling team for their outstanding performance at the Annual Brick Tournament this past weekend!  The performance was our second best finish in this crowded tournament in the past seven years.  The boys finished fourth overall.  Great job Coach Kanarkowski.  Great job to our girls basketball team for their amazing win over Jackson Memorial Thursday evening!  Our girls swimming beat Lacey Township on Thursday – way to go!  

I would like to acknowledge Site Resource Officer Tommy Herbst and Security Officer Scott Kenny this week as part of our 180 Days of Excellence.  Both SRO Herbst and SO Kenny have an inherent way of making personal connections to our kids.  I appreciate the efforts they make to ensure there are positive relationships with our security personnel and that they go above and beyond for students in need.  They are both role-models for our kids and positive reflections of our school community!    

Congratulations to Mrs. Michele Carter (school nurse) for being selected as our Employee of the Week. Mrs. Carter has done a tremendous job in the absence of her long-term partner, Mrs. Sammi Hvidding (school nurse).  Mrs. Carter was selected by Mrs. Martha Mills for being someone we can all count on and for doing her job with pride.  Keep up the great work Mrs. Carter!  

Congratulations to Brielle Mowad and Ryan McIntire for being named our January Seniors of the Month.  Brielle is in the top 10 of her class and holds numerous leadership positions in various clubs and organizations.  Brielle is a member of NHS, Key Club, Interact Club, Ambassadors, and TEAM.  She maintains straight A’s while taking rigorous courses.  She is described by her teachers as a person of great strength and character.  She is active in the community’s Field of Dreams Initiative.  Ryan is in the top 10% of his class.  He balances his academics and athletics while maintaining a job outside of school.  Ryan is described by his coaches and teachers as someone who is extremely conscientious of his performance in the classroom and on the field.  He possesses a tremendous work ethic and sense of responsibility.  Ryan is a person of character.  Great job Brielle and Ryan for being positive reflections of our school community.  

Congratulations to Kjersten Kleinschmidt for being selected for a Raiders Excellent Award.  Kjersten received the recognition for her sense of responsibility towards school safety.  Great job Kjersten.

Congratulations to Nick Totten, Rileigh Weiss and Amanda Economides for being written up for positive school behavior.  Nick and Rileigh went out of their way to pay for book loan fines for their peers to support the respective students.  Very kind!  Amanda was recognized for her demonstration of good character.  She placed money in a vending machine for a snack.  The machine provided two snacks when she only paid for one.  Amanda reported the incident to have the additional snack returned to the vendor.  Pure class!  Great job Nick, Rileigh and Amanda for being positive reflections of our school community!

Did You Know?

A goal at East is to increase student participation in extracurricular activities.  We are in the process of evaluating our recent Student Survey data, and will report out soon to support our goal.  Participating in extracurricular activities has numerous benefits, such as:

Without much previous work experience, one of the only ways hiring managers can assess your ability and work ethic is through your extracurricular activities.  For example, if you were on a debating team, the manager would know that you work well with others, can argue a point professionally and have public speaking experience - all awesome skills to have in the workplace!

Last but not least, university applications!  What? Since when do universities care about your extracurricular activities? As long as you get the right grade, you’re in!  Well, yes, that is usually the case in many countries, like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand, but I’m talking about US and UK university applications. It’s pretty much impossible to get into any university in the US or UK without extracurricular activities.  Universities in the UK want to see that you’ve gone above and beyond in your intended area of study and have made a difference and/or excelled your field.  If you want to major in chemistry, a UK university is more likely to accept you if you’ve joined a chemistry club, taken extra chemistry courses at your local university and volunteered in a lab.  Although that sounds like a lot, extracurricular activities are even more important to US universities. In fact, extracurricular activities and leadership account for about 30% of your application!


Freshman Academy/STEAM

Our STEAM leaders met during the day on Friday to discuss our course sequencing for the Academy and potential positions needed to meet our new Forensic Science class.  Dr. Marc Natanagara, Ms. Norma DeNoia, Mr. Kevin McCann, Mrs. Monica Santamaria, and I all attended the meeting.  I appreciate the team’s efforts to provide a quality program for our students!

Attendance Matters

Punctuality, Good Attendance will have Positive Impact on Workplace

By Lionel Wijesiri

(Below is a portion of the article collected from the following website:



Let us talk first about punctuality. This habit matters, at least in today’s business societies. Being on time, every time, conveys far more than just a good sense of timing. It tells people that you’re on top of things, that you’re organized, that you can be counted on, that you value them and ultimately, that you value yourself.

Being on time consistently shows everyone around you that you are the master of your life. It demonstrates foresight — the ability to predict possible hang-ups — and adaptability — the ability to change your plans to accommodate those hang-ups.

Someone who shows, over and over, that they are the master of their time is someone who will be taken seriously in areas far removed from time management. That foresight and adaptability that gets you where you need to be, when you need to be there, tells the people around you that you can handle whatever is thrown at you.

Punctuality is also a trust issue. When you make an appointment, you are making a commitment to be where you said you’d be when you said you’d be there. The only way you build up other people’s trust in you is by consistently meeting your commitments — and that starts with being punctual.

People are busy — too busy to be waiting on you while their other work goes unfinished. Being punctual shows, clearly and truly, that you value their time and by extension that you value them as a person. It says, “Let’s make this time we’ve arranged as productive as possible so we can both get on with all our other important stuff.”

Finally, being on time shows you value your time — and yourself. First of all, being repeatedly late is a self-destructive behavior — why else would you risk not landing the big client, losing your job, or insulting those around you? And everyone knows that most self-destructive behavior follows from low self-esteem. Even if it’s not true, that’s the perception you’re allowing others.  

(I will provide further information from the article in next week’s newsletter)

Character Counts

Being Responsible: Makes Your Life Better


(continued from last week’s newsletter)

Try to use good judgment in the decisions that you make. When you think things through you’ll make better choices, and gain the trust of your family (and your parents).

If there’s a job needing to be done, get it done. Missing deadlines is not a trait of a responsible person, and by doing things on time it shows you can successfully manage your own life, and your own commitments. It can be difficult to exercise this level of self discipline, especially when your friends are heading out and you have to blow them off to get work done. This recent post covers how you can learn to be very effective in your time management skills. Reward yourself only when you’ve ticked off your tasks from your daily “to-do” list, because if you want to be truly responsible you need to tackle the challenges life throws at you, and not just enjoy the fun stuff.

I will provide further details on this article in next week’s newsletter.  Please check out the link:


Tips to Improve School Outcomes

What is Critical Thinking?

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

What are you aiming to achieve?  One of the most important aspects of critical thinking is to decide what you are aiming to achieve and then make a decision based on a range of possibilities.

Once you have clarified that aim for yourself you should use it as the starting point in all future situations requiring thought and, possibly, further decision making. Where needed, make your workmates, family or those around you aware of your intention to pursue this goal. You must then discipline yourself to keep on track until changing circumstances mean you have to revisit the start of the decision making process.

However, there are things that get in the way of simple decision making. We all carry with us a range of likes and dislikes, learnt behaviors and personal preferences developed throughout our lives; they are the hallmarks of being human. A major contribution to ensuring we think critically is to be aware of these personal characteristics, preferences and biases and make allowance for them when considering possible next steps, whether they are at the pre-action consideration stage or as part of a rethink caused by unexpected or unforeseen impediments to continued progress.

The more clearly we are aware of ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, the more likely our critical thinking will be productive.

I will provide further information from the following link in next week’s newsletter:  

College and Career

We are offering a unique opportunity for EAST students to take a FREE SAT Practice Test with the Princeton Review on the 26th of January between 9 am and 12:45 pm at HSE.  I highly recommend our students take advantage of this opportunity to take a full-length practice SAT.  After the test, students will receive a comprehensive score report detailing your strengths and weaknesses.  

Please register at:  

https://www.princetonreview.com/products/offerings/424157.  This opportunity is exclusive to HSE students only.

Café Corner!

I am meeting with Food Service Director, Mr. Pete Bratten to discuss our Breakfast initiative.


I have nothing to report this week.  However, please help to reinforce school expectations and policies at home to ensure more productive school outcomes.         

This Week at East

We are holding our School Improvement Committee meeting after school Tuesday to discuss our monthly objectives and our plan to infuse into the school environment.  I will be attending a District Principal Meeting on Tuesday morning and will later meet with our Student Council to hear issues of concern and to discuss school growth.  Our PTO meeting will be held on the 8th at 6 PM in our Main Office Conference Room.  We are holding our weekly Wednesday PD in our Jersey Mike’s PD Room.  The topic will be Rigor in Assessments.  Mr. McCann will follow up with a PD session Friday to further the concepts discussed on Wednesday.  We will be holding our annual Teacher of the Year and Educational Professional of the Year parade Friday to celebrate our 2018-2019 winners!  I always look forward to that day!


8th grade parent night (Class of 2023) is on Tuesday, January 29th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.  HS East is offering a free SAT full length practice test on Saturday, January 26th from 9am-12:45pm. Interested students should see their counselor for registration information.  The last day for a track change is Friday, January 11th.  The registration deadline for the February 9th ACT is 1/11/19.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  The registration deadline for the March 9th SAT is 2/8/19.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  The Option II Personal Finance final exam is on January 10th & 11th.  The OCVTS Career Discovery Day is on 1/12/19. This is a great opportunity for students and adults to learn about available career and technical programs.  Visit www.ocvts.org for more information.  Any Junior or Senior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application. 


Join the PTO Remind - text @ah89ee to 81010.  We will use remind for event and meeting reminders.  Our email address is trhsepto@gmail.com, Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/trhsepto and find us on instagram @ tomsriverhse.pto.  We are holding our January PTO meeting this evening at 6:00 pm in the Main Office Conference Room.


I would like to thank The Olive Garden for their continued support of High School East.  We have received several lunches in recognition of the efforts our staff make to support student achievement.  Thank you Olive Garden, we appreciate you!

I would like to thank Douglas and Mary Fantuzzi for their generous donation to our Robotics Club – Short Circuits.  Our Robotics Club growth is dependent upon the acquisition of funds from various community sponsors.  On behalf of Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli and Mr. Walt Patelunas, I would like to personally thank you for your support of our program.  

I would like to thank CBJ Farms for donating the shrubs/plants for the front entrance of our building for our beautification project.  CBJ Farms is located on 36 Newbold Lane in Chesterfield, New Jersey.  The phone number is (609) 291-9292.  

I would like to thank Chris Rampone for his continued support of our school’s educational incentives to improve school achievement.  Mr. Rampone has generously donated thousands of dollars in coupons to his Jersey Mike’s Subs establishments in Toms River.  Chris is committed to supporting our initiative to improve school achievement through positive school behavior and attendance.  Thank you Chris for all you are doing for East and our community!  

I would like to thank Morano Tours for donating $300 to our school account in support of our attendance and character initiatives.  Thank you Bill Morano your generosity.  The funds will be used to purchase certificates, shirts, and other gifts during our monthly student drawings.  Check out his website, Moranotours.net or call to make a reservation at (732) 237-9977.  Bill was a former teacher at East and is personally connected to our community.

I would also like to thank our wonderful partner, Thompson Health Care, for providing the staff with breakfast on our first day of school.  Thompson Health Care has volunteered to provide food, speakers, and other school-related services in support of our school vision and mission.  Thompson Health Care provides chiropractic, sports rehabilitation, acupuncture, physical therapy, medical pain management and medical weight loss to their patients.


Mr. Thomas, Principal

We at High School East


Anchored in Integrity,

Devoted to Excellence,


Focused on results:

well educated and highly ethical graduates.