“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,

I hope everyone had the opportunity to enjoy the family during the week off of school!  I went to Maryland to visit my family for a few days.  We had the opportunity to visit St. Michaels.  It is a little town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  The town is essentially one very long street with shops, restaurants and Inns.  I recommend stopping in if you are ever in the area.  We visited a few colleges during the week as well.  I had a nice time and I am ready to be at my best again!

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 continued our Bus Driver Appreciation Week on Monday.  We recognized the efforts of our bus drivers through little gifts and messages.  Thank you to our Peer Leaders for coordinating the effort!  We participated in Spirit Week and our students and staff dressed in various themes throughout the week.   I always enjoy this time of year, as everyone seems to be in such a positive mood!  Our Climate Committee provided each employee in our building with a positive message highlighting their value they bring to our building.  I thought it was a great idea and I really appreciate receiving the message on a ‘Ghost-Gram’ attached to a piece of candy!  The effort was thoughtful!  Great job Climate Committee!

Students and staff arrived to school in full costumes Tuesday morning.  I was impressed with the level of creativity.  Congratulations to Michael Caputo (Funniest), Manual Alicea (Scariest), Logan Jacques, Denezia Hymes, and Archie Arminal (Best Group), Gavin Santos, Nick Christopher, Jared Sparmo and James Vaughn (Most Original), Brooke Jones (Cutest), and Nick Bushel and Sam Dawkins (Best Couple) for being recognized as winners in their respective category.  All of our participants participated in our annual parade through the hallways!  I would also like to congratulate the following staff for their win in our annual costume contest:  Mrs. Jennifer Fazzini, Mrs. Kati Koenigstein, and Mrs. Erin Calicchio for their Best Group win.  The ladies dressed as the witches in Hocus Pocus.  Our Office Secretaries dressed as the Price is Right.  They placed 2nd and our Science Department dressed in Rock of Ages outfits – they placed 3rd.  Congratulations to Mr. Kyle Sandberg for his win in the Individual Category.  Mr. Sandberg dressed as Elliot from the movie ET.  Ms. Jamie Blondina placed 2nd as a dancing Hippopotamus and Mrs. Megan Rankin placed 3rd as a Puritan.  Great job to Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald and her Interact Club for their incredible job coordinating the Safe Trick-or-Treat after school in our lower hallways.  Children throughout the neighborhood walked door to door and our various clubs and organizations handed out candy in front of their decorated doors.  Great job to all of our students and staff for volunteering their time!  

On Wednesday, We held a Professional Development opportunity in our new PD Room for interested staff.  We identified the five (5) characteristics inherent in an ‘excellent’ student – a student who comes to school with the intent to do his/her best in support of their future goals; they include a student with a growth mindset, being accountable, acting with kindness and respect, being involved, and having a healthy mindset.  Staff were asked to define what the characteristic looks like and to identify strategies to promote in the school setting.  Staff worked collaboratively during their Conference periods in support of the PD.  Our Behavior Committee met after school and discussed our November Behavior Hearing meeting, addressing insubordination, cell phones and ear buds in the hallways, and starting a campaign to promote student accountability to school expectations.  Great job Mr. Greg Roth for coordinating the school growth initiatives!

On Thursday, we held our Kevin’s Corner Professional Development Workshop throughout the day in our PD Room.  Mr. Kevin McCann presented on Time Management tips to improve planning, grading, student behavior and organization.  Staff were encouraged to attend during their respective Conference period to gain insight from various resources on how improving time management can influence student outcomes.  Great job Mr. McCann.

We held our Military Monument Dedication Ceremony on Friday.  The ceremony was held in our cafeteria, honoring all of the current and former Raiders who have served in our Armed Forces.  We invited local politicians, veterans and other dignitaries.  I wanted to thank the National Guard for attending the ceremony, especially former Raider and current Major Robert Roma as well as Mr. and Mrs. Denis Miranda.  The army personnel made quite an entrance as they arrived in a Blackhawk Helicopter and landed on the Band Field.  The Chorus and Band performed during the ceremony and did an outstanding job!  Thank you Mrs. Candace Fitzgerald, Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Douglass Miller for the beautiful music.  I spoke about my admiration for those who put others before themselves and their love of our country.  Our men and women who serve are people of character – people who add their value in this world by serving their community.  I thanked our veterans for caring enough about me so that I could do what I do in this world!  The Monument was the vision of our Security Officer, Mr. Scott Kenny.  Mr. Kenny developed the plan, procured the funds and built the wall entirely by himself.  I thank Mr. Kenny for his dedication to honoring our military Raiders and for adding his value to our wonderful school.  I was glad many of our students were able to attend the ceremony!  Thank you to all of our parents who are also members of our Armed Forces – you are appreciated!  Our Band paraded through the hallways following the ceremony to end our week on a positive note!

Great job to our Ambassadors for raising approximately $150 dollars this week for Breast Cancer Awareness!  The kids raised over $300.  Great job Mrs. Casey Daniel and Ms. Candice Schultz for your support!

Congrats to Mr. Kevin Cohen for being selected as the Captain Joshua Huddy Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution 2019 Outstanding Teacher of American History.  Mr. Cohen’s application will be sent to the state competition and the winner in the state competition will be entered into the DAR National competition and honored at the 128th Continental Congress in June 2019.  Congratulations Mr. Cohen, you are a proud reflection of our school community!

Congratulations to Mrs. Cindy O’Donnell for being selected as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. O’Donnell was chosen by Mrs. Hay for being a staff member who is always positive and helpful.  Mrs. O’Donnell created our positive staff Ghost-Grams idea and worked with the Climate Committee to get the job done!  Thank you Mrs. O’Donnell for always being someone who makes us feel good about who we are as individuals!

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I recognized Mrs. Michele Schindler for her outstanding efforts to expand her comfort zone as an educator.  Mrs. Schindler created an innovative lesson to promote critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and interpersonal skill development.  The lesson was engaging, relevant, and rigorous.  More importantly, the kids enjoyed the activity.  I commended Mrs. Schindler for going above and beyond, as I know the lesson must have taken a significant amount of personal time to create!  I also thanked Mr. Scott Kenny for all of his hard work with the Military Wall Dedication Ceremony.  I could not have been more proud to be a part of that historic day!  Mr. Kenny was the backbone of the entire event, and deserved the recognition.  I want to recognize Ms. Ashley Fitzgerald for all her hard work coordinating the Safe Trick-or-Treat at East.  The event was an opportunity to make positive connections with our community.  Thank you to Mr. Kevin McCann for all his hard work and dedication to provide professional development to our staff.  Mr. McCann is a valuable educational resource in our building!    

Congratulations to Tammy Kim, Natalie DeRosa, Brooke Jones, Emily Kauffman, and Julia Moralewski for being recognized for an ‘Excellent’ award on Friday.  I stopped in to one of our Special Needs classrooms and observed a wonderful effort by the girls to get our students to sing and dance.  I thought the lesson took tremendous courage and empathy.  They did an incredible job and subsequently received Raider Excellence recognition!

Did You Know?

Our Physical Education Department’s pillar this month is ‘Breakfast’.  We will be providing information to our kids on the importance of breakfast to individual and student success.

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Ms. Amanda Gregorek has a former Raider lined up to speak to the Academy students on careers in the Biomedical field this week.  Mr. Kevin McCann is in the process of preparing for our STEAM Open House presentations and next year’s application process.  Our freshmen students will be meeting with their counselors to set up next year’s schedule.  Mr. McCann will be announcing Academy Award recipients this coming week!  

Attendance Matters

When Your Child Doesn't Want to Go to School

If your child suddenly begs to stay home, here are a few ways to find out what's really going on.

By Jenn Mann, Psy.D.

A few years ago, a mom came to me because her daughter, Lola, was having tantrums and refusing to go to school. She couldn’t understand why—Lola seemed to love her teacher and friends and had been enjoying first grade. After some digging, I found out that Lola had recently been home with the flu, where she got extra TLC from her mom and watched as much TV as she wanted. When she had to go back to class, she started throwing fits—she’d realized it was more fun to stay home!

Trying to avoid school by faking sickness, crying and clinging to you, or protesting getting out of pajamas, is very common at the elementary school age. It’s often just a small step backward in your child’s natural progression toward independence, but it can sometimes be a sign of anxiety issues. Whatever the cause, there are many strategies you can use to get her back to school.

Recognize his fears.

We think kindergarten and the early grades are low-key, but for kids, school is hard work! Following rules and practicing new skills takes energy and effort. So if your child just had a relaxing winter break, when he got to eat his favorite foods and cuddle all morning with you—or even if he was home sick, like Lola—he may decide that he’d rather be at home than work hard back at school.

Also, starting at age 5, there’s a natural spike in anxiety as children begin to understand that we are vulnerable. No matter how stable their life is, kids may develop fears about death, injury, or losing a parent—especially if something scary is on the news. They may worry while at school that something bad can happen to their parents—or to themselves—and they won’t be there to protect each other. Kids enjoy their new independence at this age, but they’re also scared of it.

As Lola’s parents found, sometimes children want to skip school simply because home is a better place to be. The solution is to make staying home from school boring! When your child complains of a headache in the morning, assess whether she’s actually sick. If there’s no fever, vomiting, or other telltale signs, try to get her to go to school. You can say, “Let’s just try. I can always come pick you up later,” since getting her out the door is half the battle. On days when she does stay home, of course you should take care of her, but don’t give her any screen time or treats. Once she knows that a sick day isn’t a play day, she’ll likely be eager to return to class.

Suss out the situation. 

Your child may be concerned about a specific problem, from the bus to a bully, but can’t quite express or understand what he wants to avoid. If he says he doesn’t want to go to school because of a tummy ache, try to help him connect the dots by saying, “You know, sometimes my tummy hurts when I’m worried about being late. But if I think about how to be on time, my tummy usually stops hurting. What are you worried about?” You might find out a kid is being mean to him in class or he’s afraid he’ll get taken like he saw on the news. If he isn’t able to verbalize what’s wrong, ask his teacher.

Once you find the real problem, talk to his teacher (or school counselor), especially if the issue is bullying, about solutions. Often, a bit of extra attention from his teacher—perhaps coming in early to read and talk with her—can work wonders. It may also help to keep a lovey or a picture of your family in your child’s cubby.

Address deeper problems. 

If your child constantly resists going to school, is so distraught that she can’t stop crying, or shows other signs of anxiety like nightmares or a fear of being left alone, ask your pediatrician about seeing a therapist who focuses on childhood anxiety. Another mom I know realized something was wrong when her daughter was in first grade. Annie had always worried about saying or doing the wrong thing but managed in kindergarten with a nurturing teacher. In first grade, however, her anxiety became so bad she tried peeing herself, hoping her clothes would be too wet to go to school. After two years of therapy, Annie is making a lot of progress and doing well in school. 

The above article was taken from the following site:  https://www.parents.com/kids/education/elementary-school/when-your-child-doesnt-want-to-go-to-school/

Character Counts

This month’s Character Pillar is Responsibility!  Students will be participating in an activity that promotes the ideals inherent in the pillar and we will be looking to our various clubs and organizations to apply the pillar in meaningful ways throughout the month.  Below is from the Character Counts website (https://charactercounts.org/program-overview/sixpillars/med-sample/)

Life is full of choices. Being responsible means being in charge of our choices and, thus, our lives. It means being accountable for what we do and who we are. It also means recognizing that our actions matter and we are morally on the hook for the consequences. Our capacity to reason and our freedom to choose make us morally autonomous and, therefore, answerable for whether we honor or degrade the ethical principles that give life meaning and purpose.

Ethical people show responsibility by being accountable, pursuing excellence and exercising self-restraint. They exhibit the ability to respond to expectations.


An accountable person is not a victim and doesn’t shift blame or claim credit for the work of others. He considers the likely consequences of his behavior and associations. He recognizes the common complicity in the triumph of evil when nothing is done to stop it. He leads by example.

Pursuit of Excellence

The pursuit of excellence has an ethical dimension when others rely upon our knowledge, ability or willingness to perform tasks safely and effectively.

Diligence. It is hardly unethical to make mistakes or to be less than “excellent,” but there is a moral obligation to do one’s best, to be diligent, reliable, careful, prepared and informed.

Perseverance. Responsible people finish what they start, overcoming rather than surrendering to obstacles. They avoid excuses such as, “That’s just the way I am,” or “It’s not my job,” or “It was legal.”

Continuous Improvement. Responsible people always look for ways to do their work better.


Responsible people exercise self-control, restraining passions and appetites (such as lust, hatred, gluttony, greed and fear) for the sake of longer-term vision and better judgment. They delay gratification if necessary and never feel it’s necessary to “win at any cost.” They realize they are as they choose to be, every day.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

Resilience Guide for Parents & Teachers

(Continued from last week’s newsletter)

Tips to build resilience in teens…

  1. Move toward your goals 
    Teach your child to set reasonable goals and then to move toward them one step at a time. Moving toward that goal — even if it's a tiny step — and receiving praise for doing so will focus your child on what he or she has accomplished rather than on what hasn't been accomplished, and can help build the resilience to move forward in the face of challenges. At school, break down large assignments into small, achievable goals for younger children, and for older children, acknowledge accomplishments on the way to larger goals.

  1. Nurture a positive self-view 
    Help your child remember ways that he or she has successfully handled hardships in the past and then help him understand that these past challenges help him build the strength to handle future challenges. Help your child learn to trust himself to solve problems and make appropriate decisions. Teach your child to see the humor in life, and the ability to laugh at one's self. At school, help children see how their individual accomplishments contribute to the wellbeing of the class as a whole.

  1. Keep things in perspective and maintain a hopeful outlook 
    Even when your child is facing very painful events, help him look at the situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Although your child may be too young to consider a long-term look on his own, help him or her see that there is a future beyond the current situation and that the future can be good. An optimistic and positive outlook enables your child to see the good things in life and keep going even in the hardest times. In school, use history to show that life moves on after bad events.

  1. Look for opportunities for self-discovery 
    Tough times are often the times when children learn the most about themselves. Help your child take a look at how whatever he is facing can teach him "what he is made of." At school, consider leading discussions of what each student has learned after facing down a tough situation.

  1. Accept that change is part of living 
    Change often can be scary for children and teens. Help your child see that change is part of life and new goals can replace goals that have become unattainable. In school, point out how students have changed as they moved up in grade levels and discuss how that change has had an impact on the students.

The above information was collected from the following site:  (https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resilience.aspx).  

College and Career

Mrs. Millard will be presenting on the college application process on November 14th.  Students will learn about online apps, the Common App, letters of recommendation, and the activity resume.

Please review the following site to provide guidance for preparation for college (11th grade level and junior planning):


We welcome Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kings College, and Kean University this week in Guidance.

Parents of junior students, please check out the following websites to support the college application process.


1. Consider the cost of college:


2.  Visit colleges that meet your criteria, (college major, cost, size, distance, campus life, etc)

3.  Register for SAT  



     and/or ACT


4.  Letters of recommendation (start asking teachers the end of junior year)


Café Corner!

Are you aware that you can now set up an account for cafeteria purchases?  Log onto WWW.schoolcafe.com.  Click on create an account.  Once the account is set up you should be able to add a student.  Use your school issued ID number with an 8 in front.  For example, if your ID number is 12345 you would enter 812345.  You will also be able to access ingredients and nutritional information for any meal.  If your short on time at lunch, stop in the cafeteria at any time and make a salad or sandwich.  The cafeteria staff will be happy to keep it refrigerated until you are ready for it. 



Friendly reminder…please do not drop off or pick up on the side of the building.  Please follow the morning and afternoon traffic pattern to ensure student safety.  

This Week at East

We are holding Freshmen Conferences this week.  Our School Improvement Committee will meet on Monday to discuss moving our individual goals forward.  Our PTO will meet Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM.  We are holding our weekly PD session Wednesday in the PD Room on the topic of Renaissance.  Mrs. Millard will provide seniors their College Workshops on the application process Wednesday.  Powderpuff will be held Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM.  We are holding our monthly security drill this week as well.  Our Community Outreach Committee has lined up a guest speaker from Monmouth University on the importance of character in the college application/acceptance process.  Mrs. Liz Rodriguez and our Spanish Heritage Club will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving dinner Thursday evening in the Cafeteria.  Friday is Super Thankful Day!  Mr. McCann will be providing Kevin’s Corner in our PD Room all day for interested staff on developing effective questioning strategies.

I have asked all staff to be at their best during our upcoming ‘Holiday weeks’.  I know it is easy to be distracted during this time of the year and I would like all students and staff to maintain high expectations at all times!  Every day counts!


Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Georgian Court University is on 11/19 @ 9am.  Students need to see their guidance counselor for an application fee waiver and for more information.  Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 12/11 @ 9am. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Freshmen conferences will begin on 11/12.  The 9th grade students will meet with their guidance counselor to discuss the transition from middle school to high school, graduation requirements, the importance of academics, the effect grades have on GPA/Rank & college acceptances, tutoring (Writing Center, NHS, etc.), and athletic eligibility (especially for Spring sports).  The next senior college workshop is on Wednesday, November 14th. The topic will be: The college application process. Sign up in Guidance.  The Job Opportunity board has been updated.  Check out what stores are hiring.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.


The next PTO meeting is Tuesday November 9th at 6:00 pm in the TRHSE PTO.  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.  Our next meeting will be held on the 13th 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!

Special thanks to our anonymous donors for our Raise Craze Fundraiser!  The donors purchased a 43” LCD Smart Television to auction off in support of our goal to promote positive school behavior!  Thank 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.