“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 would like to congratulate the wonderful efforts of our PTO this past week.  The ladies ran our first Gift Auction to great success!  We sold approximately 400 tickets and provided fabulous gifts for prizes.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I was proud the group’s efforts to coordinate such an event.  I am aware of the time spent gathering prizes and organizing the logistics to ensure a successful evening.  Special thanks to the PTO Board, Mrs. Kim Platten, Mrs. Ceil Cocco, Mrs. Theresa Dutcher, Mrs. Wendy Arnold, Mrs. Erin Cosentino, and Mrs. Sammi Hvidding.  Thank you too to all of our PTO volunteers and our generous donors for the prizes.  We will be meeting to discuss moving forward at our next meeting!  

I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Rob Goodall and Mr. Bruce Englehard for creating the Facebook account, Raider Nation.  Former Raiders all across the country are reconnecting through the link and reminiscing about their positive experiences at High School East.  I hope we will be able to utilize the connections to support our goal to raise funds for our gymnasium banners and to possibly support college and career readiness with our current student body.  We will continue to provide information in our Newsletter to inform parents of our direction!  

Special thanks to Jersey Mike’s on Fischer Boulevard for supporting High School East through our recent fundraiser!  Jersey Mike’s provided a free regular sub to anyone who donated a minimum of $2.00 to High School East between April 25th and April 29th.  Thank you Jersey Mike’s!  Thank you to all of our families who went out of their way to attend the fundraiser!  We acknowledge and appreciate your support!

I think great things are happening at East and it is a reflection of our pride in this building!  

District News!

Please take a moment to view the below link(s) highlighting district news and accomplishments!  

Week in Review

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds at @raiderpublco and our Facebook @raiderpubco.  You can also get updates from our school accounts, www.facebook.com/tomsriverhseast, www.twitter.com/tomsriverhseast and www.instagram.com/tomsriverhseast.  Parents, don’t forget to check our website for information posted on our Daily Bulletin.  We highlight weekly club and various school-related activities which are not typically posted in this newsletter.

We continued with our PARCC testing this week.  We tested our 10th and 9th grade ELA students without incident.  Thank you to all of our teachers for their professionalism to ensure a positive testing environment and our students for respecting the testing dynamics!  I met with Special Education Supervisors Heather Mills and Anna Kasper to discuss the growth of our Autism Academy and the construction of our new Life Skills classroom.  We are looking to reconstruct one of our rooms to better meet the needs of our students as they prepare for life beyond High School East.  Exciting!  We held our No One Eats Alone activity in lunch periods on Monday.  I provided an opportunity for students to win tickets to an ECHOSMITH concert in New York City.  I provided a series of 6 questions where the participants were asked to seek out a peer who they did not know and to engage in a conversation answering the respective questions.  Congratulations to Shaye Maxwell and Jordan Carlton for winning the tickets!  I attended the district Super Safe Meeting Monday evening at High School North.  Great job to Cady and Lindsay Diehl for presenting on our school’s effort to ensure a safe and orderly academic environment.  Speakers from various law enforcements officers spoke about the efforts to partner with the school to provide effective means to ensure school safety through trained personnel and new technology.  A large portion of the evening centered on providing mental health training and resources to school stakeholders.  

On Tuesday, I met with our Senior Graduation Committee to begin the process of creating our ceremony in line with student expectations on the 22nd of June.  The committee will share out ideas presented in the meeting with their peers and provide feedback to me at our next meeting.  Our Climate Committee met after school and discussed various end-of-year functions.  We discussed our retirement dinner and parade.  We are also looking to add a senior parade in June to recognize the efforts of our outgoing students!  Should be fun!  Our Robotics Team headed out to Detroit to compete in the Nationals.  I look forward to hearing of our results.

On Wednesday, our Peer Leaders held a Pay-It-Forward Day and recognized our Cafeteria workers. The ladies were presented with flowers and cards thanking them for their service to our school.  Our I&RS Committee met to provide support for several of our at-risk students.  Wednesday was also Secretary’s Day.  We recognized the efforts of our school secretaries by providing lunch and positive words of encouragement through announcements!  They really do a wonderful job and help to make East the school it is!  I appreciate the efforts of Helen Klem, Lisa Nigro, Brenda Cassidy, Sheryl Middleton, Melissa Friedman, Carol Nigro, Kristi Klem-Koskowski, Rose Porzio, Sue Yajcaji, Lisa Varley, Marianne Steinhart, Lisa Robbins, Barbara Ennis, Kimberly Picinic, Joyce Wille, Ellen Gaynor, and Maryellen Kennedy!  Our College and Career Connection Committee met after school to discuss our website, life skills speakers, and next month’s Mock Interview Workshop.  Please take a look at our Guidance Section on our website and link to our college and career Google Documents (College and Career Page, Resume Building, Scholarship Information, and Career Information).  We held our Senior Parent Reception Wednesday evening.  We presented information related the Senior Prom and Graduation to our senior parents in preparation for the big events.  If you did not attend and would like the respective information, we have packets in the Main Office.

Congratulations to Owen Donovan for presenting East events at the Board Meeting Wednesday evening.  Mr. Rutter presented musical awards to Tyler Sacko and Joe Sasso for their acceptance to the All-Shore Team.  

I met with Maintenance personnel on Wednesday morning to discuss our Veterans Memorial construction plan at East.  Under the leadership of Security Officer, Mr. Scott Kenny, we are planning on installing a monument by the flagpole in honor of former and current Raiders serving in the military.  We value those who serve and place the well-being of others before themselves.  Construction should be completed by the opening of next school year.  I attended the One Acts Thursday evening at East.  Mrs. Melissa Reimertz supervised the event which demonstrated the writing, producing, directing, acting, and other miscellaneous components of the play industry.  I was impressed with the level of effort put forth by our students and feel many have the ability to take their talents to the next level!

We held our PTO Gift Auction Friday evening.  I always enjoy big school events where we host the community.  Our PTO worked extremely hard for several months to ensure the success of the event.  It was well organized and I believe the start of moving our group forward.  Hopefully, we will gather more momentum with the support of additional parent volunteers.  The goal of the PTO is to support school initiatives in line with our mission.  

Athletically, our baseball team split decisions against Brick Township this week.  Our softball team beat Brick, but lost to Jackson Memorial.  Our boys lacrosse team beat Middletown North, Brick Memorial, and Brick Township for another outstanding week!  Great job Coach Alfieri.  Our girls team beat Manchester Township, but lost to Middletown North and Toms River South.  Keep working hard to our other sports as I know your efforts will pay off!  

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mrs. Lisa Marotto.  Mrs. Marotto teaches math and does an outstanding job raising expectations while providing appropriate support for her students.  I observed a wonderful lesson this week on graphing rational functions.  Great job Mrs. Marotto!  I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Jamie Dirk, Mrs. Laurie Rose, Mrs. Marybeth Kretz, Ms. Jamie Blondina, and Mrs. Kellyann Orbin.  Each of the above staff members volunteered their personal time to support our PTO Gift Auction Friday evening!  They care about others and it shows!  I would also like to recognize the wonderful efforts of Mr. Rick Weber.  I observed a very clever impromptu lesson on global current events.  Mr. Weber taught his students the significance of the attempt to improve relationships between North and South Korea.  His students were engaged in his discussion and walked out the room with a wealth of relevant information!  

Congratulations to Mrs. Ceil Cocco, our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Cocco works in the Cafeteria and is being recognized for her efforts to maintain a driven commitment to the growth of our PTO.  Mrs. Cocco is a caring worker at East and always supports the best interest of her colleagues and our students.  I appreciate her work ethic and ability to find the positives in virtually any scenario.  Thank you Mrs. Cocco for being so wonderful!  You are a positive reflection of our school community.  

Ms. Fitzgerald’s 100 Things to do Before You Graduate

49.  Watch every Star Wars movie (in the order they were made).

48.  Buy a yearbook.

47.  Eat a slice of penne vodka pizza from Naples.

46.  Ace a quiz or a test.

45.  Volunteer your time to something meaningful.

44.  Get half price sushi at Ichiban.

43.  Go to the Four Seasons Diner with your friends on a Sunday morning.

42.  Buy a beach badge.

41.  Get a passport.  Your future will hopefully be full of travelling.

40.  Register to vote.  (If you’re 18).

I will include 10 or so each week.  Thank you Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald for your list!

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Mr. Kevin McCann and his STEAM teachers are planning for our upcoming trip to STEM Day at Ocean County College.  Our Freshman Academy teachers will be meeting to discuss goals for next school year.  Our April Academy Award winners will be announced within the next week.

Attendance Matters

State of Parenting

A Snapshot of Today's Families

While it may be true that divorce rates are still high and Americans are delaying marriage, the idea that American families are worse off and continuing to decline is up for debate. The findings of this new NBC News State of Parenting Poll which was sponsored by Pearson, paint a different story. The results are based on telephone interviews in English and Spanish with 803 parents, guardians, or primary caregivers of children ages 3-18 in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted on both landline telephones and cell phones from October 28 to November 16, 2014. This survey shows that parents are generally positive about the future, spending more time with their children than their parents did with them, and having family dinners together regularly.

In fact, nearly four in five parents report having dinner as a family on most days of the week.  Today’s parents also want to be more involved in their children’s education and are largely satisfied with the current state of their schools. While they all agree more than a high school diploma is needed to achieve the American Dream, they also say good social and communication skills can be more important than grades when it comes to their child’s success. But there are gaps in just how positive parents are, largely based on their income, race, level of education and marital status.

I will continue to provide sections of the above article from the site listed below in the following Newsletters.  Interesting stuff!


Character Counts

Academic Achievement

When students feel safe, engaged, and respected, they can focus on their academic goals. Effective character educators ensure that these needs are met. Character education is the foundation upon which students can reach academic achievement. It’s not just about teaching kids to be good. It’s teaching them to be their best.

“Our students made substantial gains on the state assessments at every grade level assessed and in comparison to our regional district cohort and the state as a whole. What is even more encouraging is that the gap between white, African-American, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged student groups is shrinking on all assessments.”

— Dr. Timothy R Jenney, superintendent of Fort Bend Independent School District (2011 NSOC)

When kids understand the importance of doing their best work, and the intrinsic value this carries – the ability to reach their potential – they will do their best because they want to, not because they have been asked. They will be the best student, friend, classmate, community member, and citizen they can be because it makes them feel good to do good and do well.

“You can’t run a school effectively without a thorough knowledge that social and emotional learning goes hand-in-hand with academic success”

— Dina Rocheleau, principal of Roosevelt Primary School (2011 NSOC).

I find it imperative that we continue to reinforce the importance a strong character education program at East.  If we are truly committed to providing the type of academic environment where are children are most likely to succeed, we need to create the expectations of the environment…coming to school every day, being on time and ready to learn (respecting school policies, peers, teachers, and committed to doing your best).  We can do this!

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

10 Good Habits for Students: How Top Students Learn

We all know someone who is outstandingly brilliant at learning.

They are the Stephen Hawking or Marissa Mayer of your class and you’re probably scratching your head wondering why you can’t do it too, am I right? Many students lose motivation when someone else is thriving and you feel as though you’re lagging behind. This is not uncommon but if you’re thinking their learning ability is simply due to good genetics, you’re wrong. It’s more likely that they are using better study strategies than you.

There’s a bunch of good habits for students high-achievers are already following that may surprise you. Follow these learning tips to take the lead! Top students learn by:

1. Creating a Study Plan

This seems like a complete no-brainer but top students never fail to properly plan their future success. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work you have on your plate, a clear and balanced study plan will boost your motivation when you tick a task as complete and reduce stress by focusing on one piece of the puzzle at a time.

2. Taking Study Breaks

Does this study tip surprise you? Many students think they can cram a lot of information into their heads by sitting down and learning straight for a few hours. However, your ability to learn reduces the more time you spend staring at your books. Use that break time wisely and take a walk to boost your brain activity further.

3. Building Their Own Study Notes

Our philosophy has always been in support of active learning by encouraging students to build their own set of study notes using Mind Maps, Flashcards and other effective methods. Countless users have shared their success stories with us saying that creating their own online notes has helped them discover a unique way to learn and enabled them to maintain exceptional grades which illustrates how powerful active learning can be.

4. Getting Enough Sleep

Exhaustion is the enemy of the elite. Here’s why sleep is important; when you properly rest, your brain strengthens the knowledge you have learned during the day by assimilating information so the better you sleep, the better you learn. The relationship between sleeping and learning is often disregarded by busy students but those at the top know the importance of this essential element of the learning process.

5. Asking Questions

Instead of passively sitting in lectures absorbing what’s going on, have you noticed what the top performing students are doing? They are engaging in the learning experience by asking questions, striking up a conversation with the lecturer and getting involved in their learning. Of course, you don’t want to be the one to put your hand up but it doesn’t mean you should not question what you are studying. Always ask why, it’s a big question for a small word!

The above information was provided from the following link:  https://www.goconqr.com/en/examtime/blog/good-habits-for-students/

I will provide the rest of the article in next week’s Newsletter!


As we approach the final few weeks of school, students tend to take liberties in regards to school dress code and electronics policies.  Please reinforce with your child that September rules and expectations will be followed through June 22nd.  Thank you for your support!

This Week at East

We will hold our second Senior Graduation Committee meeting this week.  We will be voting on last week’s agenda items.  Mr. Rutter will be attending the Unsung Hero Ceremony Wednesday evening with Mrs. Ann Millard.  We will hold our monthly fire drill and will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day in honor of our staff who provide meals to our students.  


If your child is interested in pursuing a career in the hospital setting as a healthcare or service professional, we are holding interviews for sophomore and junior students in May.  Limited positions are available.  Applicants must apply by May 1, 2018.  Applications are available in the Guidance Office.


April 16-18 – English 11

April 19-23 – English 10

April 24-26 – English 9

April 30-May 2 – Algebra II

May 3-7 – Geometry

May 8-10 – Algebra I


If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com



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.