“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,

Welcome back!  I hope you enjoyed the week off with your family.  I spent a few days again down in Annapolis.  I visited with my parents and brothers.  I enjoy spending time with the family and all the kids.  We did not go Downtown this visit, but spent a day in the Annapolis Mall.  The mall is huge with plenty of stores (and resting areas for dads).  I watched plenty of movies and football over the break.  I recommend Bird Box if you have Netflix (I expected more from the ending, but entertaining movie).  I watched AMC’s Holiday movies – I especially love Christmas Vacation, The Santa Clause with Tim Allen and Home Alone.  

I look forward to an incredible second half of the year. Let’s raise the bar and encourage our children to appreciate the importance of acquiring knowledge and applying it in meaningful ways.  Our children need to learn to be accountable for their outcomes and to come to school with the intent to do their very best each and every day.  We all have a part to play in this process!      

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.

Approximately 31 various staff members were able to participate in our Bring Your ‘A’ Game activity on Monday.  The intent was to foster student engagement through meaningful and entertaining instruction.  We hope to continue with the activity to foster improved student attendance on poorly documented days of the week.  Our Attendance Committee held our monthly Hearings for students who do not comply with our respective policy.  Thank you to Mrs. Kristi Koskowski and her team for all of their hard work coordinating the important parent meetings.  Our Peer Leaders met with our Freshman Class during lunch period to provide a Holiday activity.  We celebrated Elf Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit!

We held our Special Needs Holiday Party in the Media Center on Tuesday.  A great big thank you to all of our students and staff in support of the event.  I enjoyed watching the kids listening to music, dancing, and eating delicious food.  Our I&RS Committee held our monthly meeting on Tuesday in the Main Office Conference Room.  Great job to Mrs. Erin Anders and her team for all their hard work providing support for our students in need.  We held our monthly security drill and tested our ability to respond to an emergency lockdown scenario without incident.  Our staff celebrated our annual Secret Santa after school in the Media Center.  I enjoy the lengths various members go to in an effort to maintain secrecy.  Our Band held our annual Holiday Concert in the evening.  Great job to Ms. Jessica Sanford and Mr. Douglass Miller for coordinating another amazing evening.  I like the café-themed event.  Thank you to Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald for coordinating our Raiders on the Rise guest speaker, Major Robert Roma.  Ms. Fitzgerald’s program solicits support from former Raiders to share their personal stories of success.  Major Roma was a former graduate and staff member at East.  He taught Physical Education and coached Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track.  Major Roma led his teams to State Sectional Titles in each of his respective seasons during his tenure at East.  He developed All-Conference, All-County, All-Shore, All-State, and All Americans.  Major Roma served two tours in IRAQ, trained military personnel in Africa and now works full-time in the military.  I am proud of his accomplishments as he moved his way up to Major this past year.  Major Roma is a man of character and a role-model for all of our young students at East.  He has made lasting impacts on all of his former students and athletes and is someone we are very proud of.  Thank you Major Roma for taking the time to meet with our students and to share your story.  We celebrated North Pole Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.

Our Physical Education Department ran our Jingle Bell Run on Wednesday and Thursday during gym periods.  Students were encouraged to solicit funds in support of our hydration station initiative.  Special thanks to Mr. Greg Roth and Mr. Mike Nemeth for their work as we were able to raise more than $1,500 for the stations.  The kids walked or ran laps on the track to raise the respective funds.  We celebrated Winter Gear Day as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  We held our first “So You Think You Can Carol” Contest in lunch periods on Wednesday.  Prizes were awarded to the following winners in the Solo Category:  Paige DeBruycker (9th grade), Carson Ellis (10th Grade), and Denezia Hymes (11th Grade).  Congratulations to Richard Barrett (10th grade) for winning the Instrumental Category and to Kelly Rouse (12th grade) for being our Overall Competition Winner.  I was proud of all of the contestants, as I know it was a challenge to get up and perform in front of their peers in the lunch environment.    

On Thursday, we celebrated Ugly Sweater Day (a staff favorite) as part of our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit.  We started ‘Lunch with the Principal’ on Thursday.  Several teachers were asked to submit a name of a student in one of their classes who would be interested in providing a healthy school-related conversation with me during lunch.  I met with Payton Jensen, Jessica Scarpa, Anthony Preztos, Mohamed Ahmed and Logan Jacques.  Food was provided by Bubbakoo’s Burritos.  We discussed school, the holiday, and movies.  I really had fun and look forward to next month’s lunch.  Congratulations to the following teachers for winning their respective category as part of our Door Decorating Contest:  Mrs. Katie Medina (Most Creative), Mrs. Lisa Marotto (Most Artistic), and Mr. William Dishon (Best Overall).  Each classroom will receive a bagel breakfast.  Thank you to Mrs. Jenn Fazzini, Mrs. Katie Koenigstein, Ms. Candace Schultz, Mrs. Michele Schindler, Mr. Mike Nichol, Mrs. Casey Daniel, Mr. Kevin McCann and Mr. Doug Trumble for their support in our Holiday Food Drive.  Our Raiders Helping Raiders mentoring group helped to decorate the food boxes before we delivered to our homes.    

We held our annual Holiday Pep Rally during periods 2 and 3 on Friday morning.  The Pep Rally is the highlight of the month.  As disrupting as the Pep Rallies are to the educational day, they are more than worth the time and effort in support of positive school culture and climate.  The kids were simply amazing as they were all involved, singing, dancing, and participating in the activities.  I was proud to be the principal of this school at that time knowing that the kids must be enjoying their time here based on their behavior at the Pep Rally.  I wanted to thank Mr. Kyle Sandberg, Mrs. Amanda Lendach, Mrs. Noel Hendrix, and Mrs. Janine Hatton for coordinating the event.  We concluded our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit with our All Out Holiday Spirit Explosion Friday.  I observed many entertaining outfits throughout the day in the hallways.  


Congratulations to Mrs. Martha Mills for being selected as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Mills was chosen by Mr. Rich Whitmeyer for her positive demeanor and relationship with her students.  Mrs. Mills is our 2017-2018 Educational Professional of the Year.  We are so very fortunate to have her in this building!  I appreciate her caring attitude towards others and the manner in which she supports our special needs students.  Great job Mrs. Mills!

Great job to our Wrestling Raiders for their outstanding performance this past week at the Hunterdon Central Invitational. This is a very challenging tournament with some great experienced and talented wrestlers. Out of 16 teams, East placed 6th.  Great job to Michael Conklin (1st), Joe McCullough (2nd), Zander Gorlin (5th), Eddie Totten, Cesar Serrano, Dakota Mongaliri and Diego Leonor (all 6th).  The kids represented HS East with pride. 

I would like to acknowledge Mr. Greg Roth and Mr. Mike Nemeth as part of our 180 Days of Excellence.  I was very impressed with the effort taken by both staff members to promote a healthy mindset through their Jingle Bell Run.  The success of the fundraiser was a reflection of the respect children have for the teachers.  I also wanted to acknowledge Mr. Vern Rutter for his caring and supportive attitude towards children in need.  I appreciate Mr. Rutter’s willingness to go above and beyond to ensure students with disabilities are provided with the resources to meet their individual needs.  

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:

How much difficult would your life be if all you did was go to school, do homework and sleep?  Luckily, extracurricular activities give you something fun (and parent approved) to do aside from school.  Take the much needed break, you deserve it!

On top of all of the benefits of extracurricular activities we already talked about, one of the greatest advantages extracurricular activities give you are “real world” skills.

These skills include (but are not limited to):

The more you push yourself in your extracurricular endeavors, the more you’ll develop these skills. If you’re passionate about coding, you might join the school coding club, where you’ll develop teamwork, problem solving and analytical thinking skills.

But you could take that passion even further and create your own coding club, where you’ll develop goal setting, time management, prioritization, leadership and public speaking skills.

Phew! That’s a lot of responsibility. Each and every step will teach you a new skill you can use for the rest of your life.


Freshmen Academy/STEAM

We are in the process of reviewing the applications submitted for our 2019-2020 STEAM Academy.  

Attendance Matters

A review of our November school attendance data yielded mixed results.  We noted 30 fewer total students with perfect attendance and a 1.1% increase in overall school attendance comparing November 2017 to November 2018.  We observed approximately 21 more absences/day.  Wednesday was our worst attended day of the week, with seniors being the most problematic group (average 27 absences/day).  Regarding lates to school, we averaged 1.4 fewer per day compared to November 2017 and our seniors being the most problematic group (average 13 lates/day).  We did observe significant reductions in our number of cuts (2.6 fewer/day) and more than 200 overall fewer to date compared to November 2017.  I would like to thank our Behavior Committee’s efforts in supporting our goal to reduce class cuts.  Seniors are also our most problematic group.  We typically observe negative trends as students progress from freshman to senior year.

Our action plan is to continue to monitor and address through our Attendance Committee objectives and activities.  We recognize the expected behavior in our building through various awards and prizes and address the negative behavior through consistent policy enforcement, education, and supportive resources.  We have observed significant improvements in overall school attendance over the past 5 years, but we have high expectations for our students and expect them to be in school every day and on time.      

Character Counts

Being Responsible: Makes Your Life Better


(continued from last week’s newsletter)

This is another trait of a responsible person, as you need to effectively juggle everything that is on your plate. This may mean caring for your newborn, having career success in your company, loving your partner and remembering the 7 different bills that all need to be paid, all on the same day. Whilst impossible to do all of this at once, a responsible person makes a priority list, and starts ticking off each as they get them done. If you’re feeling like you’re being pulled in a hundred directions at once, try this course and learn to maximize your efficiency.

If you borrow something from a friend, take good care of it. If a colleague tells you a secret, keep it to yourself. This demonstrates that you’re trustworthy, and can be counted on when something bigger comes up. You also need to know how to behave when a tragedy strikes. In the face of devastating news, you also need to be responsible and be there for your family and friends, as a support system for the people who really need you. Being responsible also requires learning how to hold yourself together when things get tough.

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)

Once you understand the theory of critical thinking, improving your critical thinking skills takes persistence and practice.  Try this simple exercise to help you to start thinking critically.  Think of something that someone has recently told you. Then ask yourself the following questions:

Someone you know? Someone in a position of authority or power? Does it matter who told you this?

Did they give facts or opinions? Did they provide all the facts? Did they leave anything out?

Was it in public or in private? Did other people have a chance to respond and provide an alternative account?

Was it before, during or after an important event? Is timing important?

Did they explain the reasoning behind their opinion? Were they trying to make someone look good or bad?

Were they happy or sad, angry or indifferent? Did they write it or say it? Could you understand what was said?

I will provide further information from the following link in next week’s newsletter:  https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/critical-thinking.html

College and Career

7 Tips to Graduate in 4 Years:

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

The last thing you want in the final semester of Senior year is to realize you missed a required degree course to graduate.  If it is one class, don’t stress, many schools will let you walk in May, but you will have to complete a summer course to finish your degree and receive your diploma.  If you are short 6 or more hours, normally you will think about taking the fall semester and graduating after fall semester is completed.  Many times graduating in 4 years is not the best plan for students.  For example, if you need to work a full time job and are taking night classes, you might not be able to complete 15 credit hours per semester.  Speaking with your Advisor you can create the best plan to complete your degree for what is right for you and your personal situation.

The above was taken from the following link:  http://www.mymajors.com/blog/7-tips-to-graduate-from-college-in-4-years/.  I will provide more from the above article in next week’s newsletter.

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 return on the 2nd of January to a shortened week.  We are holding our district Referendum meeting in our cafeteria on Thursday evening at 6:30 pm.  The meeting should last until approximately 8:00 pm.  We are holding our monthly fire drill on to practice our emergency exit procedures.


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.  Governor's School applications need to be returned to the guidance office by Wednesday, 1/2/19.  The Option II Personal Finance final exam is on January 10th & 11th.  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.


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.