“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,

We held an assembly on Wednesday to promote the importance of school safety and to recognize the students and staff who lost their lives in the Parkland, Florida tragedy.  I spoke to the students and staff who attended and informed them that schools are not places where violence should occur.  Our students have a voice in this world and what they decide to do with it is a reflection of who they are and what they stand for.  I asked that our students stand for change and it begins with the way we treat each other…with kindness.  We all have the power to create a school culture which is safe, warm, and welcoming – a place where we are all valued for our individuality.  I asked our students to take a stand to promote a school environment where bullying, harassment or intimidation will no longer be tolerated, a place where physical acts of violence will no longer be tolerated, and illegal substances in the school setting will no longer be tolerated.  Students who are truly compelled to make a difference in this world should begin by promoting the values inherent in respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, caring, fairness and citizenship, and in doing so, making HSE a school we can all be proud of.

Lauren Rodgers made an emotional speech to the students and staff and asked they remember the lives senselessly taken at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.  Lauren informed her peers that we live in a time where student voices should be encouraged with issues which directly affect them.  Lauren asked the students to use their voice in electing officials who they believe have the world’s best interest at heart.  Lauren was wonderful!

We held a candlelight ceremony recognizing the 17 victims of Parkland.  School Safety Team members each read a name of a victim and something about them.  

Ms. Alexandra Chiodi, a chemistry teacher at East, informed our students that young people have more power than ever to bring about social change because they live in the digital age with access to the Internet and social media channels at their fingertips wherever they go.  She informed the students that they have volumes of information & education available to you everywhere.  [Past] victories were accomplished without the Internet, think what you can accomplish with it.

We concluded the ceremony with a moment of silence.  The ceremony lasted 17 minutes, one minute for each victim.

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 held our monthly PTO meeting Tuesday evening.  We are well underway in preparation for our April 27th Gift Auction to be held at East.  I spoke to the group briefly on school safety, Parkland, STEAM, and various committee projects.  The group spent the remaining time discussing prizes, logistics, and other activities related to the Gift Auction.  I am so proud of our PTO ladies!  They are working very hard for all of us!  Thank you!

We held our student assembly Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.  I would like to thank Mr. Ed Kayler for all of his efforts to dignify the event.  Mr. Kayler built a stage, picked up the candles and coordinated the Safety Team members for the Candlelight Ceremony.  He did a wonderful job and I thank him for all he does at East!  We held our faculty meeting Wednesday after school.  I discussed staff news and school safety.  We conducted an activity to promote personal and student excellence (doing your best at all times).  I asked that staff commit to one personal item and one for our students to promote excellence and to share out at our next faculty meeting how of our outcomes.  

We held our I&RS Committee meeting on Thursday in the Main Office Conference Room.  Various staff members meet on a monthly basis and provide resources for our at-risk students in an effort to improve school outcomes.  Thank you to our staff volunteers for taking the time to support our children.  

Congratulations to Mr. Ed Kayler for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Kayler coordinated our entire student assembly on Wednesday.  Mr. Kayler, working with our student body, really did a tremendous job providing an aesthetically pleasing stage and set-up for our assembly.  Mr. Kayler spent several days preparing for the event and coordinating the efforts of our Safety Team.  Mr. Kayler solicited the support of student, Damar Walden, to provide appropriate music.   I felt we did our part in support of the national event, and wanted to thank Mr. Kayler for providing a ceremony we could all be proud of.    

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Ms. Alex Chiodi, for being brave enough to extend her comfort zone and speak at the ceremony this week.  Ms. Chiodi is a new teacher right out of college.  Taking on the responsibility to speak at a ceremony like this is challenging, but she did it!  Great job Ms. Chiodi.  I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our PTO, again, for volunteering their time for the good of our school stakeholders.  The ladies meet regularly and are always positive in their approach to support the growth and development of our school community!  Keep up the great work!  I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Marybeth Kretz for her efforts to connect our students to career resources.  Dr. Kretz is working with Community Medical to provide an exciting new internship opportunity to current sophomores and juniors for the 2018-2019 school year.  If you have a child interested in pursuing a profession in the healthcare field, see Dr. Kretz for details.    

I would like to congratulate Robert Kelly for being recognized as part of our “Why You’re Awesome” initiative.  Robert was recognized for volunteering to be a guest DJ in place of DJ Alfierious Friday morning.  Thank you Robert for being brave and supporting our school culture!

I would like to congratulate Mrs. Janine Hatton for being recognized as our Mentor of the Month.  Mrs. Hatton has developed a rapport and respect not only among her mentee’s, but also with her present and past students.  Her mentee’s always mention how she greets with them with a smile, influences their lives as a positive role model and is a great listener as well.  Thank you Mrs. Hatton for being a positive reflection of our school community.  

I would like to thank Mrs. Janine Sacewicz for donating a Grand Piano to HSE this past week!  The piano will be used for our various school activities and is much appreciated!  Thank you Mrs. Sacewicz for your generosity!  I would also like to thank Bob Plaza Movers for donating their time and resources to move the piano safely to East.  Special thanks to owner of the moving company and TR Schools employee, Nicole Agathangelou, for her kindness to make the move free of charge!  Another example of why I am proud to be the principal of this wonderful school!  

I would also like to thank Applebee’s for providing a generous donation to HSE as part of their goal to support local causes and education!  

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

100.  Join a club.

99.  If you don’t exercise, start.

98.  Attend a school event you normally wouldn’t.

97.  Start doing your own laundry if you haven’t already.

96.  Clean up your social media.  Future bosses are watching.

95.  Tell teachers who meant something to you that you appreciate them.

94.  Make a playlist of all your favorite high school songs.

93.  Take a great photo of you and your family.

92.  Make a list about the best and worst things about high school.

91.  Fill out scholarships in guidance.

90.  Catch up with a friend you drifted away from.

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

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

We are meeting with our STEAM Academy parents next week to discuss course sequencing.  Mr. Kevin McCann sent out an email informing parents that we will be meeting on Monday, March 26th at HSE.  Questions, please email Mr. McCann at kmccann@trschools.com.

Our STEAM students attended an engineering workshop at Rutgers University on the 20th.  We will be sending the kids to another workshop on the 21st to learn about STEAM technology at Cedar Grove Elementary School.  

Attendance Matters

Some Students Enter High School at High Risk for Failure

Students who were chronically absent or receiving Fs in the middle grades are already very likely to be off-track in ninth grade. Students who were chronically absent in eighth grade—missing more than 10 percent (equivalent to missing at least 18 days or three and half weeks) of the school year—are more likely to be off-track in ninth grade (see Figure 2a). Students who receive Ds and Fs in the middle grades are at high risk for failure in high school. Most students with an eighth-grade GPA below a 2.0 have less than a 50/50 chance of being on-track for graduation in ninth grade. The combination of low attendance and low grades is a clear signal that students are very likely to fail in high school (see Figure 2b).


Without support, students who enter ninth grade with low eighth-grade attendance or grades have slim chances of being on-track for high school graduation, let alone college success. If information to identify these students is available early, high schools can use the summer and the first weeks of ninth grade to establish supportive relationships between students at high risk of failure and adults in the building. They can reach out to parents to establish relationships and trust before students encounter difficulty.

A number of programs provide examples of strategies which have been successful for improving the academic performance of at-risk students. One example is the Check-and-Connect program, in which mentors monitor students’ attendance and course performance, providing support as they need it.4 For students with a moderate risk of failure, low-cost programs, such as the NYC Success Mentors, have shown some success at improving students’ attendance, grades, and test scores.5 For students at extremely high risk of failure, intensive programs, such as the model developed by Match Education, have been shown to improve students’ performance, although they are more costly.6

Please go to the below link to review the respective charts referenced above.  To combat chronically absenteeism at East, we work within our Raiders Helping Raiders mentor program to make personal connections, link students to school-based and community resources, and attempt to involve at-risk students in school activities among many other things.      


Character Counts

I would like to congratulate Katie Decker and Chris Brush for being recognized as our Character Counts Students of the Month.  Katie was selected for being kind, respectful and always acting in manner that represents the values inherent in our character pillars.  Both students and staff agree Katie is a wonderful choice!  Chris was selected because he embodies integrity.  He treats other with kindness and is a leader.  He is viewed by students and staff as honest, trustworthy and sincere.  Chris is quiet in nature, but is a charismatic person as he draws people in with friendship, sincerity, and humor.  I would like to thank Katie and Chris for being such positive reflections of our school community.  

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I have included the below article as a method to encourage and support your child to read.  The article comes from a teacher’s perspective, but place yourself in the role of the teacher here.  I will include the rest of the article in next week’s newsletter.  

A Taste of Honey and Other Ways to Encourage Recreational Reading in Reluctant Readers

By Jill Jenkins

A Taste of Honey

Students often don't have any idea which book might be interesting to them. The library is overwhelming to them. One way to give them an idea is to read selected passages of the book giving students a taste of honey or a taste of each book. Select an assortment of books from the library and either ask the librarian to present these books to your class or discuss each book yourself with the students, so they have some idea which books might be fascinating to them.

Another method is called Speed Dating. Spread a variety of books across the room and give each student five minutes before you ring a bell and the students move to the next book. When they each have a chance to peruse the books in the room, let them discuss which books they found interesting and make suggestions to each other. Students helping students is a valuable resource.

Rewarding Success

When you complete a difficult task, you like your success to be noted, so do students. When students successfully complete a book, let them put their name and the title of the book on a piece of paper and hang it on the wall. I use little cut-outs of suns, clouds, trees and let the student select one. Each quarter I established reading goals for each student based on his/her ability to read. When a student reached whatever reading goal established for him or her, he or she gets his picture taken wearing a crown and has that picture displayed in the library under the title "Reading Royalty." To encourage reading, catch students reading and take their picture, take pictures of teachers, administrators and staff member reading and display these on your morning news or on a bulletin board. Most of my students loved seeing pictures of themselves, their friends and their teachers and it reinforced the value of reading.

You can tailor the above to support your efforts at home with your child.



I ask that we continue to remind our children of the importance of coming to school every day with the intent of doing our best.  This mindset is so very important to creating a culture of excellence at East.  If we can develop this mindset, think how more productive we will become in terms of preparing our children for their future college and career endeavors.

This Week at East

Our College and Career Connection Committee is hosting an interviewing skills workshop after school on Monday.  I think the workshop will be beneficial to all students looking for summer jobs!  Our STEAM students will be attending another field trip this week.  We will test our school evacuation procedures in a safety drill.  Our Community Outreach Committee is meeting after school on Tuesday.  Our Behavior Hearings will take place on Wednesday, followed by our Committee meeting after school in support of promoting student voice.  I will go into the lunch periods again to present another ‘No One Easts Alone’ activity.  


The next junior college workshop is on Wednesday, March 28th. The topic will be "College: Where to begin". Sign up in Guidance.  The OCPGA College Fair is on Wednesday, April 11th from 6pm - 8pm at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena (formerly Pine Belt Arena). There is a Financial Aid workshop at 5:30pm.  The registration deadline for the May 5th SAT is 4/6/18. Register at www.collegeboard.org.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.  New scholarships are available on the HSE Guidance website. Check out the multitude of new scholarships recently added!


If you have an interest in joining the PTO and supporting our worthy causes, please email Mrs. Kim Platten at kimplatten24@gmail.com.  If interested in participating on our school gift auction scheduled in April, please reach out to Mrs. Platten.  


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.  We are currently providing student and faculty ‘meal deals’ for $6.99, which include a regular sub, chips, and a 22 ounce fountain drink for demonstrating excellence in education!  

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.