“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!

The march is on!  Approximately six buses of students and staff will be departing High School East tomorrow at 12 p.m. to Trenton to represent TRRSD's voice demanding the restoration of our $85 million in state funding.  We are looking to make quite an impact leading up to Governor Murphy’s 2 PM budget address.  Neighboring impacted school districts will also be attending as part of our Support Our Students/Save Our Schools (SOS) coalition.  Buses will return to East by 5 p.m.  If you are interested in attending, please sign up at:

I will be attending to stand for my school.  I hope you will be able to attend as well in support and to let those who make the decisions know that we are a proud community deserving of more respect.  I hope to see you in Trenton!  

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.

Our Peer Leaders held their second study skills workshop in the Media Center on Tuesday for interested 9th and 10th grade students.  Our Peer Leaders discussed time management skills.  The workshops were well attended and I wanted to congratulate all of our volunteers who taught the lesson and our participants in the workshop for demonstrating commitment to individual success!  I held our Lunch with the Principal during period 4 with approximately 8 or so students.  We enjoyed a delicious meal courtesy of Bubbakoos.  We chatted about movies, school, and other miscellaneous topics.  I enjoyed the conversations!  Thank you to Mr. Mike Nichol and Mrs. Laurie Rose for coordinating the lunch.  Great job to Mrs. Erin Anders and our I&RS Committee for their work meeting individual student needs at their monthly Hearings.  Great job to Vincent Rotondo for his exceptional speech at the Board Meeting Tuesday evening!  Vincent always represents East with pride.  The Board recognized our wonderful Teacher of the Year and Educational Service Professional of the Year as well.  Congratulations to Mrs. Liz Rodriguez and Mrs. Diane Harz for being such positive reflections of our school community.

We held our monthly security drill on Wednesday and tested our Shelter-In-Place procedures.  The drill was conducted without incident!  Great job to our students and staff.  Our Attendance Committee held our monthly Hearings on Wednesday to address students who are not in compliant with our district attendance policy.  Great job to Mrs. Kristi Koskowski and her team for their work in supporting individual student/family needs to improve school attendance.  Mr. Kevin McCann met with interested staff members as part of our weekly professional development workshops on the teacher evaluation Danielson model.  Mr. McCann presented on methods to improve various components of the model and how they relate to a growth mindset.  Our PTO held their monthly meeting at High School East in the evening.  I spoke to the group about the march on Trenton and marketing via Facebook for parent support.  The group discussed the Pocketbook fundraiser in April.

I attended our district CTC (Communities That Care) Committee meeting at Walnut Street Elementary School Thursday afternoon.  We evaluated data and decided on a method to move forward.  At the appropriate time, I will report out on the respective results.  I held a brief faculty meeting after school to review the march on Trenton and to gain support for this event on the 5th of March.  I spoke to the staff that my expectation was that we would have most (if not all) of our staff on the buses supporting our school.  I am going simply to show my support for my school and my community!  

We held our first ‘Activity Day’ on Friday to promote our core values at East.  Teams of teachers worked collaboratively to present a character lesson to our students and to demonstrate a unified commitment to apply the concepts in meaningful ways.  I was proud of the students and staff for their willingness to participate in the respective activity with a positive mindset.  We are looking to continue the ‘Activity Day’ lessons in April, May, and June.  I met with Student Council during Period 7 to discuss the march on Trenton.  The kids wrote a nice letter and read the letter over the speaker system from a student’s perspective.  I thought they did a tremendous job promoting the significance of the march.  


We are collecting food and toiletry items to send to our troops overseas in support of our Big Read novel, The Things They Carried.  We are collecting items through March 29th, Vietnam Veterans Day.

We will be hosting a College and Career Day event on the 4th and 5th of April.  I will provide further details in our upcoming newsletters!

Congratulations to Mrs. Kristi Koskowski for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Koskowski was acknowledged by Mrs. Sheryl Middleton for always bringing a positive attitude and willingness to help her colleagues.  Mrs. Koskowski is our Attendance Officer and does an outstanding job collecting data and developing methods to recognize positive school attendance.  Thank you Mrs. Koskowski for being such a positive reflection of our school community.    

I would like to recognize Mr. Mike Nemeth for stepping out of his comfort zone and becoming a lead teacher in our Physical Education Department as part of our 180 Days of Excellence.  Mr. Nemeth adds his value by promoting school-wide initiatives through his charismatic relationship with his students.  Mr. Nemeth is a role model for our children at East.  

Congratulations to Jordana Buchta for ‘helping a person in need’ as part of our positive behavior referral program.  Jordana found a peer’s airpods and returned them to the owner.  Thank you Jordana for being a positive reflection of our school community.

Congratulations to Ethan Leon, our first board and captain, for his 1st place finish at the Kasparov District of the Shore Conference High School Chess League.  Great job to Mike Conklin for his fantastic season in wrestling!  Keep working hard Mike, you will be standing on that medal podium soon!  Great job to our girls basketball team for their fantastic run in the South Jersey Group III Sectional Tournament.  The girls fell to Ocean City in the semi-finals, but fought valiantly for their school!  I would also like to thank all of our student athletes, club members, Band, Orchestra, and thespians who put themselves out there to be judged!  I am so proud of all of our kids for representing their school with pride!  

Did You Know?

1. The primary school in Phumachangtang, Tibet, is thought to be the highest school in the world.  It is also the closest of its kind to the sky. At 5,373 meters above sea level, it is 200 meters higher than the base camp of Mount Qomolangma, the world’s highest mountain, known as Mount Everest in the West.

2. The King's School in Canterbury, England is the world's oldest school.  Founded in 597 AD, earning the title of being the world's oldest school comes with no surprise. The school is however, up-to-date with quality equipment and supplies and provides modern education.

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Freshman Academy teachers will be meeting this week to discuss students-of-the-month and academy events for the month of March.

Attendance Matters

Reviewing our January attendance data, we observed approximately the same number of students with perfect attendance comparing 2019 to 2018.  We did note a very slight improvement in the overall attendance and averaged two fewer absences per day comparing January 2019 to January 2018.  Mondays and Fridays continue to be our most problematic days of week with our juniors our most problematic group (averaged 91.7% monthly attendance rate compared to our sophomores at 92.9%).  Regarding lates to school, we averaged about the same as last January.  Fridays were our most problematic day of the week and our seniors our most problematic group (averaged 15 lates/day).

We will continue to utilize our Attendance Committee and our various initiatives to promote the mindset that every day counts at East!  

Character Counts

Reviewing our January behavior data, we observed similar trends.  We did observe a significant spike in our number of class cuts for this month in comparison to January 2018 and our current year data.  We observed similar types of elevated behavior, which we are working on (disruptive behavior, insubordination, lates to school, and cuts).  I hope to demonstrate improvements as we progress to June!

The Most Important Skill for Great Leaders? Trustworthiness.

It doesn’t matter how competent you are as a leader, you won’t get very far if your team doesn’t trust you.  By Heidi Grant Halvorson Sep 29, 2014

(continued form last week’s newsletter)

Fearful employees are rarely able to work at their best.

In a nutshell, being competent is certainly important, but it must be coupled with the sense that you have your employees welfare and interests in mind and that what they experience matters to you. Think about how you can use the following strategies to up your trust quotient:

#1 Pay Attention

Make eye contact, and hold it—both when you are speaking and listening.  Nod from time to time to show you are understanding what’s being said to you (and if you don’t understand, ask). Smile, especially when they do.  And above all else, really focus and internalize what is being said to you—everyone needs to feel that they have been heard, even when you can’t give them what they are asking for.

#2 Trust Them First 

Human beings have a deeply-rooted tendency toward reciprocity.  We are naturally inclined to want to do favors, give gifts, and work to promote those who have done these things for us in the past. And the same holds true when it comes to trust—we are more likely to feel we can trust someone who has trusted us first.  So assign tasks and projects that reflect this trust. Socially, share personal (but appropriate!) stories, talk about your struggles and challenges, let them see your fallible, human side. Allowing yourself to be a bit vulnerable is a great way to project warmth.

#3 Show Empathy

As a leader it’s easy to have a laser-like focus on the tasks at hand. But take the time to mentally put yourself in your employees’ shoes, to really try to grasp their perspective.  Use phrases like “I imagine you must have felt…” to convey that empathy directly.

All that said, if you just aren’t the warm-and-fuzzy type, and maybe talking about “feelings” makes you uncomfortable, fear not.  Evidence suggests that the moral character aspects of warmth—the sense that you are fair, principled, courageous, and honest—are also highly effective for establishing trust. In other words, to get your employees to trust you, be someone they can always count on to do the right thing.

How about you?

How have great leaders earned your trust?


Tips to Improve School Outcomes

I am going spend the next few weeks highlighting the characteristics of a Growth Mindset in this section.  I will provide links to articles and videos describing how to promote in the home.

Activity: Model making mistakes

Modeling a growth mindset means being willing to try hard even when failure is likely because that's how growth happens. For example, parents should try to get excited when their children make mistakes because these mistakes can reveal important conceptual gaps that should be filled. When adults get excited about the learning that mistakes can facilitate, children start to think of mistakes as a natural part of the learning process. This leads to a few important changes in learning behavior:

  1. Children stop avoiding challenging work just because it could mean making more mistakes.
  2. Children become less likely to try to "sweep mistakes under the rug" because they stop thinking of them as something to be ashamed of.

Action Ideas


College and Career

Important new developments on raising money to pay for college expenses!  Your child can earn micro-scholarships from colleges for your achievements as early as 9th grade.  Please go to the following website for further details:

Once you have an idea what colleges are looking for, begin to think about the process of connecting an interest to a degree.  Check out the following link for help:


CAFÉ Corner

Students who are entitled to a free lunch are also entitled to a free breakfast!  We will be serving fruit smoothies as part of our ‘healthy’ eating initiative during the morning rush.  We will not be accepting cash for the smoothies as students can simply swipe their cards!  


Parents, please monitor your child’s behavior prior to their attendance at a school evening event.  Know that as a school we can never condone the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.  Although the behavior may be deemed appropriate in your home, it is not on school property.  Please respect our commitment to keep our students safe.

This Week at East

Our march on Trenton!  I am looking forward to participating in this historic event to demonstrate my pride for my school!  I am so proud of all of our students and parents who contribute to the success of East!  We will be holding two staff professional development workshops this week in support of our school vision and mission.  I will report out next week on our activities.


This week the sophomores will have the opportunity to speak with their guidance counselors regarding their 2019-2020 schedule.  Students will be brought to the guidance office by their History teacher during assigned periods.  Courses must be requested via the parent portal.  On Wednesday, May 1st we will be taking seniors to OCC for Registration Day. This will allow seniors to go through the registration and orientation process. The buses will leave HSE at 7:30am and return to HSE at approx. 1:15pm. See you counselor for more information.  Students who are interested in attending vocational school next year should speak to their guidance counselor about visiting a vocational school program to gain first hand knowledge about the program. Student visitation week is March 12th - March 15th.  The registration deadline for the April 13th ACT is 3/8/19. Register at www.actstudent.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!

In support of our Big Read, The Things They Carried, Vietnam Veterans will be speaking to interested students in March.


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.