“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,

If you get a chance, catch Bohemian Rhapsody at the movie theater before it is gone.  Great movie.  I cannot say I was a huge Queen fan, but I certainly appreciated the vocal and musical talent of the band.  Their Live Aid concert was tremendous (I actually remember watching on MTV) and thought it had to have been one of the greatest live shows at that time.  I think the movie will win an Oscar.    

District News!


I was certainly very happy to hear the referendum passed this week.  Thank you to all of our East community members who took the time to vote.  I am looking forward to the facility upgrades over the next few years!  

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.

Mr. Kevin McCann and his team of teachers began the testing process for the STEAM Academy applications on Tuesday.  Great job to the team for all of their hard work.  We hope to identify candidates for the limited openings by the end of February.  

We held a professional development workshop on Wednesday with interested staff members in our Jersey Mike’s Professional Development Room.  The topic centered on making meaningful connections with your students.  Staff read an article and discussed various strategies to make meaningful connections and the subsequent benefits to student achievement.  Great job to all of our staff who participated.  Congratulations to Mrs. Megan Rankin for winning the participation gift card!  Mrs. Debbie Schwartz met with her Physical Education Department to discuss our health and wellness monthly pillars.  

I met with our Peer Leaders during lunch periods to discuss our student-to-student personal and academic skill workshops.  We plan to utilize lunchtime workshops for students to learn how to improve important life, social, and academic skills.  The workshops will be run by the Peer Leaders and will provide valuable information to support student achievement.  

I held our monthly Conference-Conference meetings all day in our Jersey Mike’s PD Room on Friday.  I shared out on staff updates, acknowledged the efforts of various staff members, discussed professional development, acknowledged our TOY and EPOY, mentor of the month, and employee of the week, shared out on PTO events, PARCC updates, quizzed staff on our AED, engaged in discussions on staff attendance and our club logo calendar, and wrapped up with a quiz on our school mission, character pillars and characteristics that define an excellent student.  Overall, we had a very productive Friday.  Mr. Kevin McCann provided a tour of the building to an assortment of educations from various schools across the state on Friday.  The tour provided educators insight into the various innovative educational spaces in our building (Makerspace, Hovnanian Room E-06 and our Jersey Mike’s Professional Development Room).  The educators commented how impressed they were with our students and staff.

We held our practice SAT test on Saturday in the cafeteria for interested students Saturday morning.  Approximately 100 students signed up to take the test.  Students will receive their scores within a week and will be able to evaluate strengths and weaknesses through this process.  Special thanks to the Princeton Review for providing our students with this opportunity!

I would like to congratulate Ms. Marissa Granato for being recognized as our Raiders Helping Raiders Mentor of the Month.  Ms. Granato was selected for being someone the kids can relate to and who truly cares.  Ms. Granato is a relatively new teacher to our building, but has already made significant impacts in and out of the classroom environment.  Great job Ms. Granato and thank you for being a positive reflection of our school community.

I would like to congratulate Ms. Carrie Bush for being selected as our Employee of the Week.  Ms. Bush was selected by Mrs. Lisa Varley for being a tremendous support and resource to the CST team.  Mrs. Varley appreciated Ms. Bush’s positive mindset and caring demeanor.  Thank you Ms. Bush for being a positive reflection of our school community.  

I would like to acknowledge Mr. Greg Roth and Mr. Mike Nemeth for their efforts on Friday to share out on the effects of social media on mental health.  Mr. Roth and Mr. Nemeth presented to all of our students during gym periods.  The team discussed focusing on likes, cyberbullying, making comparisons, having too many fake friends, and less face time.  The students were certainly an important part in the discussion as I believe the content ‘hit home’.  I will provide further details of the presentation to support healthy conversations in the home in later newsletters.  

Congratulations to our girls and boys basketball teams for recording victories this week.  Great job to the girls swimming and our wrestling teams as well for their wins!  Keep working hard to all of our teams!

I would like to acknowledge Mr. Greg Roth and Mike Nemeth as part of our 180 Days of Excellence for their efforts to educate our students on the mental health impacts of social media on the adolescent mind.  I know both teachers spent a considerable amount of time preparing for the presentation.  Great job also to Mrs. Lucia Doulong for her help in preparing for this week’s professional development session, Making Emotional Connections to Improve Student Achievement!  Mrs. Doulong is passionate about supporting student success and enjoys the time learning new methods to support growth!  Great job to Mr. Roth, Mr. Nemeth, and Mrs. Doulong for going above and beyond!

Did You Know?

A goal at East is to promote a healthy mindset in our students and staff.  I found the below article interesting and thought I would share.  I will include a portion for the next few newsletters.  You can find the article listed on the following link:


Published by Tom Maha on September 29, 2016 

“Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.” — Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way


Sleep is an astonishing and actually somewhat creepy phenomena. The amount of activity going on in our body and brain while we sleep is absurd and a good night’s sleep (eight to 10 hours) is no doubt critical to our continued existence. Our brains are busy at work storing information from the previous day, solving problems, detoxifying and repairing cells.

There are different types of sleep — shallow sleep (stages one and two) where you are easily awakened, deep sleep (stages three and four, or “slow wave sleep”), and REM sleep where our eyes dart around in our heads and dreams happen (2). These stages aren’t random but rather specifically choreographed so that our bodies can repair and replenish effectively. We start off in shallow sleep, gradually drift into deep sleep before “rising” back into REM sleep, then go back into shallow sleep again. We repeat this process every 90 minutes or so (2).

During the different stages of sleep, our stress hormones go through a period of controlled ebbs and flows. These changes are very important in controlling our stress hormones — if we don’t sleep enough or sleep well enough, we are likely to be more irritable and, in turn, experience difficulty falling asleep. So, being stressed makes it difficult to fall asleep and not enough sleep causes us to be stressed — quite a malicious cycle.

Some good ways to combat stress prior to going to bed is with meditation and deep breathing exercises. Vigorous deep breathing, such as the breathing that occurs during exercise or conscious breathing during mediation, enhances flow of lymph fluid through a type of breathing called belly-breathing. Babies come into this world belly-breathing. It is something that adults should relearn to promote optimal immune function (1).

One of the reasons the flow of our lymph fluid is important is because our lymphatic system is crucial to the integrity of our immune system and it does not have a pump (like the heart) to force it through the body. All of our lymph fluid must pass through our strategically placed lymph nodes throughout the body. Waiting at the lymph nodes are special white blood cells, called T cells, which wait on alert for foreign materials (1).

Think of these T cells like airport security, providing a checkpoint before any substances are able to pass. Won’t take your shoes off? Mysterious liquid in your suitcase? Not welcome! Our controlled belly-breathing allows for a consistent oozing of this lymph fluid, keeping this airport security team prepped and ready to ruin the bad guys’ vacations!

For a meditation idea, try laying in bed, relaxing every single tip of your body starting from the bottom up. Think about each and every muscle and feel them calm down. Completely remove yourself from whatever is worrying you. Imagine yourself in a place that makes you feel completely at ease and try staying there for a couple of minutes. You may be amazed at how much better you feel almost instantaneously.

(check out next week’s newsletter for more of this article)

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

Mr. Kevin McCann will be meeting with his Freshman Academy teachers to discuss the program and students of concern this week.  The team teachers will also recognize individual students for our monthly Academy Awards.

Attendance Matters

Transcript for Work

A two-year college in Missouri issues "job readiness work ethic" scores on students' transcripts, as well as a rating for attendance.

By Paul Fain February 12, 2013

The rap on college transcripts is that they don’t tell employers much, thanks to grade inflation and the failure of conventional grades to predict performance on the job. So to try to give their students' transcripts more heft, a two-year college in Missouri now includes not only their grades, but a job readiness score and their attendance rate as well.

Linn State Technical College’s employability rating is fairly extensive. Instructors assign a “job readiness work ethic score” to students in six areas: safety, trust, timeliness, work habits, interpersonal and citizenship. Those scores are listed on transcripts and added together for an overall final grade, all of which employers can see, along with ratings for attendance and, of course, academic grades.

Job readiness is scored on a four-point scale. For example, a student must be described as “respectful” and “polite” to land a four in the interpersonal category. Lack of civility and the use of “slurs,” conversely, are on the checklist for a zero in interpersonal. As for safety, which is optional for general education courses, students get points for looking out for the safety of themselves and others, and score worse for the careless use of tools and equipment.

The college rates students' attendance on a 1 to 100 percentage scale.  Linn State is among few colleges that have attempted to signal workplace readiness to employers. One similar effort is underway at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, which is located in North Carolina and this year plans to begin issuing grades and certificates for “soft skills,” like punctuality and working well in groups.

Several observers praised Linn State’s bulked-up transcripts, which it began offering in 2009. All students currently receive the job readiness and attendance scores.

Melinda Mechur Karp, a senior research associate with the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, calls the idea intriguing and potentially valuable to both students and employers. “It’s sending a very clear message to students about what’s expected of them.”

On the hiring side, workplace readiness scores could be more helpful than conventional grades, says Marcus Kolb, a program officer with the Lumina Foundation.

“The job readiness measure is probably the first thing the employer would look at because it might need less translation than traditional grades and immediately tells the employer something they probably really want to know,” Kolb said via email. “This seems to suggest current transcripts are insufficient for employers -- a key revelation traditional higher ed needs to acknowledge and adapt to.”

(I will add the rest of the article in next week’s newsletter).


Character Counts

How to Teach Your Child “Commitment”

Apr 24, 2017 | An Apple a Day

At Fairmont Private Schools, we have a set of values we teach all of our students to live by. One of those values is “commitment.” It’s important for children to learn that, once they’ve given someone their word, they are expected to follow through. Parents can teach their child “commitment” through examples and by giving them their own chances to follow through.

Set an Example

The easiest way to teach your child “commitment is to set an example. Follow through on your own commitments and make them to your children so they can see what it means for you to keep your word. Explain to them that commitments can mean hard work, but it’s important for your family that commitments are kept. Examples could be, commitments to work, to help with the Fairmont Parent Association (or PTA), to volunteer on the weekends, to finish household duties throughout the week, or even fun plans like committing to a movie night with your kids once a week or to a Disneyland trip for the next family vacation.

Read/Share Stories About “Commitment”

Another way to teach your child about “commitment” is to take a moment to pause during storytime when characters keep or fail to keep a commitment. Discuss why this is a good or bad thing and how the action of keeping or failing to keep the commitment affects the other characters in the story. Ask them how they’d feel if they had been the one let down by the character and problem solve how the commitment could have been kept.

Give Them Chances to Keep Their Own Commitments

After seeing examples, children should learn to keep their own commitments. If you don’t already, give them weekly chore commitments. It could be as simple as asking your child to commit to keeping their room clean or committing to a weekly list of household chores. Pets are another way to exemplify “commitment”. If you have a pet, or are thinking about getting one, make sure to remind your child that taking care of their pet is a large commitment. Getting a dog, cat, or even a hamster, requires years of commitment to feed, wash, nurture, love, pick up after, and provide healthcare for. Other ways children can make their own commitments is by volunteering weekly or monthly, or making commitments to after school activities like sports teams or music lessons. If your kids ever show interest in quitting or giving up on a commitment, explain to them why it’s important they persevere, at least until the end of the sports season or final music recital.

Teaching and exemplifying “commitment” develops your child’s character and builds up their value system while teaching them how to interact with others in a fruitful and beneficial way.


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.

What is a Growth Mindset?  

Check out Carol Dweck’s video at the following link:


College and Career

How Much More Do College Graduates Earn Than Non-College Graduates?

Studies have proven time and again that college-educated workers often earn more than those with only high school diplomas. Learn more about this in this video.


Differences in Earnings

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) analyzes employee earnings data biennially according to education level. These findings indicate that workers with college degrees earn significantly more than those without; they also emphasize how lower education levels tend to correspond with higher unemployment rates. In 2015, adults with bachelor's degrees took home more than those with high school diplomas. Degree holders earned $48,500 a year, while diploma holders earned $23,900.

Over the past two decades, while college-educated workers' wages have increased, annual salaries for those with only a high school education have decreased. However, the gender of the degree holder, as well as the type of degree, also impacted earnings.

Let's look at some figures from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics in 2015 on median weekly earnings. For those with only a high school diploma, men earned $751 and women earned $578. With some college or an associate's degree, men earned $872 while women earned just $661. Men holding a bachelor's degree earned $1,249; with women, bachelor's degree holders bringing home $965. With a bachelor's degree or higher, men earned $1,385, with women earning $1049. Finally, men with an advanced degree earned $1,630 and women with an advanced degree earned $1,185.

(I will include the rest of the article in next week’s newsletter)


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 are holding our monthly Attendance Hearings on Monday to address students who do not comply with our district attendance policy.  Our I & RS Committee will convene Tuesday to address student educational needs.  We are holding our 8th grade Transition Meeting Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm.  We will share out on the scheduling and curricular expectations at the secondary level.  We are holding a professional development workshop all day Wednesday in the Jersey Mike’s PD Room on the topic, Making Emotional Connections to Student Achievement.  We will test our monthly security drill procedures as well.  I will be meeting with the district Health and Wellness Committee Friday morning to discuss our CTC Survey.


The counselors will be visiting the English classes to give students scheduling information for the 2019-2020 school year. Course requests will need to be entered via parent portal. The course selection guide is available on the district's curriculum webpage. 8th grade parent night (Class of 2023) is on Tuesday, January 29th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.  The registration deadline for the March 9th SAT is 2/8/19.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  PSAT scores reports will be distributed to the 9th and 10th graders by the English teachers.  Juniors and Seniors interested in taking the Accuplacer on February 25th must sign up in Guidance.  The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/7/19 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Visit www.ocvts.org for more information. 

We are bringing our East Pantry back to school.  In support of our families in need, we are looking to stock the school with various school, food, and clothing supplies.  We are looking for donations.  If interested, please contact Mrs. Erin Cosentino at ecosentino@trschools.com.  Mrs. Cosentino is our coordinator.   


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.