“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 hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Break.  I spent time with the family enjoying football and food.  We had a house filled with relatives, which made it more enjoyable.  My daughter was home from college and it was good to see her.

District News!

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

Do you struggle to find time for your own personal wellness? Do you need help with resources?  INSPIRE TR (SEPAG) has an event for you!  Join us on Dec. 5th for an evening ALL ABOUT YOU as a caregiver.  Some discussion topics will be- Stress management techniques for parents; The Mind/Body connection; Healthy Eating; Family Support....and more!  Date: Wednesday, December 5th.  Location: High School East Media Center.  Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm.  No RSVP required...Just show up!

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 Ambassadors and Raiders Helping Raiders Mentoring Group worked collaboratively to prepare and deliver our food baskets for our Thanksgiving Food Drive Monday and Tuesday afternoon.  I appreciated the effort to support our families in need.  Thank you to all of our students and staff who worked so hard to ensure the success of the food drive.  I would like to especially thank Ms. Candice Schultz and Mrs. Casey Daniel for their efforts and for delivering the food.  

Our Student Council Representatives met with school administration on Tuesday to discuss ideas to move East forward in support of our student’s vision.  I thought the ideas were wonderfully crafted and we look forward to implementing them throughout the year!  Great job students for taking ownership of your school and outcomes!  Our School Safety Committee met after school on Tuesday and discussed school HIB data for the year and ideas to continue to provide a safe school environment.  

We held a ½ day on Wednesday prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday.  

As part of our 180 Days of Excellence, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Mike Nemeth and Mr. Greg Roth for their efforts to promote a healthy mindset and to raise funds for our ELKAY EZH20 Water Fountains.  We will be conducting a Jingle Bell Run during the week of December 17th, which will help to raise awareness for healthy lifestyles, physical fitness, and hydration.  I would also like to recognize Mr. Doug Trumble, our Raiders Helping Raiders Coordinator, for putting together a Yoga/Mindfulness activity for our mentors and mentees on December 6th.  I would also like to acknowledge Mrs. Lucia Doulong’s continued efforts to prepare for our “Bring Your ‘A’ Game” activity to be held on December 17th.  

We will be bringing our extracurricular clubs and organizations to our students during our lunch periods beginning this week.  The idea is to begin the process of promoting the respective clubs during school hours to solicit greater participation, as discussed in last week’s student involvement survey.  We want all of our students involved in something.  We will be promoting our Interact and Key Clubs the week of the 26th of November.

Congratulations to Sean Sharkey for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week.  Sean was acknowledged for finding cash in the hallways and turning the money in to the Main Office!  Thank you Sean for being a positive reflection of our school community.

I would also like to acknowledge Mark Binz , Lexi Shroepfer, and Hoslande Delia for being written up for positive school behavior.  Mark was noted by Mrs. Erin Calicchio for his kindness to help clean up lesson art supplies.  Mrs. Calicchio was very thankful for his efforts.  Lexi was observed picking up money that had dropped from the pocket of a peer.  The student did not know the money had fallen out of her pocket.  Lexi picked up the money and returned it to the student.  Great stuff!  Hoslande was noted for finding and turning in a $100 bill in the ladies bathroom.  What a kind and respectful thing to do!  I am very proud of Mark, Lexi and Hoslande for being such positive reflections of our school community.

Great job to several of our Marching Raiders this weekend!  The kids marched in Philadelphia for the Thanksgiving Parade with the Tournament of Bands All Star Marching Band.  Great job Kailey Rouse, Devon Engelhardt, Alex Goodwin, Ethan Leon, and Emma Gibson for representing your school with pride!  Great job Coach Sanford for your job in this process!  

Did You Know?

Our Physical Education Department’s pillar this month is ‘Breakfast’.  We will be providing information to our kids on the importance of breakfast to individual and student success.

Freshmen Academy/STEAM

Former Raider, Taylor Pistone, spoke to our STEAM students on Tuesday about high school college transitions, the importance of internships, and her journey to pursue a STEAM career.  Taylor was an outstanding student and represented East with pride.  Thank you Taylor for taking your personal time to meet with our kids!

Attendance Matters

A review of our October Attendance Data indicates similar trends in our numbers.  Our overall number of absences and lates to school was influenced this month resulting from the PSAT testing on the 10th of October.  We observed approximately a 0.26% decrease in the average daily attendance this October compared to October 2017.  We noted a total of 22 more absences and 85 fewer lates to school comparing October 2017 to October 2018.  Again, the increase in absences were a product of the PSAT.  However, we also observed approximately 5 fewer students with monthly perfect attendance comparing this October and October 2017.  There were generally more students who missed a day of school comparing the two years, which is an outcome we normally do not observe.  We did observe similar trends with our seniors who demonstrated the lowest daily average attendance rates for the month of October.  Mondays and Fridays continue to be our worst attended days of the week.  We will be implementing our ‘Bring Your ‘A’ Game program in December to combat this issue by providing students with our best engagement lessons.  We have observed improvements in our data for the poorly attended (relative) days of the week through our various initiatives (Patio Parties, High Five Fridays, Fun Fridays, etc.).  I hope to report back positive data as we move forward this year.

Generally, we have observed significant improvements in student attendance over the past five years; noting reductions in chronically absent students, fewer absences and lates to school.  I think we have cultivated a mindset that school attendance matters to future personal and academic success.  I ask that our parents support these initiatives and communicate with their child that students are expected to come to school every day and to be on time.    

Character Counts

Being Responsible: Makes Your Life Better


When you do what you have promised, people see you as a responsible and reliable person. This is quite admirable, as many people won’t deal with individuals who are irresponsible. They will give their trust to friends they can count on, and give their business to companies they admire. A responsible person is one who can be trusted to act without needing strict supervision, because they are accountable for their own behavior. Keep doing it, and you’ll soon develop a reputation for following through on obligations. This course is a great tool for businesses to learn to manage their reputation across social media platforms, check it out if you want your branding to extend across all mediums.

Being trusted is a good feeling, and both children and adults like to feel they are capable of doing things on their own without any supervision. This boosts a person’s self-esteem and self-worth. For an employee they’ll soon find they’re given tasks and assignments of higher importance, ultimately leading to raises and promotions. A responsible person tackles the difficult tasks without blaming others for any set-backs or problems. Instead, they are responsible for its success or failure, and with the risk comes great rewards if they can pull it off.

How to be Responsible

It’s not rocket science, being responsible simply requires you to follow a certain set of guidelines, in every action you do. Get all of these in order, and you’ll be a very responsible person:

When you let down your friends, family, or colleagues, they’ll soon stop believing in you. You’re only taken seriously when you actually follow through on your commitments. If you’ve never really made a commitment before, give it a try. It doesn’t matter if its writing for your school’s newsletter or joining a sports team, committing to it helps you learn to care for things other than yourself, and as a pleasant side effect it will train you in sticking to a routine, which will make you more effective in every other aspect of your life.

Responsibility means nothing if you constantly over and under-do it. This means building schedules and routines that work for you. Responsibility doesn’t mean cramming for an exam for 8 hours, and then not touching your textbook for another month. A responsible person will spend an hour or so, looking over their notes every day. The same goes with your friends, don’t call them every day when you need advice, and then drop off the radar for a month. Bring consistency into every aspect of your life and you’ll be much happier.

I will provide further details on this article in next week’s newsletter.  Please check out the link:


Reviewing October Behavior Data, we observed a significant decrease in the number of overall referrals comparing October 2017 and 2018 (approximately 100).  We also noted a 50% reduction in the overall number of cuts in comparison to last October.  I was pleased to report that information!  We still note that our biggest issue regarding behavior is related to attendance – lates to school and cuts relative to other types.  We will continue to support our goal to improve overall attendance, decrease class cuts, and minimize insubordinate and disruptive behavior through education and school initiatives.

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

How Positivity Makes You Healthy and Successful

By Travis Bradberry

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

Your brain just needs a little help to defeat its negative inner voice. Here are two simple steps you can take that will train your brain to focus on the positive.

Step 1. Separate Fact from Fiction

The first step in learning to focus on the positive requires knowing how to stop negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts.

When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things your inner voice says, it’s time to stop and write them down. Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity. Evaluate these statements to see if they’re factual. You can bet the statements aren’t true any time you see words like never, always, worst, ever, etc.

Do you really always lose your keys? Of course not. Perhaps you forget them frequently, but most days you do remember them. Are you never going to find a solution to your problem? If you really are that stuck, maybe you’ve been resisting asking for help. Or if it really is an intractable problem, then why are you wasting your time beating your head against the wall? If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you can trust, and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out.

When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.

Step 2. Identify a Positive

Now that you have a tool to snap yourself out of self-defeating, negative thoughts, it’s time to help your brain learn what you want it to focus on—the positive.

This will come naturally after some practice, but first you have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your brain’s attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps there is an exciting event you are looking forward to that you can focus your attention on.

The point here is you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative. In step one, you learned how to strip the power from negative thoughts by separating fact from fiction. Step two is to replace the negative with a positive. Once you have identified a positive thought, draw your attention to that thought each time you find yourself dwelling on the negative. If that proves difficult, you can repeat the process of writing down the negative thoughts to discredit their validity, and then allow yourself to freely enjoy positive thoughts.

Bringing It All Together

I realize these two steps sound incredibly basic, but they have tremendous power because they retrain your brain to have a positive focus. These steps break old habits, if you force yourself to use them. Given the mind’s natural tendency to wander toward negative thoughts, we can all use a little help with staying positive. Put these steps to use, and you’ll reap the physical, mental, and performance benefits that come with a positive frame of mind.


College and Career

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.princtonreview.com/products/offerings/424157.  This opportunity is exclusive to HSE students only.

Reminder to all of our parents, NJ Natural Gas will be presenting on a free college admission workshop on the 5th of December for all interested East parents and students.  Mr. Peter Van Buskirk, as seen on “Oprah and Friends”, is a 25-year veteran of the application and admission process who will share his valuable insights on a successful college search, finding financial aid opportunities and more.  Hope you can attend!

For interested parents, Ocean County College will be presenting on a workshop on the 6th of December on Financial Aid Student Information and the FAFSA.  Interested in attending, please contact your child’s counselor for further information.  

We welcome Ramapo, Johnson and Wales, Stockton, and Rider University this week in Guidance.

Café Corner!

Are you aware that you can now set up an account for cafeteria purchases?  Log onto WWW.schoolcafe.com.  Click on create an account.  Once the account is set up you should be able to add a student.  Use your school issued ID number with an 8 in front.  For example, if your ID number is 12345 you would enter 812345.  You will also be able to access ingredients and nutritional information for any meal.  If your short on time at lunch, stop in the cafeteria at any time and make a salad or sandwich.  The cafeteria staff will be happy to keep it refrigerated until you are ready for it. 



Friendly reminder…please do not drop off or pick up on the side of the building.  Please follow the morning and afternoon traffic pattern to ensure student safety.  

This Week at East

We will conduct our monthly security drill this week.  The Ocean County Arts Department will be in school to discuss careers in the Fine Arts industry.  We will be holding our monthly Attendance Hearings and I & RS meeting as well.  Our Wednesday PD session will be on establishing departmental values and beliefs – essentially, what do we want our kids to know and be able to do after having been in our respective departments over the next four years.  Mrs. Millard will be conducting another College Workshop.  Our Peer Leaders will be conducting our monthly Lunchtime Talks on Thursday.  I will be holding Conference-Conference all day on Friday for staff in our PD Room.  Friday is the opening day of our Fall Play, hope you can attend!


Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Ramapo College is on 11/29 @ 9am. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Instant Decision Day @ HSE for Rider University is on 12/11 @ 9am. Students need to see their guidance counselor for more information.  Seniors who have a college application deadline of January 1st need to submit their paperwork to their counselor by December 12th to ensure delivery by 12/21/18.  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.  HS East in partnership with NJ Natural Gas is providing a free workshop: College Admissions- Secrets and Strategies on December 5th at 6:30pm.  Please RSVP to amillard@trschools.com.  FAFSA workshop is on December 6th @ 6pm in the HSE Media Center.  This is a free program that helps families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the form that is required to apply for federal and New Jersey financial assistance programs. Please call the guidance dept. for more information.  Volunteer hours need to be submitted at the end of every month.  Please drop off your community service card in Guidance.  College/University representatives are coming to HSE to conduct information sessions.  Please sign up in Guidance.

Media Center Highlights:  The shortened month of November was not short on activities.  Many students, along with Spanish teacher Liz Rodriguez, celebrated the Day of the Dead in the Media Center on November 2nd.  Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death.  While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons).  

Media Center Orientation continued with Mrs. Walters and Mrs. Schindler's freshman English classes on November 14th and 19th.  Media Specialist Diane Harz gave students an overview of the Media Center along with policies and procedures.  The lesson also included the importance of selecting credible online resources through website evaluation techniques as well as using subscription databases for research.

The Photography Club hosted its monthly meeting in the Media Center after school on November 20th.  Club members went outdoors to learn about the concept of shadows.  Future planned projects were also discussed by club advisor Marianne Steinhart.  For more information on the Photography Club, please contact Marianne Steinhart at msteinhart@trschools.com.  


Just a reminder that the National Honor Society offers free peer tutoring to students seeking help in Math, Science, English, and Social Studies.  Tutors are available after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in the Media Center and no appointment is necessary.  For more information on National Honor Society tutoring, please contact advisor Laura Morgan at lmorgan@trschools.com


Please check back for future Media Center updates!


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!

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.