“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 always enjoy watching the Oscars/Golden Globes as I love film.  I thought Bohemian Rhapsody would win, and it did in several categories.  Black Panther, A Star is Born and the Green Book were also big winners.  I will do my best to catch all of the movies that were nominated in the next few weekends.  I missed an Oscar Host this year, as I think it adds tremendous entertainment value.  But, overall, a good show.        

District News!

The march is on! We are hoping to recruit over a 1000 staff, students, and parents 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 be departing at 12 noon and will return back by 5 pm.  We would like to get approximately 250 students, staff, and parents from our East community to attend the event.  If able, 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 on the bus!  

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.

We participated in our district-wide professional development day on Monday.  Staff across all three grade levels engaged in meaningful workshops aimed at developing the whole child.  I think educators are doing a much better job investigating ways to adapt to the learning styles of our children.  I provided a workshop on developing a classroom culture of excellence.  I provided a brief discussion of the variables that contribute to student outcomes and how that knowledge (or lack of) impacts our instructional quality.  Participants walked out with an appreciation of the importance of articulating their purpose as an educator and their vision of student outcomes articulated in vision, mission, and core value statements.  Mrs. Erin Anders and Mr. Vern Rutter presented on our Student Involvement Survey and Mr. Kevin McCann presented on tips for new teachers to engage their students.  I think East represented well on Monday.

We had our first snow day of the season on Wednesday.  I was hoping for one maybe earlier in the winter, but at this point in time, I am simply looking forward to summer weather!  Hopefully this was our one and only day.  

On Thursday, Mr. Christian Kane from High School North presented to all of our junior and senior level students on the Community Field of Dreams Project.  Mr. Kane shared out tips to help market the project and to look for alternative means of funding.  I commend Mr. Kane for his commitment to providing opportunities for students with disabilities.  Mrs. Erin Anders covered Mrs. Noel Hendrix’s class as part of our administrative-teacher swap program.  Mrs. Anders enjoyed ‘teaching’ a Spanish lesson.  

On Friday, Mr. Tom Regan covered Mrs. Kristen Mason’s Earth Science classes as part of our administrator-teacher swap program.  Mr. Regan had the opportunity to teach a lesson on the ocean.  What a great topic!

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. Sheryl Middleton for being recognized as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Middleton was acknowledged by Mrs. Melissa Friedman for always bringing a positive attitude and willingness to help others.  Mrs. Middleton is our Homebound liaison and does and outstanding job juggling all of the respective responsibilities.  Thank you Mrs. Middleton for being such a positive reflection of our school community.    

I would like to acknowledge Mr. McCann, Mr. Rutter, and Mrs. Anders as part of our 180 Days of Excellence. All three administrators spent personal time to provide meaningful presentations to various district personnel on our PD Day.  I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Mike Nichol for providing a full day of PD to our secretaries and as part of our Health and Wellness Committee.

Did You Know?

Students who are entitled to free lunch are also entitled to free breakfast too!

Freshman Academy/STEAM

STEAM Academy students worked on a new mural outside of Lecture Hall with Mr. Bill Dishon.  The mural depicted an inspirational quote promoting positive school behavior.  Mr. Kevin McCann will be providing a Kevin’s Corner workshop on the 27th to support Danielson Target Components.  

Attendance Matters

Chronic Absenteeism Can Devastate K-12 Learning

By Hedy Chang, John Gomperts, & Leslie Boissiere, October 7, 2014

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

This is why our organizations—Attendance Works, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, and America's Promise Alliance, in addition to the United Way Worldwide and Points of Light—for the second straight year, launched a nationwide campaign that called for communities to recognize the traditional start of the school year—September—as Attendance Awareness Month.

Our goal has been to build awareness of the importance of monitoring attendance so all students have the chance to learn and succeed. We call for districts and community partners to use the right data to identify which schools and students most need support. This requires moving beyond the traditional metrics of attendance—average daily attendance and truancy (or unexcused absences) to also monitor chronic absence.

We need to start right away to connect the students struggling with poor attendance to positive, engaging supports and to activities that will motivate them to attend class every day.

Attendance Works recently laid out step-by-step strategies for reducing chronic absence in "The Power of Positive Connections: Reducing Chronic Absence Through PEOPLE: Priority Early Outreach to Positive Linkages and Engagement." As the title of the plan suggests, positive, preventive approaches are typically more productive and cost-effective than punitive steps. These strategies include using data from the past year or first month of school to identify students and then connect them to mentors, engaging programs before or after school, walk-to-school programs, and health support for students with chronic illnesses such as asthma.

Reducing chronic absence is good not only for students, but also for our schools. As taxpayers, we already pay for the school buildings and the teachers needed to educate our children. We're spending time and money to expand early education and improve 3rd grade reading so that we can increase our graduation rates. Why not do everything we can to ensure that students show up every day and make the most of our investments?


Character Counts

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

What makes a great leader? You are probably thinking it’s something buzzword-worthy like confidence.  Or maybe vision.  Or emotional intelligence—you hear about that one all the time.  For sure, those are all good qualities for a leader to have, but the answer is actually trustworthiness. Technically, it’s not just being trustworthy that is key, but being seen as trustworthy.

The question “Can I trust you?” is always on our minds whenever we interact with other people (particularly when we meet them for the first time) though we usually aren’t consciously aware of asking it. Studies suggest that in order to figure out whether or not someone is trustworthy, we analyze their words and deeds to find answers to two questions: “Do you have good intentions toward me—are you a friend or a foe?” and “Do you have what it takes to act on those intentions?”

So how do we find the answers? Decades of research show that we are all highly tuned-in to the warmth and competence of those around us. Warmth is being friendly, kind, loyal, and empathetic. It is taken as evidence that you have good intentions toward others. Your competence—being intelligent, creative, skilled, effective—is taken as evidence that you can act on your intentions if you want to.   Competent people are therefore valuable allies or potent enemies.  Less competent people are objects of compassion, or scorn.

When your team trusts you as a leader, it increases commitment to team goals. Communication improves, and ideas flow more freely, increasing creativity and productivity.  Perhaps most important, in the hands of a trusted leader, employees are more comfortable with change and more willing to embrace a new vision. When your team doesn’t trust you, you don’t get their best effort. You’ll then find yourself unable to inspire, influence, and create real change—an ineffective leader.

When your team doesn’t trust you, you don’t get their best effort.

We can all agree that trust is good.  The problem, however, is that we are so eager to prove that we “know what we’re doing” as leaders that we neglect the arguably more important part of the trust formula: proving that we will act with our colleagues’ interests in mind. In other words, trust is an afterthought.

Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, author of many of the key studies on trust and leadership, has argued that when you project competence before warmth, you run the risk of appearing cold and eliciting fear from your employees.  They might respect you, but fearful employees are rarely able to work at their best. And you certainly can’t blame them for wanting to jump ship once an offer to work for someone who doesn’t make them constantly anxious comes along.

(I’ll add the rest of the article in the next newsletter)


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: Reflect on your failure mindset

Children learn how to behave by imitating others. That means one of the most powerful ways you can help your child develop a growth mindset is to model it with your own actions. New research shows that one powerful way that parents model mindset in front of their children is through their reaction to failure.

Take a moment to think about how much you agree with these statements.  Do you agree or disagree?  

1. "The effects of failure are negative and should be avoided."

2. "Experiencing failure enhances performance and productivity."

3. "Experiencing failure facilitates learning and growth."


On average, parents who disagreed with statement #1 and agreed with statement #2 and #3 were more likely to have children with a growth mindset. Their attitudes towards failure conveyed two important messages to their children:

  1. Learning and improvement are more important than grades or performance.
  2. Failure is good - if you use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

This does not mean that it's okay to not try or to give up when you fail. It's actually quite the opposite.


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:

What are colleges looking for?  Check out the following link:



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

We are holding our Attendance Hearings and I & RS Committee meeting this week.  I will be hosting our second, Lunch with the Principal on Tuesday.  Our Peer Leaders will be coordinating another study skills workshop for interested 9th and 10th grade students on the 26th during lunch periods.  We will hold our monthly security drill as well.  We are providing a professional development workshop to interested staff on Wednesday and finally conducting our Activity Day on Friday.  I have district training on the NJSLA Thursday as well as a CTC Survey Committee meeting.  Our PTO will be holding an Executive Officer meeting on Wednesday.


This week the freshmen will continue to 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.

We are holding our second student workshop on the 26th of February, the topic will be Time Management.  If you have a 9th or 10th grader who would benefit from the tips supporting Time Management, please inform them to go to the Media Center during their lunch period on the 26th.  


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.