“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,

Attention all East students, staff and parents…our PTO is holding a fundraiser at Bubbakoos between December 10th and the 14th (11 am – 9 pm daily).  For every coupon (attached) redeemed, Bubbakoo’s Burritos will donate $3 to our PTO.  The money will be used to support school growth initiatives.  Looking forward to seeing you at Bubbakoos next week!

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.

The Arts High Program presented to our students during lunch periods on Monday to discuss graphic design, creative arts, and visual arts programs for students interested in the field.  Our Attendance Committee held our monthly hearings Monday in the Main Office Conference Room.  We addressed students who are in violation of our Attendance Policy and are in need of support.  Great job to the committee for all of their hard work improving our overall attendance rates and appreciation for positive school attendance and academic excellence.  I would like to thank our hockey team for inviting me to the game Monday evening to throw out the puck.  The boys played incredibly well, but lost to a very talented team.  I commented to Coach Verdon how impressed I was with the growth of the team over the past year!  Keep up the great work!

Our I&RS Committee met on Tuesday to support at-risk student needs.  The committee developed plans to address individual student needs through school and community resources.  Thank you Mrs. Erin Anders for providing this effort!  Mr. Kevin McCann and his STEAM team of teachers and students presented to the intermediate schools on the respective program.  Mr. McCann informed me that the presentations went extremely well and was pleased with the effort of our kids!  Great job everyone involved!

Mrs. Ann Millard held another College Workshop for interested seniors on Wednesday.  The workshop included important information on how to navigate the application process.  I would like to thank Mrs. Millard for all of her hard work providing this valuable service to our children.  Please speak to your senior for further information.  REMINDER, we are running college workshops this week (Wednesday and Thursday at 6:00 PM – see below for further information).  We ran a professional development workshop for interested staff in our PD Room throughout the day on Wednesday.  Staff were asked to provide specific departmental expectations of our students after having gone 4 years through their curriculum.  For example, after 4 years of coursework in the science department, we would like our students to be able to apply the scientific method to the resolution of personal obstacles and articulate specific examples in nature how progress was made through this process.  Staff were asked to team with departmental colleagues and to provide me with their insight for future discussion.  

We held our monthly staff Conference-Conference on Friday all day in our Jersey Mike’s PD Room.  I spent the day discussing various building-related issues and procedures, recognizing staff achievement, and promoting school growth initiatives.  I thought the day to be extremely productive as we were able to meet with the entire staff in a small group setting.  I look forward to the direction our school is going and the potential results of our efforts!  

Great job to all of our cast and crew of the Christmas Carol and to Mrs. Melissa Reimertz for putting on a wonderful show this weekend!  I thoroughly enjoyed the kids and appreciated all of the hard work put in to the play!  Congratulations!

Congratulations to Claude Clark and Stephan DeLorenzo for being recognized as Respectful Raiders this week.  Both Claude and Stephen were acknowledged for finding lost cell phones and turning them into the Main Office!  Thank you both for being positive reflections of our school community.

Congratulations to Mrs. Tammi Pagano for being named our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Jenn Mika selected Mrs. Pagano for all of her efforts supporting our at-risk student population.  Mrs. Pagano prides herself in providing effective support for her students.  Thank you Mrs. Pagano for all you do!

Congratulations to Mrs. Christina Gregus-Bowker for being named our Mentor of the Month.  Mrs. Gregus-Bowker was selected by the Raiders Helping Raiders Mentoring Program for going above and beyond for her mentees.

I would also like to acknowledge Isaac Claudio and Anthony Encarnacion for being written up for positive school behavior.  Mrs. Jenn Mika acknowledged the efforts both students have made in her class to participate and demonstrate acts of kindness.   I would also like to acknowledge Skylar Radetich for being recognized by Mrs. Kristen Mason for being a stellar student.  Skylar completes all of her work on time and submits at the highest quality.  She is respectful, kind, and goal-oriented.  Great job Isaac, Anthony, and Skylar for being such positive reflections of our school community!

I would like to acknowledge Tommy Economides for simply being a very kind person.  Tommy went out of his way to bring personal presents for children in need as part of our Giving Tree.  I appreciate Tommy’s generosity and thought you should know!

I would like to give a great big ‘Shout Out’ to Mrs. Marci Bruch, Mrs. Jenae Koon, Mrs. Catherine Goodall, and Mr. Steve Ebert for going above and beyond!  Mrs. Brush and Mrs. Koon promoted our Healthy Eating/Breakfast Program Friday morning by providing fruits and breakfast bars to interested children.  The initiative was a tremendous success!  Great job!  Mrs. Goodall was recognized by a student for helping her through a personal problem, which made a difference in her life!  Way to Go!  Mr. Ebert was acknowledged by Kean University for his efforts supporting special needs students!  Mr. Ebert cares and it shows!  Thank you all for being positive reflections of our school community!

I would like to acknowledge former Raider, Evan Desaulniers, for his generosity donating to our track program.  Evan ran the open 200 and 400 meters at East during his tenure.  He ran a sub 50 second 400 meters and represented East his senior year at the National Indoor Championships in Boston, Massachusetts.  We thank Evan and his family for the generous donation of $1,000 to support the growth of the program!  Thank you Evan for your continued support of your school!

I would also like to acknowledge the generosity of the Women’s Club at Lake Ridge, Toms River for their donation to our Autism Academy.  Representatives Debra Marx, LaVern Dickson, and Linda Filippone provided a generous donation of $1,000.  The money will be used to purchase supplies for the various Life Skills Academy initiatives.   Thank you Debra, LaVern, and Linda for caring about our children!

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.

Freshman Academy/STEAM

Our STEAM Academy Team presented to our Intermediate schools this week on the specifics of the program and entrance requirements.  Great job to Mr. McCann and his team of teachers and students for representing East with pride.  All candidates for the 2019-2020 school year should check our website for application instructions.

Attendance Matters

Why attendance matters

How important is it for kids to be in school? School attendance is a baseline factor in determining student success.

by: GreatSchools Staff | October 18, 2018

Successful schools begin by engaging students and making sure they come to school regularly. That may seem obvious. What’s less obvious is that the consequences of low attendance are serious for all children and for the community, not just the students who miss school.

School attendance data on GreatSchools.org (which comes from the state Department of Education) gives you baseline information on the quality of a school. The type of data displayed depends on what each state Department of Education makes available. In Texas, for example, you will see the attendance rate and the mobility rate, while in Washington, you’ll see the unexcused absence rate. Where available, you’ll find this information under the School Environment tab under “Students” on each school profile.

What does the attendance rate tell you about a school?

The attendance rate tells you the average percentage of students attending school each day in the given year, as reported by the state Department of Education. (Some states report this attendance rate as the percentage of students with unexcused absences.) You can also see the state average for the attendance rate and compare how your school stacks up. In some states, you will see the mobility rate (which means the percentage of students who transfer out of the school). Most schools have high attendance rates. If your school’s attendance rate is below the state average, the school may face challenges in getting students to come to school regularly. Ask the principal why the attendance rate is lower than the state average and what the school is doing to address this issue.

How important is attendance?

The attendance rate is important because students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school consistently. It’s difficult for the teacher and the class to build their skills and progress if a large number of students are frequently absent. In addition to falling behind in academics, students who are not in school on a regular basis are more likely to get into trouble with the law and cause problems in their communities.

A 2008 study conducted by the Rodel Community Scholars at Arizona State University that tracked students from kindergarten through high school found that dropout patterns were linked with poor attendance, beginning in kindergarten. Gregory Hickman, director of the Rodel Community Scholars program and former director of the Arizona Dropout Initiative, notes they discovered that as early as kindergarten, behavioral differences are apparent between those who go on to graduate and those who drop out, with dropouts missing an average of 124 days by eighth grade.

School budgets may suffer when students don’t attend. In many states, school budgets are based on the average daily attendance at a school. If many students enrolled at a school fail to consistently attend, the school has less money to pay for essential classroom needs.

I will add the rest of the article in next week’s newsletter.  However, if you cannot wait until then, check out the following link: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/school-attendance-issues/

Character Counts

Being Responsible: Makes Your Life Better


(continued from last week’s newsletter)

Take full accountability for the actions you have made, and never claim that it is anyone else’s fault except your own. By doing this, you are actually giving the world a message, that you’re in control of every part of your life. It wasn’t the traffics fault you were late to work, you simply didn’t leave your house early enough. In line with this, life isn’t always fair. Some people have a tougher time than others, but they will never be able to get off their course until they own up to the actions they are taking themselves, and try to make a change.

Talking negatively about every interaction in your life won’t get you far, especially once you get a reputation for the one who is always complaining about the boss, the weather, or even the ridiculous price of gas. This is another way that people blame the world. Sure, you can’t change the price of gas, but everyone has the same problem. If it really bugs you buy a bicycle and ride to work. If you stop yourself every time you’re about to make a negative comment and say something positive, people will change the way they look at you. This course is an excellent help if you’re struggling with this, enabling you to reclaim your positive attitude.

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


Congratulations to Aimee Skweres and Rachyl Concepcion for being named as our November Character Counts Students of the Month.  Aimee was chosen for her leadership skills in supporting personal and school success.  She cares and is accountable for her outcomes.  Rachyl was chosen for continued pursuit of kindness towards others and her commitment to her individual achievement.  She assumes responsibility for her outcomes through positive school behavior.  Congratulations Aimee and Rachyl for being positive reflections of our school community.  

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas.  Critical thinking has been the subject of much debate and thought since the time of early Greek philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and has continued to be a subject of discussion into the modern age, for example the ability to recognize fake news.

Critical thinking might be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.

In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason. It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.

Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. They will always seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the entire picture and are open to finding that they do not.

Critical thinkers will identify, analyze and solve problems systematically rather than by intuition or instinct.

I will provide further information from the following link in next week’s newsletter:  https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/critical-thinking.html

College and Career

7 Tips to Graduate in 4 Years:

  1. Start your planning early in high school, as early as sophomore year:

  1. Find your Major and Career path before College:

The above was taken from the following link:  http://www.mymajors.com/blog/7-tips-to-graduate-from-college-in-4-years/.  I will provide more from the above article in next week’s newsletter.

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.  

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. 



I have nothing to report this week.

This Week at East

Our December Character Pillar is Humility.  Our STEAM TEAM will be presenting to our parents Monday evening on our program.  We will be holding our annual Hour of Code in the Media Center on Monday.  Our district is holding our ½ Day Professional Day on Tuesday afternoon.  Our Interact Club will be hosting our annual Blood Drive in the Media Center on Wednesday.  We will provide Professional Development for interested staff on Wednesday and Friday in our PD Room.  We are hosting an Autism Academy Parent Evening, College Workshop, and Coding Night on Wednesday.  Our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit begins on Thursday and Friday, with Holiday PJs and Flannel Friday, respectively.  We are holding our Freshmen Academy teacher meetings on Thursday, along with our monthly Fire Drill.  Our RHR will conduct our YOGA/Mindfulness workshop for our mentors and mentees Thursday.  We are holding a Financial Aid Night Thursday in the Cafeteria.  Come out and support our annual Students versus Faculty Basketball Game Friday evening at 6:00 PM!  


Family Coding and Engineering Night - December 5th-

Please join us for Family Coding and Engineering Night Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm at Toms River High School East Media Center. This evening will be a wonderful opportunity for families to do an hour of computer programming together!

Our robotics team, the “Raiders-ShortCircuits" will join the teams from North and South to present their  work and conduct demonstrations with their FTC robots.


At this special evening of learning and fun, parent-child teams will complete fun Code.org puzzles and challenges and learn core concepts in coding.  Teams will learn how to apply their coding through various programs, such as, Arduinos, Finch Robots, Spheros, some logic and reasoning puzzles and games.   

No coding experience needed and free for all participants!  Student volunteers will be available for support. We encourage all of our students and family members to attend this exciting evening to learn the basics of computer programing and how coding is applied to real-world problems.

We hope to see you at Family Code Night! – Mrs. Suzanne Signorelli

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.


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.