“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!


As we worked to address millions in state funding lost, the proposed referendum discussed over the past year was put on hold. A new date for the vote has been scheduled for January 22, 2019.  High School East will specifically benefit from the referendum by addressing essential projects, such as; parking lot pavement, track and tennis structural upgrades, turf field replacement, front entrance canopy, façade restoration, exterior doors replacement, roof replacement, window replacement, ADA upgrades, plumbing upgrades, floor replacement-various locations, replace chilled water piping, electrical distribution systems, kitchen modernization, elevator cab replacement, science lab modernization, interior door replacement, security upgrades, and HVAC system renovation.  

For more information, go to:


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.

I am a member of our Prevention Needs Assessment Survey team and I met with Mrs. Debbie McKenna and the rest of our team Monday afternoon to discuss the respective data.  RWJ Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention and Recovery provided funding to assess our community needs as they pertain to antisocial behavior and substance abuse.  The objective of the survey was to identify the risk factors that contribute to problem behaviors and to develop a plan working cooperatively with community stakeholders to move our schools forward.  I will report out on our school’s survey as we move forward.  

On Tuesday, our Raiders on the Rise Lecture Series welcomed former graduate, Mrs. Kathy Curto to High School East.  Mrs. Curto graduated from East in 1986.  Mrs. Curto has B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, in Sociology/Creative Writing, a M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work and a M.F.A. from  Sarah Lawrence College, with a focus in Nonfiction.  She teaches at The Writing Institute/Sarah Lawrence College and Montclair State University. She also serves as a Teaching Artist in the River of Words Program sponsored by the Beacon Institute. Her work has been published in the anthology, Listen to Your Mother:  What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, and in The New York Times, Barrelhouse, The Inquisitive Eater, The Asbury Park Press. Just to list a few.  Mrs. Curto has been the recipient of the Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship, the Montclair State University Engaged Teaching Fellowship and also serves on the faculty of the Joe Papaleo Writers’ Workshop in Cetara, Italy.  Mrs. Curto shared with our students about her path from a HSE student to her present point in her life being a published author.  Mr. Kevin McCann conducted his second session on Rigor in Assessment with interested staff members in our Jersey Mike’s Professional Development Room.  Staff were provided tips to re-evaluate their current assessment strategies to promote critical thinking skills.  Great job Mr. McCann.  

On Wednesday, I held staff referendum discussions in the Jersey Mike’s Professional Development Room.  I shared out on information presented to the public during Mr. Healy’s various presentations and answered questions related to impacts on the taxpayer and specific building-related concerns.  Great job to Vinny Rotondo as he presented ‘East Happenings’ to the public at the Board Meeting Wednesday evening.  I am so very proud of Vinny as I am beginning to observe growth in his writing and speaking skills.  He is such a proud reflection of our East family!

Our Quarterly testing schedule is as follows:  English (1/17 & 1/18), Math (1/28), Social Studies (1/29 with writing component on 1/24), Physical Education (1/24), World Language (Presentation last week of marking period), Science (2/1), Fine Arts (1/28), and Careers (1/29).

We held our weekly professional development workshop on Friday all day in the PD Room.  Mrs. Erin Anders and I presented on the Student Involvement Survey that Mrs. Anders conducted earlier this year.  I defined extracurricular as any activity outside of the regular academic curriculum and is school related.  I spoke about the benefits of being involved (academic achievement links, life and social skill development, connections to individualized interests, broaden perspectives, improved self-esteem, productive breaks, and resume building).  I shared out on the various 45 clubs and 36 individual sports/organizations available to our students.  We discussed steps how to get involved and to be a member of an activity.  Mrs. Anders shared that 82.1% of our students are involved in an extracurricular activity.  Our 9th graders demonstrated the highest participation rate (89.3%), with our 10th, 11th, and 12th graders demonstrating a participation rate of 85.8%, 79.7%, and 73.6%, respectively.  Mrs. Anders evaluated attendance rates, # of conduct issues, free and reduced lunch, and good academic standing as measures of comparison between involved and uninvolved.  Mrs. Anders noted a 3.1% increase in daily average attendance rates for students involved in extracurricular activities.  She also noted a 17.6% decrease in the number of conduct issues for students that are involved in extracurricular activities.  We observed 15.8% more students receiving free and reduced lunch in the category of NOT involved.  Finally, Mrs. Anders demonstrated 31.3% more students were in good academic standing in the involved group of students.  Although we were aware of what the data would show prior to our study, we were pleased to provide specific data relevant to East indicating the importance of being involved.  We concluded the workshop with a brainstorming discussion on ideas to involve students who are typically uninvolved.  We will follow up with the discussion at a later meeting.    

We welcomed Mrs. Edele Hovnanian Friday morning to observe our Human Anatomy classroom.  Mrs. Hovnanian donated approximately $100,000 to renovate the room and to provide furniture and technology to bring our classroom into the global 21st century.  We presented a Raider Excellence Award to Mrs. Hovnanian thanking her for her generosity in supporting the intellectual growth of our students.  Thank you to Dr. Marybeth Kretz, Ms. Amanda Gregorek, and Mr. Mike Alfieri for their support to provide a meaningful lesson to observe during the short visit.  

I finished the day by sitting in on Ms. Kelsey Chatten’s Chemistry class (periods 6 and 8) as part of our teacher-administration swap day.  I administered a chapter test for Ms. Chatten.  I was very pleased with the kindness the students showed me and the intent of the students to apply their knowledge on the test.  They were so well behaved!

Congratulations to Mrs. Lisa Varley for being selected as our Employee of the Week by Mrs. Terry Bowcock.  Mrs. Varley was selected for her relentless pursuit of excellence as our CST secretary.  Mrs. Varley coordinates daily activities, paraprofessional assignments and supports various student and staff needs.  She is kind and considerate and is a very well respected member of our staff!  Great job Mrs. Varley and thank you for being a positive reflection of our school community.

Congratulations to Brian Baxter for being recognized as a Respectful Raider.  Brian found airpods in the hallway and brought them to the Main Office.  The air pods were later returned to the owner.  Thank you Brian for being a positive reflection of our school community.  

Congratulations to Anthony Scarpa and Sean Arkins for being recognized as part of our ‘Why You’re Awesome’ program.  Anthony and Sean both supported a student in need during a medical emergency.  They waited with the student, called for assistance, and provide support until staff arrived.  Thank you Anthony and Sean for being positive reflections of our school community.  

I would like to acknowledge as part of our 180 Days of Excellence for

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

Cultivate Healthy Relationships

Throughout our lives, we will form or encounter an innumerable number of relationships. Each relationship, no matter how short or long, good or bad, offers a unique opportunity to reexamine our innermost selves and, if necessary, reform our behavior. A healthy relationship is one where there is ongoing, mutual trust, respect, care, honesty and sharing. The environment must be non-judgmental and unconditional — a safe haven, if you will. Creating these healthy relationships can not only help provide us with opportunities to share our stress and problems with those close to us but can also help eliminate many perceived threats by having a healthy dialogue with friends and family.

Uncover empathy, compassion and kindness. Empathy is the foundation of any meaningful relationship (4). It gives us the sense that our inner feelings truly resonate with another person. It can also provide deep insight into how another is feeling. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with everyone about everything. We can be empathetic toward someone that we wish would act differently but it allows us to give the willingness to be moved by another person.

I recently visited the Philippines and I never saw so many people that were so genuinely compassionate and empathetic toward others. True kindness. This was nationwide, not just in one small town. I never saw people who had so little, by American standards, be willing to give so much. It was life-changing. It truly moved me. Maybe this is the secret to true happiness…

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

Freshman Academy/STEAM

The STEAM Academy acceptance exam will be conducted on January 22nd and 23rd of January at High School North between 3 PM and 5 PM.  Good luck applicants.

Attendance Matters

Punctuality, Good Attendance will have Positive Impact on Workplace

By Lionel Wijesiri

(Below is a portion of the article collected from the following website:



Rewarding employees who regularly come to work and have good punctuality records can give positive results. Rewarding employees with good attendance/good punctuality tells them that the company appreciates them and it sends a message of disapproval to employees with poor marks.
Rewards for meeting a predetermined attendance mark and punctuality mark can include extra personal days, bonuses or awards.
Conducting a survey of employee satisfaction and making changes accordingly is another idea. If the workplace environment does not cater to the employees, workers will not be as eager to show up.

The management can also ease the burden of work by offering activities that employees can enjoy during breaks. A dartboard or pool table in the break room can lessen work-related stress, making the work environment more enjoyable for employees.

Finally, I believe that all organizations should take a look at their attendance-related policies and make sure they align with pay and performance guidelines. I can’t help but think consistency in this area would have a positive impact on the workplace.

Character Counts

In support of Dr. Martin Luther King Day on the 21st, I made an announcement to all students and staff acknowledging the efforts of Dr. King.  Dr. King sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest.  He was the leader of the civil rights movement and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.  He was assassinated in 1968 for defending his beliefs.  I informed the kids how amazed I am that we live on this isolated planet – on the outskirts of this huge galaxy among hundreds of millions of other galaxies, and as far as we know are the only life forms.  Yet, we still as a human race cannot find a way to simply get along with others.  We continue to discriminate based on the color of our skin, our beliefs, the way we dress, etc., because they do not conform.  I asked our staff to take time today to discuss why being TOLERANT is so important to being a productive member of society and why this an EXPECTATION of our school.  We should demonstrate acts of kindness, treat others with respect, and celebrate diversity – this is the Raider Way and that is what Dr. Martin Luther King taught us through his noble efforts.    

Tips to Improve School Outcomes

What is Critical Thinking?

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

In Summary:

It might be thought that we are overextending our demands on critical thinking in expecting that it can help to construct focused meaning rather than examining the information given and the knowledge we have acquired to see if we can, if necessary, construct a meaning that will be acceptable and useful.

After all, almost no information we have available to us, either externally or internally, carries any guarantee of its life or appropriateness.  Neat step-by-step instructions may provide some sort of trellis on which our basic understanding of critical thinking can blossom but it doesn’t and cannot provide any assurance of certainty, utility or longevity.


College and Career

As I indicated in our Student Involvement Survey, it is very important for students to be actively involved in extracurricular activities to support their college application process.  Colleges are looking for students who are capable of handling rigorous coursework while balancing a healthy lifestyle.  They want students who are well rounded and who can demonstrate leadership qualities.  Remember, students who graduate from their college are reflections of the college, and they want people who will represent the school with pride.  Being involved and holding leadership roles demonstrates the types of behavior that characterizes strong social and life skill development.  You do not need to belong to many clubs or organizations, you just need to be active in the things you are involved with.  Volunteering is also an important component in the application process, as it demonstrates empathy!  


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

Our referendum vote will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.  I hope that you will have the time to make it out to place your vote on this very important agenda.  We will be running a PD workshop for interested staff on Wednesday.  We are holding our monthly Peer Leadership workshop periods 4-7 on Thursday.  I always look forward to these meetings.  We will end the week with our monthly faculty meeting during our Conference-Conference sessions on Friday.  Our PE Department will be holding a presentation all day in the gym for students on the mental health impacts of social media.  Great stuff!


Our 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.