“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 wish everyone a happy Holiday!  I hope you are able to enjoy time away from school/work in a healthy and happy environment.  I am more than aware that it may not be the case for many of us at East, but know that we all are important and have value in this world.  I ask our parents, children, and staff be reminded what it means to be a Raider – a person of character.  I ask that we are always kind to others, as we do not always know what someone may be experiencing.  I have high expectations of everyone at East – to do your best every day and to do it with integrity.  See you in January!

I am going to spend my time enjoying family and friends…and watching movies.  I love Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase.  I will probably watch it a 100 times.  I am heading down to Annapolis to visit my family for a few days and will be looking forward to that.  Mostly, I am glad to have Alyssa home from college and the family together again!  I hope you can enjoy yours as well!

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, and three regional meetings are planned to discuss details of the NJDOE approved plan, school by school. Please come learn about planned facilities projects and ask questions so you are fully informed about what’s at stake for our communities. Each meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8PM in the auditoriums of the following schools:

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.

Busy week at the Home of the Raiders!  We continued to celebrate our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit!  Monday was Scarf Day, Tuesday was Xmas in July, Wednesday was Blizzard Day, Thursday we celebrated Holiday Hat Day and Friday was Red vs Green Day!  I enjoyed observing the spirit throughout the hallways!  

We began our Fall PARCC testing on Tuesday for select students in our Lecture Hall.  I appreciate the efforts of our Guidance Department, particularly Mrs. Monica Santamaria to ensure a proper testing environment.  Thank you to Absolute Chiropractic in Howell, New Jersey for providing our staff with lunch to show appreciation for educators.  Interested staff were provided guidance into healthy lifestyle choices and support.  Our Community Outreach Committee sponsored a presentation by Follett’s Classroom Ready Collections in our PD Room.  Our speaker informed staff members on how the online resources could support respective subject matter curriculum in line with the standards.  Special thanks to Mrs. Diane Harz for cording the PD opportunity.  We continued our administration-teacher classroom swap initiative in the afternoon.  Mrs. Erin Anders filled in for Mrs. Amy Santonastaso’s period 6 English class and I completed her respective duty that day.  Our Teacher of the Year (TOY) and Educational Professional of the Year (EPOY) Committee convened during 8th period to select our 2018-2019 TOY and EPOY staff member.  We will announce the respective winners during our annual parade on the 11th of January.  

On Wednesday, our Raiders Helping Raiders mentoring program held their annual cooking baking activity.  Mentors and mentees worked collaboratively to bake delicious cookies!  It was a huge success.  Thank you to all of our staff members who dedicate their personal time to mentor students in need and to Mr. Doug Trumble for coordinating the event.  

I met with representatives of our Peer Leaders to further our initiative to promote student accountability for personal outcomes in our school.  We discussed methods to empower students to develop intrinsic motivation to improve achievement.  Our goal beginning in January is to utilize our ‘Activity’ periods to teach a respective pillar.  Our staff will provide a lesson on the pillar and will provide methods to infuse in the school setting.  Our Peer Leaders will support student-student interaction during lunch periods and various workshops.  I look forward to beginning the initiative and hope to observe the desired growth!  I attended the Winter Choral Concert in the evening!  Great job to Mrs. Candace Fitzgerald for her wonderful performance (first as an East teacher).  The kids sounded wonderful.  Great job!

On Friday, we held our Kevin’s Corner Professional Development Workshop in our PD Room.  Mr. McCann provided interested staff members on specific techniques to utilize in the classroom setting to promote ideas to improve student engagement.  The activity demonstrated methods to support grouping techniques and critical thinking skills.  Great job Mr. McCann.  Thank you to Thompson Health Care for delivering delicious treats for the staff as they participated in the workshop.  I attended a meeting at Walnut Street to evaluate our recent district CTC Survey.  Our goal is to utilize the specific data to support the variables that may impact educational outcomes within our community.  I will report out on this later in the year.  


Great job to Mrs. Susan DeGoey and our Orchestra for their wonderful performance at the Greenbriar Woodlands Wednesday evening.  Our kids played for a packed house of audience members young and old and put the community in the holiday spirit!  Great job!

Congratulations to Devon Engelhardt  and Rachel Campbell for being selected in the All-South Jersey Honors Band!  I look forward to hearing more about their success throughout the year!

Congratulations to Mr. Kyle Sandberg for being nominated for the Heart of a Giant Award!  Mr. Sandberg was selected for his dedication to student-athlete success.  Mr. Sandberg is a role-model for our kids and am proud he is our coach at East.  Unfortunately for Mr. Sandberg, he is a fan of a team that did not make the playoffs.  But, I am sure there was consolation in being a part of the game on the 16th.  

Congratulations to Christine Vincent!  Christine placed 4th overall in the All-Around gymnastics Sectional Championships!  You made East proud Christine!

Congratulations to Chyenne Roberts for receiving a Raider Excellent Award for her support of our Jingle Bell Run.  Chyenne raised more than $100 to support our goal to promote proper hydration and a healthy mindset!  

Congratulations to Ryan Grieco for being acknowledged as a Respectful Raider.  Ryan was caught holding a door for students as they entered the cafeteria.  Ryan also helped our custodians clean up after lunch period.  Thanks Ryan for being a positive reflection of our school community.  

Congratulations to Mr. Rich Whitmeyer for being named our Employee of the Week.  Mr. Whitmeyer was selected by Mrs. Weinberger for his positive attitude he brings to students and staff each day.  Mr. Whitmeyer works as our Door 4 Security Guard.  He dresses during School Spirit Days, develops personal relationships with students and staff, and genuinely enjoys his job!  Thank you Mr. Whitmeyer for all you do!

Great job to our Wrestling Raiders for their outstanding performance this past week at the Neptune Classic.  Congratulations to Michael Conklin (1st place), Zander Gorlin (2nd place), Joe McCullough (2nd place), Cesar Serrano (4th place), and Eddie Totten (5th place) for their outstanding performances.  Great job to our boys basketball team for kicking the season off on the right foot with a big victory Friday night.  Outstanding performances were noted by Ryan Goodall, Mike Goodall, Riley Engelhard, and Josh Nicol!  Keep up the great work boys and congratulations to Coach Dempsey!  

I would like to acknowledge all of our mentors in our RHR Mentoring group this week as part of our 180 Days of Excellence.  This time of year is always problematic for many of our students.  It makes me sad to hear of all of the various personal obstacles many of our students endure in our community.  I respect the efforts of the children who battle through the adversity in hopes of being educated.  I also respect our staff who are empathetic to our students and give their personal time to support the students.  We have a strong caring school community at East and I am proud to be principal at this school.  We have our problems, but we do our best and are always looking to grow.    

Did You Know?

A goal at East is to increase student participation in extracurricular activities.  We are in the process of evaluating our recent Student Survey data, and will report out soon to support our goal.  Participating in extracurricular activities has numerous benefits, such as:

The more you achieve success through activities you’re passionate about, the more your self-confidence will improve.  For example, let’s say you’re really good at math and your teacher encourages you to get involved in competitions. You join the school team and start training for the national Math Olympiad. During the process you realize how fun math can be and how talented you actually are, which gives your confidence a massive boost. This is exactly what happened to Australian student, Seyoon Ragavan – now he’s studying math at Princeton University in the US!

Working hard and mastering new skills in a fun, relaxed – and sometimes competitive – setting allows you to be successful without the pressure of getting a good grade.  Plus, once your confidence improves, you’ll be more open to taking risks in all aspects of your life, not just in Math Olympiads.

Let’s be honest, making friends can be hard but one of the easiest ways to make friends is, yep you guessed it, through extracurricular activities!  Each extracurricular you engage in provides you with another opportunity to expand your social network, which will also come in handy when you’re looking for a job.

Hello networking!  Plus, if you make friends in your extracurricular activities, you’ll be more likely to get more deeply involved.  For example, if you make a few friends doing community service at school you might decide start a volunteer club together and really make an impact in your community!


Freshmen Academy/STEAM

We are in the process of reviewing the applications submitted for our 2019-2020 STEAM Academy and collecting food for our Freshman Academy Food Drive.  

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

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

Questions parents should ask

If you are concerned about the attendance rate at your school, here are some questions you might ask your principal:

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)

As important as taking responsibility for your own actions is the ability to know when something comes up which you cannot possibly be responsible for. If your company goes under, it’s not your fault (unless of course you single-handedly engineered it to happen), and you’re also not responsible for your irresponsible friends who are always behind on their rent. Put your focus into being responsible for things you can control, and avoid the stress of those you cannot.

You shouldn’t rely on others to remind you of the simple things you could either discover yourself, or you should simply know. Take responsibility and be in control of your life.

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


Tips to Improve School Outcomes

What is Critical Thinking?

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

Critical Thinking is:  A way of thinking about particular things at a particular time; it is not the accumulation of facts and knowledge or something that you can learn once and then use in that form forever, such as the nine times table you learn and use in school.

The Skills We Need for Critical Thinking

The skills that we need in order to be able to think critically are varied and include observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, inference, explanation, problem solving, and decision making.

Specifically we need to be able to:

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:

(continued from last week’s newsletter)

  1. 15 Credit Hours per Semester:

  1. Focus on GPA early and often:

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.

Café Corner!

I am meeting with Food Service Director, Mr. Pete Bratten to discuss our Breakfast initiative.


I have nothing to report this week.        

This Week at East

We will continue our 12 Days of Holiday Spirit this week, culminating with our much anticipated Holiday Pep Rally on the 21st.  Our staff will participate in our Bring Your ‘A’ Game initiative to promote student engagement on a poorly (relative) attended day.  Our Attendance Committee will hold our monthly Hearings to support at-risk student needs.  Our Peer Leaders will provide their monthly activity in our Freshman lunch to promote peer relationships.  Our Special Education Department will hold their annual Holiday Party in the Media Center.  Our I & RS Committee will hold their monthly meeting and our Secret Santa Party will be held after school in the Media Center.  The Band will hold our Holiday Concert Tuesday evening.  Our PE Department is hosting our Jingle Bell Run Wednesday and Thursday to raise funds for our Hydration Stations.  Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald is bringing our Raiders on the Rise Lecture Series back this week with our first speaker of the year, Major Robert Roma.


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.  The last day for a track change is Friday, January 11th.  The registration deadline for the February 9th ACT is 1/11/19.  Register at www.actstudent.org.  Governor's School applications need to be returned to the guidance office by Wednesday, 1/2/19.  The Option II Personal Finance final exam is on January 10th & 11th.  Any Junior or Senior interested in Option 2 Personal Finance for semester 2 must see their guidance counselor for an application. 


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.