“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 attended a district principal meeting on Tuesday.  We discussed the referendum and outcomes of the parent meetings.  We also discussed technology, New Jersey Student Learning Assessments for Math and English (no longer called PARCC), and various other district initiatives.  I met with Student Council Representatives during period 7 to discuss points of interest from our student body.  Great job kids!  Our School Improvement Committee convened after school and we put in place our format for moving school-wide pillars forward for the remainder of the year.  We are going to introduce an Activity Period every month and will ask all staff to participate in the respective lesson.  We are looking to make them more student-driven.  Students will be asked to apply the concepts in service learning projects over the month.  We will seek support from our clubs and organizations to reinforce the concepts in their respective settings.  Our Peer Leaders will be providing lunch talks with kids to support the development of life skills and we are looking to provide that type of support to our parents through workshops to reinforce in the home.  We held our PTO meeting in the evening.  I discussed school topics and presented on the referendum.  The group concluded the meeting discussing our next fundraiser.

We held one of our Kevin’s Corner Workshops on Wednesday in our Jersey Mike’s PD Room.  Interested staff members evaluated their assessments and were provided with tips to make them more rigorous.  

Ms. Kelly Fitzgerald held our Raiders on the Rise Lecture Series in the Lecture Hall on Thursday.  Four High School East alumni visited the school to talk to seniors about their own personal experiences and how they have adjusted to college. Nicole Cocco, Meghan Herr, Grace Denisco, and Shea Holland shared their perspectives on being a college freshman and gave students ideas how they can start to prepare for life after graduation.  Wonderful job girls!

We celebrated our 2018-2019 Educational Professional of the Year and our Teacher of the Year during our annual parade Friday morning.  I made an announcement and spoke about the staff member as the Band paraded to the staff member’s location.  We presented gifts and acknowledged the respective staff for their wonderful impacts on our students and school.  We invited their families to attend and participate in the parade.  I would like to congratulate Mrs. Diane Harz for being named as our Educational Professional of the Year.  Mrs. Harz has spent approximately 13 years in Education, but 6 at East as our Media Specialist.  Mrs. Harz is an instrumental part of several of our school growth committees, PTO liaison, and the energy behind the improved culture and climate of our Media Center.  I am so very thankful for Mrs. Harz and all she brings to our school in support of student success.  I would like to acknowledge Mrs. Liz Rodriguez as our Teacher of the Year.  Mrs. Rodriguez has been a part of our East family for the past 10 years as our Spanish and Spanish Heritage teacher.  She runs our Spanish Heritage Club and is the catalyst to breaking down cultural barriers within our Hispanic student population.  I appreciate Mrs. Rodriguez’s commitment, creativity, and passion to support student growth.  She truly cares about others – she loves children and her subject matter.  We are fortunate to have her in this building!  Thank you Mrs. Harz and Mrs. Rodriguez for being positive reflections of our school community!

Staff members selected students as part of our Driven to Excellence program Friday morning.  Students who demonstrate positive school attendance, commitment to individual success, positive school behavior, and/or academic achievement were recognized.  We selected approximately 28 students from the nominated students to participate in the end-of-year ceremony at the RWJBarnabas Arena.  

I would like to acknowledge Mrs. Kristen Mason as part of our 180 Days of Excellence for her efforts to coordinate our Raiders Helping Raiders fundraiser at Chili’s on the 16th between 4 PM and 11 PM.  Please come out to support the event as the money we raise will be used to support the important program activities.  I am so very proud of this program and the success we have had making personal connections to students who are deemed at-risk.  The program is a source of pride at East as we do try to support all of our children to the best of our abilities.  Great job Mrs. Mason.

Congratulations to Courtney Pobol, Victoria Wiley and Adaym Corbet for being selected as our monthly perfect attendance winners for December!  All three students have demonstrated their commitment to their personal success by prioritizing being in school every day!  Great job to Theodore Geriach for being acknowledged for perfect attendance for the year to date!  All four students received WaWa gift cards.  Congratulations to Mr. Jon Knight for winning the Homeroom with the best overall attendance for the month of December!  Mr. Knight’s students will receive a bagel and donut breakfast.  

Congratulations Mrs. Terry Bowcock to for being selected as our Employee of the Week.  Mrs. Bowcock was selected by Mrs. Michele Carter for her dedication and commitment to the environmental setting of our school.  Mrs. Bowcock is one of our day custodians.  She is someone who is always kind to others and helpful to those in need.  We appreciate everything about Mrs. Bowcock and feel she is a proud reflection of our school community!

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

Do you ever sit in awe of watching a master of their craft? How about Roger Federer, calmly, almost effortlessly navigating his way through a tournament, never wavering during the emotional highs and lows of a match, sticking closely to his routine in between sets? Or Rich Froning during a CrossFit competition, seeming almost to be on auto-pilot as he shifts from one movement to the next? Or as we recently saw at the Rio Olympics, the focus and concentration of Michael Phelps, knowing he can only control the water just in front of him and nothing else? The examples in the realm of athletics are endless but the same lessons can be applied to any career or aspect of life.)

The Importance of a Healthy Mind

While it is amazing that the importance of physical fitness and proper nutrition is being publicized seemingly more than ever before, we often lose sight of other very critical aspects of health. Our mental wellbeing is just as important as, if not more important than, our physical wellness. These world-class athletes mentioned above are experts at managing stress and energy. How they prepare for and how they act during competition is not random. It is by design and without this remarkably honed skill, they would not be as accomplished as they are.

However, we need not manage our stress properly to simply achieve some amazing athletic feat. We need to understand the impact on our health and the health of those closest to us that chronic stress can have. It is widely believed that the impact of stress — especially chronic stress — on the human body greatly increases the risk of developing a variety of diseases such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, hypertension, heart disease, migraine headaches, strokes and ulcers (1).

Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the interaction of the mind, nervous system and immune system and their impact on our overall health. Stressors begin in the mind and our inability to cope with these perceived or real (or imagined to be real) threats can trigger a series of physiological responses and adaptations (1). In simple terms, if we are constantly worrying, constantly under pressure (whether self-administered or not) and are unable to channel these emotions accordingly, our bodies are spending way too much time dealing with this rather than our normal bodily functions — cue illness.

So whether you are in tie-breakers in the finals at Wimbledon, a lawyer about to give your opening statement or a dad trying to feed one child and change the other, maintaining a clear mind and channeling your stress appropriately is the way to ensure that these tasks are successfully completed. The next few paragraphs will provide some tips and insights on how to keep your stress in check and your head clear.

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

Freshmen 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:


Now, let us go to the problem of employee absenteeism. While punishing employees for missing work days might decrease the problem somewhat, it doesn’t deal with underlying causes and might even worsen the problem. For example, if a worker having flu doesn’t stay home, other workers can get sick.

The managers should work with their human resources department or a professional consultant to determine a reasonable level of attendance considering the industry they are in. Only once you have a thorough understanding of the situation, the managers should take whatever steps they can to improve employee attendance.

A company can succeed only if employees perform their duties, but that is impossible if certain employees regularly refuse to show up to work. A lack of employee attendance can cause productivity to slip, backorders to pile up and other employees to begin taking days off.

To curb poor attendance, the company management must look at the workplace environment and the needs of employees and make necessary adjustments.

(I will provide further information from the article in next week’s newsletter)

Character Counts

Being Responsible: Makes Your Life Better


(continued from last week’s newsletter)

It takes time to earn trust, so do your best at work, school, in your sports team, or in your job to prove your ability to be responsible. Only then will you be given a chance for more.

Responsibility isn’t something that each of us is entitled to, you need to first act responsible and earn the right. If a teacher, or a manager is hesitant at giving you more responsibility think about why this may be the case. Have you been flippant with the responsibility already assigned to you? It doesn’t matter how stupid/boring/dumb you believe your current responsibilities to be, saying you’ll take a new (and more challenging task) more seriously while neglecting what you currently are responsible for is a key characteristic of an irresponsible person.

Take all of this advice on board and learn to be more responsible for your own life today. It will help you get places!

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)

The Benefit of Foresight

Perhaps the most important element of thinking critically is foresight.

Almost all decisions we make and implement don’t prove disastrous if we find reasons to abandon them. However, our decision making will be infinitely better and more likely to lead to success if, when we reach a tentative conclusion, we pause and consider the impact on the people and activities around us.

The elements needing consideration are generally numerous and varied. In many cases, consideration of one element from a different perspective will reveal potential dangers in pursuing our decision.

For instance, moving a business activity to a new location may improve potential output considerably but it may also lead to the loss of skilled workers if the distance moved is too great. Which of these is the more important consideration? Is there some way of lessening the conflict?

These are the sort of problems that may arise from incomplete critical thinking, a demonstration perhaps of the critical importance of good critical thinking.

I will provide further information from the following link in next week’s newsletter:  

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


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

We are holding a Kevin’s Corner professional development workshop on the 15th to continue our discussion on rigorous assessments.  Our Raiders on the Rise Lecture Series is hosting Ms. Kathy Curto on Tuesday.  Ms. Curto graduated from Toms River High School East in 1986.  Kathy 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.  Kathy Curto 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.  She 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.  Kathy will be sharing with our students about her path from a HSE student to her present point in her life being a published author.  I will be speaking to our staff about the January 22, 2019 referendum throughout the day on Wednesday in our PD Room.  We will be offering an information session on the results of our school-wide student and staff involvement survey.  We will discuss with our staff ideas to improve and already impressive participation rate.  Representatives from Hovnanian will be on site Friday to inspect our new Human Anatomy Lab, which was funded by the organization!  



8th grade parent night (Class of 2023) is on Tuesday, January 29th @ 6pm in the HS East Student Center.  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.  PSAT scores reports will be distributed to the 9th and 10th graders by the English teachers.  The registration deadline for the March 9th SAT is 2/8/19.  Register at www.collegeboard.org.  Juniors and Seniors interested in taking the Accuplacer on February 25th must sign up in Guidance.  The BlueClaws is hosting a job fair on Saturday, 1/19/19, from 9am-2pm. Must be at least 16 yrs old.  The OCVTS Open House is on Thursday, 2/7/19 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Visit www.ocvts.org 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!

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.