Weehawken High School News

April 2019

Grease Wows Weehawken!

For this year's musical the Weehawken Theater Arts Department decided to perform the classic Grease. But rather than the traditional student driven performance involving the WHS ensemble, Director Tammy Jacobs decided to include a few twists!

As one would expect, the WHS Theater Arts Dept compromised the heart of Grease. The student performances were outstanding. The spectators could see from the set pieces, as well as songs, that the students really put the hours in. Some of the numbers were quite difficult, but Ms. Jacobs called in Jacklyn Thompson, a local opera singer and voice coach, and she helped smooth over some of the vocals. But Ms. Thompson was not the only volunteer.

Weehakwen alums, Giovanni and Dena Calabrese were a huge contributors to the performance. The proprietors of Themendous, which has done work for Google, Madonna, and the New Jersey Devils, gave not only their time, their expertise, their shop, but they also lent their parents! In the wee hours before the performance, Dena, and her mother were sewing poodle skirts, side by side with Board of Ed member Meg Carson and our student costume designers. Chris Devaney and Adrian Castelleanos, also WHS alumni, gave many hours to work the sound and lighting which also enhanced production. But there was still more.

Teacher cameos highlighted by V.P. Nick DeStefano and staff members Adam Parkinson, Tom Montalbano, Jake McNish, and Rosemery Veras brought down the house! But the biggest round of applause was the surprise appearance of Daniel Webster 1st and 2nd graders as they did the famous Hand Jive dance next to the WHS cast. The fans exploded with delight.

All in all it was an amazing experience. Many of the patrons lauded the blending of school and community, as well as the dedication of the staff and students to put on a great show.

A Harry Moore Visit Huge Success

Over the years Weehawken High School has done student exchanges with other public high schools. Cherokee, Shawnee, and Pompton Lakes were all involved in these growth programs. This year WHS decided to try something new. In January the school sent a select group of students to A. Harry Moore, a private school for the physically handicapped in Jersey City. While there, the WHS students were able to interact with over 100 students from various parts of the county, with a wide range of extremely disabling conditions, such as Spina Bifida, a fracture of spinal vertebrae allowing the spinal cord to be exposed leading to partial or complete paralysis, and osteogenesis imperfecta, a condition where the person's bones are extremely brittle and break very easily. It was an incredible learning experience for those students. In March, WHS invited the A. Harry students for a return visit, and the result was nothing short of spectacular.

The A. Harry students were able to engage with their WHS escorts, and students in Art, Robotics, Theater and other classes as they had the run of the building. For many of these young ladies and men, it was their first time ever in public school. And what a great time they had. Whether it was dressing and painting in art, or chowing down in the cafeteria, the students all had an amazing experience.

The highlight, by far, was the presentation of special PROPS awards and WHS swag to all of the students during the end of the month assembly. The student roll call was as loud as the auditorium has been, as the WHS students chanted the names of their A. Harry counterparts. Many WHS students were moved to tears by the display of grace and gratitude from both schools. At the conclusion of the event, over two dozen students approached Mr. Ferullo and requested regular exchanges with A. Harry Moore! This was truly one of those moments in education that you never forget!

WHS Ranked #50 in NJ

For the second consecutive year, Weehawken High School was ranked in the #50 top high school in New Jersey by US News and World Report, an outstanding achievement. WHS has consistently been in the top 100 for the last 10 years, but has maintained the top 50 mark consecutively. In addition, Weehawken was ranked # 1656 in the nation which is roughly the top 10% of all public high schools.

A four-step process determined the Best High Schools. The first three steps ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on the math and reading parts of their state proficiency tests and graduation rates as benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first three steps, a fourth step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.

• Step 1: The first step determined whether each school's students were performing better than statistically expected for students in that state.

• Step 2: For schools passing the first step, Step 2 assessed whether their historically underserved students – black, Hispanic and low-income – performed at or better than the state average for historically underserved students.

• Step 3: For schools passing the first two steps, Step 3 required schools to meet or surpass a benchmark for their graduation rate.

• Step 4: Schools that made it through the first three steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness performance – using Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test data as the benchmark for success

Schools Come Together at District Concert

Weehawken has always prided itself on it's Marching Band. The Band is a two time National Championship winner, and gets plenty of recognition for its' hard work. But TRS and DWS also have very hard working staff and students. Thus, the All-District Concert was born, a collaboration of the efforts of all the teachers and their industrious students. So on April 11, at Weehawken High School, the schools came together to put on a show for the community.

WHS Jazz and Concert bands showcased their advanced talents. The Jazz Band played "The Girl from Ipanema", and "Green Onions", while the Concert Band performed "Hadrian's Wall". Led by teachers Rebecca Andrews and Ryan Gorman, the groups showed off their skills. These groups have been around for years, and their performance was evident. The high school has expanded to include a 7th and 8th grade band, which did an excellent job with "Prehistoric Suite", and the HS Treble Chorus, under the direction of Donna Hochauser, who performed "Girl Power". While the Weehawken Strings performed "The Avengers Theme". The expansion of the program has led to 7th grade strings sextet who performed "Twelve Duos".

Sandwiched between the various HS groups,was the TRS bell choir, and 5th and 6th grade strings. All under the direction of Mr. Gorman, these boys and girls lay the foundation for the high school music department. The improvement has been so great there is now a 6th grade band! Their performance of "The Theme from Jurassic Park" shows the direction WHS is going. The bell choir performed "Simple Gifts", while the 5th and 6th grade strings performed "A Beethoven Lullaby", and "Any Way You Want" respectively, and the chorus, again led by Donna Hochauser, sang "Swinging on a Star". The bell choir opened with a great rendition of "Simple Gifts".

Always the highlight of the show is the little ones, the DWS chorus, led by Piero Romano. Their rendition of "My Favorite Things" and "Do Re Mi" were heartwarming. These young boys and girls practiced hours for their big night, and what a show they put on. The night was an excellent showcase of the current, as well as, upcoming talent in Weehawken.

Planet Fitness Teen Challenge


Planet Fitness invites high school teens ages 15-18 to work out for free at any of its more than 1,700 locations in the United States all summer long!

New research shows 91% of teens want to stay active over the summer. Among those who work out, a majority believe exercise positively impacts their mental health (72%) and focus on schoolwork (62%). That's why Planet Fitness - known as the Judgement Free Zone® - is offering teens a safe place where they can get their sweat on in a healthy way.

All teens who sign up are entered into Planet Fitness' Scholarship Sweepstakes! 51 lucky teens across 50 states and Washington, D.C. will be randomly selected to receive a scholarship toward academic or athletics, including a $5,000 grand prize**.


Please note, teens under 18 must sign up in a club with a parent or guardian.

Nationally Ranked McNair Edges WHS in Math League

WHS is a very diverse school known for not only academics, but theater arts and many athletic teams. One program that does not get the credit it should, is the Math League team. Every month the team is posed a series of difficult mathematics questions. The team of 20 plus students individually answer the questions. At the conclusion of the time period, a group score is compiled and then the results are tabulated and compared to other schools in Hudson County.

For the first time in recent memory WHS finished the 2018/2019 competition year in second place in the County! The lone school to top WHS was nationally recognized, McNair Academy. The Jersey City powerhouse edged out Weehawken by only two points! McNair is a public high school, however they are a strict academy that takes the very best students in Jersey City, a pool of students numbering in the tens of thousands! Quite the advantage over the 300 in WHS. Weehawken also finished four points ahead of third place High Tech, another school that allows select students admission from a massive pool.

This was a fantastic effort led by team advisor is Ed Larsen, and a amazing group of academics including Seniors Zheng Li, Christian Jansen, junior Misha Nair and Sophmore Hana Huber.


On the Horizon

5/3 Trep$ Market Grade 8

5/4 SAT at WHS

5/8 Senior Take-Over

5/15 PTO meeting 7:00

5/6-17 AP Exams

5/16 MP 4 Progress Reports Due

5/21 NHS Induction / Academic Awards

5/23 WHS Prom

5/24 Career Day 9-11am

5/27 Memorial Day - Schools Closed

5/28-6/4 WHS NJ State Testing

Athletics Calendar