Chief's Report


Mr. Lester

We have had a tremendous month of October!!! As the leaves changes to the beautiful oranges and yellows signifying that FALL is upon us, great things have been transpiring within the hallowed walls of PHS. We opened the month with the Week of Respect as well as Spirit Week. I am pleased to announce that for the first time since I have been commander-in- chief of the EMPIRE, the freshmen class dominated Spirit Week. AWESOME work young people.

Also, for the first time we had 11 students receive commendations in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship program (see picture below). Andrew Bui, Nicholas Chen, Evan Dickinson, Regina Garcia, Sailesh Gudipati, Nikhil Kundu, Lorenzo Nieto, Khushi Patel, Julian Rodriguez, Annie Wang, and Barbara Wu. A fine group of young people focused on making sure that PHS stays on the path of ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE!!!

As we continue to promote and strengthen our commitment to diversity understanding throughout our school, various agencies within the county and state have taken notice of the GREAT work that our students are engaged in. Our relationship with the United States Department of Justice continues to expand our horizons through effective communication, collaboration, and youth leadership development.

Please read on to find out about events like Haunted High, band appreciation, NFL Players VS. PHS All-Stars DREAM for KIDS basketball Extravaganza.

Strength & Honor

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PHS New Law Academy

On October 25th, Piscataway High School's new Law Academy kicked off their speaker series: Just Voices with representatives from the New Jersey State Police visiting the combined history and English classroom. The goal of the series is to expose the students to various professional avenues in the field of law and justice through the presenters' in-depth personal journeys or knowledge. Sergeant Brian Walsh, Trooper Lance Lamberth, and Trooper Anthony Vasquez spoke about their educational experiences, motivations for becoming troopers, academy training, and responsibilities of a trooper. Students peppered the troopers with thoughtful and timely questions about policing, community relations and the legal system, leading to the troopers and students engaging in a spirited and constructive exchange. Teachers Judith Cruz-Walsh and Cindy Rauch were pleased with the strong start to the series and look forward to the students' upcoming exposure, which includes presentations from an immigration attorney, an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Rutgers Street Law program.

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PHS Teen Writers Guild

The Piscataway High School English department hosted its first school-based meeting of the Teen Writers Guild where students of the guild got to sit down with author Judith Kristen to review their work. One guild writer, Jordan, explains that, “during these meetings, we are pushed to unabashedly show the Guild our work as well as to share our ideas with pride and confidence. This was a struggle for me when I first became a member, however, I have since learned the significance of being proud of your creations before anyone else has seen them and loving them enough to desire the criticism that will take them to the next level.” These students are busy at work producing the 2nd anthology of the PHS Teen Writers Guild and their original work is due to be published in May of 2020.

Vocabulary Bowl Rankings

Our students are leading the way in New Jersey in word mastery helping them become better communicators and better readers. The September 2019 results of the Vocabulary Bowl have just been released, and here are the results for New Jersey. Let's keep up the good work Piscataway!!!

New Jersey Leaders for September 2019

· 1 Piscataway Township High School Piscataway

· 2 Cliffside Park High School Cliffside Pk

· 3 Immaculate Heart Academy Twp Washinton

Week of Respect

The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (P.L.2010, c.122) requires that the week beginning with the first Monday in October of each year (October 7-11 in 2019) be designated as the Week of Respect in New Jersey. We had 14 students start off the week with assemblies explaining the history of Week of Respect. The students will take a moment of silence recognizing victims of bullying during the assemblies. At the end of the assembly Andrea Day's song "Rise Up" was played and the audience was encouraged to sing along.

Thank you Ms. Rogers and to the following students Judith Alegun, Tania Bodley, Dominique DeCohen, Tori Fisher, Loryn Fitch, Ronni Garrett, Camille Headad, Gianni Heckstall, Oluwasefunmi Ibitoye, Berinyuy Kihdze, Robert Konya, Iyana McEachern, Justin Mendez, Adam Moskowitz, Kaitlin Napoli, Juliet Pastras, Chahna Patel, Kareena Patel, Dhrumi Raval, Katarina Rodriguez, Rithvik Sukumaran, Krish Vaidya, Cassandra Vaz, and Justin Wyatt for all your hard work during Respect Week.

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Congratulations Superchief Marching Band

Congratulations on an amazing end to the Superchief Marching Band Competitive Season! First Place, Best Visual, and Best Overall Effect wins at the East Brunswick festival are so well deserved! It has been an awesome season and the students have consistently performed so well. These wins are awesome – but even more, it has been amazing to see the students grow as a family, as musicians, and to build such a beautiful supportive community. All of this is a result of the culture and atmosphere of team work that you have built. Thank you for sharing your artistry with our students and for promoting musical excellence and to the full Marching Band staff!

Dr. Sumner, your contributions, leadership, and musicianship are the legacy of the Superchief Marching Band. Thank you for the countless hours of hard work and dedication you have poured into this ensemble. You have inspired so many students and touched so many lives – and while we look forward to the amazing future of your work with the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Pit Orchestra – you will be missed with the Marching Band. It’s awesome to end the season with a first place win! Thank you for everything. We are all so grateful.

All State Choir | PHS | Megan Suozzo

The PHS Choir hosted the NJ All State Mixed and Treble Choirs! These ensembles feature the best singers across the state. Both groups rehearsed at PHS with the support of Megan Suozzo and the Choir Parents Association. Thanks to everyone for a great day of beautiful music!

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Pway Arts at Football | PHS | Megan Suozzo, Jessica Taylor, Christopher Sumner, Ken Zampella

Our PHS Arts programs were out in full force at our football games! Thanks to the Concert Choir, under the direction of Megan Suozzo, the Chiefs Dance Team, under the direction of Jessica Taylor, and the Superchief Marching band, under the direction of Christopher Sumner and Ken Zampella!

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PHS Choir Retreat | PHS | Megan Suozzo

The PHS Honors Ensembles (Chorale and Bella Voce) attended their annual choir retreat at Camp Bernie to build community, rehearse, and spend quality time together in nature. The students had an amazing time and the camp staff complimented the group on their strong teamwork and kindness toward each other. Thank you to Megan Suozzo and all of the parent chaperones that made this trip such a beautiful experience for the students.

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Piscataway Choral Collective | Rebekah Sterlacci & Megan Suozzo

The Piscataway Choral Collective launched its second season on October 1st! This is a community choir for adults in the Piscataway community. It is free to the public! Come join us at 8pm in the PHS Choir Room! We meet twice a month. See the schedule below!

Piscataway Choral Collective

A community choir for adults in the Piscataway community. We meet twice a month in the Piscataway High School choir room. No experience necessary! Share your voice with us!

2019-2020 Rehearsal Schedule

Oct. 1 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Oct. 15 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Nov. 5 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Nov. 19 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Dec. 3 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Dec. 17 Pot Luck Dinner PHS Choir Room 7:00pm/ Rehearsal 8:00-9:00pm

Jan. 7 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Jan. 21Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Feb. 4 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

Feb. 18 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

March 10 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

March 24 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

April 7 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

April 21 Rehearsal PHS Choir Room 8:00-9:00pm

April 25 Dress Rehearsal PHS PAC 1:00pm/Spring Concert PHS PAC 3:00pm

Arts in Education Week/District Visual and Performing Arts

We celebrated Arts in Education Week and shared our own "Because of Arts Ed" stories with our community and on social media!
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42nd Annual Superchief Band Festival | Christopher Sumner & Ken Zampella

The PHS Superchief Marching Band hosted the 42nd Annual Superchief Band Festival! This festival hosts Marching Bands from NJ and beyond in a competition sponsored by US Bands. The festival concluded with the debut of the PHS Superchiefs’ 2019 show “Haunted” and a performance by the Rutgers University Marching Band! Special thank you to the festival committee (Alexandra Lopez, Robin Gwathney, Anne Malone, and Rebekah Sterlacci), and to Chris Sumner and Ken Zampella. The festival would not be possible without the support of so many volunteers (band parents, athletic boosters, teachers, and administrators)! Thanks to everyone for a very successful event!!

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PWAY Sean Hanna 5k

The Sean Hanna Run is an annual race that is held at Duke Island Park to honor the passing of a former Piscataway High School graduate, Sean Hanna. The funds raised by the race are donated to the Sean Hanna Foundation, which assists families and individuals who are battling pediatric cancer. Piscataway Field Hockey team has been participating and/or donating to the Sean Hanna run for the past 10 years. This year, many Piscataway Field Hockey players placed in the 5K. Those players were Shamaila Sarwar, Beri Kihdze, Devika Franzia, Kenji Orosco, Callista Valentin, and Mizha Bulahan. Way to go Chiefs!

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Sport Highlights for October

  • JV Boys Soccer Team won the GMC tournament by beating South River on penalty kicks 7-5. Goalie Kyle Weidmann was the man of the match saving 4 penalties in the penalty shootout. This is the JV teams 3rd consecutive county championship.

  • Boys and girls varsity advance to second round of state tournament vs Westfield.

  • Congratulations to Cassidy Page, Emily Satnowski, Emily Terrana, Elizabeth Farlow, Anika Raj, Brooke Singson, Skylar Tortajada, Enobong George who earned medals at the GMC Cross Country Championship race on Saturday, October 26th.

FBLA hosted the Annual North-Central/Central Regional Summit

On Friday October 18th, the Piscataway High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) hosted the annual North-Central/Central Regional Summit at Piscataway High School.

Aditya Reddy, a PHS junior who is Vice President of the PHS chapter of FBLA, is also North-Central Region Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter of FBLA. He and Maddy Benowitz of Robbinsville High School and Central Region Vice President planned the event with PHS FBLA members and advisors providing support at the PHS Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Over 100 FBLA members and advisors from several Central Jersey chapters attended for networking, workshops, planning, and to hear an inspirational address from Michael Yaroshefsky, former FBLA National President, graduate of Princeton and Harvard Universities, and Founder & CEO of RocketVisor, on leadership, risk-taking, entrepreneurship, resiliance, and life in general.

For more information, contact Greg Michaels ( or Sarah Coppola (, PHS FBLA co-advisors.

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NJ FBLA State Fall Leadership Conference

On Monday, October 28th, ten officers of the Piscataway High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) attended the annual NJ FBLA State Fall Leadership Conference which was hosted at Kean University. PHS is honored to have not one but two NJ State Officers this year: Sailesh Gudipati (senior), State Secretary, and Aditya Reddy (junior), North-Central Region Vice President. As State Officers, they were each tasked with managing a workshop as well as working with the rest of the State Officer team to plan and run the event, which was attended by almost 400 local chapter officers and advisors from all over New Jersey.

After an engaging, hour-long address and Q&A session with Mr. Steve Fastook, Senior Vice President of CNBC, attendees joined one of several workshops including Networking & Social Media, Starting a Middle Level Chapter, Junior Achievement Opportunities, Community Service, High School to College, and Officer Development.

As this is the first year the event was held at Kean University, attending high school students got to see first-hand what a college campus looks and feels like, including the challenges of making the commute to Kean during rush hour.

For more information, contact Greg Michaels ( or Sarah Coppola (, PHS FBLA co-advisors.

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The FBLA hosted Haunted High School

On Friday October 25th, the Piscataway High School chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) hosted their annual Haunted High School for the Piscataway community.

Several PHS extracurricular organizations worked together to create different Halloween-themed rooms for younger students and their families. Highlights included Candy Land by PHS FBLA, Escape Room by International Culture Club Association (ICCA), Monsters Inc. by the National Honor Society (NHS), and a truly scary haunted house by AFJROTC. Other groups that participated included Key Club, DECA, Med Club, Chinese Club, Book Club, Drama Club, Fashion Club, JSA, GSA, and Robotics, who entertained hundreds in the Respect Hallway with their robots.

Visiting children and their families had a great time while helping to raise almost $300 for March of Dimes, whose mission is to combat prematurity and help more mothers have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

For more information, contact Greg Michaels ( or Sarah Coppola (, PHS FBLA co-advisors.

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PHS Diversity Council Team

On Thursday, October 24th and Tuesday, October 29th, the PHS Diversity Council Team largely made up of seniors and juniors with a few sophomores conducted workshops for our school community to promote better understanding among ALL groups at PHS. The Diversity Council spent 4 hours last month being trained by Linda Ortiz, a Conciliation Specialist from the US Dept of Justice. I must say these students represented the best of what Piscataway High School student leadership is all about.

The United States Department of Justice: Community Relations Service (CRS) division is the only federal agency dedicated to working with community groups to resolve community conflicts and prevent and respond to alleged hate crimes arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. CRS provides facilitation, mediation, training, and consultation services that improve communities’ abilities to problem solve and build capacity to prevent and respond to conflict, tension, and hate crimes based on race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability

Congratulations Srihari Yamunan

Congratulations, Srihari Yamunan! The National Society of High School Scholars who partners with Stockholm University has selected Srihari to participate in Nobel Week in December. This prestigious event will take place December 5th through December 10, 2019.
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NJSIAA 2019 Senior Leadership Summit

Dana Ogilvie was nominated by our coaches as an athlete that represents leadership qualities and a great ambassador for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Senior Leadership Summit for 2019. Mr. Harmer and Dana attended this great event on October 7th, 2019 at the Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village in Princeton, New Jersey. Congratulations Dana!
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Dream for Kids Team Players

Brandon Bing - NFL

Chad Plummer - NFL

J'vonne Parker - NFL

Horace Jenkins - NBA

Darian Barnes - NFL

Kareem Huggins - NFL

Michael Campbell - NFL

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The PTSO and Dream for Kids

The PTSO and Dream for Kids hosted a basketball fundraiser game on October 26th. This event was a great family fun night where we had a few NFL players take the court and play our All-Star students, teachers and community members. The Susan B. Anthony Gym was filled with high intensity and excited for all who attended.

Take a peek at PHS Spooktacular Costumes for 2019

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November 5 Election Day/Teacher In-service (No school for students)

November 7 NJEA Convention - School closed

November 8 NJEA Convention - School closed

November 12 End of Marking Period 1

November 14 ICCA Volleyball Tournament 2:00-5:00pm Patton Gym

November 14 PHS Fall Play 7:00pm in the PAC

November 15 PHS Fall Play 7:00pm in the PAC

November 16 PHS Fall Play PHS Fall Play 7:00pm in the PAC

November 20 Early Dismissal (evening conferences)

November 21 Early Dismissal (evening conferences)

November 22 Early Dismissal (daytime conferences)

November 27 Early Dismissal

November 28 Thanksgiving Holiday

November 29 Thanksgiving Holiday