Toms River High School East

Newsletter - February 14, 2022

Dear Families,

How was your weekend? I really disconnected this weekend and spent time relaxing. I watched the game yesterday and was not surprised the Rams won. I was hoping for the Bengals but I think the Ram defense was a little too much to handle. Congratulations to Ram fans out there! I watched Old Henry and thought it was a good western film. The acting was good and the story kept my attention throughout the movie. I think I'm over with this whole snow thing and am ready for the warmer weather! Looking forward to our spring sports in a few weeks!

We had another busy week at the Home of the Raiders. Our parents supported college and career readiness talks, our Freshmen Academy participated in resume building workshops, our Climate Committee continued to find ways to promote a healthy workplace environment, our Leaders Committee worked on supporting goal setting strategies, our School Improvement Club met to begin the process of refining our physical environment to reflect our school values, and we continued to celebrate Black History Month and the Month of Love!

Parents - Need Your Help!

We are providing an opportunity for our parents to share out on their respective career at our February 23, 2022 Career Talks. We were hoping to get at least one parent for each period of the day to give a very informal talk (question and answer format) to a small group of students. If you are interested, please email me at or Diane Harz at Here is the link providing specific details:

Black History Month

Members of our Black Culture Club acknowledged several Black Americans who made significant contributions to our country this week. We recognized Percy L. Julian, Sarah Breedlove Walker, Shirley Chisholm, Baynard Rustin, and Claudette Colvin. Click on their name to learn more about them!

Month of Love

Congratulations to staff members, Mrs. Amanda Gregorek, Mr. Brian Strohmetz, Mrs. Katie Koenigstein, Mrs. Diane Harz, and Mrs. Lucia Doulong as well as students, Muzammil Kamal, Steven Scorsone, Alexa Spalletta, Chris Mata, and Lauren Schober for winning this week's Month of Love prizes! Thank you to all of our donors for your generosity to recognize our students and staff!

School Improvement Club

Students across all grade levels attended our first School Improvement Club meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. We discussed the importance of empowering our students to assume leadership positions within the school community. We discussed school values and how they are depicted in our hallways, stairwells, cafeteria, gymnasium, classrooms and offices. We agreed to promote a common message of inclusivity, high expectations, college and careers, pro-social behavior, and school pride. We will meet in two weeks and begin addressing various hallways to ensure our message is clear within the school boundaries.

Freshmen Academy

Freshman Lunch Academies this week at HS East. Freshmen students are working with the HS East Principal Ambassadors to create resumes. Assistant Principal Mrs. Hines, and Ambassador Advisor Mrs. Daniel put together a guide to support students in writing resumes and building career skills.

State Testing Days

Please see the respective testing dates for HSE:

1) March 14th - 17th: NJSGPA ELA & Math - All 11th graders

2) May 2nd - 13th : AP Exams

3) May 12th & 13th: NJSGPA Science - All 11th graders

4) May 16th - 19th: NJSLA ELA & Math - All 9th graders

5) May 24th: ASVAB - select 11th graders

* All make-up testing will follow the days after the originally scheduled dates.

Employee of the Week

Congratulations to Mrs. Rose Porzio for being recognized as our Employee of the Week. Mrs. Porzio is our athletic secretary. She schedules games, coordinates practices, and deals with the multitude of demands of running high school athletics. Thank you Mrs. Porzio for going above and beyond.

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Leadership Committee

Mrs. Jennifer Fazzini and Mrs. Katie Koenigstein coordinated our Leadership Committee's activity this month. After students gathered their breakfast, they were divided into teams. Each team was tasked with developing several relevant and meaningful strategies to support our school goals highlighted in last month's Activity Day. The newly developed strategies will be shared with students and staff as they work on defining their individualized plan on Friday, February 18, 2022. While the teams worked on the activity, our teacher leaders and I posted our Club QR Codes in the cafeteria to promote student involvement in extracurricular activities. Please continue to reinforce with your child the importance of engaging in school activities!

Seniors of the Month

The Female February Senior of the Month is a leader in the school community. She is the President of the Principal Ambassador Program, Copy Editor, Social Media Coordinator and the main coordinator for the Peer Leadership Program. She has a rigorous academic program and has earned herself a spot in the top 20 of her senior class.She is described by her teachers as extremely intelligent, highly motivated and self determined! She is also a member of the National Honor Society where she is the Social Media Director. This young lady is the model student who comes to class each and every day with her notebook out, homework complete and eager to participate. Her dedication, work ethic and positive attitude embodies the true representation of Raider Excellence! Congratulations to Alexandria Kisseberth!

The Male February Senior of the Month is a student of scholastic excellence and integrity. He was described by his teachers as mature, motivated, thoughtful and reliable. He is a student that leads by example and is often seen assisting other students when in need. Although typically quiet in demeanor he is consistently seen as a leader in the classroom. He is a member of the Chess Team, Soccer Team and a member of the Technology Student Association. He is a STEAM Academy student who wishes to pursue a career in the medical field as a nurse. Congratulations to our Male Senior of the Month, Christopher Mata!

Parents Supporting Career Connections

I would like thank Mrs. Tara Cunningham for her support to share out on interviewing skills and tips for our students this past week. Mrs. Cunningham has over 20 years in the disability sector focused on inclusive employment. Mrs. Cunningham has worked with Bloomberg, Salesforce, Goldman Sachs, TDBank, Deloitte, PwC, P&G, IPG Mediabrands / Kinesso, AT&T, BNY Mellon, Boeing, and MITRE. When living in Ireland, she was appointed by Ireland’s Prime Minister to the National Disability Authority to help with laws and policies, represented Ireland in the European Commission for Healthcare Innovation, was the Irish Representative at the White House. In the US, Mrs. Cunningham Co-Founded the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU School of Law and is a contributing author to the recently published the academic book “Generation A”. She has keynoted, moderated, and has spoken on panels worldwide, including Moderator at the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. She is an Ashoka Fellow and a member of the Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame.

Thank you Mrs. Cunningham for going above and beyond for our children!

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Career Series - American Sign Language!

Raider Alumnus, Melchior Fernandez, provided a talk to our students on careers in interpreting. American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, natural language that is expressed by movements of the hands and face. ASL is the language for Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. Thank you Mr. Fernandez for taking your time to inform our students on ASL.

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HSE Music CoffeeHouse Concert

On February 10, 2022, our HSE Music Department put on a show in a CoffeeHouse format. Music was performed by student solos, duos, quartets, the HSE Rock Band, and the HSE Jazz Band! Great job kids and to Mr. Miller and Mr. Strohmetz! I enjoyed the evening!

Great Job!

Abdel Kenawy was acknowledged by Mrs. Jessica Gonzalez for his efforts to be an active participant in his studies this week! Mrs. Gonzalez wrote Abdel a positive referral for going above and beyond to do his very best! Great job Abdel, I am proud of you!

Respectful Raiders!

Congratulations to Ashley Polhemus for being recognized as a Respectful Raider this week. Ashley found $17 in cash and turned the money in to the Main Office. Thank you Ashley for demonstrating Raider pride!

National School Counselor Week

I would like to take this time to recognize the efforts of our very own counselors. Each of them have dedicated their lives to support the social and academic success of our students. Personally, I believe we have the best in the district! It is a difficult job, but our counselors do it with a positive mindset and willingness to go above and beyond! I appreciate the tasks they accomplish that extend beyond their job descriptions - this is what makes them unique!

Thank you Mrs. Monica Santamaria, Mrs. Carolann Lulias, Mrs. Elise Weinberger, Mrs. Carrie Bush, Mrs. Ann Millard, Ms. Rachel Calhoun, Dr. Robin Lowery, Mr. Jim Cartnick, Mrs. Bridget Abatemarco, Mrs. Dawn Aulisi, Mr. Cameron Scarano, and Ms. Heather Montalvo for all you do! You are all positive reflections of our school community!

Community Book Club!

Please help us promote our Read with a Raider Community Book Club started by Mrs. Pagano. The book is " Fire Keeper's Daughter" and the first meeting is March 10th from 6:30-7:30pm.

Student Outreach Program!

Our 18-21 Career Exploration Program partnered with Klees Restaurant in Seaside Heights to learn and practice community based skills along with the skills necessary to gain employment in a restaurant setting. This work experience will also support the life skills activities our students practice within the classroom setting. Great job Mrs. Rachel Barry!

Great Job!

Congratulations to the Boys Bowling Team for their 3rd place finish at the Shore Conference Tournament!

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Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

Congratulations to Michael Bruno for qualifying for the Business Ethics Workshop in Atlantic City in March. Michael placed 15th overall on the objective test for New Jersey students! Quite impressive! Bella Wade, Nino Scala and Joey Scala will also be attending the workshop in March as they successfully placed in the Business Plan category. Good luck to all of our future Raider business leaders! I am very proud of you!

Raider News!

Our Friday Staff Guest DJ Day series is receiving positive feedback! Mr. Brian Smith provided the tunes this week! A few songs were from artists I know, including the Cure, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Beatles, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. There were others, but I never heard of Skee-Lo or Neutral Milk Hotel.

Raider Chess

Great job to our Chess team for their success this year! We will be competing at the Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) for the first time since 2019. Alexander Brooks won 1st place 1st board in the Ocean County Championships "Kasparov District". Great job and good luck Raiders on the 23rd in SCT!