Mr. Lester's Message
Happy Holiday’s from ALL of US to ALL of YOU! The EMPIRE continued to grow and thrive in 2018 with all of the support from good people like yourselves…WE salute you for the positive impact that you have on our students’ lives, our school culture, and our community. PHS, as a community institution of excellence, never forgets those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Our young people have donated canned goods to food banks, participated in toy drives for tots, volunteered at shelters, and many have provided precious blood to save the lives of those in critical need. I am PROUD of these young people and the teachers that guide them into being conscientious and productive members of this GREAT community.
As we welcome 2019, WE are cognizant that we cannot rest on our laurels. In fact, WE must continue to strive and improve ourselves and our capacity to develop into better human beings. I know some of my young people dress as if it’s NOT winter but let’s remind them that winter is upon US and that they should dress accordingly.
Let us continue to advance the notion that everyone has something positive to contribute, everyone has a voice, and everyone is of value. Our standards are HIGH and WE EXPECT you to do your part as 2019 is ushered in. Interested in hearing more about our student’s accomplishments, read on…Happy Holidays & Be Well.
Strength & Honor
Get To Know Project | PHS Art | Dorothy Amme
PHS Choir | Region Choir | Megan Suozzo
Congratulations to the Piscataway High School Choir! 20 students were accepted into Region choir and 2 students – Madeleine Mendoza and Joanne Plaras – were the top scorers in their voice parts!
Judith Alegun, junior, TI
Emma Cusmano, junior, S2
Natasha Gantaram, senior, S1
Kasandra Gonzalez, sophomore, S2
Ryen Hagg, senior, S1
Samantha LaSasso, senior, A1
Gina Le, junior, A1
Izabella Lopez, junior, A1
Darin Mak, senior, T2
Madeleine Mendoza, sophomore, A1
Joanne Plaras, senior, A2
Lea Rafisura, sophomore, A2
Jade Scharnikow, junior, S2
Ariela Southland, senior, A2
Ashwin Thomson, senior, T2
Chanelle Thornton, senior, A2
Carlos Viveros, junior, T2
Julia Walker, senior, A2
Sophia Westberg, freshman, A1
Reidyn Wingate, sophomore, T1
Celebrating Art Competition | PHS Art | Lisa Lentini-Pombrio
PHS art students, Daniela Solano and Laila Andrews, had artwork selected in the Celebrating Art competition. Their artwork will be published in a hardcover anthology. Congratulations to these students and their teacher Lisa Lentini-Pombrio!
PHS Concert Choir Performs with the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band | Megan Suozzo & Chris Sumner
PHS Concert Choir Coffeehouse | Megan Suozzo
The PHS Concert Choir held their annual coffeehouse on December 7th! Students performed, treats and snacks were served, and it was a great time to support the choir and see the outstanding talent here at PHS. There was even a surprise performance from district teachers and alumni (Megan Suozzo, Ken Zampella, Matthew Worden, Hunter Carlon, and Rebekah Sterlacci)!
Paper Mill Playhouse Arts Fest | PHS Theater | Mike Yoson
PHS Theater students participated in workshops as part of Paper Mill Playhouse’s Adopt-a-School Arts Fest! Students participated in dance and theater workshops and a vocal music master-class. Additionally, students got to watch the year three students (PHS will be in year 3 next year) perform their original plays on the Paper Mill stage. Thanks to Mike Yoson for coordinating this and providing such great opportunities for our students!
Wawa Grand Opening | PHS Marching Band | Christopher Sumner & Ken Zampella
A brand new Wawa opened on Stelton Road and New Durham Road in Piscataway and the PHS Superchiefs were there to lend their talents to the exciting event! Thanks to the students for braving cold weather and even snow to make the event exciting and to engage with our community! Thanks to Chris and Ken for organizing everything!
PHS Instrumental Music Winter Concert | Christopher Sumner & Ken Zampella
The PHS Instrumental music ensembles gave a beautiful concert. The repertoire was diverse and the students demonstrated their skills and excellence through their performance. Mason Gross student teacher Nathan Bishop also had an opportunity to conduct the ensembles. Thank you to Chris Sumner and Ken Zampella for your artistry, inspiration, and commitment to our students, families, and community.
PHS Choir Winter Concert | Megan Suozzo
The PHS Choir program gave a beautiful concert featuring repertoire from many different times and places. We had an opportunity to see student leadership through the student-run a cappella groups and the Chamber Choir even performed an exciting vocal arrangement of the William Tell Overture! Mason Gross student teacher Lyndsey Larsen also had an opportunity to conduct the ensembles. Thank you to Megan Suozzo for your enthusiasm, passion for excellence, and commitment to our whole community.
Local artist Skylar Pocket came to hang out and perform LIVE on-air in the 90.3 Pulse Lounge! Student DJ's Chayne Cooper (Senior) and Carl Harmsen (Junior) had the pleasure of interviewing Skylar Pocket LIVE from the Piscataway High School Studios on WVPH 90.3 FM The PULSE!
The Teen Writers Guild | Cathline Tanis
The Teen Writers Guild at Piscataway held author meetings on October 9, October 11 and December 10 as well as sporadic dates at the public library throughout the year. The students have worked very hard individually and with the help of Judith Kristen, to bring their art to life. Now that the meeting stage is through, the students will begin to revise their work and we will soon be able to enjoy the fruit of their artistic and literary labor. Their work will be published in April when they will be able to share their art with you, their families and the community at large. We applaud this inaugural cohort of the Piscataway Teen Writers Guild.
Poetry Out Loud | Christopher Hamas
On November 28th, Piscataway held an open enrollment school competition, chaired by Mr. Hamas of the English department, to determine this year's school champion for the national poetry recitation competition known as Poetry Out Loud. Sophomore Angelika Ladia, and freshmen Makya Lucky, Zoha Khan, and Asiya Kamara all provided sophisticated and passionate recitations of classical and contemporary poetry. Asiya Kamara was named our school champion and will represent Piscataway in the Regional Competition at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ, on February 5th, 2019, where she will perform three poems against 25 other school champions from central New Jersey. Many thanks to the teachers of the English Department, specifically Ruth Yeselson for lending her poetic expertise to judge the competition, and to Dawn Dionisio for implementing the program with great success among our 9th grade honors students.
PHS Swim Team
The PHS swim team raised $868.35 in the inaugural event that benefits the Marisa Tufaro Foundation, an organization that helps support children around Middlesex County who are struggling with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Piscataway High School, along with the rest of the schools in the GMC Conference worked together to raise money and awareness of the foundation by collecting donations and coming together on Saturday, December 1 at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA to swim together in recognition of the unified cause.
PHS Robotics Team
The PHS Robotics Team has been working hard preparing for their 2019 season which begins in January. They have been busy with off-season events, community service, organizing their workshop and training new club members. Please feel free to stop by room G108 on any Wednesday after school from 2:00 to 4:30pm to meet with them and check out their progress that they made so far.
PHS Engineering Students
Mr. Giacomarra's Engineering students participated in a Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle competition at New Providence High School on December 12th, competing with over 15 area schools and over 38 team/vehicles.
Students Eric Vreeland, Anika Melkote, Vahni Patel and Anuj Ukey earned 1st place in speed performance. (see photo below)
Students Leah Koshy, Alex Ly, Sanket Prasad and Ishaan Variava earned 3rd place in speed performance. (photo above)
PHS Austin Mosier signs with Old Dominion
PHS Austin Mosier signed with Old Dominion on December 19th for Football. Congratulations!!
Back row left to right: Mike Szymonowicz, Damon Pleasant, Jaime Marsh, Dan Higgins, Gerry Wilson, Matt Fabian, Kyle Higgins
Front row left to right: Christine Mosier, Allison Mosier, Austin Mosier, Margaret Mosier, Tom Mosier
Door Decorating Contest
The Holiday Door Decorating Contest for 2018
A very special thank you to all the staff and students who participated this year. You truly showed your holiday spirit!
The results are as follows:
· Honorable Mention: Ms. Bedi for the most student involvement
· Honorable Mention: Ms. Coppola for most unique concept
· 3rd Place: Ms. Lentini-Pombiro, the “Elfie Selfie” for most interactive
· 2nd Place: Ms. Taylor, “How the Grinch Stole the Tea” for most decorative
· 1st Place: Mr. Wernlund, “The Wernlundful"
Lastly, all the Whos down in Whoville would like to give the Grinch Award to Mr. Neurohr-Pierpaoli ’s class. We hope the Grinch returns your decorations.
Happy Holidays from PHS!
Important Dates for January
January 1 - New Year's DayJanuary 2 - First day back from Winter Break
January 9 - PHS Experience 6:00pm in PAC
January 15 - Teacher In-Service - Early Dismissal for Students
January 16 - PHS Experience (Inclement Weather Date)
January 21 - School Closed - Martin Luther King Jr.
January 31 - End of 2nd Marking Period
Proud Sponsors of Piscataway High School
Piscataway High School
Chiefs Nation Membership
Cullen Family Foundation
Inglesino, Webster, Wyciskala, & Taylor, LLC.
Piscataway Municipal Alliance
Tequila & Tacos
Bellamy & Sons
Royce Brook Golf Course
Neshanic Valley Golf Course
The Max of Piscataway
Robert Williams Esq.
Cedar Grove Café & Pizza
Black & Gold Members
Piscataway Soccer Club
Hand & Stone Massage
George Thomas Jr.