Weehawken High School News

Sept/Oct/ 2019

Weehawken Names Crespo as Superintendent

Eric Crespo, was named Weehawken's newest Superintendent over the summer ending an exhaustive search. The Weehawken Board of Education signed a three-year contract with Crespo who had been recently appointed Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services and Special Programs at the Paterson Public Schools. Mr. Crespo’s appointment officially took place at a special board meeting on Wednesday, July 31. Born in the Bronx, but raised in North Bergen, Crespo gets to make his return to his Hudson County roots.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Seton Hall University, Mr. Crespo got his start in education as a high school teacher of social studies and Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology. “One of my main goals as I transitioned to administration was to make sure I never forgot I was a teacher,” Mr. Crespo says. As an assistant superintendent in Paterson, he worked closely with the teachers’ union there to create academic services and special programs. “I always have my teaching hat on, and remember what a teacher goes through,” he says. “And I am in the classrooms a lot.” Mr. Crespo earned a Masters of Arts in education administration and supervision from St. Peter’s University. His doctoral dissertation is on the effectiveness of professional development in schools. He expects to receive his doctoral degree in K-12 education leadership from St. Peter’s in the spring of 2020. So far he has made a positive impact on the staff, as a stable and even-minded educational leader.

High School Renovations Complete

For the third consecutive summer, Weehawken High School underwent extensive renovations to modernize the aging building. This year was the addition of new windows, and air conditioning for all classrooms and offices. This is Is the final phase of renovation and rehabilitation of the soon to be 80 year old building. Over 300 windows were replaced and framed in the building, which took the entire summer to complete. The new windows have given the building a fresh appearance, nicely complimenting the unique facade. The air condition/climate control, hit a few snags and has unfortunately taken longer than anticipated.

Recent successful tests, have shown the entire system should be up and running in the very near immediate future. Now all classrooms and offices will be able to individually manage the temperature, as state of the air air circulating unites will be able to heat and cool all areas. The older steam boiler system will act as a supplemental heating source should ever the need arise.

New AC, windows, a court yard, TV studio, media center, not to mention enhanced bandwidth and wi-fi; Weehawken High School is truly unique. A building that boasts old school charm and character, to go along with modern upgrades!

WHS Hosts Moving 9/11 Tribute

September 11 will always be a somber day in American history. For those of us who were alive on that fateful day in 2001, the images of the attacks on the World Trade Center, and Pentagon will forever be ingrained in our memories. This current generation of Weehawken students only knows 9/11 via television, and YouTube videos. In fact, this graduating class will be the last group of students who were even alive when 9/11 happened! As a result, many don't understand the impact the day had...until now.

On September 11, 2019 WHS alumnus and 9/11 survivor, Donald Jodice, was invited to speak to the student body to discuss the infamous day. In addition, local reporter Jim Hague, who covered the day's events was also invited to recant his article on Jodice's escape from the 82nd floor, a mere 20 feet below the impact area.

After a brief newsreel video, and comments from Principal Ferullo, Mr Hague re-read the account as students silently listened. The silence became deafening, as Jodice, re-told his escape. As students sat mesmerized by the tale Jodice, a cancer survivor who made the journey essentially on one good leg, as he lost his left limb to the disease, spoke emotionally about the heroes who helped him and his co-workers escape; and how they sacrificed their own life doing so. He openly wept as he recalled the images of the fire-fighters going up the stairs to try and fight the fire, but in effect they were marching to their impending doom. The more he spoke, the more the young students in WHS began to truly understand why 9/11 is such an important and gut-wrenching day in our nation's history. They may not have been alive, but through Jodice and Hague, they were able to live it. But the day was not all gloom.

After concluding his story, Mr. Jodice was able to take some fantastic questions from our students. But I am sure his favorite was what 9/11 means to him today. As fate would have it 9/11 holds a new and beautiful meaning for Mr. Jodice. On September 11, 2018, his beautiful granddaughter was born. And although the date will always resonate painful memories, the courage of others has afforded Mr. Jodice to get some joy from this September the 11th, and many more to come.

Oui, Are Going to Paris and London

Carmelina Lista, Weehawken High School's French Teacher, is currently organizing an 8 day trip to Paris and London for Weehawken students for the summer of 2020. A representative from the student tour company, ACIS, met with parents for sign ups. Further ACIS offered scholarships for the first 5 students to sign up prior to October 10th. The students will be treated to the trip of a lifetime, seeing two of the world's most famous and beautiful cities. While overseas, the group will visit the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and many more. There are still slots available. For more information, please contact Ms. Lista at her email:


Should you go on this amazing trip? Wee, Oui!

Cross Country Wins First Ever League Championship!

The Weehawken High School Girls Cross Country teams has been around for almost a decade, and has had trouble finding its' footing, pardon the pun, in the hierarchy of the NJIC pecking order. The team has always been competitive, but in the last few years, under the guidance of Mercy Puma, and some outstanding runners, the teams have made great strides, yes another running pun. What isn't a joke has been their performance. And now, for the first time ever, the Cross Country team is no longer anything to laugh at. They are NJIC champions!

Led by the outstanding Delany Rice, as well as the emergence of Ivana Sanchez, the team (literally) raced to the title. With WHS records falling on a regular basis and a young nucleus, the girls are poised to contend for years to come. Although overshadowed by the Girls championship, the Boys team has had a stellar campaign earning 2nd place in the NJIC, led by Collin Shevlin and Abdourahmen Diouf. It seems as though the rest of the conference now has to keep pace with Weehawken.

EPA Visits WHS

US Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Pete Lopez and other administrators visited Weehawken High School to meet with students to celebrate Children’s Health Month, discuss access to clean water, and talk shop with students in the high school’s Climate Club.

A proposed new rule Wheeler announced on Oct. 10 would require all water systems across the country to create and maintain a public inventory of all lead-tainted water lines, and notify consumers about whether their water supply is contaminated at or above the actionable lead level of 15 ppb (parts per billion). It would be the first major overhaul to the EPA’s lead and copper rule since 1991. Communities throughout the country are still plagued by lead-contaminated water supplies, largely attributable to ancient infrastructure.

Superintendent Eric Crespo gave a rundown of the work the Climate Club has done so far. It’s instituted a comprehensive recycling program in the high school, planted a vertical garden, successfully pushed for refillable water stations in all three Weehawken schools, and educated middle school students on the environmental problems caused by single-use plastics. The club will take a school-sponsored field trip to Sandy Hook, where members will take part in a shoreline cleanup to clear debris from the beach. And it hopes to create a butterfly garden and take up beekeeping, to foster local populations of pollinators.

He gave kudos to the Weehawken School District for working with the EPA in the past on a voluntary basis in get-the-lead-out efforts, well before federal mandates required them to, in order to ensure that children had safe drinking water. “Because of Weehawken’s engagement and awareness, New Jersey created a statewide standard for testing water in schools,” Lopez said. “The state legislature passed laws to protect young people, following the work done here and in other municipalities.”

WHS AP Scores Improve

The Advanced Placement (AP) classes are always the most challenging classes offered at Weehawken High School, or anywhere else. These classes are very demanding and upon successful completion, give students college credits. With a (5) being the best, but (3) being the being the minimum score students have full awareness of the task at hand.

Weehawken HS is pleased to report an 18% increase in the percentage of total AP students with scores of three (3) or better in the Spring 2019 scores compared to the Spring 2018 scores. Still boasting a large number of total AP student participants (151) and a large number of exams (251), WHS students scored (3) or higher at a whopping 47% clip.

The 151 students taking AP classes and tests account for almost 45% of the student body. Exposure to the classes and tests will help students become better prepared for college, and the success on the test is an excellent barometer.

Faces in the Crowd