Bergenfield High School

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Bergenfield High School
80 South Prospect Avenue
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
Type Public high school
Established 1940[1]
Principal Jim Fasano
Asst. Principal Rob Ragasa
Faculty 91.5 (on FTE basis)[2]
Enrollment 1,236[2] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 13.51:1[2]
Color(s) Red,      Black,      and White     
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Bears
Rivals Dumont High School

Bergenfield High School is a four-year, comprehensive public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from Bergenfield, in Bergen County, New Jersey, operating as part of the Bergenfield Public Schools. Bergenfield High School is accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education and has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools since 1945.[3]

The school was constructed at a cost of $370,000 as an addition to an existing school, and dedicated in ceremonies held in April 1941.[4]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,236 students and 91.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.51:1. There were 321 students (26.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 112 (9.1% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

The school's CEEB code is 310090.

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 122nd-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[5] The school had been ranked 139th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 136th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 234th in 2008 out of 316 schools and 192nd in the 2006.[7][8] ranked the school tied for 163rd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 52 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (80.5%) and language arts literacy (94.5%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[9]


Bergenfield High School offers a wide range of courses in the areas of art, business and marketing, English, health and physical education, industrial and technological education, mathematics, music, science, social studies, and world language. Class levels range from modified to Advanced Placement. Full- and half-year electives are also offered, and health classes are offered as a quarter-year elective within all gym classes.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses include AP Studio Art, AP Art History, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus, AP Computer Science, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP United States History, AP United States Government and Politics, AP Music Theory, AP Psychology AP Spanish Language and AP European History.

Bergenfield High School offers medical-field based classes where the students have an opportunity to receive college credits from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Classes include Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, Dynamics of Healthcare, Emergency and Clinical Care.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school is producing its own television station called Bears On Air that is available to all Cablevision customers. This channel will feature special events, such as college fairs and other events at BHS; InTune, a special program that will showcase the Bergenfield Music Department; Bears Den, a program showcasing rich athletic programs at Bergenfield; and In Reel Time, which will offer movie reviews. The channel is available for Cablevision customers on channel 77.


  • NAMM Foundation (American Music Conference) has recognized Bergenfield High School as one of the Best Communities for Music Education in America for multiple years, including 2012[10] and was a finalist for the Grammy Signature Schools Award for multiple years as well.[11]
Band performing for a movie in Manhattan
  • The music department offers marching band, three concert bands, three orchestras, three choral ensembles, a jazz ensemble, and numerous chamber ensembles with weighted honors credits on Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Vocal Ensemble.
  • Their three honor ensembles have performed at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. The Honors Wind Ensemble alone has received gold ratings at the state regional festival and has been named a New Jersey Honor Band in 2007 and 2009.[12]

Marching band[edit]

Bergenfield is well known for its now over 200-member marching band, whose uniforms loosely resemble those of the British Foot Guard Regiments. Bernard T. Baggs took direction in 1950, and the band has since worked with other notable names, such as Donald Angelica, Frank Levy, Bobby Thompson, Fred Sanford, Jack Meehan, and Dennis Delucia.[13] The musicians currently work under the direction of Brian P. Timmons and the color guard under Michael DeLucia.[14]

The band marched in the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show and performed at the NFL Media Day festivities at the Prudential Center in Newark.[15] Some of the many locations the band has performed includeDisney World, Yankee Stadium, New Meadowlands Stadium, Jets and Giants football games, Foxboro Stadium, Devils game at Prudential Center, United Nations, Broadway on Broadway, and the Annual North Jersey Marching Band Festival 65 times.[16] The Record placed the band's image on the front cover of the November 2007 issue of its Sports Magazine.[17]

Bergenfield hosts the annual USSBA Bergen County Invitational Band Festival, which has a roster of up to 16 bands per year.[18] Although the band doesn't formally compete, they have received consistent gold and superior ratings at festivals such as the NJMEA State Marching Band Festival.

TV and film appearances


The Bergenfield High School Bears compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[23] Before the 2010 realignment, it was one of the 12 schools participating in the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League (NBIL/NBIAL).[24] With 889 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North I, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 754 to 1,076 students in that grade range.[25] Tom Curry is Bergenfield's Athletic Director.

The football team was once very successful, and at one time was ranked number 1 in New Jersey.[citation needed] Its wrestling program has been successful over the last 40 years and former coach Sal Cascio is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.[26]

Most sports have Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman teams, but some only have the top one or two tiers. Note: Sports marked with an asterisk (*) usually practice and compete with each other, but they are two separate teams and officially compete and are scored separately.

  • Fall sports teams: Cross Country (Boys)*, Cross Country (Girls)*, Football, Soccer (Boys), Soccer (Girls), Tennis (Girls), Volleyball, & Cheerleading
  • Winter sports teams: Basketball (Boys), Basketball (Girls), Bowling (Boys)*, Bowling (Girls)*, Track (Boys)*, Track (Girls)*, Wrestling, & Cheerleading
  • Spring sports teams: Baseball, Softball, Golf (Boys)*, Golf (Girls)*, Tennis (Boys), Track (Boys)* and Track (Girls)*

The football team won the North I Group IV state championship in 1974 and 1976, and won state titles in North I Group III in 1982, 1986 and 1987.[27]


Core members of the school's administration are:[28]

  • Principal - Jim Fasano
  • Assistant Principal - Rob Ragasa

Bergenfield High School has 110 faculty members including those listed above, four guidance counselors, two nurses, and two library / media center faculty.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Baumann, Carl. "The 'Mighty Mites'", Accessed July 19, 2012. "Home Town Bergenfield didn't have its own high school until 1940, when an addition was built onto the junior high school for that purpose. Until then the junior high graduates would be bussed to high schools in the neighboring towns of Dumont and Tenafly. My class was the first to move from the 9th grade into the new high school addition, and as such, from then on till graduation in 1943, we were always the biggest kids in school."
  2. ^ a b c d School Data for Bergenfield High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 24, 2015.
  3. ^ Bergenfield High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Staff. "To Dedicate Bergenfield School", The New York Times, March 30, 1941. Accessed July 19, 2012. "The new $370,000 Bergenfield High School, an addition to Harding School at Washington and Clinton Avenues, will be dedicated Monday at 8 P. M."
  5. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 11, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 22, 2011.
  8. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed March 6, 2012.
  10. ^ Cesarano, Lisa. "176 Programs Earn Distinction As 'A Best Community for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, May 4, 2011. Accessed April 17, 2012.
  11. ^ 2010 Grammy Signature School Finalists, November 9, 2009. Accessed October 31, 2011.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Music Man in Bergenfield", Accessed January 9, 2012.
  14. ^ Activities and Clubs, Bergenfield High School. Accessed January 9, 2012.
  15. ^ Yorio, Kara. "Bergenfield High School marching band to play in Super Bowl halftime show", The Record (Bergen County), February 1, 2014. Accessed February 3, 2014. "The Bergenfield High School Marching Band has made it to the biggest of big-time — the Super Bowl halftime show.... The band also played at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday, welcoming the throngs to the Prudential Center in Newark."
  16. ^
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ Staff. "Sound of music fills field High school bands compete in Bergenfield", Twin-Boro News, October 21, 2011. Accessed August 22, 2011. "Marching musicians and colorful flags were all part of the competitive event sponsored by the Bergenfield Friends of Music, in conjunction with the Bergenfield High School music department and the United States Scholastic Band Association."
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ Alvarez, Ashanti M. "BERGENFIELD'S MARCHING BAND OF NOTE", The Record (Bergen County), November 22, 2000. Accessed December 1, 2008.
  21. ^ Geli, Elizabeth. "Today Show Host Joins High School Band", Halftime Magazine, March / April 2011. Accessed August 22, 2011. "Ann Curry, host of NBC’s “Today Show,” played a stint with the Bergenfield (N.J.) High School Band as part of a special “Have You Ever” segment in which the hosts do something they’ve always dreamed of.... The Bergenfield band is no stranger to showbiz, recently appearing in two major motion pictures: “The Bounty Hunter” and “Tower Heist,” premiering in November."
  22. ^ Parisi, Albert J. "BERGENFIELD BAND HELPS IMAGE", The New York Times, June 14, 1987. Accessed January 9, 2012. "THE 25,500 residents of this Bergen County community have a reason to celebrate: the performance of the Bergenfield High School marching band on the annual Tony Awards program last Sunday night."
  23. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 8, 2014.
  24. ^ League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 11, 2012.
  25. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2014.
  26. ^ Salvatore Peter Cascio: Lifetime Service To Wrestling - Class Of 2004, National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Accessed August 15, 2011.
  27. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 6, 2011.
  28. ^ Administration, Bergenfield High School. Accessed September 8, 2014.
  29. ^ a b Beckerman, Jim. "A revolutionary stage designer", The Record (Bergen County), May 29, 2005. Accessed September 8, 2014. "I guess we were just lucky, says Charles Bogusat, festival co-founder and for 29 years teacher of the video production class (formerly called filmmaking class) at Bergenfield High School. Thom Fitzgerald, when he was a student, did this super-8 animated project about a bear, beautifully drawn, Bogusat remembers. Harry Basil did a film called 'Land Shark.'
  30. ^ Al Di Meola, Telarc International Corporation. Accessed September 20, 2007. "'In the '60s, if you didn't play like Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page, you weren't accepted,' he recalls of his high school years in Bergenfield, New Jersey."
  31. ^ Bob Gaudio, VH1. Accessed November 16, 2007. "As he was entering high school, his family moved to Bergenfield, NJ, where he attended Bergenfield High School."
  32. ^ Martin, Douglas. "F. J. Thompson, 69, Longtime P.O.W., Dies", The New York Times, July 18, 2002. Accessed March 6, 2012. "Floyd James Thompson was born in Bergenfield, N.J., on July 8, 1933, the son of a bus driver. He worked in a grocery store and graduated from Bergenfield High School in 1951."
  33. ^ Dunleavy, Ryan. "Ron Villone’s love of the game drives him late in career", Courier News, August 14, 2011. Accessed August 15, 2011. "A graduate of Bergenfield High School, Villone debuted in 1995 with the Seattle Mariners — the first of his record-tying 12 major-league teams. He has not spent more than two consecutive seasons with the same team — the reason for his moniker."
  34. ^ Ron Villone, Baseball Cube. Accessed November 23, 2006.
  35. ^ Staff. Jackie Zeman; Malibu, California, Accessed September 11, 2012. "Q. When did you start acting?In high school. A. We had a great drama department at Bergenfield High School. I got cast in all of the plays and loved it. I played Peggy Evans in Come Blow Your Horn and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°55′31″N 74°00′21″W / 40.925371°N 74.005964°W / 40.925371; -74.005964