Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

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Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan
100 Central Avenue
Old Tappan, NJ 07675
Type Public
Motto We strive for the best!
Established 1962
School district Northern Valley Regional High School District
Principal Bruce Sabatini
Assistant principals Richard Orso
Javier Rabelo
Faculty 108.8 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,326[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 12.19:1[1]
Color(s)      Blue
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Nickname NVOT
Team name Golden Knights
NVRHS GoldenKnights.jpg
Newspaper The Lance

Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan is a comprehensive four-year public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from the suburban communities of Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States.[2] Students from Rockleigh attend the high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship.[3] The school joins Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest as the two secondary schools that are part of the Northern Valley Regional High School District, which also serves students from Closter, Demarest and Haworth.[4]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,326 students and 108.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.19:1. There were 11 students (0.8% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 6 (0.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

The high school is overseen by the New Jersey Department of Education and has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1965.[5]


The school was opened in March 1962 to address overcrowding in the district's original school at Demarest that opened in 1955. When it was first established, the school served students from Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan, as well as those from the northern portion of Closter.[6]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

For the 1994-96 school years, Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[7] the highest award an American school can receive.[8][9]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 29th in New Jersey and 1,051st nationwide.[10] The school was ranked 829th, the 23rd-highest in New Jersey, in Newsweek magazine's 2010 rankings of America's Best High Schools.[11]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 831st in the nation among participating public high schools and 61st among schools in New Jersey.[12]

The school was the 55th-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.[13] The school had been ranked 53rd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 30th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[14] The magazine ranked the school 18th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[15] The school was ranked 25th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.[16] ranked the school tied for 58th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (unchanged from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (90.6%) and language arts literacy (97.5%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[17]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school offers a variety of sports, social and academic club activities.


The school offers 60 co-curricular and intramural activities as well as over 23 sports, which include participation at the freshman, junior varsity, and varsity level (46 teams). Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan competes in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[18] The school had previously competed in the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League before the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment.[19] With 986 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.[20]

The football team won the North I Group III state sectional championships in 1985.[21]

The Boys' Basketball team won the 2006 North I, Group III tournament, defeating West Milford High School by a final score of 56-54.[22]

The 2007 Girls' Basketball team won the North I, Group III sectional championship, topping Teaneck High School 56-48 in the final game.[23]

The 2007 Girls' Volleyball team won the NBIL league title ending with a record of 21-3.[24] The 2010 Girls Volleyball team won the Tournament of Champions, having already won the county, sectional and Group III titles, earning recognition from The Record as having "proved that they're the best team in New Jersey."[25]

The 2008 Baseball team won the North I, Group III sectional title over Montville High School[26] before winning the school's first ever New Jersey Group III State Championship with a 16-4 victory over Wall Township.[27][28] The team repeated as North I, Group III sectional champions in 2009.

The 2009 Boys Bowling team won the League championship and North I Group III state sectional title.[citation needed]

The 2010 Boy's Basketball team won the North I, Group III tournament, defeating Teaneck High School by a final score of 49-47.[29]

The 2010 Wrestling team won the Bergen County Championship, with senior Mike Shannon, at 285 lbs., becoming the school's first county champion in 20 years.[30]

The Old Tappan girls volleyball team finished the 2010-11 season with a record of 26-1, winning the Bergen County championship and the Group III state title, on their way to winning the program's first Tournament of Champions with a two-game sweep of Ramapo High School in the tournament final, 25-20 and 25-12.[31]

The Boys Track and Field Team won the 2011 NJSIAA Group III Championship 4x400 Meter Relay,[32] and continued to finish 3rd at the NJSIAA State Meet Of Champions.[33]

The Boys Cross Country Team won the 2011 and 2012 Leagues, Counties, and Sectionals.[citation needed]

There are also cheerleading teams for both football and basketball. Cheerleading is both a fall and winter sport, and it includes after school gymnastic classes, competitions, and cheer camp.

Music department[edit]

The department presents six public concerts per academic year: The Fall Instrumental Concert, The Fall Vocal Concert, The Holiday Concert, The Prism Concert, The Spring Choral Concert, and The Awards Concert.

The Instrumental Department is composed of Concert Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and String Ensemble as well as select small ensembles. The Vocal Department is composed of Freshman Chorus, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers (a select mixed group), Beautyshop and Barbershop.

The all-school musical production every winter is one of the most popular events in the school.

Every other year, the music department, choir and band, attend a state competition in Disney World.


Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan offers 50 extracurricular clubs, that are run by students and have faculty advisers. The most popular clubs are Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Ski Club, and Diversity Club. The Model United Nations club is the high school's fastest growing club since 2007. The National Honor Society hosts various events during the year and also offers peer to peer tutoring. The Ski Club offers students trips to various ski locations to learn how to ski and snowboard. The Diversity Club's most prominent day is Diversity Day; the club allows students to present their culture and heritages to the entire school. This day informs students of different traditions, foods, and customs of countries they are not accustomed with. In order to create a new club, a petition must be created and submitted to the principal.


Core members of the school's administration include:[34]

  • Bruce Sabatini (as of July 1, 2013, replacing Fred Hessler)[35]
  • Richard Orso, Assistant Principal
  • Javier M. Rabelo, Assistant Principal
  • Thomas Kaechele, Athletic Director

Noted alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Northern Valley Regional Old Tappan High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Home Page, Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. Accessed July 29, 2011. "Welcome to Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, home of the Golden Knights. Old Tappan is one of two high schools in the Northern Valley District. Our students reside in the towns of Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood, and Old Tappan."
  3. ^ Rockleigh Public Services, Rockleigh, New Jersey. Accessed November 7, 2009.
  4. ^ Northern Valley Regional High School District 2014 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed February 9, 2015. "Our long standing successful and cost efficient Pre-K-12 consortium remains an exemplar model of shared services including seven local Pre-K-8 districts that send their students to the regional high schools: Closter, Demarest, Harrington Park, Haworth, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan."
  5. ^ Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Slocum, John W. "New Jersey; Bergen, The New York Times, September 3, 1962. Accessed April 25, 2012. "In the Northern Valley district, there will be a referendum on Oct. 18 on a $1,875,000 bond issue for extensive alterations and additions to the school in Demarest. This was opened in September, 1955 to serve seven municipalities. The rapid growth of the area forced the district to open another school, opened last March. This building, in Old Tappan, serves that borough, Northvale, Norwood, Harrington Park and the northern half of Closter."
  7. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  8. ^ "CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department", Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  9. ^ "Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test", The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  10. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan", The Washington Post. Accessed August 4, 2011.
  11. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools: The List", Newsweek, June 13, 2010. Accessed March 26, 2011.
  12. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.
  13. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  14. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed November 17, 2012.
  15. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 3, 2011.
  16. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  17. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed February 27, 2012.
  18. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 14, 2014.
  19. ^ League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 12, 2012.
  20. ^ 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 14, 2014.
  21. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 8, 2011.
  22. ^ 2006 Boys Basketball - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, accessed March 19, 2007.
  23. ^ 2007 Girls Basketball - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 28, 2007.
  24. ^ Old Tappan Volleyball. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  25. ^ Vasquez, Andy. "Volleyball Team of the Year: Old Tappan", The Record (Bergen County), December 8, 2010. Accessed July 7, 2011. "Old Tappan accomplished every one of its goals this season, winning the Bergen County, North Group 3, State Group 3 and Tournament of Champions titles. It’s an impressive run that makes Old Tappan the North Jersey Girls Volleyball Team of the Year. And along the way, the Knights also proved that they’re the best team in New Jersey."
  26. ^ 2008 Baseball Tournament - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 18, 2008.
  27. ^ Baumiller, J. C. "Golden Knights cop first state title", Northern Valley Suburbanite, June 18, 2008. Accessed August 18, 2008. "Under Coach Tim Byron, the NVOT Knights have become a prestigious athletic team in baseball. Key Players: Eric Katzman (Michigan) Ali Caravella (Junior) and Tim Fougere (Senior)."
  28. ^ 2008 Baseball Tournament - Public Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 14, 2008.
  29. ^ Staff. "Old Tappan 49, Teaneck 47", The Star-Ledger, March 8, 2010. Accessed July 7, 2011. "Thomas Messina scored 19 points and Sammy Elias added 11 as Old Tappan edged Teaneck, 49-47, for the NJSIAA/ShopRite, North Jersey, Group 3 title last night in Old Tappan.The victory puts Old Tappan in tomorrow's Group 3 state semifinal against Mendham at 7:30 p.m. at East Orange. It also avenged its one-point loss to Teaneck in last year's sectional semifinal round."
  30. ^ 2010 All-Bergen Wrestling, Bergen County Coaches Association, March 25, 2010. Accessed August 23, 2011. "Michael won the District 8, Region 2, and BCCA championships, becoming Old Tappan’s first county champion since 1991 and helping the school to its first overall title."
  31. ^ Vasquez, Andy. "Old Tappan captures Tournament of Champions volleyball title", The Record (Bergen County), November 21, 2010. Accessed August 23, 2011. "Old Tappan won its first Tournament of Champions title on Sunday, beating Ramapo, 25-20, 25-12, at William Paterson."
  32. ^ 2011 NJSIAA/The Star-Ledger/M-F Athletic State Group Track and Field Championships South Plainfield - Groups 2, 3 & Non-Public B - 6/3/2011 to 6/4/2011, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2012.
  33. ^ 2011 NJSIAA/STAR-LEDGER/M-F ATHLETIC TRACK & FIELD STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS - 6/9/2011, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2012.
  34. ^ Contact Us, Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. Accessed September 14, 2014.
  35. ^ Kwon, Grace. "Northern Valley regional shuffles leadership, moves Demarest principal to Old Tappan", Northern Valley Suburbanite, May 23, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2013. "The Board of Education accepted Superintendent Christopher Nagy’s recommendation on May 13 to name current Demarest Principal Bruce Sabatini as the principal at Old Tappan, and to promote James Santana, assistant principal at Demarest, to principal at that school. Sabatini will replace Old Tappan Principal Fred Hessler, whose retirement is effective on July 1."
  36. ^ USA Swimming - History/Coaching Legends
  37. ^ Swim Across America.
  38. ^ Glimpsing the Divine through Sports
  39. ^ Home Is Where the Heart Is, Education Next, 2006 No. 4, accessed December 6, 2006.
  40. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "Old Tappan's P.J. Byrne co-stars on new CBS series 'Intelligence'", The Record (Bergen County), January 7, 2014. Accessed January 22, 2014. "It's a great time for P.J. Byrne. On the big screen, the actor with roots in Old Tappan can be seen as one of Leonardo DiCaprio's debaucherous crew in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.... 'Fourth grade all through high school, that was Old Tappan,' says Byrne, whose older sister Courtney was in the same Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan graduating class as Cory Booker."
  41. ^ Czerwinski, Kevin T. "DEBRINO SETTLES INTO THE PRO LIFE", The Record (Bergen County), November 24, 1993. Accessed July 7, 2011. "It isn't "Bull Durham," but Rob DeBrino is happy just the same. The former Northern Valley at Old Tappan baseball star just finished his first full season in pro ball with an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, and his progress has been remarkable."
  42. ^ 2006 Baseball Media Guide, p. 7. Wesleyan University, accessed March 19, 2007.
  43. ^ Limnios, Michalis. "New York poet Frank Messina talks about David Amram, Gil Scott-Heron, and his Spoke n' Roll memories", Keeping the Blues Alive, February 7, 2013.
  44. ^ "ANOTHER CHANCE WHITE SOX GAMBLE BY PLAYING PASQUA", The Record, October 6, 1993. "You might remember Dan Pasqua, star for Northern Valley at Old Tappan, Division III All-American for two years at William Paterson College, third-round draft pick of the Yankees."
  45. ^ Staff. 'Browns sign OL Eric Olsen, LB Mike Reilly", Cleveland Browns, May 26, 2015. "The 6-3, 261-pound Reilly participated in the Browns’ rookie minicamp on May 8-10 on a tryout basis. He finished second at the College of William & Mary’s with 27 career sacks, including 11 last season. A native of Old Tappan, N.J., Reilly graduated from Northern Valley Regional High School."
  46. ^ Yorio, Kara. "My Hometown: 'Blue's Clues' co-creator Angela Santomero of Harrington Park", The Record (Bergen County), May 12, 2013. Accessed February 9, 2015. "'For me, the small town enabled me to feel safe and grounded and experiment, test the boundaries of what it is I wanted or knew," said Santomero, who was a year ahead of Newark Mayor Cory Booker at the Harrington Park School and went on to Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan."
  47. ^ Rowe, John. "Old Tappan's Rob Segedin signs with Yankees", The Record (Bergen County), August 13, 2010. Accessed July 7, 2011. "Rob Segedin always has dreamed of playing for the Yankees. He just might in the near future. A third-round pick in the June draft, Segedin, the Tulane third baseman from Old Tappan, has signed with the Yankees for a $377,500 bonus."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°00′36″N 73°58′28″W / 41.01001°N 73.974414°W / 41.01001; -73.974414