Trenton Central High School
|Trenton Central High School|
|400 Chambers Street
Trenton, NJ 08609
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Trenton Public Schools|
|Vice Principals||Penny Britt
|Faculty||113.0 (on FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||1,400 (as of 2010-11)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.39:1|
|Athletics conference||Colonial Valley Conference|
Trenton Central High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Trenton, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Trenton Public Schools.
As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,400 students and 113.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.39:1. There were 596 students (42.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 60 (4.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Trenton Central High School was the focus of a research study aimed at preventing obesity in students, in which student evaluations of the results played a major role in interpretation of the outcomes.
Awards, recognition and rankings
The school was the 317th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 310th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 311th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.
Schooldigger.com ranked the school 372nd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 14 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (22.9%) and language arts literacy (60.2%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
In the late 1920s the Trenton Board of Education had the foresight and the good fortune to acquire one of the last undeveloped tracts in the city: the 36-acre (150,000 m2) Chambers Farm, then used as a nursery. The new high school would be the city’s third, replacing the then existing high school at Chestnut and Hamilton Avenues built in 1900, which in turn replaced the first high school on Mercer Street built in 1874.
Trenton Central High School (TCHS) opened on January 4, 1932, and was dedicated on January 18 at ceremonies attended by 5,000 people. Hailed as “an ornament to the city” and “one of the show places of Trenton,” TCHS was one of the largest and most expensive high schools built in the country. The Chambers Street façade stretches broadly for almost 1,000 feet (300 m), nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The cost of the building, including land and furniture, totaled $3.3 million. Most firms involved in the construction were based in Trenton, including John A. Roebling’s Sons who provided “Jersey” wire lath to fireproof the ceilings and walls.
Trenton Central High School is divided into Small Learning Communities (SLCs) that span across three separate sites throughout the city of Trenton. The Chambers Campus, located on Chambers Street, houses five communities: Applied Science and Engineering, Media Technology, Performing Arts, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism, and Business, Computer, Technology Design. The North Campus is located on N. Clinton Avenue and is home to the Medical Arts community. The West Campus sits on West State Street in the building that was formerly the home of the Arthur J. Holland Middle School. Three communities reside there: Law and Justice, Renaissance, and Business and Finance.
The Trenton Central High School Tornadoes compete in the Colonial Valley Conference, which consists of public and private high schools located in Mercer County, Monmouth County and Middlesex County, New Jersey, under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).
In 1961, Tal Brody led the undefeated boys basketball team to a 24–0 record and a New Jersey state championship in his senior year, as he was voted a New Jersey basketball All Star and selected to the First Team Newark Star Ledger All-State Team. Brody, though later drafted # 12 in the NBA draft, passed up an NBA career to play in Israel.
The girls basketball team won the 2007 Central, Group IV state sectional title with a 51–24 win against Howell High School. The team moved on to win the 2007 Group IV State Championship, defeating Eastside High School 52-44 for the title.
The Tornadoes 381 FIRST robotics team, from the Applied Engineering & Science Academy, is sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, Sarnoff Corporation and Princeton University. The Team 381 Tornadoes were the 2004 Philadelphia Regional Winner in the FIRST Robotics Competition. In 2008, the Tornados became the Trenton Regional Winners. This high school also includes a military program called United States Army ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) which it's mission is to motivate young people to be better citizens .
- George Antheil (1900–59), composer (dropped out in senior year, 1918)
- Bo Belinsky (1936–2001), MLB pitcher
- Elvin Bethea (born 1946), Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end who played his entire NFL career with the Houston Oilers
- Tal Brody (born 1943), drafted # 12 in NBA draft, Euroleague basketball shooting guard for Maccabi Tel Aviv
- George Case (1915–89), major league baseball player
- Richard Crooks (1900–72), tenor, singer for the New York Metropolitan Opera
- David N. Dinkins (born 1927), former Mayor of New York City
- Al Downing (born 1941), major league baseball player
- Ernie Kovacs (1919–62), groundbreaking American comedian and television personality
- Jay-Z (born 1969), hip-hop artist and businessman (did not graduate).
- Charles Muscatine (born 1920), academic and expert in medieval literature.
- Ntozake Shange (born 1948), poet.
In September 2009, State officials who want to raze and rebuild Trenton Central High School faced off against residents with an alternate plan to save the historic but dilapidated building at a school board committee meeting.
The New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA), presented its proposal to build a new school on the TCHS athletic fields and then demolish most of the old school, except for its iconic tower and part of the facade, which would become a small athletic field house.
According to an SDA draft conceptual plan, work on an architectural design would begin in January and construction would start in summer 2011. The old building would be demolished in summer 2014 and students would start using the new building that fall. A new athletic facility would open in fall 2015.
However, once destroyed the school can never be replaced. The iconic and historic building has roots with many residents and past generations of Trenton. Controversy and local uproar from residents has thrown the school and its "demolition" into headline news. The fate of the historic landmark is still in limbo.
There is controversy and little progress on how to deal more effectively with student performance at TCHS. Academic achievement is low and dropout rates are high, and various groups such as Citizens for Successful Schools are working toward solutions to these problems. Students lose their opportunity for full participation in society, and are more likely to become burdens rather than contributors to their communities.
Parts of the 1993-released movie Baby It's You were filmed at Trenton Central in 1982. In some exterior shots St. Francis Hospital can be seen across Hamilton Avenue as an expansion is under construction.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Marc Maurice, Principal
- Penny Britt, Vice Principal
- Carlos Gonzalez, Vice Principal
- Gwen Hansen, Vice Principal
- Mark Hoppe, Vice Principal
- Jermaine Kamau, Vice Principal
- Data for Trenton Central High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 10, 2012.
- The Trenton Central High School Obesity Prevention Project: Encouraging Democracy Through Inclusion. Retrieved November 13, 2006.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed January 31, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
- School Overview; Click on "Rankings" for 2010-11 HSPA results, Schooldigger.com. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
- "Tal Brody returns to basketball home; A Trenton High star who became a star in Israel leads students on a U.S. exhibition tour". Philadelphia Inquirer. October 13, 2006. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- "NBA Takes Back Seat to Nationalism for Maccabi's Brody". Daily News of Los Angeles. October 4, 1990. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- Levi Epstein (March 23, 2011). "One on One with Tal Brody". Algemeiner. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Ron Kaplan (March 23, 2011). "The Hall is calling". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Hoffman, Gil (August 30, 2007). "Tal Brody, basketball superstar, wants to lead Likud to victory". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Robert Slater (2000). Great Jews in Sports. J. David Publishers. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- 2003 Boys Basketball – Central, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 30, 2007.
- 2007 Girls Basketball – Central, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Retrieved July 24, 2007.
- 2007 Girls Basketball – Public Group Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, May 9, 2007.
- Tornadoes 381. Retrieved November 13, 2006.
- Tarr, Mary Ann. "'Mooch' soccer has big plans for Trenton", The Times (Trenton), June 27, 2007. Accessed July 27, 2007. "Fink is a health, physical education and driver's ed teacher at Trenton High School's campus on North Clinton Avenue.
- Livingston, Guy. "George Antheil’s Childhood in Trenton", Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, September 2001. Accessed May 6, 2008. "In the winter of 1918, George flunked out of Trenton Central High School in the midst of his Senior year."
- Horvitz, Peter S.; and Horvitz, Joachim. "The Big Book of Jewish Baseball: An Illustrated Encyclopedia & Anecdotal History", p. 27. SP Books, 2001. ISBN 1-56171-973-0. Retrieved January 22, 2011.
- Elvin Bethea, database Football. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
- Staff. "Tal Brody returns to basketball home, A Trenton High star who became a star in Israel leads students on a U.S. exhibition tour.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 2006. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- Modica, Glenn R. "Trenton High past and present", Trenton Downtowner, April 2005. Accessed May 6, 2008. "TCHS has had no shortage of famous alumni who could fill the niches, including composer and pianist George Antheil, tenor Richard Crooks and baseball players George Case and Al Downing."
- Cheers, D. Michael. "Mayor of 'The Big Apple': 'nice guy' image helps David N. Dinkins in building multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition – New York City", Ebony (magazine), February 1990. Accessed September 4, 2008. "Known affectionately as "Dink" while growing up, Dinkins was class president (1943) at Trenton High School and graduated in the top 10 of his class, where he studied Latin and advanced math."
- Laurie, Maxine N.; and Mappen, Marc; Encyclopedia of New Jersey: Rutgers University Press; 2004/2005. "Kovacs, Ernest Edward", p. 444.
- Holt, Bob. "Security for Jay-Z and Beyonce's baby, Blue Ivy Carter, upset hospital visitors", NewJerseyNewsroom.com, January 9, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2012. "She and Jay-Z, who went to Trenton Central High School in his youth, rented out Lenox Hill’s whole fourth floor at a cost of $1.3 million."
- Fleming, John. "Gentlemen of the Old School". Gladly Lerne, Gladly Teche. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- The Ultimate New Jersey High School Year Book.
- Citizens for Successful Schools, http://www.cssnj.org, provides links to resources for people working to improve education.
- Telephone Directory, Trenton Public Schools. Accessed July 26, 2012.
- Trenton Central High School
- Trenton Public Schools
- Trenton Public Schools's 2010–11 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Trenton Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics