Union High School (New Jersey)

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Coordinates: 40°42′15″N 74°17′01″W / 40.704229°N 74.283639°W / 40.704229; -74.283639

Union High School
2350 North Third Street
Union, NJ 07083
Type Public high school
School district Union Public School District
Principal Edward Gibbons
Vice Principals Gina Calderone
Benjamin Kloc
Shawn Paterno
Latee Walton-McCleod
Faculty 169.3 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 2,387[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 14.10:1[1]
Color(s)            Maroon and White
Athletics conference Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Team name Farmers

Union High School is a comprehensive community public high school located in Union Township in Union County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as the lone secondary school of the Union Public School District. In the late 1960s, a new high school was built, expanding on the existing Burnet Junior High School structure. Subsequent to completion of the new Union High School, the former high school building became Burnet Junior High and later, Burnet Middle School. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1953.[2]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,387 students and 169.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.10:1. There were 707 students (29.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 293 (12.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

The high school itself has gone under construction to allow expansion of functions of the school. These include UHSPAC (Union High School Performing Arts Company), The C.A.S.T (Communication Arts Science and Technology) Program, A.J.R.O.T.C (Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) program and their football team, the "Fighting Farmers."

In the early 1990s, it was named an All-American school, along with all other schools in the Union Township School System.

The school itself was featured in Howard Stern's "autobiographical" movie, Private Parts, where it served as a stand in for Stern's actual high school, Roosevelt High School in Roosevelt, New York on Long Island.[citation needed]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 201st-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.[3] The school had been ranked 250th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 243rd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[4] The magazine ranked the school 229th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[5] The school was ranked 210th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[6]

Union High School Performing Arts Company[edit]

The Union High School Performing Arts Company (UHSPAC) includes a theatre department, an instrumental music program, and various choral music groups.


Union High School's theatre department, under the direction of James Mosser, produces two major theatrical productions annually and has been recognized numerous times by the Paper Mill Playhouse in their annual Rising Star Awards. In 2010, the UHSPAC’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat received the Rising Star Award for Best Overall Production, Best Director, Best Music Direction and Best Chorus; winning more awards than any other school in the state.[7] UHSPAC's 2013 production of Cats (musical) was nominated for 14 Rising Star Awards and won five, the second-most of any school in the state, including awards for Outstanding Chorus, Outstanding Choreography/Musical Staging, and Outstanding Orchestra.[8]

Marching Band[edit]

The Union High School Marching Band, under the direction of Laura Muller, consists of wind, percussion, and color guard members. The band performs at all school football games and competes in many United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) competitions located in the New Jersey area. At the 2012 Yamaha Cup, with their show entitled, "Rosie", the marching band won 1st place in Group 4A competition with a score of 85.888 and receiving the awards for Best Music, Best Visual, and Best Overall Effect, competing against 13 other marching bands in that division. In 2014 with their show entitled, "Soaring", the marching band won 1st place in the USBANDS Group 3A New Jersey State Championship at Rutgers University with a score of 84.400 and receiving the award for Best Overall Effect, beating out 18 other New Jersey bands competing within Group 3A. Also in 2014, the band won 1st place at the USBands Group 3A National Championships in Allentown, Pennsylvania at J. Birney Crum Stadium. They achieved a score of 91.213, taking home the awards for Best Guard, Best Music, and Best Visual and they defeated 15 other bands in the 3A division.[9]


The Union High School Farmers compete in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[10][11] With 1,776 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North II, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,087 to 3,896 students in that grade range.[12] Prior to the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had participated in the Watchung Conference, a high school sports association which consisted of public high schools covering Essex County, Hudson County and Union County.[13]

The football team won the North II Group IV state sectional championships in 1978-79, 1982, 1984–87 and 1991-93.[14]

On May 2, 2008, Union High School's Armed Drill Team took first place at The Nationals in the challenger level.[15]


Core members of the school's administration are:[16]

  • Edward Gibbons, Principal
  • Gina Calderone, Vice Principal
  • Benjamin Kloc, Vice Principal
  • Shawn Paterno, Vice Principal
  • Latee Walton-McCleod, Vice Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Union Senior High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Union High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 30, 2012. Accessed Match 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 12, 2012.
  5. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 25, 2011.
  6. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  7. ^ 2010 RECIPIENTS as presented at the 15th Annual Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, Paper Mill Playhouse, June 8, 2010. Accessed July 10, 2011. "Rising Star Award Outstanding Overall Production Union High School JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT"
  8. ^ Staff. "Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn announces 2013 Rising Star Award winners", Independent Press, June 9, 2013. Accessed June 9, 2013. "Summit High School took home six Rising Star Awards, more awards than any other school in the state. Union High School won five awards, and Jackson Memorial High School and Gill St. Bernard’s School took home two awards each."
  9. ^ Yamaha Cup10/13/2012East Rutherford, NJ, USBANDS, October 13, 2012. Accessed June 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Union High School, New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 30, 2015.
  11. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 21, 2014.
  12. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed September 21, 2014.
  13. ^ Home Page, Watchung Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 7, 2011. Accessed December 16, 2014.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 29, 2011.
  15. ^ 2008 National High School Drill Team Championships - Challenge Level, The Nationals. Accessed July 18, 2008.
  16. ^ Administrative Team, Union High School. Accessed September 20, 2014.
  17. ^ Frezza Jr., Harry. Football: Improved Westfield loses shootout; Johnson Stars", Courier-News, October 8, 2006. Accessed July 10, 2012. "Westfield was in the game until senior fullback Isa Abdul-Quddus ran for 9 yards and a first down with just under two minutes left."
  18. ^ Isa Abdul-Quddus, New Orleans Saints. Accessed July 10, 2012. "Prepped at Union (N.J.) HS where he was a first team All-County and second team All-State selection as a senior, making over 100 tackles in both his senior and junior seasons."
  19. ^ Gacser, Ava. "“America’s Next Top Model” taps Union native", Home News Tribune, January 28, 2009. Accessed July 10, 2011 ."A 21-year-old student from Union named Aminat is listed among the 13 finalists who will fight for the top-model title beginning Wednesday, Feb. 25, on The CW. A quick Google search reveals that this could very well be Union High School Class of 2004 graduate Aminat Ayinde."
  20. ^ Strum, Charles. "He's Out! But Coach Appeals Call; Confusion in the Stands as Board Ejects a Baseball Coach", The New York Times, March 6, 1992. Accessed July 10, 2011. "It is axiomatic here that in March, when the temperature hits 40 degrees, baseball is just around the corner and Gordon LeMatty, the Union High School varsity coach, is not far behind.... Larry Kubin, a pitcher and an outfielder from the class of 1977 who went on to play football at Penn State and for the Washington Redskins, said the board had been 'ruthless in its disrespect.'"
  21. ^ Larry Kubin profile, database Football. Accessed June 6, 2007.
  22. ^ An evening of comedy with Artie Lange and the Killers of Comedy at the Lakeland Center, accessed December 1, 2006.
  23. ^ RAY LIOTTA BIOGRAPHY, accessed December 10, 2006.
  24. ^ Elliot Maddox bio, accessed April 15, 2007. "Elliott Maddox was born in East Orange, New Jersey on December 21, 1947. He was a Union County resident from kindergarten until graduation from Union High School."
  25. ^ Staff. "At Union, There Is Strength", The New York Times, April 17, 1975. Accessed July 10, 2012. "He has watched proudly as Al Santorini, one of his finest pitchers, and Elliott Maddox, now the Netv York Yankees' center fielder, left his tutelage found success in professional baseball."
  26. ^ Wentworth, Bridget. "Union's Darnell Stapleton on way to Super Bowl XLIII with Pittsburgh Steelers", The Star-Ledger, January 24, 2009. Accessed February 25, 2011."Stapleton's road made its first detour after he emerged as a talented lineman for Union High School. He had let his grades slip, though, and his GPA didn't qualify him to play for a Division 1 school."
  27. ^ Travis Taylor. RealGM.com. Accessed February 13, 2015.
  28. ^ Jordan, Chris. "Robert Wuhl knows history - and old movie theaters", Asbury Park Press, February 12, 2011. Accessed February 25, 2011. "'It was a great place to grow up in,' said Wuhl, a 1969 graduate of Union High School. 'It was a terrific school, terrific environment — I'm very proud of my Jersey roots. I'm not one of these people who knocks that at all.'"
  29. ^ Staff. "IWF Wrestling School holds annual youth summer clinic", Passaic Valley Today, August 5, 2010. Accessed June 9, 2013. "Twenty-two IWF students performed on WWE Raw and SmackDown television events, including 'BoneCrusher' Darren Young, a graduate of Union High School and Fairleigh Dickinson University."

External links[edit]