Bergenfield High School
|Bergenfield High School|
|80 South Prospect Avenue
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
|Type||Public high school|
|Asst. principal||Rob Ragasa|
|Enrollment||1,205 (as of 2015-16)|
|Student to teacher ratio||13.4:1|
|Athletics conference||Big North Conference|
|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.
As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,205 students and 89.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.4:1. There were 297 students (24.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 101 (8.4% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
The school's CEEB code is 310090.
The high school was constructed at a cost of $370,000 as an addition to an existing school, and dedicated in ceremonies held in April 1941.
Awards, recognition and rankings
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. 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. The magazine ranked the school 234th in 2008 out of 316 schools and 192nd in the 2006. Schooldigger.com 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).
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.
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 and was a finalist for the Grammy Signature Schools Award for multiple years as well.
- 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 received gold ratings at the state regional festival and was named a New Jersey Honor Band in 2007 and 2009.
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. The musicians currently work under the direction of Brian P. Timmons and the color guard under Michael DeLucia.
The band marched in the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show and performed at the NFL Media Day festivities at the Prudential Center in Newark. 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. The Record placed the band's image on the front cover of the November 2007 issue of its Sports Magazine.
Bergenfield hosts the annual USSBA Bergen County Invitational Band Festival, which has a roster of up to 16 bands per year. 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 marching band represented New Jersey as the lead music group in a televised opening of the New Jersey pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair.
- They've marched at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for a record 20 times and were featured in a 1978 Macy's commercial. They've also participated in NYC ticker-tape parades.
- The band appeared on film in The Bounty Hunter and Tower Heist as the Macy's Great American Marching Band.
- Their notable TV news segments include News 12, Good Day New York when the Yankees won the 2009 World Series, and The Today Show where host Ann Curry fulfilled one of her long-time dreams by performing with the marching band.
- They performed live at the 41st Tony Awards held in June 1987 at the Mark Hellinger Theatre, appearing as part of a tribute aired to honor the then recently deceased Robert Preston, best known for his starring role in The Music Man.
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. Before the 2010 realignment, it was one of the 12 schools participating in the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League (NBIL/NBIAL). With 916 students in grades 10-12, the school is classified by the NJSIAA for most sports as North I, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 786 to 1,074. Tom Curry is Bergenfield's Athletic Director.
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. Interscholastic sports offered by the school include:
- 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 and 2015.
In 2015, the boys' basketball team won the North I Group III state sectional championship with a 71-69 win against Teaneck High School and went on to win the Group III state title with an 81-72 win in overtime against Ewing High School to earn their first state championship since 1945 and their first appearance to the Tournament of Champions in school history.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- 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.
- Harry Basil, stand-up comic, actor in Peggy Sue Got Married and film director.
- Thom Fitzgerald (born 1968), filmmaker The Hanging Garden, The Event, 3 Needles.
- Al Di Meola (born 1954), jazz fusion guitarist.
- Bob Gaudio (born 1942), singer, songwriter and producer, of the group The Four Seasons.
- Bernard Goldberg (born 1945), television news reporter and author of Bias, a New York Times number one bestseller about how the media distort the news.
- Vincent Scuro (born 1951), author, Presenting the Marching Band and other books.
- Floyd James Thompson (born 1933), America's longest held Prisoner of War.
- Ron Villone (born 1970), former major league pitcher, who played for 12 teams in his career.
- Jacklyn Zeman (born 1963), actress who has played Barbara "Bobbie" Spencer on General Hospital since 1977.
- Baumann, Carl. "The 'Mighty Mites'", BergenfieldAlumni.com. 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."
- School data for Bergenfield High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 12, 2018.
- Bergenfield High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
- Bergenfield High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 12, 2011.
- 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."
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 11, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 6, 2012.
- Cesarano, Lisa. "176 Programs Earn Distinction As 'A Best Community for Music Education Archived 2012-04-29 at the Wayback Machine., NAMM Foundation, May 4, 2011. Accessed April 17, 2012.
- 2010 Grammy Signature School Finalists, November 9, 2009. Accessed October 31, 2011.
- Kuzmich, John. "Meet Bergenfield High School: Achieving Excellence Through Technology", School Band and Orchestra, January 1, 2010. Accessed September 26, 2015. "Their Honors Wind Ensemble has received three consecutive gold ratings at state regional festival and has been named a New Jersey Honor Band in 2007 and 2009."
- "Music Man in Bergenfield", BergenfieldAlumni.com. Accessed January 9, 2012.
- Activities and Clubs, Bergenfield High School. Accessed January 9, 2012.
- 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."
- 2009 Program Football - Cheerleading - Marching Band, Bergenfield High School. Accessed September 26, 2015.
- Record Sports Magazine, Nov 2007, Front Cover Image, The Record (Bergen County). Accessed September 26, 2015.
- 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."
- "Bergenfield's Band In Spotlight As Fair's Jersey Pavilion Opens"
- Alvarez, Ashanti M. "BERGENFIELD'S MARCHING BAND OF NOTE", The Record (Bergen County), November 22, 2000. Accessed December 1, 2008.
- 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."
- 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."
- League Memberships – 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed August 14, 2017.
- General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Salvatore Peter Cascio: Lifetime Service To Wrestling - Class Of 2004, National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Accessed August 15, 2011.
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
- Idec, Keith. "H.S. boys' basketball: Bergenfield fends off Teaneck rally, wins North 1, Group 3 crown", The Record (Bergen County), March 11, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2015. "By then, second-seeded Bergenfield had fended off a remarkable Teaneck comeback and held on to win the North 1, Group 3 title, 71-69. Their wild win helped the Bears avenge two regular-season losses to eighth-seeded Teaneck and ended the defending champion's streak of North 1, Group 3 championships at four."
- Baumuller, Matt. "Group 3 boys' basketball: Bergenfield tops Ewing, 80-72, in overtime", The Record (Bergen County), April 3, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2015. "The Bergenfield High School boys' basketball team capped off an incredible Cinderella season by defeating Ewing 80-72 in the New Jersey Group 3 state finals at Rutgers University March 15.The win gave Bergenfield its first basketball state title in 70 years.... Bergenfield was a team of destiny, however, and they finished off Ewing to win their first state title since 1945."
- 2015 Basketball state championships Program, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 26, 2015.
- Administration, Bergenfield High School. Accessed November 19, 2015.
- 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.'
- 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."
- 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."
- Vincent Scuro, "Scuro gifts schools with book copies," Twin Boro News, October 30, 1974. "Bergenfield's 23-year old author, Vincent Scuro, recently paid a visit to three of his former schools - Bergenfield High School, Roy W. Brown Middle School, and Lincoln School to present each school with a copy of his new book, "Presenting the Marching Band," published by Dodd, Mead and Company."
- 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."
- 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."
- Ron Villone, Baseball Cube. Accessed November 23, 2006.
- Staff. Jackie Zeman; Malibu, California, FabOverFifty.com. 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."