Elizabeth High School (New Jersey)
|Elizabeth High School|
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Elizabeth Public Schools|
|Vice principal||Thomas O'Donnell|
|Enrollment||844 (as of 2015-16)|
|Student to teacher ratio||16.2:1|
|Athletics conference||Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
Elizabeth High School (officially known as Elizabeth High School - Frank J. Cicarell Academy), is a four-year public high school located in Elizabeth, in Union County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as part of the Elizabeth Public Schools. In 2009, the school and its more than 5,000 students was split into six separate houses, each operating as an independent school with its own principal and subject of focus, including one which has retained the Elizabeth High School name. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1978.
As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 844 students and 52.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 16.2:1. There were 512 students (60.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 104 (12.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, both upper and lower academies of Elizabeth High School merged into the newly built Frank J. Cicarell Academy, which is located next to the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy.
- 1 Awards, recognition and rankings
- 2 History
- 3 Houses
- 4 Transformation plan
- 5 Marching band
- 6 Athletics
- 7 Administration
- 8 Notable alumni
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Awards, recognition and rankings
In 2015, Elizabeth High School was one of 15 schools in New Jersey, and one of nine public schools, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in the exemplary high performing category by the United States Department of Education.
In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 320th in the nation among participating public high schools and 25th among schools in New Jersey. The school was ranked 217th in the nation and 18th in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.
The school was the 119th-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 148th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 294th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed based on school statistics prior to the split. The school had been ranked 302nd in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 287th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.
Following the split, Schooldigger.com ranked the school 21st out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 8 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (97.5%) and language arts literacy (100.0%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The all-girls Battin High School and all-boys Thomas Jefferson High School were both closed at the end of the 1976-77 school year, after the Elizabeth High School complex was completed and all of the district's students, male and female, were accommodated at the new four-building facility, ending the city's status as "the only community in the state with separate public high schools for boys and girls". The $29.3 million project included renovations to Thomas Jefferson High School, which was integrated into the new complex. The Battin High School building, together with the four existing junior high schools, was repurposed as a middle school for grades six through eight. The building was the former location of "Breidt Brewing Company", which was established in 1882 and operated until Prohibition.
With over 5,279 students, Elizabeth High School had been the largest high school in the nation in terms of student population. Prior to 2010, Elizabeth High School occupied eight campuses, also known as houses: The William F. Halsey house, the John E. Dwyer house, the Thomas Jefferson house, the Thomas Edison house, the Sam E. Aboff house, the Alexander Hamilton academy, the Upper academy, and the Lower academy. In 2009, the Elizabeth Board of Education passed the "Transformation Plan", which split-up the houses that made up Elizabeth High School and made each house its own high school. The Upper and Lower academies became the new Elizabeth High School.
Almost half of each graduating class had failed to pass the standard High School Proficiency Assessment and complete required course credits, so they are funneled through a so-called Alternative High School Assessment test.  About one in four students who entered the high school dropped out.
Elizabeth High School is composed of the following 7 houses (or campuses), plus an administration building, and an indoor sports center:
- Peter B. Gold Administration Building
- Thomas Dunn Sports Center
- William F. Halsey House
- John Dwyer House
- Thomas Jefferson House
- Thomas A. Edison Vocational and Technical Academy
- Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy
- Frank J. Cicarell Academy
- J Christian Bollwage Academy of Finance
The Halsey House, Dwyer House, The Peter B. Gold Administration Building, and Thomas Dunn Sports Center share one large building, forming the Main Complex of Elizabeth High School, most commonly known as "The Main". The Main Complex holds more students, teachers, and administrators than the other houses/campuses in the city. The Main Complex was known as the heart of Elizabeth High School.
The Main Complex is where all the Elizabeth High School extracurricular activities and sports teams are found. The building functions as a hub central as other students from the other Elizabeth High School houses come here during the after school hours. The Main Complex also holds Elizabeth High School's swimming pool where the swim team practices and meets are held. The Main Complex campus is also famous in the student body for holding a unique courtyard, being the only campus in Elizabeth High School to have one accessible to its students.
Thomas Jefferson House
Located across the street from City Hall and war monuments, Thomas Jefferson House was the school's oldest house. Built in 1928 as an all-boys high school and named for the author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, Jefferson was now a house of Elizabeth High School and the center for the district's visual and performing arts programs. This house was just a short walk away from The Main Complex campus.
Jefferson specializes teaching its students in visual arts, such as drawing, painting, and creative crafts; as well as performing arts such as dance, acting, and singing. And also extra subjects, including creative writing.
Thomas A. Edison Academy For Career & Technical Education
Thomas A. Edison Academy For Career & Technical Education was originally built as Thomas Edison High School in 1935, and the last graduating class of the high school was in 1987. Named for the great inventor who worked on many of his major contributions to the scientific and commercial world right here in New Jersey. The Thomas A. Edison Academy For Career & Technical Education was the center for vocational and technical education in the city.
Williams Field, which holds the school's football field and outdoor track and field, is adjacent to the Thomas A. Edison Academy.
J Christian Bollwage Academy of Finance
The Sam E. Aboff Alternative House was the Elizabeth High School's smallest house in terms of both population and area. It was home to troublesome students and students who are excessively absent and/or tardy. It was located less than 100 yards from the Main Complex.
In 2009, each Elizabeth High School "House" was reformed into its own high school academy. The Sam E. Aboff House became the Halsey Academy of Finance (AOF), a branch of The Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Leadership Academy. AOF is the location of the Halsey Business Leadership Strand. The Halsey Academy of Finance can house a total of 200 students and all four grade levels of Business Leadership students.
Halsey Academy of Finance is part of the National Academy Foundation (NAF). A number of the city's high schools have gone through the NAF's development process and received permission to establish NAF academies within their base schools. NAF academies work with local businesses and higher education institutions to prepare students for careers in fields such as technology, engineering, business and finance and hospitality. The NAF curriculum engages students through a series of career exploration courses, mentorships, internships, and many opportunities for off-campus extended classroom experiences to give the participating students a better idea of the opportunities available to them in terms of further education and career fields. All NAF courses use project-based learning techniques with an emphasis on strengthening literacy. Halsey Academy established the NAF Halsey Academy of Finance on a campus directly across the street from the main Halsey building.
Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the Academy of Finance spun-off from Halsey and it became its own school, moving to the former location of Upper Academy, which was formerly part of Elizabeth High School
Frank J. Cicarell Academy/Upper and Lower Academy
The Upper and Lower Academies which are known as "Elizabeth High School were established in 2006 with a curriculum that prepares students for four-year colleges. The Upper Academy building held 10th–12th grade students (upper classmen), while the Lower Academy building holds 9th graders (lower classmen). Students enrolling in these academies are encouraged to take honors and Advanced Placement-level courses. Students are required to wear school uniforms and must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average to enroll or continue to stay in The Upper and Lower Academies.
In September 2016, Elizabeth High School moved into the newly constructed Frank J. Cicarell Academy, named after the Psychical Education teacher who worked for the Elizabeth Public Schools and died in 2007. The location of the new high school, is located directly next to the Jefferson Arts academy. The former location of Upper Academy became the Academy of Finance, though it is unknown what Lower Academy will be used for in the foreseeable future.
Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy
Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy was the newest house in Elizabeth High School, accommodating lower and upper classmen, bringing a total of eight houses in Elizabeth High School, serving the largest high school population in the United States.
Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy integrates a curriculum with the philosophies of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program.
AVID is a research-based instructional model that encourages students to prepare for and participate in a challenging college preparatory curriculum. In addition to enrolling in honors and AP level courses, students will receive academic support through a specially designed AVID elective taught by AVID-trained instructors. The rigorous curriculum prepares students for four-year colleges. Students are required to wear school uniforms during school hours.
Each student needs to establish and maintain at least a 2.0 Grade point average to enroll or continue to stay in Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy.
Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy's campus is the farthest one from Elizabeth High School's Main Complex. It is located next to Westfield Avenue, close to the borders of other towns. Hamilton Preparatory is the only house in which students must walk outside to classes. They are held in a small separate one-story adjacent building known as "The Portables", which is only a few yards away from the student cafeteria back door entrance and the main teachers' parking lot.
Hamilton became the 46th best high school in New Jersey by US News in 2012
From 1979 to 2009, Elizabeth High School was one big high school composed of eight campuses (or houses). In 2009, the Elizabeth Board of Education passed the "Transformation Plan" that split-up the high school and created six smaller high schools.
- The Upper Academy and Lower Academy became the new Elizabeth High School
- The William F. Halsey House became Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Leadership Academy
- The John Dwyer House became John E. Dwyer Technology Academy
- The Thomas Jefferson House became Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy
- The Sam E. Aboff Alternative House became part of Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Leadership Academy
- The Thomas A. Edison Vocational and Technical Academy stood the same
- The Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy stood the same
In 2016, the Board of Education made some additional changes.
- Elizabeth High School, which had two different locations for 9th grade students and all other students, became one location by moving into the Frank J. Cicarell Academy, located next to the Jefferson Arts Academy. The Academy of Finance, which was part of the Halsey Leadership Academy spun-off and became its own School, moving into the former location of Upper Academy. The Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Leadership Academy was later renamed into The Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Health and Public Safety Academy
The Elizabeth High School Marching Band won the USBands State and National 5A Competition in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In the 2014 season, the Marching Band moved up from 5A to 5 Open and went undefeated until their streak was snapped placing 4th in the National 5 Open Championship in MetLife Stadium on November 15, 2014. Throughout the week of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, the Elizabeth High School Marching Band was invited to perform at Media Day in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey as well as perform in pre-game festivities at the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.
The Elizabeth High School Minutemen 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. With 4,800 students in grades 10-12, the school (combined with Elizabeth's other academy programs) was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North II, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,114 to 4,800 students in that grade range. Prior to the 2010 reorganization, the school had competed in the Watchung Conference, which consisted of public and private high schools in Essex County, Hudson County and Union County in northern New Jersey.
The football team won the North II Group IV state sectional championships in 1981, 1988–89, 1997, 1999-2000, 2006, and the North II Group V state sectional championships in 2012. The football team won the 2006 North II, Group IV sectional championship, defeating Phillipsburg High School, 14-9. The team also took the 1999 North II, Group IV sectional championship with a 26-14 win over Montclair High School.
The Elizabeth High School girls rugby team won the title of Northeast Regional Champions in June 2008. They went on to become the 7th-ranked Girls U-19 rugby team in the nation. The team only formed in 2006.
Sports offered include:
|Fall Sports||Winter Sports||Spring Sports|
|Football (Boys)||Indoor Track (Boys and Girls)||Outdoor Track (Boys and Girls)|
|Soccer (Boys and Girls)||Basketball (Boys and Girls)||Baseball (Boys)|
|Volleyball (Girls)||Wrestling (Boys)||Softball (Girls)|
|Tennis (Girls)||Swimming (Boys and Girls)||Tennis (Boys)|
|Cross Country (Boys and Girls)||Bowling (Boys and Girls)||Golf (Boys and Girls)|
|Gymnastics (Boys and Girls)||Rugby (Girls)|
|Marching Band (Boys and Girls)||Volleyball (Boys)|
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Michael Cummings, Principal
- Thomas O'Donnell, Vice Principal
- Tom Colicchio (born 1962, class of 1980), Chef, CEO Crafted Hospitality, Head Judge of Bravo's Top Chef. Emmy Award Winner.
- Todd Bowles (born 1963, class of 1981), Head Coach of the New York Jets, who played in the NFL as a defensive back with the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.
- N. J. Burkett (born 1962, class of 1980), television news correspondent for WABC-TV in New York City.
- Rodney Carter (born 1964), former NFL running back / 3rd down receiver with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Al Catanho (born 1972), former linebacker in the NFL for the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins.
- Chris Gatling (born 1967), former all star professional basketball player for NBA teams from 1991 to 2002.
- Khaseem Greene (born 1989), NFL Linebacker for the Chicago Bears, former first team All American Linebacker during his career at Rutgers University.
- Horace Jenkins (born 1974), former player in the NBA.
- Michael Kasha (born 1920, class of 1937), physical chemist and molecular spectroscopist who collaborated with Andres Segovia in the 1960s and 1970s to create the Kasha Design classical guitars.
- Jerome Murphy (born 1987), is a current NFL American football cornerback who played college football at the University of South Florida and was drafted as the first pick in the third round by the St. Louis Rams.
- Raheem Orr (born 1980), former NFL defensive end.
- Alex Reyes (born 1994), MLB pitcher who made his debut in 2016 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Jahad Thomas (born 1995), NFL running back who has played for the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys.
- Phillip Walker (born 1995), NFL quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.
- Luther Wright (born 1971), former player in the NBA for the Utah Jazz.
- School data for Elizabeth High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 12, 2018.
- Elizabeth High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 21, 2015.
- Elizabeth High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed February 8, 2018.
- Kwoh, Leslie. "Elizabeth High School to split into six different schools in September", The Star-Ledger, January 15, 2009. Accessed June 22, 2011. "Elizabeth High School's 5,300 students will be divided into six schools in September to alleviate overcrowding in the biggest school in New Jersey."
- 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools All Public and Private, National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Accessed November 14, 2016.
- Mueller, Mark. "Which N.J. schools were named National Blue Ribbon schools?", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 29, 2015. Accessed November 14, 2016. "Fifteen New Jersey schools have been recognized by the federal government as National Blue Ribbon Schools, a designation that celebrates excellence in academics or progress in closing the achievement gap among groups of students.... Each of the 15 New Jersey schools was chosen for the 'exemplary high performing' category, which weighs state or national tests, high school graduation rates and the performance of subgroups of students, such as those who are economically disadvantaged."
- Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast / Newsweek, May 20, 2012. Accessed May 23, 2012.
- 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 June 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[permanent dead link], Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 23, 2012.
- Horowitz, Ben. "Elizabeth Awaits Coed High School", The New York Times, July 10, 1977. Accessed December 4, 2011. "ELIZABETH'S 48-year role as the only community in the state with separate public high schools for boys and girls will end in September with the opening of a new four-building complex at the corner of South Pearl and South Streets."
- "North Jersey Beer" by Chris Morris
- Golson, Jennifer. "This School Could Be a City; A diverse community with its own supermarket, beauty salon and auto repair service, Elizabeth High, the nation's largest, struggles to improve in an imperfect world", The Star-Ledger, June 25, 2006, copied at the Elizabeth Public Schools website, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 5, 2009. Accessed September 11, 2012.
- "N.J. high school seniors struggle with alternative graduation test" Archived 2012-09-04 at Archive.today, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, March 28, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2011.
- "Elizabeth High School to split" The Star-Ledger, January 15, 2009. Accessed December 15, 2011.
- Business Leadership Strand at the Halsey Academy of Finance, Halsey Academy of Finance. Accessed December 24, 2015.
- Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Elizabeth High School", The Washington Post. Accessed June 19, 2012.
- Elizabeth Public Schools, Facebook, Accessed September 22, 2016
- Staff. "Elizabeth H.S. Marching Band successfully defends state and national championship titles", Suburban News, November 15, 2012. Accessed September 23, 2014. "The Elizabeth High School (EHS) Marching Band brilliantly capped off another undefeated season by winning the US Bands (formerly known as USSBA) Group 5A National Championship, as well as the US Bands Group 5A state championship. Winning both the state and national titles for the second year in a row reaffirms that the EHS Marching Band ranks as one of the best in New Jersey, and one of the best in America."
- Staff. "Elizabeth H.S. Marching Band wins state and national championship titles", Suburban News, November 5, 2013. Accessed November 18, 2014. "The Elizabeth High School (EHS) Marching Band brilliantly capped off yet another undefeated season by winning the U.S. Bands Group 5A National Championship, as well as the US Bands Group 5A state championship. Winning both the state and national titles for the third year in a row reaffirms that the EHS Marching Band ranks as one of the best in New Jersey, and one of the best in America."
- League Memberships – 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Home Page, Watchung Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 7, 2011. Accessed December 16, 2014.
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
- 2006 Football Tournament - North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 27, 2007.
- North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 26, 2007.
- 2003 Boys Basketball - North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 26, 2007.
- Administration, Elizabeth High School. Accessed November 21, 2015.
- Todd Bowles Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine., Database Football. Accessed September 19, 2007.
- Kratch, James. "New Jets head coach Todd Bowles rocked the tux in high school yearbook photo", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 14, 2015. Accessed March 18, 2015. "The Jets have continued the Jersey theme by hiring Todd Bowles, an 1981 Elizabeth High graduate, as their new head coach."
- Harris, Doug. "Dateline: The World; Elizabeth Native, NJ (Newton Jones) Burkett of WABC News, writes the 'first draft of history'", Trinitas Hospital Healthy Edge, Fall 2008. Accessed January 23, 2015. "[Q] As a native of Elizabeth, what keeps the City close to your heart? [A] ...I was in the Elizabeth High School graduating class of 1980. I lived in Elizabeth for the first 18 years of my life until I left to go to Columbia University, but my parents still live there."
- Rodney Carter Archived 2007-12-31 at the Wayback Machine., database Football. Accessed September 19, 2007.
- Alcides Catanho profile Archived 2007-02-16 at the Wayback Machine., database Football. Accessed June 10, 2007.
- Chris Gatling profile, Basketball Reference.
- Player Bio: Khaseem Greene, Chicago Bears. Accessed January 23, 2015. "PERSONAL: Standout safety at Elizabeth High School for coach Chet Parlavecchio"
- Coffey, Wayne. "Make Room for Daddy; Horace Jenkins, 26, goes from William Paterson to possible NBA first-round pick", New York Daily News, April 22, 2001. Accessed February 12, 2018. "It is a prodigious jump, even for someone with a 44-inch vertical leap. It is even more impressive, considering that Jenkins never played his senior year at Elizabeth High School"
- McClure, Donald S. Biographical Memories: Michael Kasha 1930-2013, National Academy of Sciences. Accessed February 29, 2016.
- Sargeant, Keith. "Pitching Rice", Home News Tribune, September 26, 2006. Accessed March 20, 2011. "The lone New Jersey native on South Florida's roster is Jerome Murphy, a 2005 Elizabeth High School graduate."
- Sargeant, Keith. "Former Rutgers football star Raheem Orr looking to inspire future Scarlet Knights", NJ Advance Media, for NJ.com, August 22, 2014. Accessed January 23, 2015. "He arrived here from Elizabeth High School in 1999, regarded as an All-State linebacker and the most decorated New Jersey recruit signed in the Terry Shea era."
- Saxon, Mark. "Cardinals rookie pitcher Alex Reyes takes winding path to big stage", ESPN.com, September 18, 2016. Accessed October 9, 2016. "By his senior year at Elizabeth High in New Jersey, Reyes had to strain to throw 87 mph."
- Haley, John. "Jahad Thomas of Elizabeth signs with Temple on National Signing Day", The Star-Ledger, February 6, 2013. Accessed August 28, 2017. "But Thomas, a 5-10, 175-pound senior at Elizabeth High School, always wanted to play running back."
- Haly, John. "Phillip Walker of Elizabeth signs with Temple on National Signing Day", The Star-Ledger, February 6, 2013. Accessed August 28, 2017. "Trailing with less than a minute remaining with no timeouts, Elizabeth quarterback P.J. Walker had to negotiate 99 yards of real estate against a perennial state power in Piscataway in the North Jersey, Group 5 championship game at Kean University."
- Futterman, Matthew for The Star-Ledger. "At rock bottom, Luther Wright finds salvation; Ex-Jazzman finds new life after years of excess", Deseret News, June 5, 2007. Accessed August 28, 2017. "His height and success brought him to St. Anthony High School, the basketball powerhouse in Jersey City coached by Bob Hurley. He lasted a year before flunking out.... Using a cousin's address, Wright's family enrolled him at Elizabeth High School, another powerhouse, where he led his team to victory in the state's Tournament of Champions."