Hillside High School (New Jersey)

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Hillside High School
Hillside High School is located in Union County, New Jersey
Hillside High School
Hillside High School
Hillside High School is located in New Jersey
Hillside High School
Hillside High School
Hillside High School is located in the US
Hillside High School
Hillside High School
1085 Liberty Avenue
Hillside, NJ 07205
Type Public high school
Established 1947
School district Hillside Public Schools
Principal Christine Sidwa
Vice principals Obinna Emenaka
Victoria Gilliard
Ralph Rotando
Faculty 79.2 FTEs[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 849 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 10.7:1[1]
Color(s)      Maroon and
Athletics conference Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Team name Comets[2]

Hillside High School is a comprehensive community four-year public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Hillside, in Union County, New Jersey, United States, operating as the lone secondary school of the Hillside Public Schools.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 849 students and 79.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.7:1. There were 426 students (50.2% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 115 (13.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 250th-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 166th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 217th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[4] The magazine ranked the school 287th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[5] The school was ranked 262nd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[6]


In 2001, students from David Brearley High School and Hillside High School collaborated to develop literary and art projects about bigotry presented at an exhibit, "Making Connections: Two Culturally Diverse Schools Address Prejudice and Hatred by Studying the Holocaust Together." The exhibit was presented at Kean University, and was viewed together with local Holocaust survivors and concentration camp liberators.[7]


Hillside High School on Liberty Avenue was originally constructed in 1939–40 with the first graduating class in 1941, replacing the Coe Avenue (A.P. Morris) School which became a grammar school. Additions were later added to accommodate the baby-boomers of the 1950s and 1960s. In the mid-sixties the high school held some 1,500 students.


The Hillside High School Comets[2] compete in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which consists of public and private high schools in Union County and operates under the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[8] With 658 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as Central Jersey, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 498 to 750 students in that grade range.[9] Before the 2010 realignment, the school had participated in the Mountain Valley Conference, which consisted of public and parochial high schools in Essex County and Union County.[10]

In 1986, the Hillside Comets football team cruised to an 11–1 record and a North II Group II state championship with a win against Madison High School.[11]

The boys' basketball team won the Group II state championships in both 1990 and 1992, defeating Middle Township High School in the tournament final in both years.[12]

In 2011, the Hillside High School cheerleading team, under coach Keyla Silva, won the title of State Champions at the NJCDCA competition in Trenton in the Intermediate Varsity division. After this victory the cheerleaders held this title for three years in a row, repeating as state division champion in 2012 and 2013.[13]


Core members of the school's administration are:[14]

  • Christine Sidwa, Principal
  • Obinna Emenaka, Vice Principal
  • Victoria Palmer-Gilliard, Vice Principal
  • Ralph Rotando, Vice Principal of Athletics

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Rollie Massimino (born 1934, class of 1952), coach at Hillside who went on to become a college basketball coach, best known for leading the Villanova Wildcats to an NCAA championship in 1985.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Hillside High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hillside High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 5, 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 August 23, 2012.
  5. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 23, 2011.
  6. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  7. ^ "Two-school project fights prejudice; Kenilworth, Hillside art and computer classes team up.", The Star-Ledger, June 7, 2001
  8. ^ League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  9. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Home Page, Mountain Valley Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
  12. ^ NJSIAA Group Basketball Past Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 5, 2015.
  13. ^ NJCDCA Cheerleading State Champions Archive, New Jersey Cheerleading & Dance Coaches Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  14. ^ Administration, Hillside High School. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Jerron McMillian", Maine Black Bears football. Accessed December 24, 2013. "Played quarterback and safety for coach Jim Hopke at Hillside H.S. ... served as team captain ... earned all-state, all-county and All-Mountain Valley Conference honors ... also played basketball"
  16. ^ 1998 Maryland Football Honors Candidates , Maryland Terrapins football. Accessed May 12, 2016. " KENDALL OGLE Among the ACC's Leading Tacklers: Linebacker, 6-1, 231, Senior Hillside, N.J. (Hillside High School)"
  17. ^ McQuiston, John T. "Details Given On Suspects In Abduction", The New York Times, June 21, 1992. Accessed August 12, 2008.
  18. ^ via Associated Press. "Nets reportedly land Massimino with $375,000 per year contract", Boca Raton News, June 20, 1985. Accessed December 10, 2011. "He then returned to Hillside High School where he compiled a 71–24 mark and led his team to the state finals twice in four seasons."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°41′30″N 74°14′11″W / 40.691612°N 74.236387°W / 40.691612; -74.236387