J. P. Stevens High School

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John P. Stevens High School
John P. Stevens High School is located in Middlesex County, New Jersey
John P. Stevens High School
John P. Stevens High School
John P. Stevens High School is located in New Jersey
John P. Stevens High School
John P. Stevens High School
John P. Stevens High School is located in the US
John P. Stevens High School
John P. Stevens High School
855 Grove Avenue
Edison, New Jersey, NJ 08820
Type Public high school
Motto Be the Change
Established 1964
Principal Gail Pawlikowski
Asst. principals Meredith Quick
Anthony Shallop
Robert Urbanovich
Faculty 152.2 FTEs[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,170 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 14.3:1[1]
Color(s)      Dark green and
     old gold[2]
Team name Hawks[2]
Newspaper Hawkeye
Yearbook Regalis

John P. Stevens High School (abbr. JP or JPS) is a four-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from the northern end of Edison Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. It is one of two secondary schools in the Edison Township Public Schools District, the other being Edison High School. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1969.[3]

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,170 students and 152.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.3:1. There were 282 students (13.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 126 (5.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]


J.P. Stevens was founded in 1965, and rapidly expanded with North Edison. Originally, JPS was a senior high school, serving grades 10 through 12. In 1984, the Edison School District changed the junior high schools into middle schools, moving 9th grade into JPS.


The population of J.P. Stevens High School enters primarily from John Adams Middle School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

From the time it opened through the 1980s, the school's students were mostly Caucasian, with an African American minority. Beginning in the 1980s, J. P. Stevens saw increasing numbers of Indians. The largest group of students at J.P. Stevens is Asian American. The average class size of the school is about 37 students. The school's ratio of students to computers is 1 to 1 while the state average is 4 to 1.

In the 2009-10 school year, on the Language Arts section of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), 53.1% of students scored proficient and 39.8% scored advanced. On the Math section of the test, 34.5% scored proficient and 54.1% scored advanced. The average SAT score was 1741 out of 2400. The Advanced Placement (AP) participation rate is 37.3%. The average attendance rate is 96.8%. The school had a suspension rate of 10%. 98.9% of JPS seniors graduated. 80% of the graduating seniors planned to go on to four-year colleges and another 16.9% of the graduating seniors expected to go on to two-year colleges.[4]


The faculty population of J.P. Stevens High School is around 200 teachers. The student to faculty ratio is 13 to 1. The average faculty member gets paid $55,035 a year while the state average is $52,563.[5]


J.P. Stevens students are required to take four years of English, four years of math, three years of science, three years of history (one of world and two of U.S.) and at least two years of a foreign language (including Latin, French, Spanish, and starting the 2008-09 school year, Hindi). In 2012, Mandarin and Italian were also added. In addition, health and physical education classes are required for every year in which a student attends J.P. Stevens. Starting with the Class of 2008, one year of "Career Education and Consumer, Family and Life Skills" such as Foods or Technology Fundamentals is required as well as another year of the "Visual Performing Arts" such Chorus, Band, Visual Arts, Clothing for Fashion, and Architectural Drafting. J.P. Stevens has an Honors as well as a college preparatory track that features several Advanced Placement courses.

2008-09 curriculum reform[edit]

Responding to numerous voices within the community for community reform, the Edison Board of Education formed the High School Reform Committee. This committee recommended that for the 2009-10 school year, Foods I and Foods II be converted to Foundations of Food and Nutrition. International Foods will be converted to Culinary Arts. The committee also recommended the "addition" of two AP classes as well: The conversion of Visual Arts 3 in title to AP Studio Art and the addition of AP World History as a Junior year elective.

School funding[edit]

The school received 88% of the money from local taxes. The total cost per pupil in the school district was $11,964.[citation needed]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

In Newsweeks listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 127th of the 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 23rd among all high schools in New Jersey and tenth among the state's non-magnet schools.[6]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 294th in the nation among participating public high schools and 23rd among schools in New Jersey. in fact, famous singer/songwriter Andrew Fromm graduated from this school in 1993.[7]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 33rd in New Jersey and 1,151st nationwide.[8]

According to U.S. News & World Report, J.P. Stevens High School was ranked 36 in New Jersey in 2012, and has a national rank of 781.[9] In 2013, JP Steven's state ranking rose to 32 and its national ranking rose to 467.[10]

The school was the 30th-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.[11] The school had been ranked 80th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 65th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[12] The magazine ranked the school 52nd in 2008 out of 316 schools.[13] The school was ranked 82nd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.[14] Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 97th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 7 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (88.3%) and language arts literacy (95.1%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[15]

The graduating class of 2013 had 31 National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists and 62 Commended Students.[16]

In 2014, the band director, Andrew DeNicola, was a top 10 finalist for the 2014 Grammy Music Educator Award.[17]

In 2015, CNN featured J.P. Stevens as "The $2.5 billion high school", highlighting three e-commerce companies founded by recent graduates.[18]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Clubs and other activities offered at J.P. Stevens include:[19]


The J.P. Stevens High School Hawks[2] compete in the Red Division of the Greater Middlesex Conference, which operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[21] With 1,659 students in grades 10-12, the school 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.[22] The school competes against nearby rivals such as Edison High School, East Brunswick High School, and Woodbridge High School.

Interscholastic sports offered include:[2]

The football team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1977, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1985 and 2001.[23]

Janet Smith won the girls' 5,000 meter race at the 1983 Kinney National High School Cross-Country Championships held in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, with a time of 16 minutes 43.7 seconds.[24]

The wrestling team won the North II Group IV state sectional championship in 2004.[25]

Model United Nations[edit]

The Model United Nations club, JPSMUN, has performed well for years, and has consistently ranked among the top 10 high schools in America. It has earned the special distinction as being the only public high school on the list. The team has received Outstanding Large Delegation and Best Small Delegation awards, as well as a few prestigious Best Large Delegation awards. These include that of HMUN 2012 and RUMUN 2016. Recently, the team has also won WAMUNC's Outstanding Large Delegation Award 2017. The team hosts three in-house conferences for the purposes of competition, and training each year. The team is well recognized and decorated across the circuit, and has picked up a reputation for being one of the closest and tightly knit teams. Several members of the team earned national records for consecutive Best Delegate awards.[26]


Team 2554, the JPS Warhawks, is a robotics club started in the 2007-2008 school year at John P. Stevens High School. The team competes with over 60 other international teams at the New York City Regionals in the NY Jacob Javits Convention Center. They are completely self-funded, using fundraiser events, and T-shirt sales, and grant submissions to raise money for registration fees, parts, and equipment.[27] In past regional events they have placed 18/64, 61/68, and 44/65, as well as competed in the NYC semifinals during their second (2007–2009) year. In November 2011, they collaborated with two other top New Jersey robotics teams and in turn won North Brunswick's practice competition, the Brunswick Eruption.



The J.P. Stevens High School Chorus was headed by Jonathan Meszaros, it is now headed by JPS Alumnus Matthew Lee. Diane Wions retired in 2011. The J.P. Stevens Choir has won numerous awards, including Best Overall Choir at National and State competitions[citation needed]. In the 2006 Music Festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia, all competing groups from J.P. Stevens won first place, including best overall choir with all superior ratings. At the ACDA Festival in May 2006, the A Cappella Ensemble and the Chamber Ensemble both received The Sweepstakes award with a perfect score[citation needed]. In the Roxbury Invitational 2007, J.P. Stevens A Cappella Ensemble was one of two concert choirs selected to be in the showcase (previously in 2005), and went home with a 1st runner up trophy (with a rating of gold), behind Hopewell Valley Chamber Singers. In 2008, J.P. Stevens A Capella once again qualified as one of two showcase choirs at Roxbury Invitational, receiving a rating of gold. In addition, two concert soloists were selected to perform in the showcase. In 2010, the JP choir was once again selected into the showcase, securing 1st runner up once again. At the 2011 Roxbury Invitational, JP choir once again made showcase, but this time secured first place with a rating of gold. The following year, at the 2012 Roxbury Invitational, JP choir, once again claimed the title of grand champion concert choir with a rating of gold. Many students from the choir are accepted into the Regions II Choir, the NJ All-State Choir, All-Eastern High School Honor Choir, and Governor's School of the Arts. In 2016, 29 out of 29 auditioning students were accepted into the All State Mixed or Treble Chorus. At the Heritage Festivals in Boston, Massachusetts in April 2007, the A Cappella Ensemble received second place and the Concert Choir won first place, as well as the Adjudicator's award. In addition, the Chamber Choir was awarded first place in the Madrigal Choir category, and the school won Best Overall Choir and the Sweepstakes award. All performing groups received a gold rating. In the 2008 Festivals of Music in Washington, D.C., all competing groups from J.P. Stevens won the top honors.

  • Concert Choir - Open to all students, about 170-190 members; Weekly Thursday rehearsals
  • A Cappella Ensemble - Open by audition to all students, about 120-130 members; Weekly Monday rehearsals
  • Men's Ensemble - Open to audition, automatic membership with acceptance into A Cappella Ensemble; Weekly Wednesday rehearsals; following Women's Ensemble.
  • Women's Ensemble - Open to audition, automatic membership with acceptance into A Cappella Ensemble; Weekly Wednesday rehearsals
  • Chamber Ensemble - Most selective group, open to audition, grades 10-12, 38 members; Weekly Monday rehearsals, following A Capella


The J.P. Stevens High School band program is under the direction of Andrew S. DeNicola and assistant director John Zazzali. Around 200 students participate in several ensembles, among which include a marching band, jazz ensemble, and wind ensemble, among others. The program enjoys the majority of its success with its wind bands and jazz ensembles. Its wind ensemble is a perennial participant at the New Jersey Concert Band Gala and Mid-Atlantic Honors Wind Band Festival. In addition, its jazz ensemble has won five state championships, including a three-peat from 2009-2011.

The program consistently places a good proportion of its students in regional and statewide honor bands. In addition, its alumni have been educated at top tier music schools and conservatories around the country, notably at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Berklee College of Music, and the University of North Texas, among others. Its alumni, most notably David Bryan, have also performed with the CBS Orchestra, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, the Mel Lewis/Thad Jones Orchestra, and Bon Jovi, among others.

The program annually hosts Bandboozle, a benefit dance that helps VH1's Save the Music, as well as a Comedy Night in honor of a late student in order to give out the Adonis Smith Memorial Scholarship. The Comedy Night has been hosted on numerous occasions by Kel Mitchell.


The John P. Stevens orchestra program is under the direction of Brian Verdi. Each year a number of students audition and are selected to participate in both CJMEA Regions II and All-State Orchestra. The orchestras compete each year in various orchestra festivals and place first in every competition. Presently the orchestra program has over one hundred members and continues to grow.

The J.P. Stevens High School Orchestra Program consists of three orchestras, including a number of string quartets. Chamber Orchestra includes 35 students who are selected by audition and perform standard orchestral literature. Concert Orchestra has more than 60 students and Symphonic Orchestra with over 80 students. Students who play in the string quartet are selected by audition and perform for weddings and other fundraisers around the community.

Theatre company[edit]

The John P. Stevens award-winning theatre company has been an ongoing program in the school for many years now. Since the foundation of the company, several Broadway and off-Broadway shows have been performed; some notable include: Grease, Into the Woods, Pippin, The Wiz, Leader of the Pack and Urinetown: The Musical. The theatre company's production of Urinetown: The Musical garnered several honorable mentions and nominations by the NJ Papermill Playhouse Rising Star Awards as well as a separate award being honored to student Thomas Minucci for the best set design. Other productions by the company from the past include Macbeth, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Working among others. The theatre company put on a production of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit The Wind in November 2007. Most recently, the company put on perhaps their most successful and lauded show ever: the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in April 2008. Tickets easily sold out for the show, thus, each performance night oversaw members of the theatre company performing to one of the largest turnouts ever. Since then, they have put on such challenging and successful shows as The Odyssey, Tommy, The Crucible, and Jekyll and Hyde. In the fall of 2010, the company performed the play, Metamorphoses. In the Spring of 2011, the company performed the rock opera hit, Rent, which sold out on its closing night. In fall of 2011, the company will be performing Our Town. Darlene Rich, an English and Theatre Arts teacher at the school, is currently the director and head of the theatre company.

"More Ways Out" improv troupe[edit]

The "More Ways Out" improv troupe meets every Thursday after school, to practice along with other students the art of "staying on ones toes". In the past years the "More Ways Out" improv troupe has won best in state numerous times. Most recently, the troupe went to New York City for an improv workshop encountering many professionals, as well as attending the NYC comedy festival.


The Choir and Orchestra participated in the Heritage Festival in Boston and swept the awards, receiving gold first place superior ratings in all categories entered.

SerenAIDe is an annual, entirely student-run, benefit concert organized to raise money and awareness for victims of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease). This event takes place in the first week of May. The concert was inspired by the choral director's husband's struggle against this disease. Over the last three years the students have successfully raised over $24,000 towards the ALS foundation and the Jewish Community Center of Belle Mead, New Jersey.

The trivia team STARS has made Top 16 of 68 in the Bridgewater-Raritan Invitational Tournament of Excellence (BRITE) three times in a row and once was a quarter-finalist.

In 2009, for the first time, the STARS were named Champions in BRITE and placed 30th out of 119 at Questions Unlimited's National Academic Championship.[28]

Notable alumni[edit]

Noted JPS alumni include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for John P. Stevens High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d John P. Stevens High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 27, 2016.
  3. ^ John P. Stevens High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools, backed up by the Internet Archive as of April 14, 2012. Accessed March 26, 2015.
  4. ^ J.P. Stevens High School 2010 School Report Card, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed August 16, 2011.
  5. ^ NJ Public School Teachers for J.P. Stevens High School, Asbury Park Press. Accessed August 18, 2012.
  6. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2016", Newsweek. Accessed November 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: J.P. Stevens High School", The Washington Post. Accessed August 15, 2011.
  9. ^ "Best High Schools 2012: J.P. Stevens High School", U.S. News & World Report. Accessed August 18, 2012.
  10. ^ "J.P. Stevens High School Overview". US News. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed April 8, 2011.
  14. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  15. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "2013 Profile" (PDF). Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  17. ^ Giannantonio, Christina (January 31, 2014). "J.P. Stevens High School Band director earns Grammy nomination". NJ.com. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ King, Hope (August 31, 2015). "The $2.5 billion high school". CNN. 
  19. ^ Co-Curricular Clubs 2011-2012, John P. Stevens High School. Accessed August 18, 2012.
  20. ^ JPS SciTech
  21. ^ League Memberships – 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  22. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  23. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
  24. ^ " Jersey Senior Takes Girls' Cross-Country", The New York Times, December 11, 1983. Accessed December 2, 2007.
  25. ^ History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 16, 2016.
  26. ^ "America's Best High School Model UN Teams: Top 16–25", BestDelegate.com, March 23, 2011.
  27. ^ Home Page, JP Stevens Warhawks Team 2554. Accessed May 27, 2016.
  28. ^ Tournament Progress
  29. ^ "In Brief: Tom Waits, BSBs", Rolling Stone, April 22, 2002. Accessed June 5, 2007. "Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan was inducted into the Hall of Honor at the John P. Stevens High School in Edison, New Jersey, over the weekend. Bryan graduated from the school in 1980."
  30. ^ "Jun Choi Website". Accessed September 12, 2010. "Mayor Choi graduated from J.P. Stevens High School, earned his Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his master's in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University."
  31. ^ Rubin, Debra. "Jersey City Mayor Returns to Familiar Turf", New Jersey Jewish News, November 21, 2013. Accessed November 19, 2014. "He graduated from J.P. Stevens High School in Edison."
  32. ^ Caiazza, Tom. "Five million miles and one heck of a view: Astronaut returns after space flight; township names day in his honor" Archived September 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Woodbridge Sentinel, May 9, 2007. Accessed June 4, 2007. "Polansky, an Edison native and graduate of J.P. Stevens High School, returned to his alma mater Monday after commanding STS-116, the space shuttle mission to the International Space Station last December."
  33. ^ "News Tribune". September 25, 1993. 
  34. ^ Stein, Joel. "Slow Times At My 20th High School Reunion", Time (magazine), December 14, 2009. Accessed August 18, 2012. "The 150 or so people inside — about a third of my graduating class — were not a random sample of J.P. Stevens High School students."
  35. ^ "Sports Briefs", The Record (Bergen County), January 24, 2004. Accessed October 9, 2007. "Jeremy Zuttah of Edison's J.P. Stevens, rated the No. 34 best offensive guard in the country by Rivals.com, will attend Rutgers, according to his high school coach, Frank Zarro."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°34′51″N 74°21′33″W / 40.580924°N 74.359303°W / 40.580924; -74.359303