John F. Kennedy High School (Paterson, New Jersey)

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John F Kennedy Educational Complex
Caption text
Together Everyone Achieves More.
61-127 Preakness Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07522

Coordinates 40°54′52″N 74°11′15″W / 40.91444°N 74.18750°W / 40.91444; -74.18750Coordinates: 40°54′52″N 74°11′15″W / 40.91444°N 74.18750°W / 40.91444; -74.18750
Type Public high school
School district Paterson Public Schools
Principal David Cozart
Faculty 201.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9 – 12
Enrollment 2,242 (as of 2013–14)
Student to teacher ratio 10.24:1[1]
Color(s)              Red, black, and white
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Nickname Knights

John F. Kennedy Educational Complex (or John F Kennedy High School) is a four-year public high school in Paterson, New Jersey, United States, that serves the western section of Paterson. Kennedy High School, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the Paterson Public Schools. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.[2]

In 2011, the school was changed to theme schools, as part of a goal to give students a better choice in areas they wanted to pursue, with four smaller academies operating within the high school.[3]

As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,058 students and 201.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.24:1. There were 1,456 students (70.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 85 (4.1% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

The school uses the Genesis school management system for tasks such as student attendance and grading, and full online grade access is available online.

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 304th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 290th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[4] The magazine ranked the school 314th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[5] The school was ranked 306th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[6] ranked the school 375th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2010-11 rankings which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[7]

Demographics and achievement[edit]

Kennedy High School is 54% Hispanic of various Latin American nationalities, 34% Black, 7% White American, and 5% Asian. 35% of the school speaks Spanish in their homes, 3% speak Bengali, 2% speak Arabic, 2% speak Turkish, 0.2% speak Italian and 0.1% speak Albanian. There are also limited English proficient students or LEPs who compose 11% of the school. Limited English Proficient students cannot speak, read, or write in English. 50% of the students participate in the free or reduced price lunch program.[8] The average class size is 22 students, excluding special education. The school's ratio of computers to students is 7 to 1 meanwhile the state average is 4 to 1.

Based on data from the 2010 New Jersey School Report Card, on the Language Arts section of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), 2010 graduates scored 43.3% proficient and 55.6% scored partial. On the Math section of the test, 28.5% scored proficient and 69.4% scored partial. The average SAT score is 1139 out of 2400. The Advanced Placement (AP) participation rate is 4.6%. The average attendance rate is 87.2%. As of the 2010 school year, Kennedy High School had a suspension rate of 47%. 71.1% of John F. Kennedy High School seniors graduated. Roughly 20.0% of the graduating seniors planned to go on to four-year colleges and another 49.3% of the graduating seniors go on to two year colleges.[9]

The student to faculty ratio is 7.3 to 1. The faculty gets paid $56,733 a year while the state average is $61,840. The administrators get paid $108,105 as the state average is $117,895.[9]

The school is in a “special needs” or one of the Abbott Districts.[10] The district receives 82% of its budget from the state and spends an average of $16,575 per pupil.[9]

The school is home to the JFK Robotics/College Prep Team. To join, one must have a GPA of 3.5; have a desire to go to college, be motivated and most of all respectful to teachers and fellow students, though less than 1% make it into the team. The sole purpose of the program designed by teachers and staff is to get every child to college. While its membership is limited to only high achievers in terms of grades and merit, the team recruits from every academy in the school. Numbering around 25 students the team is filled with children that are given extra educational work and enrichment programs to boost their chances in getting into college, with the opportunity to participate in Upward Bound programs, to college credit classes at Passaic County Community College.


The John F. Kennedy High School Knights compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[11] For the 2009-10 season, the school competed in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, an interim conference established to facilitate realignment.[12] Prior to that, the school had previously participated in Division C of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL), an athletic conference consisting of public and private high schools located in Bergen County and Passaic County. With 1,775 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2011-12 school year as North I, Group IV, a category that included schools with enrollment of 1,120 to 2,479.[13]

The football team won the North I Group IV state sectional championships in 1987.[14]

The girls basketball team won the 2001 North I, Group IV state sectional championship with a 61-50 win over Bayonne High School in the tournament final.[15]

Kennedy plays an annual Thanksgiving Day football game against Eastside High School. The days leading up to said game, are filled with school spirit as the Knights and Ghosts prepare to face off. Not only do the football players practice, but so do the band, cheerleaders, and color guard of both schools. In 2011, Eastside won the 87th annual match-up between the two schools by a score of 17-12, evening the series at 40 wins, 40 losses and 7 ties.[16]

The soccer team won the 1996 North I, Group IV state sectional championship against Wayne Hills High School 4-5 in penalty's and won the League and County following year.[citation needed]

Main administration[edit]

Core members of the school's administration are:[17]

  • David Cozart (JFK Educational Complex Main Operations Administrator)

Academy administration[edit]

The academy programs offered (with their administration listed) are:[18]

School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT):[19] Pedro Valdes (Director), Florita Cotto (Supervisor), Dewitt Evering (Vice Principal)

School of Business, Technology, Marketing & Finance (BTMF):[20] Pamela Powell (Director), Judith Rhodes (Supervisor), Sandra Martines-Preyor (Vice Principal)

School of Education and Training (SET): Mary Anne Perrotta (Director), Wendy Munoz (Supervisor), Nicolette Thompson (Vice Principal)

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM):[21] Michael McGinley (Director), Dante Petretti (Supervisor), Richard Hymson (Vice Principal)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Data for John F Kennedy High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 9, 2012.
  2. ^ John F. Kennedy High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 17, 2011.
  3. ^ Brody, Leslie. "Paterson to split JFK high school into four academies", The Record (Bergen County), March 7, 2011. Accessed November 14, 2011. "Paterson school officials will split the troubled John F. Kennedy High School into four smaller academies so that starting next fall, all public high school students in the city will be enrolled in a “choice’’ magnet school."
  4. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed October 3, 2012.
  5. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed June 17, 2011.
  6. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  7. ^ Worst 10 New Jersey High Schools: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed October 11, 2012.
  8. ^ John F. Kennedy High School, accessed July 12, 2006.
  9. ^ a b c John F. Kennedy High School's 2010 School Report Card, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 17, 2011.
  10. ^ Abbott Districts, New Jersey Department of Education, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 15, 2009. Accessed June 17, 2011.
  11. ^ League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 3, 2012.
  12. ^ League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 12, 2012.
  13. ^ 2011-2012 Public Schools Group Classification for ShopRite Cup–Tennis–Soccer–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 2, 2012.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 28, 2011.
  15. ^ 2001 - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 16, 2007.
  16. ^ Staff. "Paterson Kennedy (12) at Paterson Eastside (17) - Football", The Star-Ledger, November 24, 201. Accessed January 2, 2012. "Cequan Wharton and Jaron Addison each scored first-half touchdowns for Paterson Eastside, which held off a late rally to defeat Paterson Kennedy, 17-12, yesterday in Paterson.The Eastside victory evened the Thanksgiving series at 40-40-7."
  17. ^ Administration, John F. Kennedy High School. Accessed November 18, 2011.
  18. ^ Schools, John F. Kennedy Educational Complex. Accessed November 19, 2011.
  19. ^ School of Architecture and Construction Trades, Paterson Public Schools. Accessed November 19, 2011.
  20. ^ School of Business, Technology, Marketing, & Finance, Paterson Public Schools. Accessed November 19, 2011.
  21. ^ Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Paterson Public Schools. Accessed November 19, 2011.
  22. ^ Eric Downing player profile, National Football League Players Association. Accessed July 24, 2007. "Was a first team All-State selection by the Newark Star Ledger at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey."
  23. ^ "The best college football players all-time from Passaic, Bergen counties". The Record. December 18, 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 

External links[edit]