Pinelands Regional School District

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Pinelands Regional School District
520 Nugentown Road
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
Coordinates39°36′45″N 74°21′30″W / 39.612389°N 74.358295°W / 39.612389; -74.358295Coordinates: 39°36′45″N 74°21′30″W / 39.612389°N 74.358295°W / 39.612389; -74.358295
District information
SuperintendentDr. Melissa McCooley
Business administratorNick Brown
Students and staff
Enrollment1,564 (as of 2019–20)[1]
Faculty147.2 FTEs[1]
Student–teacher ratio10.6:1[1]
Other information
District Factor GroupB
Ind. Per pupil District
%± vs.
1ATotal Spending$22,51033$18,89119.2%
1Budgetary Cost16,9543514,58616.2%
2Classroom Instruction9,327268,33911.8%
6Support Services2,936382,11438.9%
8Administrative Cost1,695271,5618.6%
10Operations & Maintenance2,192351,79821.9%
13Extracurricular Activities65812673−2.2%
16Median Teacher Salary58,422465,769
Data from NJDoE 2014 Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending.[2]
*Of 7-12 districts with any number of students. Lowest spending=1; Highest=47

Pinelands Regional School District is a regional school district in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, serving students from Eagleswood Township, Little Egg Harbor Township and Tuckerton Borough along with the Burlington County municipality of Bass River Township.[3][4][5][6] Both schools are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the New Jersey Department of Education.[7]

As of the 2019–20 school year, the district, comprised of two schools, had an enrollment of 1,564 students and 147.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.6:1.[1]

The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "B", the second-lowest of eight groupings. District Factor Groups organize districts statewide to allow comparison by common socioeconomic characteristics of the local districts. From the lowest socioeconomic status to highest, the categories are A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I and J.[8]


Pinelands Regional High School officially opened on September 5, 1979, as a Junior-Senior High School, originally housing students in seventh through twelfth grades from Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor, Bass River, and Eagleswood. Prior to the opening of the school, students from those communities had attended Southern Regional School District in the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township, which had been dealing for years with overcrowding.[9]

The building originally held grades 7–8 on the third floor, 9–10 on the second, and 11–12 on the first. The building featured an experimental "open classroom" design, where a large group of students of varying skill levels would be in a single, large classroom with several teachers overseeing them; and contained no interior walls. However, this format didn't last long, and in the 1980s, the rooms were walled off and separated by floor-to-ceiling folding partitions.

In 1991, Pinelands Middle School opened across the street for students in grades 7–8. Also in the 1990s, a new building was completed next to the high school, which houses a daycare center called "Rainbow Express". Students taking childcare classes attend class in this building to help with the daycare kids. In 2002, the Middle School was expanded and the 9th grade was moved there. When the expansion was completed at the Middle School, it was renamed "Pinelands Regional Junior High School" while the high school was formally renamed the "Senior High School".

In 2017, voters approved a bond referendum for renovations to both schools, including new roofing, bathrooms, new masonry in the High School building, and other cosmetic and safety upgrades. Renovation work on the High School was halted after workers discovered asbestos and roofing nails dislodged in the commons area. The high school building was closed for the entirety of the 2018–2019 school year while renovations were completed; portable classrooms were installed at the junior high school to accommodate five grades of students, while 7th graders attended the nearby Frog Pond Elementary School.[10]

In 2018 Melissa McCooley, already superintendent of Little Egg Harbor schools, also became superintendent of Pinelands Regional schools, having two positions at one time.[11]

In September 2019, the high school re-opened, housing grades 9-12 for the first time since 2002.[12]


Pinelands Regional Junior High School
Pinelands Regional High School

Schools in the district (with 2019–20 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[13]) are:[14][15][16]

  • Pinelands Regional Junior High School[17] had 542 students in grades 7–8. Opened in September 1991.[7]
    • F. Eric Pschorr, Principal
    • Kimberly Clark, Assistant Principal
  • Pinelands Regional High School[18] had 1,006 students in grades 9–12. Opened in September 1979.[7]
    • Troy Henderson, Principal
    • Justin Loomis, Assistant Principal
    • Matthew Maleski, Assistant Principal
    • Amy Nass, Assistant Principal

Both schools are located directly across the street from each other on Nugentown Road, near the border of Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton.


WCAT is a Television station on local channel 21 for the area that the district serves. Most of the cast and crew is made up of students who take the class as an elective. The channel shows live morning announcements at 7:32am daily, followed by a commercial or short skit made by members of the WCAT class. Throughout the day, especially during lunch periods, other school programs or past school events are shown on the channel, usually shown on TVs in the cafeteria. Throughout the rest of the day, however, the channel is composed of school or community announcements typical of public-access television cable TV networks.

Pinelands Experience[edit]

The Pinelands Experience was a three-day program for 7th graders entering the district, usually held in mid-October. Student chaperones from 9th grade and up are assigned to chaperone students. It was formerly an overnight camping trip that was eventually scaled down to in 2002 due in part to hazing performed by upperclassmen, as well as budget cuts. The Pinelands Experience was canceled in 2010 but returned in 2019.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Sarann Kraushaar, former vice-principal of the school, who was the mistress of murderer Robert O. Marshall, whose slayings inspired the bestselling book Blind Faith, and was later a miniseries of the same name, in which a character based on Kraushaar and a fictional incarnation of the school is featured.[19]
  • Lily McBeth (born 1934), transgender former substitute teacher at the school who made national news after she underwent a sex-change operation.[20]


Core members of the district's administration are:[14][21][22]

  • Dr. Melissa McCooley, Superintendent
  • Nick Brown, Business Administrator / Board Secretary

Board of education[edit]

The district's board of education, comprised of nine members, sets policy and oversees the fiscal and educational operation of the district through its administration. As a Type II school district, the board's trustees are elected directly by voters to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with three seats up for election each year held (since 2012) as part of the November general election. The board appoints a superintendent to oversee the day-to-day operation of the district.[23][24] Representatives are elected on the basis of the constituent population, with six seats allocated to Little Egg Harbor Township, and one each allocated to Bass River Township, Eagleswood Township and Tuckerton.[25]


  1. ^ a b c d District information for Pinelands Regional School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Pinelands Regional School District 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed August 1, 2017. "The Pinelands Regional School District is a regional school district located in southern Ocean County. The District consists of a Junior High School for grades 7-9 and a High School for grades 10-12. The communities of Bass River, Eagleswood, Little Egg Harbor, and Tuckerton are served by the District with approximately 1,700 students in grades 7-12."
  4. ^ School Choice Pinelands Regional School District. Accessed January 22, 2020. "Pinelands Regional School District is comprised of a Junior High School and a High School. The District serves students in grades 7 through 12 living in the communities of: Bass River Township (Burlington County), Eagleswood Township, Little Egg Harbor Township, Tuckerton Borough"
  5. ^ Staff. "Regional School Districts", Burlington County Times, April 26, 2015. Accessed June 1, 2016. "Pinelands Regional - Serves: Bass River in Burlington County; Eagleswood, Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton in Ocean County"
  6. ^ Greenfield, Dr. Bruce. "Ocean County Report On Consolidation and Regionalization", Report of the Executive County Superintendent, March 15, 2010. Accessed April 21, 2011. "Pinelands Regional - Eagleswood, Tuckerton, Bass River, Little Egg Harbor"
  7. ^ a b c About Us, Pinelands Regional School District, backed up by the Internet Archive as of April 2, 2015. Accessed November 29, 2015.
  8. ^ NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 18, 2015.
  9. ^ The History of SRHS, Southern Regional School District. Accessed January 22, 2020. "But eventually the high school had to go into split sessions due to over-crowding again. That problem was finally solved in 1979 with the opening of Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton. All mainland students south of Manahawkin would no longer be attending Southern Regional."
  10. ^ Lowe, Claire. "Construction to close Pinelands Regional High School for 2018-19 school year", The Press of Atlantic City, March 21, 2018. Accessed January 22, 2019. "Pinelands Regional High School may not open in the fall, pending state approval, as a $53 million rehabilitation project continues in the district. The seventh- to 12th-grade district hopes to keep the high school building closed for the 2018-19 school year as it begins another phase of the project that, this year, already closed the building for three months, acting Superintendent Cheryl Stevenson said Monday. The district’s plans include having 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students attend classes at the junior high school across the street."
  11. ^ Lowe, Claire (June 1, 2018). "Little Egg school chief tapped to head Pinelands Regional". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  12. ^ Lowe, Claire. "Wildcats come home as Pinelands reopens high school for 2019", The Press of Atlantic City, September 1, 2019. Accessed January 22, 2020. "Unlike previous years, the high school will house ninth graders, as well. They previously attended the junior high school with seventh- and eighth-grade students."
  13. ^ School Data for the Pinelands Regional School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Chain of Command: How to Effectively Communicate with School Officials, Pinelands Regional School District. Accessed January 22, 2020.
  15. ^ Living & Learning in Ocean County - Public Schools Directory 2021–2022, Ocean County, New Jersey. Accessed November 11, 2021.
  16. ^ New Jersey School Directory for the Pinelands Regional School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
  17. ^ Junior High School, Pinelands Regional School District. Accessed November 11, 2021.
  18. ^ Senior High School, Pinelands Regional School District. Accessed November 11, 2021.
  19. ^ Anastatsia, George. "Ex-mistress Says Marshall Wanted To 'Get Rid Of' Wife", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 14, 1986. Accessed October 6, 2013. "Kraushaar said that she and her husband have moved from Toms River and that in May she resigned as vice principal of Pineland Regional High School."
  20. ^ via Associated Press. "Frustrated N.J. Transgender Teacher to Retire", Fox News, July 22, 2009. Accessed October 6, 2013. "Before her transition from male to female in 2005, McBeth said she averaged between 15 to 18 assignments a year as a substitute teacher for elementary students in the Eagleswood school district, and an additional 16 to 20 a year in the Pinelands Regional School District, teaching high school students."
  21. ^ District Administration Staff, Pinelands Regional School District. Accessed November 11, 2021.
  22. ^ New Jersey School Directory for Ocean County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
  23. ^ New Jersey Boards of Education by District Election Types - 2018 School Election, New Jersey Department of Education, updated February 16, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2020.
  24. ^ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Pinelands Regional School District, New Jersey Department of Education, for year ending June 30, 2020. Accessed November 11, 2021. "Reporting Entity The Pinelands Regional School District is a Type II School District located in the County of Ocean, State of New Jersey. As a Type II School District, the School District functions independently through a Board of Education. The Board is comprised of nine members elected to three-year terms. These terms are staggered so that three members’ terms expire each year. The purpose of the School District is to educate students in grades seven through twelfth."
  25. ^ Board of Education: About Us, Pinelands Regional School District. Accessed November 11, 2021. "The Board of Education is composed of nine citizens elected to serve terms of three years each. Representatives are elected on the basis of constituent population - one from Bass River Township, one from Eagleswood Township, six from Little Egg Harbor Township, and one from the Borough of Tuckerton."

External links[edit]