Plainfield High School (New Jersey)

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Plainfield High School
950 Park Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°36′43″N 74°24′45″W / 40.611948°N 74.412515°W / 40.611948; -74.412515Coordinates: 40°36′43″N 74°24′45″W / 40.611948°N 74.412515°W / 40.611948; -74.412515
TypePublic high school
School districtPlainfield Public School District
NCES School ID341314005604[1]
PrincipalKevin Stansbury
Faculty128.0 FTEs[1]
Enrollment1,854 (as of 2020–21)[1]
Student to teacher ratio14.5:1[1]
Color(s)  Scarlet and
  royal blue[2]
Athletics conferenceUnion County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (general)
Big Central Football Conference (football)
Team nameCardinals[2]
RivalWestfield High School
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[3]

Plainfield High School is a comprehensive community four-year public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Plainfield, in Union County, New Jersey, United States. The school is part of the Plainfield Public School District, one of New Jersey's 31 former Abbott districts.[4] Plainfield High School was established in 1857, making it the second-oldest high school in New Jersey.[citation needed] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1928.[3]

As of the 2020–21 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,854 students and 128.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.5:1. There were 1,012 students (54.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 123 (6.6% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 318th-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.[5] The school had been ranked 280th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 307th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 293rd in 2008 out of 316 schools.[7] The school was ranked 307th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[8]


The Plainfield High School Cardinals[2] compete in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Union County and was established following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[9] Before the 2010 realignment, the school had competed in the Watchung Conference, a high school sports association that included public high schools in Essex, Hudson and Union counties.[10] With 1,553 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,060 to 5,049 students in that grade range.[11] The football team competes in Division 5A of the Big Central Football Conference, which includes 60 public and private high schools in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, Union and Warren counties, which are broken down into 10 divisions by size and location.[12] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group V North for football for 2018–2020.[13]

Plainfield's football rivalry with Westfield High School dates back to 1900, making it one of the oldest active public high school football rivalry in the state.[14] The rivalry with Westfield was listed at 17th on's 2017 list "Ranking the 31 fiercest rivalries in N.J. HS football". Westfield leads the rivalry with a 60-45-7 record as of 2017.[15]

The boys track team won the Group IV spring track state championship in 1947, 1950, 1951, 1959-1961, 1980 and 2009. The 11 group titles won by the program are tied for fifth-most in the state.[16]

The boys track team won the indoor track all-group state championship in 1953, and won the Group IV title in 1960, 1962-1964, 1975 (as co-champion), 1980-1982 and 2009; the boys program's nine group titles are ranked sixth in the state. The girls team won the Group IV title in 1982, 1985, 1992, 1993 (as co-champion), 1999; the five group titles won by the girl's program is tied for seventh-most among New Jersey schools.[17]

The boys cross country running team won the Group IV state championship in 1957 and 1959.[18]

The boys track team won the winter track Meet of Champions in 1975, 1980 and 1981.[19]

The boys' basketball team won the Group IV state championship in 1976 (defeating Neptune High School in the tournament final), 1983 (vs. Trenton Central High School), 2011 (vs. Burlington Township High School) and 2012 (vs. Neptune).[20] Down by nine points early in the fourth quarter of the championship game, the 1972 team came back to tie Neptune in regulation and win the Group IV title 75-72 in overtime.[21] The team won the 2004 North II, Group IV state sectional championship, defeating Elizabeth High School 47–42 in the final.[22] The 2012 team came back from a five-point deficit at the half to win the Group III title with a 58-48 defeat of Neptune in the championship game played at the Pine Belt Arena.[23] The squad advanced to the NJISAA Tournament of Champions final in 2011 and 2012, both times losing to national private school powerhouse St. Anthony High School. Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley called Plainfield, "the best basketball community in New Jersey."[24]

The boys' track team won the Group IV state indoor relay championship in 1980 and 1981 (as co-champion with Trenton Central High School). The girls' track team won the title in 1981, 1985, 1986 and 1991; the four titles won by the girls track team is tied for tenth-most statewide.[25]

The girls' outdoor track and field team won the Group IV state championship in 1982, 1985, 1986, 1991 and 1993.[26]


The school's principal is Kevin Stansbury. His core administration team includes three vice principals.[27]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e School data for Plainfield High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 15, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Plainfield High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Plainfield High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed February 9, 2022.
  4. ^ Abbott School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Access June 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 12, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  10. ^ Home Page, Watchung Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 9, 2009. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  11. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  12. ^ Kinney, Mike. "Big Central revises 2020 football schedule for its shortened inaugural season", NJ Advance Media for, August 12, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2021. "The newly formed Big Central Football Conference has released a revised 2020 schedule for its inaugural season.... the BCFC is comprised of schools from Middlesex, Union, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties."
  13. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  14. ^ "Oldest Thanksgiving High School Football Rivalries", Mitchell & Ness. Accessed February 3, 2021, backed up by the Internet Archive as of November 25, 2016. "NJ: Westfield High School - Westfield, NJ vs. Plainfield High School - Plainfield, NJ since 1900 overall record of 57-45-7"
  15. ^ Stypulkoski, Matt. "Ranking the 31 fiercest rivalries in N.J. HS football", NJ Advance Media for, October 27, 2017, updated May 15, 2019. Accessed December 1, 2020. "17-Plainfield vs. Westfield... This rivalry has more history than just about any other — the two teams will meet for the 113th time this season, making it the second-longest Thanksgiving rivalry in the state behind Vineland and Millville.... All-time series: Westfield leads Plainfield, 60-45-7"
  16. ^ NJSIAA Spring Track Summary of Group Titles Boys, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  17. ^ NJSIAA Indoor Group Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  18. ^ NJSIAA Boys Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  19. ^ NJSIAA Winter Track Previous Team Meet of Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  20. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  21. ^ "Plainfield ends Neptune streak", The Record, March 21, 1976. Accessed February 1, 2021, via "A fourth-quarter slowdown by Neptune backfired yesterday and Plainfield rallied to beat the previously undefeated Fliers, 75-72, in overtime and win the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 4 title.... Neptune took a 59-50 lead early in the fourth-quarter and went to a four-corners offense in an attempt to hold it But the Cardinals rallied with a 10-3 spurt to cut the deficit to 62-60."
  22. ^ 2004 Boys Basketball - North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 26, 2007.
  23. ^ "Neptune (48) at Plainfield (58), NJSIAA Group Tournament, Final Round, Group 3 - Boys Basketball", NJ Advance Media for, March 10, 2012, updated August 25, 2019. Accessed February 3, 2021. "Plainfield, No. 4 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, staged a fourth-quarter comeback to earn a 58-48 victory over Neptune in the NJSIAA/ShopRite Group 3 final before an overflow crowd of more than 3,000 at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River. It was the second straight Group 3 title and third overall for Plainfield (28-3), the North Jersey, Section 2 winner, which also earned Group 4 titles in 1976 and '83 and won Group 3 last season."
  24. ^ [1] Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Courier News, March 23, 2011. Accessed October 29, 2012.
  25. ^ History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  26. ^ Summary of Group Titles Girls, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  27. ^ Administration, Plainfield High School. Accessed February 9, 2022.
  28. ^ Ernest R. Ackerman, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 16, 2008.
  29. ^ Charlie Bicknell, Baseball Almanac. Accessed January 9, 2021. "Born In: Plainfield, New Jersey... High School: Plainfield High School (Plainfield, NJ)"
  30. ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Joe Black, Pitching Pioneer for the Dodgers, Dies at 78", The New York Times, May 18, 2002. Accessed September 12, 2012. "Black was born in Plainfield, N.J., where he was an all-around athlete in high school."
  31. ^ McKenzie, Doug. "South River's Pearson to be inducted to N.J. Hall of Fame" Archived July 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, East Brunswick Sentinel, February 7, 2001. Accessed October 8, 2007. "Also on this year's list of inductees are Joe Black, a Plainfield High School graduate who became the first African-American pitcher to win a World Series game"
  32. ^ Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, New Jersey Assembly Republicans. Accessed September 12, 2015. "Bramnick grew up in Plainfield and graduated from Plainfield High School."
  33. ^ The New York Red Book, p. 63. Williams Press, 1977. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Jack E. Bronston 5th District (8th, 9th and 10th Assembly districts of Queens county) Jack E. Bronston, Democrat-Liberal, was born in Plainfield, N. J., on January 10, 1922. He attended Plainfield High School and was graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1942."
  34. ^ Margaret Bourke-White Archived September 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Photography at Temple University. Accessed June 21, 2007. "She grew up in Bound Brook, NJ, and graduated from Plainfield High School."
  35. ^ "Campbell Captures Two Newark Events", The New York Times, February 28, 1953. Accessed November 6, 2007. "Milt Campbell, Plainfield High School star, won the first two events in the twenty-ninth Newark Athletic Club track and field championships today."
  36. ^ "New NCC president returns to speak in Calvary Church". Courier News. December 30, 1972. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  37. ^ "71st Annual Hot Stove Awards Dinner, Feb. 11, Honors Union County Athletes, Young and Old", Union County, New Jersey press release dated February 2, 2007. Accessed November 14, 2007. "Manny Collins was a standout at both wide receiver and defensive back for the Plainfield High School Cardinals and earned All-County, All-Conference and All-Area honors."
  38. ^ Boyer, Zac. "After four years, Davis ready to move on", November 17, 2007. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Davis' hard-hitting mentality was rooted deep within him as a child growing up in Plainfield, N.J., a city of approximately 50,000 located a half-hour southwest of Newark.... According to Davis, many of those who attended Plainfield High School with him failed to move on to college and instead ended up involved either in jail or, worse, dead."
  39. ^ Staff. "(I Can't Wait To) Meet Virginia" Archived November 10, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, UConn Huskies football, October 9, 2007. Accessed September 12, 2012. "UConn's Dan Davis and UVa's Eugene Monroe used to go head-to-head every day at Plainfield High School in New Jersey."
  40. ^ Carino, Jerry. "Plainfield’s Tyrone Johnson leaving Villanova. Cautionary tale?", New Jersey Hoops Haven, November 7, 2012. Accessed August 5, 2019. "Former Plainfield High School standout Tyrone Johnson is leaving Villanova, the school announced today.... Ty left Plainfield a year early for basketball factory Montrose Christian, supposedly to better position himself to make an immediate impact at Nova."
  41. ^ Staff. "Former NFL wide receiver Donald Jones works out with Somerset Patriots", The Messenger-Gazette, April 18, 2014. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Former NFL wide receiver and Plainfield native Donald Jones will be working out with the Somerset Patriots during Spring Training.... Now Jones is looking to make a return to the baseball diamond, where he last played for Plainfield High School."
  42. ^ Pete Liske profile Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, database Football. Accessed September 8, 2007.
  43. ^ Staff. "Queena Mario Sings to Students", The New York Times, May 26, 1927. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Queena Mario of the Metropolitan Opera Company, formerly of this city, was a guest of the Plainfield High School today where she sang a group of four numbers to the student body.... The opera star whose family name was Tillotson is a graduate of the local high school and has been a guest of Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Coddington of Sheridan Avenue."
  44. ^ "Plainfield honors seven outstanding black citizens", Courier News, February 21, 1985. Accessed November 9, 2017. "A 1981 Plainfield High School graduate, Marshall broke the 800-meter collegiate record in 1982 and was named to the U.S. Junior National Team."
  45. ^ Faber, Charles F. "Jack Martin", Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed November 9, 2017. "John Christopher Martin was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in the central part of the state, on April 19, 1887. The son of Adeline and James B. Martin, a trolley conductor, Jack played baseball at Plainfield High School and for the town's amateur clubs."
  46. ^ "Council cites ex-city man for Pulitzer award", Courier News, May 23, 1974. Accessed November 8, 2020. "Donald Martino, former city resident who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for music, has been publicly commended in a resolution by the City Council.... Martino, a Plainfield High School graduate, is chairman of the composition department of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston."
  47. ^ Apgar, Evelyn. "Diversity reflected in Plainfield Hall of Fame inductees", Courier News, October 4, 2000. Accessed November 9, 2017. "The late Peter McDonough Sr., class of 1942, served as a Union County Freeholder from 1960 to 1963 and as a state assemblyman from 1964 to 1973."
  48. ^ Stanmyre, Matthew. "Plainfield High graduate Eugene Monroe ends holdout, signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars", The Star-Ledger, August 14, 2009. Accessed March 18, 2011.
  49. ^ Wilkes-Barre Evening News "Local Woman Writes Novel: Mrs. Zelda Popkin's work published", January 18, 1938, p. 7
  50. ^ Carino, Jerry. "From Plainfield to Yale, Justin Sears a force on the court", Courier News, February 16, 2015. Accessed August 5, 2019. "Sears, who helped Plainfield High School win two NJSIAA Group III championships, is driving the bus. The 6-foot-8 junior forward is averaging 14.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game."
  51. ^ "Rev. Henry Soles Jr., Longtime Chicago Bulls Chaplain, Dies at 82" Archived February 4, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Earned Media, January 29, 2018. Accessed February 4, 2018. "Reverend Henry Soles Jr. (photo) was born on August 17, 1935 in Anniston, Ala. He grew up in Plainfield, N.J. and attended Plainfield High School, Manhattan Bible Institute, and Rutgers University."
  52. ^ "Plainfielder Chosen for Girls Baseball League Tryout; Helen Walulik Selected From Drills in Newark", Courier News, March 29, 1948. Accessed November 9, 2017. "The youngest of the New Jersey winners, Helen Walulik, honey-haired and slim, was graduated from Plainfield High School last June."
  53. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Adella Wotherspoon, Last Survivor of General Slocum Disaster, Is Dead at 100", The New York Times, February 4, 2004. Accessed September 12, 2012. "In Watchung, Adella attended a one-room schoolhouse and then went to Plainfield High School, where she graduated in 1921."

External links[edit]