Watchung Hills Regional High School

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Watchung Hills Regional High School District
108 Stirling Road
Warren, NJ 07059

United States
Coordinates 40°39′07″N 74°28′40″W / 40.651839°N 74.477891°W / 40.651839; -74.477891Coordinates: 40°39′07″N 74°28′40″W / 40.651839°N 74.477891°W / 40.651839; -74.477891
District information
Grades 9-12
Superintendent Elizabeth C. Jewett
Business administrator Timothy Stys
Schools 1
Students and staff
Enrollment 2,151 (as of 2015-16)[1]
Faculty 169.2 FTEs[1]
Student-teacher ratio 12.7:1[1]
Other information
District Factor Group I
Ind. Per pupil District
%± vs.
1ATotal Spending$19,63715$18,8913.9%
1Budgetary Cost14,5171415,592-6.9%
2Classroom Instruction8,291168,807-5.9%
6Support Services1,78082,294-22.4%
8Administrative Cost1,823351,59214.5%
10Operations & Maintenance1,874201,954-4.1%
13Extracurricular Activities72515873-17.0%
16Median Teacher Salary67,8402571,726
Data from NJDoE 2014 Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending.[2]
*Of 9-12 districts with any number of students. Lowest spending=1; Highest=47
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School is located in Somerset County, New Jersey
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School is located in New Jersey
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School is located in the US
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Watchung Hills Regional High School
Type Public high school
Established 1957
Principal George P. Alexis
Vice principals Terrence P. MacConnell
Steven Searfoss
Nicholas Serritella
Patricia Toubin
Grades 9-12
Campus 85 acres (340,000 m2)
Color(s)      Brown and
Athletics 29 varsity sports
Athletics conference Skyland Conference
Team name Warriors[3]

Watchung Hills Regional High School is a regional comprehensive public high school and school district serving students in portions of Somerset and Morris Counties in New Jersey, United States. Students from Warren Township and from the neighboring communities of Watchung, and Green Brook in Somerset County and Long Hill Township in Morris County attend the school.[4][5] The high school is located in Warren Township, on Stirling Road.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the school 37th in 2016 out of 342 schools in New Jersey with the best teachers, with 46% of students participating in Advanced Placement exams.[6]


As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,151 students and 169.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.7:1. There were 32 students (1.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 10 (0.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

White Latino Asian African American Pacific Islander American Indian Two or More Races
74% 7% 15% 2% 0.1% 0.1% 1%

The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "I", the second-highest of eight groupings. District Factor Groups organize districts statewide to allow comparison by common socioeconomic characteristics of the local districts. From lowest socioeconomic status to highest, the categories are A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I and J.[7]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

Watchung Hills Regional High School received the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Education in 1994-95, the highest honor that an American school can achieve.[8][9]

In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 131st out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 24th among all high schools in New Jersey and 11th among the state's non-magnet schools.[10]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 514th in the nation among participating public high schools and 42nd among schools in New Jersey.[11]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 34th in New Jersey and 1,160th nationwide.[12] In 2008, Newsweek ranked the school as 919th in the nation.[13] In Newsweek's May 22, 2007 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Watchung Hills High School was listed in 999th place, the 31st-highest ranked school in New Jersey.[14] In the magazine's 2006 survey, the school was ranked as 745th nationwide.[15] In their 2004 survey, Newsweek ranked WHRHS as the 583rd best high school in the nation.[16]

The school was the 50th-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.[17] The school had been ranked 44th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 48th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[18] The magazine ranked the school 49th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[19] The school was ranked 38th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.[20] ranked the school 96th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 276 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (86.0%) and language arts literacy (97.6%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[21]


The Watchung Hills Regional High School Warriors[3] compete in the Skyland Conference, which operates under the auspices of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[22] With 1,658 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.[23]

WHRHS's interscholastic sports teams include baseball, men's and women's soccer, women's tennis, ice hockey, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track and field, men's and women's bowling, men's and women's fencing, swimming, wrestling, women's and men's volleyball, marching band, women's softball, women's gymnastics and women's cheerleading.[3]

The school has a rivalry with Ridge High School in neighboring Basking Ridge. Traditionally, the two football teams had played a game on the day before Thanksgiving, known as the Turkey Bowl, because of their being in different divisions of the Skyland Conference. However, as Ridge entered the same division as WHRHS in 2008, they no longer play Turkey Bowl, but play each other yearly as part of their regular schedule of games.

In basketball, WHRHS has many rivals including Immaculata High School (New Jersey) Somerville High School (New Jersey) and Ridge High School. The most heated rivalry though would be against neighboring Bridgewater-Raritan High School, which has heated up since 2008, when Coach Gene McAteer left WHRHS to coach Bridgewater.

The men's cross country team won the 1974 Group IV state championship.[24] This was the first WHRHS team to have won a state championship.

The girls' tennis team won the Group IV state championship in 1976 and 1978 (vs. Ridgewood High School both years), 1981 (vs. Cherry Hill East High School), and won the Group III state championship in 1982 (vs. Millburn High School), 1983, 1985 (vs. Mainland Regional High School), 2000 (vs. Tenafly High School) and 2001 (vs. Northern Highlands Regional High School). The team won the Tournament of Champions in 1981 (vs. Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School), 1982 and 1983 (vs. Red Bank Catholic High School both years). The eight group titles are tied for seventh-most in the state and the three Tournament of Champions titles are tied for third most.[25]

The baseball team won the 2005 North II, Group IV state sectional championship with an 11-0 win over Hunterdon Central Regional High School.[26]

In wrestling, the school has had four state champions: Michael Gatti (2003), Alex Caruso (2006), Brendan Ard (2008 and 2009) and Michael Magaldo (2012).[27][28]

The ice hockey team made it to the NJSIAA Public A State Finals vs. local rival Ridge High School in 2008, falling by a score of 5-0; the most successful season for the six-year-old program.[29]

The girls' softball team won the Group IV state championships in 2016, defeating Egg Harbor Township High School by a score of 4-0 in the tournament final.[30]


Clubs are categorized as Academic, Academic-Honor, Academic-Diversified Interest, Performing Arts, Public Service and Recreation

As of May 1, 2017, the district acknowledges the following co-curricular organizations. Each organization requires an advisor, a constitution and board of education recognition.[31]

  • Academic Team
  • Chemistry Olympiad
  • History Bowl Team
  • Math Team
  • Robotics Team
  • Science Bowl Club
  • Science League - Bio 1 / 2
  • Science League - Chemistry 1 / 2
  • Science League - Physics 1 / 2
Academic - Honor
Academic - Diversified Interest
  • Arrowhead Newspaper
  • Astronomy Club
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Entrepreneurship Club
  • Film Club
  • Folio
  • Forensics and Investigatory Club (F.I.C)
  • Fusion
  • Future Business Leaders of America
  • Future Doctors of America
  • The Neuroscience Club
  • Video Game Programming
  • Yearbook
Diversified Interest
  • American Sign Language Club
  • Anime and Fandom Club
  • Asian Culture Club
  • Cosmetic Club
  • Culinary Club
  • Cyper Security Club
  • K-Pop Club
  • Polish Club
  • Sign Language Club
  • Sports Fans Club
  • Government
  • All School Council
  • Freshman Grade Level Council
  • Sophomore Grade Level Council
  • Junior Grade Level Council
  • Senior Grade Level Council
Performing Arts
  • Band
  • Choral Ensembles
  • Color Guard
  • Dance Ensemble
  • Instrument Ensemble
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Script & Cue
  • Script & Cue Stage Crew
  • Thespian Society
Public Service
  • Action Against Hunger
  • America/MLB Players Trust Action Team Club
  • B.E.L.I.E.V. Club
  • CARE Club
  • Diversity Club
  • Environmental Club
  • H2O For Life
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • INTERACT Community Service Club
  • Peer Leadership Program
  • Red Cross Club
  • Social Justice
  • Gender and Sexuality Association (GSA)
  • Junior State of America
  • Mock Trial
  • Model UN
  • Ping Pong/ Badminton Club
  • Rubik's Cube Club
  • Ski and Snowboard Club
  • Ultimate Frisbee

Appearance in Popular Culture[edit]

One episode of Dance Moms was filmed at the school, specifically Season 5, Episode 3 entitled "JoJo with a Bow Bow". The school hosted the In10sity Dance Invitational on October 25, 2014, which was the subject of the episode.[32]


Core members of the school administration are:[33][34]

  • Elizabeth Jewett, Superintendent
  • Timothy Stys, School Business Administrator / Board Secretary
  • George Alexis, Principal
  • Terrence MacConnell, Vice Principal
  • Steven Searfoss, Vice Principal
  • Patricia Toubin, Vice Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Watchung Hills Regional High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Watchung Hills Reg High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Watchung Hills Regional High School 2015 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 4, 2016. "Close to 2150 students from Green Brook, Long Hill, Warren, and Watchung meet high academic standards and broaden their worldviews as they explore and take risks, discover their passions, and find individual pathways to success."
  5. ^ Somerset County School Districts-Sending/Receiving/Regional, Somerset County Superintendent of Schools. Accessed June 4, 2016. "WATCHUNG HILLS ** 9-12 RECEIVES 9-12 FROM GREEN BROOK, WARREN, WATCHUNG, LONGHILL"
  6. ^ "Watchung Hills Regional High School", U.S. News & World Report. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  7. ^ NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed November 25, 2014.
  8. ^ Cheslow, Jerry. "If You're Thinking. of Living In/ Watchung, N.J.; Stunning Vistas, but Entry Is Not Cheap And there is the matter of dealing with 80 deer per acre.", The New York Times, March 11, 2001. Accessed April 11, 2012.
  9. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed March 28, 2011.
  10. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2016", Newsweek. Accessed November 11, 2016.
  11. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.
  12. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Watchung Hills Regional High School", The Washington Post. Accessed August 15, 2011.
  13. ^ The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools (2008), Newsweek, June 23, 2008.
  14. ^ "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,200 top U.S. schools" Archived 2007-05-23 at the Wayback Machine., Newsweek, May 22, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007.
  15. ^ The Complete List: 1,200 Top U.S. Schools, Newsweek, May 23, 2006.
  16. ^ The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools (2004), Newsweek, May 16, 2004.
  17. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  18. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 27, 2012.
  19. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 8, 2011.
  20. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  21. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed March 2, 2012.
  22. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  23. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  24. ^ State Group Team Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  25. ^ History of Girls Team Tennis Championship Tournament, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  26. ^ 2005 Baseball - North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 4, 2007.
  27. ^ Staff. "Blair's Boyle and Ruth reach NHSCA finals (High school Wrestling news)", The Star-Ledger, April 4, 2009. Accessed August 16, 2011. "Brendan Ard of Watchung Hills, who won his second straight 171-pound state title in March and is headed to Wisconsin, lost, 8-6, in the round of 16 to Maryland's Shane Milam."
  28. ^ Frezza, Harry. "CN Wrestler of the Year Mike Magaldo", Courier-News, March 17, 2012. Accessed April 11, 2012.
  29. ^ 2008 Ice Hockey Tournament - Public A, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 26, 2008.
  30. ^ Pincus, Simeon. "Softball: McCabe's gem helps lift Watchung Hills to Group IV championship", Courier News, June 10, 2016. Accessed June 26, 2017. "Friday, in the NJSIAA Group IV final, McCabe not only added another wrinkle to her already impressive arsenal, but added another dominant shutout in a big game, this time to secure the biggest victory in the Watchung Hills High School softball team's history.... And thanks to the addition of a drop curve to her repertoire that kept then-undefeated Egg Harbor Township off balance, as well as the kind of laser-focused, fundamentally rich brand off softball the Warriors have used to become one of the state's most successful clubs, Watchung Hills secured the first state championship in program history, 4-0 at Kean University."
  31. ^ Co-Curricular Activities / Club List for 2016-2017, Watchung Hills Regional High School. Accessed August 29, 2017.
  32. ^ "In10sity Dance New Providence Invitational feat. Dance Moms". Ticketleap. Retrieved 2018-08-28. 
  33. ^ Administration, Watchung Hills Regional High School. Accessed June 29, 2017.
  34. ^ 2016-2017 Somerset County Public School Directory, Somerset County, New Jersey. Accessed May 19, 2017.
  35. ^ "FLASHBACK Finishing kick:Ard enjoyed Packer days", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by Rob Reischel, September 16, 2004. "Ard hasn't totally gotten football out of his system, though. He coaches the freshman team at Watchung Hills Regional High School, his alma mater."
  36. ^ Dunleavy, Ryan. "Who is Mickey Gall? Rutgers graduate faces ex WWE wrestler CM Punk in UFC 203", NJ Advance Media for, September 9, 2016. Accessed September 20, 2016. "A former football captain and wrestler at Watchung Hills before moving on-campus at Cook College for one year and off the College Avenue campus for three, Gall was signed to UFC specifically for this fight so that CM Punk had an equally inexperienced opponent, according to FOX Sports."
  37. ^ Tom Glassic player profile, Accessed June 30, 2007.
  38. ^ Mathews, Eleanor. "Watchung Hills High School names its 2013 Hall of Fame honorees", Independent Press, April 13, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013. "The Watchung Hills Hall of Fame committee has announced its 2013 honorees, persons who have served or brought honor to the high school through their efforts or achievements.... Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt, brothers whose educational television programs and films about wildlife and animals are aired on National Geographic Channel and PBS."
  39. ^ Johnson, Brent. "Somerset teen brings home gold from Winter Paralympics", The Star-Ledger, March 24, 2010. Accessed March 28, 2011. "Josh Pauls didn't dress like the rest of his classmates at Watchung Hills Regional High School today. He was decked in a U.S.A. hockey jersey — the same one the 17-year-old wore on the ice last week at the Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. And as he rolled his wheelchair around the high school's hallways, a glistening, new gold medal hung from his neck."
  40. ^ Josh Pauls, US Paralympics. Accessed September 7, 2010.
  41. ^ Bishop, Chris. "The Myddle Class", GarageHangover, July 14, 2005. Accessed October 14, 2015. "In any case, the King Bees had started by 1964: Dave Palmer was a student at Watchung Hills Regional High School along with Rick Philp, and he became their singer."
  42. ^ Guthrie, Marisa. "'That '70s' gal grows up on 'October Road'", Daily News (New York), March 13, 2007. Accessed January 7, 2012. "Prepon, who is the youngest of five children, went to Watchung Hills High in New Jersey."
  43. ^ Macur, Juliet. "Three Siblings Carry Two Different Flags", The New York Times, February 19, 2010. Accessed March 28, 2011. "Within a week, Allison Reed left Watchung Hills Regional High School to train with Japaridze. Now, she is home-schooled."
  44. ^ Spivey, Mark. "Watchung Hills graduate shares Nobel Prize in physics" Archived 2016-05-23 at the Portuguese Web Archive, Daily Record (Morristown), October 4, 2011. Accessed October 5, 2011. "Riess, who grew up in Warren, gave a shout-out to retired teacher Jeff Charney, saying his interest in science first was piqued at Watchung Hills."
  45. ^ English, Bella. "Alison Wright: Her `Faces of Hope' shows the spirit of children facing huge obstacles", The Boston Globe, September 29, 2003. Accessed July 21, 2008.

External links[edit]