Wayne Valley High School

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Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley High School is located in Passaic County, New Jersey
Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley High School is located in New Jersey
Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley High School is located in the US
Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley High School
551 Valley Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
Type Public high school
Motto "The Tribe with Pride"
Established 1952[1]
School district Wayne Public Schools
Principal Kenneth J. Palczewski
Asst. principals David Drozjock
Brian Faehndrich
Jennifer Grimbilas
Keith J. Parian
Timothy Rymer
Faculty 116.0 (on FTE basis)[2]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,404[2] (as of 2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio 12.1:1[2]
Color(s)      Blue and
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Indians[3]
Publication Smoke Signals

Wayne Valley High School is a comprehensive four-year public high school, in Wayne, in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. The school serves students in ninth through twelfth grades as one of the two secondary schools of the Wayne Public Schools, the other being Wayne Hills High School. Wayne Valley has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1954.[4] The school is also accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education. Wayne Valley's school colors are blue and white, and Wayne Valley is the home of the Indians, "The Tribe with Pride", and is known for its "tradition of excellence".[3]

As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,404 students and 116.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.1:1. There were 105 students (7.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 33 (2.4% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 417th out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 45th among all high schools in New Jersey and 28th among the state's non-magnet schools.[5]

The school was the 91st-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.[6] The school had been ranked 64th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 63rd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[7] The magazine ranked the school 46th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[8] Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 122nd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 16 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (85.9%) and language arts literacy (94.6%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[9]


The Wayne Valley High School Indians[3] compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[10] In the 2009-10 school year, the school competed in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, which was established on an interim basis to facilitate the realignment.[11] Prior to the realignment, the school had participated in the Northern Hills Conference's Skyline Division.[12] With 1,060 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North I, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 754 to 1,076 students in that grade range.[13]

Wayne Valley has installed turf fields to be used by the football, lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer teams. The fields were installed as part of an interlocal agreement with the Township of Wayne.[14]

The football team won the NJSIAA North I Group III state sectional championships in 1982, 1988–89 and 1991.[15]

The Wayne Valley boys track team went undefeated in the 2011 season, winning the County Relays, Conference, and County Meets. The girls team went undefeated in the dual meet season, losing the conference meet to West Orange High School which came down to the last event, and won its fifth county title in a row.[citation needed]

The Wayne Valley football team made it to the North I Group III playoffs in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2005, the Indians were second seeded behind Wayne Hills High School and beat Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest 12-3 in the first round, falling in the 2nd round to 3rd seeded Parsippany Hills High School 27-7.[16]

They went into the 2006 playoff 3rd seeded, losing in the first round to Passaic Valley Regional High School, 49-20.[17]

On March 6, 2007, the boys' basketball team played in the North I, Group III state championship, falling to Passaic Valley Regional High School by 60-48, in a game played at Passaic County Technical Institute.[18][19] The boys' basketball team, seeded 10th in the tournament, won the North I Group III state championship on March 4, 2008 over top seed West Milford High School by a score of 48-45 in a game played at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, New Jersey.[20] This was the team's first sectional title in just over a decade.[21]

In the 2007 playoffs, they were once again the 2nd seed behind their cross-town rival, Wayne Hills High School. They made it to the finals, beating Passaic Valley Regional High School 46-23 in the first round and Paramus High School 20-7 in the semifinals. They faced Wayne Hills High School in the finals, for an all-Wayne Championship game, falling 27-7 to Wayne Hills in the North I Group III state sectional championship game played at Giants Stadium. The loss was the sole blemish on an 11-1 season.[22][23]

The Wayne Valley Baseball team won the Passaic County championship over West Milford High School. Tolerico's two-run homer tied the game and pinch-hitter Chris Edie's bases-loaded walk forced home senior third baseman Pete Savastano with what emerged as the game-winning run. The Indians' three-run seventh capped a dramatic comeback from a 4-0 deficit entering the sixth and earned Wayne Valley its first PCT baseball championship since 1988 and the fourth time the team has earned the county title.[24]


On June 13, 2007, authorities found two bundles of what looked like half-sticks of dynamite in two lockers at Wayne Valley. All of the students were evacuated, and the Passaic County Sheriff's Department bomb squad extracted the devices. The devices were then detonated at the Paterson firing range. It is unknown whether the devices were intended to do harm or be used as part of a prank, and police are still investigating.[25] On June 27, 2007, five members of the class that just graduated from the school were arrested for their roles in the incident, and face up to 25 years in jail if convicted on all charges filed.[26]


Core members of the schools administration are:[27]

  • Kenneth J. Palczewski - Principal
  • David Drozjock - Assistant Principal
  • Brian Faehndrich - Assistant Principal
  • Jennifer Grimbilas - Assistant Principal
  • Keith J. Parian - Assistant Principal
  • Timothy Rymer - Assistant Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ School Overview, Wayne Valley High School. Accessed June 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d School Data for Wayne Valley High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed November 29, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Wayne Valley High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 29, 2015.
  4. ^ Wayne Valley High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 7, 2012. Accessed March 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2016", Newsweek. Accessed November 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  7. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 19, 2012.
  8. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 21, 2011.
  9. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 4, 2012.
  10. ^ League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 4, 2016.
  11. ^ League Memberships - 2009-1010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed September 16, 2014.
  12. ^ Home Page, Northern Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 28, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  13. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed September 16, 2014.
  14. ^ Shared Services Agreement OFAC Case #1631, New Jersey Department of Education Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance Investigations Unit, October 2009. Accessed November 29, 2015.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 29, 2015.
  16. ^ 2005 North I Group II Football, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 1, 2011.
  17. ^ 2006 Football Tournament - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 21, 2007.
  18. ^ Zagoria, Adam. Castro, Hornets down Valley, win first sectional crown, Herald News,, March 7, 2007
  19. ^ 2007 Boys Basketball - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 7, 2007.
  20. ^ 2008 Boys Basketball - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  21. ^ Zagoria, Adam. "Wayne Valley guard comes up big", The Record (New Jersey), March 5, 2008. Accessed March 9, 2008. "Valley (20-9) has won four consecutive road tournament games to capture its first sectional title since 1997, when the Indians beat Indian Hills, led by current Valley head coach Joe Leicht."
  22. ^ Czerwinski, Mark J. "Hills is king of the hill", The New York Times, December 1, 2007. Accessed December 3, 2007. "That's because the Patriots capped off their season in spectacular fashion, stopping crosstown rival Wayne Valley, 27-7, to win their fourth straight North 1, Group 3 football title in front of 12,527 fans at Giants Stadium.... The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the Indians (11-1), The Record's No. 5 team."
  23. ^ 2007 Football - North I, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 3, 2007.
  24. ^ Staff. "THE WAIT IS OVER", Wayne Today, June 3, 2010. Accessed February 21, 2011. Engraved across the top it said 'Passaic County Baseball Champions.' For the fourth time ever, that prize belongs to Wayne Valley (1981, 1986, 1988, 2010).
  25. ^ Heininger, Claire; Sterling, Guy; and Heyboer, Kelly "Pyrotechnics force evacuation of school", The Star-Ledger, June 13, 2007. Accessed June 13, 2007. "Wayne Valley High School was evacuated this morning after pyrotechnic devices capable of causing "catastrophic" damage were found in the building a day before final exams were to begin, authorities said. No one was injured in the scare, which began around 9:15 a.m. when a student spotted wires protruding from his second-floor locker, authorities said. The locker, which the student had cleaned out the day before, and another nearby each contained two bundles of pyrotechnics - 16 half-sticks of the material in all, authorities said."
  26. ^ Schweber, Nate. "5 Charged in Planting of Devices at School", The New York Times, June 28, 2007. Accessed July 1, 2007. "Five teenagers who graduated last week from Wayne Valley High School have been arrested in connection with the discovery of 16 devices with fuses in lockers at the school, forcing the evacuation of 1,400 students on the last full day of classes. The young men, three of them 18 and two 17 at the time of the evacuation, face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty, said James Wilson, chief of the arson unit for the Passaic County prosecutor.
  27. ^ School Offices, Wayne Valley High School. Accessed September 12, 2015.
  28. ^ Winters, Debra. "Indie film continues production", Wayne Today, February 4, 2010. Accessed February 21, 2011. "Both Della Valle and Beatty are graduates from Wayne Valley High School just a year apart in classes of 1996 and 1997."
  29. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "North Jersey-bred and talented too", The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2007. "Lisa Edelstein: Class of 1984, Wayne Valley High School"
  30. ^ Push to Sochi: Jazmine Fenlator, USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. Accessed March 30, 2015. "I was recruited by Rider based off of my track and field accomplishments at Wayne Valley High School and potential in the sport with further elite development."
  31. ^ Best Boys Tennis Team of the Century, The Star-Ledger. Accessed December 10, 2007.
  32. ^ Hubbard, Daniel. " N.Y. Jets Sign Wayne Valley Alumnus; Chris Pantale, who played tight end at Boston College, was signed by the Jets as a undrafted free agent Saturday night.", WaynePatch, April 28, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013. "Chris Pantale, an alumni of Wayne Valley High School, was signed by the New York Jets on Saturday night following the third and final day of the National Football League's annual draft, bleacherreport.com reported."
  33. ^ Art Thoms player profile, database Football. Accessed August 11, 2007.
  34. ^ Art Thoms, Oakland Raiders. Accessed August 11, 2007. "I started playing football in high school. It was the freshman team at Wayne High School in Wayne, N.J. I played two years there and then my family moved to Brickjohn [sic], NJ. I played the last two years of high school ball there."
  35. ^ Klein, Alvin. "IN PERSON; A Young Performer With a Few Tricks of His Own", The New York Times, March 15, 1998. Accessed October 24, 2012. "The not-so-simple stuff that Michael, 16, a sophomore at Wayne Valley High School, uses in school involves video and computer equipment for his electives, advanced television production and graphic arts."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°55′51″N 74°13′51″W / 40.9308°N 74.2307°W / 40.9308; -74.2307