West Essex High School

Infobox School
name = West Essex High School

imagesize = 125px
motto = "Dedicated to Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility."
established = 1951
type = Public high school
Campus = convert|100|acre|km2
principal = Barbara Longo
viceprincipal = Juliann Hoebee
Ray Rotella
enrollment = 727 (as of 2005-06)
faculty = 62.0 (on FTE basis)
ratio = 11.7
colors = Red and White
nickname = Knights
conference = Iron Hills Conference
location = 65 West Greenbrook Road
North Caldwell, NJ 07006
information = 973-228-1200
newspaper = "Wessex Wire"
website = [http://www.westex.org School website]

West Essex High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school in North Caldwell, New Jersey in the United States. The high school is part of the West Essex Regional School District, which serves students from four municipalities in western Essex County. Communities served by the district's schools are Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell and Roseland. [ [http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc07/narrative/13/5630/13-5630-050.html West Essex Regional High School 2007 School Report Card] , New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 1, 2008. "West Essex High School is located in North Caldwell and serves the four area sending districts of Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, and Roseland."]

As of the 2005-06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 727 students and 62.0 classroom teachers (on a FTE basis, for a student-teacher ratio of 11.7. [http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/school_detail.asp?Search=1&DistrictID=3417460&ID=341746002462 West Essex High School] , National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 30, 2007.]

Awards and recognition

The school was the 48th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 314 schools statewide, in "New Jersey Monthly" magazine's September 2008 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools". The school was ranked 34th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state. [ [http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns_and_schools/highschoolrankings/top-new-jersey-high-schools-by-rank.html "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank"] , "New Jersey Monthly", September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.]

School history

The history of the West Essex Regional School District began in the fall of 1951 while students from the District – Caldwell Township (present day Fairfield), Essex Fells, North Caldwell, Roseland – were accepted by Caldwell High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship.

Soon it became apparent that the present and future educational needs of the area needed to be determined as scientifically as possible, and the four school boards in the District joined with that of Caldwell-West Caldwell to retain the Rutgers University Extension Service for that purpose. Their survey predicted 1,200 junior-senior high school students in the District by 1961.

The first comprehensive study was submitted in 1956. It recommended the consolidation of the five school districts and all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade. The communities, however, were reluctant to carry the recommendation into effect. Then the Rutgers educators suggested the formation of a regional school district for grades 7-12 for Caldwell Township, Essex Fells, North Caldwell and Roseland.

Subsequently, in June 1957, each of the four towns appointed two citizens to serve on a study committee. With the assistance of the Essex County Superintendent of Schools, and other officials, the committee completed a report by the following September.

The study committee recommended that a referendum be held in the four towns to seek the approval of voters concerning the formation of a regional school district. The New Jersey Department of Education approved the move, and by December 1957 the referendum was passed by the voters.

Shortly thereafter, the first Regional District school board of nine members – two each from Caldwell Township, Essex Fells, North Caldwell and three from Roseland.

In February 1958, the Regional Board of Education was elected by the voters, with Wallace S. Jones of Essex Fells as its first president.

At about this time a Citizens School Curriculum Advisory Committee was established to determine the educational needs of the District and make curriculum recommendations to the Board of Education. Dr. Ulrich V. Solmssen was chairman of the 15-member committee.

On March 26, 1958, this Curriculum Committee issued a progress report which was superseded by its final report submitted on April 15, 1958.

The latter report contained several “basic principles” which the committee desired to see adopted for the new high school. Among these principles were “education for all, excellence of performance though self-discipline, independent thinking, and a sense of ‘true values”. Also stressed were a staff of high quality, adequate guidance, the grouping of students, availability of electives, insistence on effective English, and a broad extracurricular program.

The report also recommended that three types of curricula be offered: College Preparatory, General Academic, and Commercial.

In July 1958 voters authorized $290,000 for a 73 acre site, of which 60 acres lay in North Caldwell and 13 in Caldwell Township. The site is located between Grandview and Passaic Avenues, directly north of Greenbrook Road, about convert|25|mi|km outside of New York City (West Essex Yearbook 1961).

Bomb Scare Era

During 2006 – 2007 there was a rash of six bomb scares at the Senior High School as well as an anthrax scare on September 11th 2006. [Moore, Elizabeth. [http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/03/west_essex_schools_on_lockdown.html "West Essex schools locked down after threat of violence."] , "The Star-Ledger", March 11, 2008. 24 Mar. 2008] On March 11th, 2008 at 11:45 A.M. a note was found in the men's bathroom at the Senior High School. As a result police from North Caldwell, Fairfield, West Caldwell, Caldwell, Essex Fells, Roseland, Livingston, the Essex County Sheriff's Department, and the New Jersey State Police were summoned to the school. The school remained in lockdown till 3:25 P.M.

About a week later on March 20th the suspect a 15 year old juvenile from North Caldwell was detained by authorities in Roseland, NJ while walking along the side of a road. He was transferred into the custody of the North Caldwell police department and charged with "causing a false public alarm, causing the risk of widespread injury, unlawful possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and marijuana possession. He was arrested after a police search of his room turned up pellet guns and ammunition" according to Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow. [Moore, Elizabeth. [http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/03/west_essex_schools_on_lockdown.html "West Essex schools locked down after threat of violence."] , "The Star-Ledger", March 11, 2008. 24 Mar. 2008] [Moore, Elizabeth. [http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/03/arrest_made_in_west_essex_hs_l.html "15-year-old arrested after West Essex school lockdown." "The Star-Ledger", March 24, 2008. 24 Mar. 2008 ]

Extracurricular activities

West Essex Regional High School provides many opportunities for students, from theater, to numerous clubs, to athletic programs.

The West Essex High School Knights compete in the Iron Hills Conference, an athletic conference made up of high schools located in Essex County, Morris County and Union County in New Jersey. The Iron division is often regarded as one of the most competitive in the state.

*"Football" - 1980 North Jersey Section II, Group IV Conference Champions and State Champions, and Ranked 1 in State of New Jersey by the Star Ledger Newspaper, North Jersey Section II, Group II State Champions 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007.
**The 2007 football team won the North II, Group II title with a 27-6 win over Morris Hills High School. [Reilly, Sean. [http://www.nj.com/starledger/stories/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1196660577294840.xml&coll=1 "Hayek, Agrifolio power West Essex's repeat"] , "The Star-Ledger", December 3, 2007. Accessed December 3, 2007. "And last night, he completed his career in supreme fashion, by rushing for two touchdowns in the first quarter as his team, ranked 15th in The Star-Ledger Top 20, defeated No. 18 Morris Hills, 27-6, for the NJSIAA/Gatorade North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 championship at Giants Stadium."] [ [http://www.bracketmaker.com/tmenu.cfm?tid=246272&tclass=North%20II%2C%20Group%20II 2007 Football - North II, Group II] , NJSIAA. Accessed December 3, 2007.]

*"Boys lacrosse"- 2004 Appearance in State Championship, 2004 Waterman Division Champions, 2004 Essex County Tournament Finalists, Ranked number 4 in New Jersey in 2004. 4 consecutive New Jersey State Tournament appearances, 2005 State Championship appearance, (2nd Straight)

*"Girls lacrosse"- 2003 Group 2 State Champions, appeared in Overall State Title Game, Ranked 7th in The nation Fact|date=February 2007, 2004 Ranked Number 5 in New Jersey, Essex County Champions.

*"Field hockey"- 16 Shut-out Victories, Ranked #1 in Essex County, Ranked #2 in New Jersey, Iron Hills Conference Champions, Essex County Champions, Section 1 Group 2 State Champions (2005-2007). On November 19, 2006, The West Essex field hockey team lost the 2006 Tournament of Champions, falling to Eastern High School by a 2-1 score. [ [http://www.bracketmaker.com/tmenu.cfm?tid=185498&tclass=Tournament%20of%20Champions 2006 Field Hockey Tournament - Tournament of Champions] , accessed November 26, 2006] In 2007, the team won the North I, Group II state sectional championship with a 4-1 win over Newton High School in the tournament final. [ [http://www.bracketmaker.com/tmenu.cfm?tid=243004&tclass=North%20I%2C%20Group%20II 2007 Field Hockey - North I, Group II] , NJSIAA. Accessed November 12, 2007.] The team moved on to win the Group II State Championship with a 4-0 win over Madison High School in the semis and a 3-1 win against Camden Catholic High School in the finals. [ [http://www.bracketmaker.com/tmenu.cfm?tid=243004&tclass=Group%20Semis%2FFinals 2007 Field Hockey - Group Semis/Finals] , NJSIAA. Accessed November 13, 2007.]

*"Baseball"- In 2006, the team was seeded # 15 in the 74th Greater Newark Tournament, the West Essex Knights defeated #2 Nutley High School, #10 Montclair Kimberley Academy, #3, East Side High School, and #1 Seton Hall Preparatory School (Championship Game), en route to the school's first ever GNT Championship.
*"Track"- Boy's Spring Track 2007- ECADA RELAYS: # 1 Sprint Medley team in Essex County consisting of Mamadou Niang, Casey Connelly,Dan Keegan, and Marc Cifelli

Girl's Spring Track 2007- ECADA RELAYS: # 5 Distance Medley Relay team in Essex County consists of Marissa Manwarren, Heather Jubin, Bineta Niang, and Lauren McDonald

Mamadou Niang's Records

May 31,2008-Mamadou ran a 1:57.56 in the 800m at NJSIAA Group Championships, placing 4th.

May 24, 2008-Mamadou ran a 1:57.23 in the 800m at NJSIAA Sectionl Championships - North 2, placing first.

May 17, 2008-Mamadou ran a PR of 1:55.99 in the 800m at Essex County Championships, placing first.

May 07, 2008-Mamadou ran a 1:58.92 in the 800m at Iron Hills Conf. Championships, placing third.

Jan 04, 2008-Mamadou ran a PR of 1:30.28 in the 600m at Iron Hills Conference, placing 7th.

2008 Iron Hills Conference Casey Connelly places 4th in Javelin.

*""'Boys basketball
*"Girls basketball"
*"Wrestling"- First Place in Garfield Tournament.
*"Ice hockey"- 2004 NJSIAA Public School State Champions.
*"Boys soccer"- 2000 State Champions and Essex County Champions, 2004 Iron Hills Conference Champions 17-2-2 record.
*"Girls soccer" 2005 North I, Group II State Sectional Championships, Essex County Champions Ranked 20 overall in New Jersey.
*"Boys Tennis" Back to back Group II State champions in 2000 and 2001. 2006 Ranked 10th in New Jersey.
*"Girls Tennis"
*"Golf" - Complied an 88-0 dual match record from 1980 through 1983. 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2007 Iron Hills Conference Champions, 2007 Group II State Sectional 2nd Place, 1983 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions 6th Place Overall, 2007 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions 8th Place Overall
*"Boys Volleyball"
*"Girls Volleyball"
*"Swimming"- Completed 2007-2008 season with new coach Jake Taylor, with an improved record from previous years. Girls team finished 8th in the 2008 Iron Hills Conference 'A' Championship.
*"Marching Band" In 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 the West Essex Marching Knights have been ranked by TOB as one of the top 25 Bands on the East Coast. 2007 they were also the TOB chapter X champions in 2004 and 2005. The 2007 Marching Band placed 9th place in the Atlantic Coast Championships. Never in West Essex History has the Marching Band placed top 10 in ACCs.

*"Wessex Wire school newspaper" has won multiple awards from Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Garden State Scholastic Press Association, and other student journalism organizations

*"Roundtable literary magazine" has won multiple awards from Columbia Scholastic Press Association and other literary organizations

*"Milestone yearbook"

Additionally, there are many academic-based clubs (i.e. Italian Club, Robotics Team) and service-oriented clubs such as WE CARE (environment), WE HELP (community service), and WE STOP (peer leadership)


Core members of the school'sa dministration are: [ [http://www.westex.org/seniorhigh/index.html Home Page] , West Essex Senior High School. Accessed August 20, 2008.]
*Principal - Barbara Longo
*Vice Principals - Juliann Hoebee and Ray Rotella

Alma Mater

"Knights of West Essex, Proudly We Stand
"Striving for glory; honor we demand.
"Fighting for victory, we'll always be
"True to West Essex with Strength and Loyalty
"Hail to West Essex, long may you reign;
"Our Alma Mater, we uphold your name.
"Schools have their banners, some dull or bright,
"But we'll always show our pride for the
"Wessex RED and WHITE."

West Essex in popular culture

West Essex is mentioned in the HBO hit series "The Sopranos". North Caldwell, the town where Tony Soprano and his family reside in the show, is also where West Essex is located. In the first episode of the show, a character mentions he attended the high school shortly before being murdered by Christopher Moltisanti over a garbage disposal dispute.

Notable alumni

*Bob Bradley (born 1958), Current US Men's Soccer National Team Coach, former MLS Chicago Fire and NY/NJ Metrostars head coach. [Lewis, Michael. [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCN/is_6_25/ai_96811064/pg_2 "Just one of the guys: to MetroStars coach Bob Bradley, success comes from creating a positive, friendly environment—something his new club sorely needs"] , "Soccer Digest", March 2003, accessed April 28, 2007. "Born in Montclair, NJ., Bradley's interest in the game began when an assistant soccer coach asked him to try out for the varsity team at West Essex High School."]
*Rob Burnett (born 1962), television writer, creator of "Ed". [Strauss, Robert. [http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F70C13FE345E0C728CDDA90994D8404482 " ON TELEVISION; It's Not a Back Lot, It's Northvale"] , "The New York Times", October 1, 2000, accessed April 28, 2007. "Ed" provides for a sort of homecoming for Mr. Burnett, who grew up in North Caldwell and attended West Essex High School."]
*David Chase (born 1945), creator of "The Sopranos". [ [http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzNTcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY5MjQzOTImeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz Courting fame] , "The Record (Bergen County)", April 23, 2006] [Buckman, Adam. [http://www.nypost.com/seven/12242007/news/columnists/it_takes__a_while_to_set_up_a_hit_544615.htm?page=0 "IT TAKES A WHILE TO SET UP A 'HIT': LONG AND WINDING ROAD FOR 'SOPRANOS'"] , "New York Post", December 24, 2007. Accessed July 10, 2008. "Chase, born in Mount Vernon and raised in northern New Jersey (he graduated from West Essex HS in North Caldwell, where he met his wife), had already been executive producer of two acclaimed TV shows - "I'll Fly Away" on NBC and "Northern Exposure" on CBS."]
*Christian Ferrara 2004 NFL Draft Choice, San Francisco 49ers. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/2004draft/Ferrara,Christian-DT-Syracuse.htm Christian Ferrara, DT, Syracuse] , "USA Today", accessed April 28, 2007. "Attended West Essex (N.J.) High, playing football for coach Dave Drozjock"]
*Joe Piscopo (born 1951), "Saturday Night Live", Comedian. [ [http://www.joepiscopo.com/press-nytimes2.html So Jersey, He Deserves His Own Rest Area] , reprint of article from the "New York Times", August 7, 2005]
*Ronald T. Raines (born 1958), scientist and educator.Fact|date=August 2008
*Josh Saviano (born 1976), played Paul Pfeiffer on "The Wonder Years"
*Michelle Thomas (1969-1998), played Myra on "Family Matters". [Pace, Eric. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B03E7D8173FF93BA15751C1A96E958260 "Michelle Thomas, 30, Actress On TV Soap Opera and Sitcoms"] , "The New York Times", December 28, 1998. Accessed October 30, 2007. "She was born in Boston, Mass., grew up in Montclair, N.J., and graduated from West Essex High School in North Caldwell, N.J."]
*Michelle Vizzuso (born 1977), former field hockey player. [ [http://www.nj.com/hssports/ledger/index.ssf?/hssports/century/stories/fieldhplayer.html The Century's Best -- Field Hockey] , "The Star-Ledger", October 3, 1999. "In 1991, Vizzuso became only the fifth freshman at West Essex to start on varsity in Alimi's 32 years of coaching."]
*Bill Wosilius, DE Syracuse University 1963-1966. St. Louis Cardinals N.F.L. 1967-1968.Fact|date=April 2008

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