Watchung Hills Regional High School

Watchung Hills Regional High School

name = Watchung Hills Regional High School

motto =
established =
grades = 9 - 12
district = Watchung Hills Regional School district
type = Public high school
superintendent = Dr. Frances Stromsland
principal = Dr. Thomas DiGanci
viceprincipal = Terrence P. MacConnell
Steven Searfoss
Nicholas Serritella
Michael Waluk
enrollment = 1,921 (as of 2005-06)
faculty = 151.0 (on FTE basis)
ratio = 12.7
conference = Skyland Conference
nickname = Warriors
colors =
location = 108 Stirling Road
Warren Township, NJ 07059
information = 908-647-4800
website = [ School website]

Watchung Hills Regional High School is a regional public high school and regional school district serving students in portions of Somerset and Morris Counties in New Jersey, United States. The high school is located next to Woodland School, in Warren Township, 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. [ [ Somerset County School Districts-Sending/Receiving/Regional] , Somerset County Superintendent of Schools. Accessed April 27, 2008.] The High School serves students in grades nine through twelve and as of the 2005-06 school year, there were 1,921 students enrolled and 151.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis) for a student-teacher ratio of 12.7. [ Data for Watchung Hills Regional High School] , National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed October 21, 2007.] Watchung Hills also offers an adult school that operates at night in the facilities. Its mascot is the warrior and its school colors are brown and gold.

Watching Hills Regional High School participates in Project Graduation, a school-sponsored party thrown for the students right after graduation to provide a substance-free way to celebrate.

Awards and recognition

Watchung Hills Regional High School received the Blue Ribbon Award from the United States Department of Education in 1994-1995, the highest honor that an American school can achieve. ["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. p. RE5] [ [ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF)] , accessed August 22, 2006.]

In their 2004 survey, "Newsweek" ranked WHRHS as the 583rd best high school in the nation. [ [ The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools (2004)] , "Newsweek", May 16, 2004.] In the magazine's 2006 survey, the school was ranked as 745th nationwide. [ [ The Complete List: 1,200 Top U.S. Schools] , "Newsweek", May 23, 2006.] 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. [ [ "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,200 top U.S. schools"] , "Newsweek", May 22, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007.] As of 2008, the "Newsweek" ranks the school as 919th in the nation. [ [ The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools (2008)] , "Newsweek", June 23, 2008.]

The school was the 49th-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 38th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state. [ [ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank"] , "New Jersey Monthly", September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.]


WHRHS recently underwent a costly renovation. Extensive additions to the school have been constructed and all classrooms have been renovated. The addition included many new classrooms, as well as a four-tier band room. Additionally, a brand new theatre with a rising orchestra pit and catwalk were built. This state-of-the-art theater includes a programmable lighting system, movable sound shell and a balcony. However, the orchestra pit is not allowed to be used due to the fact it is not handicap accessible. Additionally, all classrooms have been renovated and the old theater is currently being renovated. A TV studio is still under construction. There is also a new "FieldTurf" football field, along with numerous baseball/softball fields.


The brand new, state-of-the-art theatre includes two catwalks with a spotlight booth. The lighting system, which has 301 dimmers is housed in the dimmer room located on the stage left side of the catwalks. The dimmer room contains three dimmer racks, an emergency power switch and a server that runs ETC's Emphasis server software. The server was recently moved (as of September 8, 2007) down to the control booth so that its offline capabilities may be utilized. The lighting console is an ETC Express 24/48 and is usually in the lighting booth located under the balcony. On stage, there is a movable orchestra pit, movable sound shell and 41 linesets. The lineset system includes six electrics and three ceiling panels for the sound shell. The fly rail is accessible from the ladder located in the stage left wing. The sound shell is moved using a cart with a lift system on it. When not in use, the shell is stored stage right, 2 to 3 deep.


The school has eight dedicated Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Servers and one NFuse server. The system allows students who don't have programs such as Microsoft Office to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and other applications.

WHRHS has 24 Dell servers that serve as everything from domain controllers to web servers. These servers are housed in the IDF room, located next to the library. There are approximately 15 laptop carts (each with 24 laptops) that are designated to different areas of the school. All teachers have either laptops. There are four computer labs with Dell Optiplex desktops. The school has Cisco access-points in almost every classroom.


The Watching Hills Regional High School Warriors compete in the Skyland Conference.

Some of WHRHS's most successful sports teams are:
*Women's Soccer
*Women's Tennis
*Ice Hockey
*Men's and Women's Basketball
*Women's Track and Field
*Men's and Women's Bowling
*Men's and Women's Fencing
*Women's Volleyball
*Marching Band.

The baseball team won the 2005 North II, Group IV state sectional championship with an 11-0 win over Hunterdon Central Regional High School. [ [ 2005 Baseball - North II, Group IV] , NJSIAA. Accessed June 4, 2007.]

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. [ [ 2008 Ice Hockey Tournament - Public A] , NJSIAA. Accessed May 26, 2008.]


Watchung Hills offers students many extracurricular activities to participate in. These clubs and organizations are directed towards community service, academics, and other special interests. A few of the more popular ones are REBEL, Stop Genocide, Habitat for Humanity, AWARE, JSA Debate Club, Mock Trial, Academic Team, Script and Cue, Students Against Drunk Driving, NIKE club, Model United Nations, "Lenape" Yearbook, Gay-Straight Alliance, Geocaching Club and the Diversity Club.


Core members of the district's / school's administration are: [ [ Board of Education] , Watchung Hills Regional High School. Accessed August 25, 2008.]
*Dr. Frances Stromsland - Superintendent
*Timothy Stys - School Business Administrator/ Board Secretary
*Dr. Thomas DiGanci - Principal
*Terrence P. MacConnell - Vice Principal
*Steven Searfoss- Vice Principal
*Nicholas Serritella - Vice Principal / Director of Athletics
*Michael Waluk - Vice Principal

Notable alumni

* Billy Ard (born 1959), former NFL pro player for the New York Giants. [ [ "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."]
* Irene Arranga, played Mary Johnson, Horshack's girlfriend/wife, on the television show "Welcome Back, Kotter". [ [ Irene Arranga ] ] Fact|date=October 2007
* John Fahey (1939-2001), guitarist ranked 35th greatest of all time by "Rolling Stone".Fact|date=July 2008
* Tom Glassic (born 1954), retired NFL offensive lineman. [ [ Tom Glassic player profile] , Accessed June 30, 2007.]
* [ Amanda Pabyan] (1998), operatic lyric-coloratura soprano.
* Chris Kratt (born 1969), host of "Kratts' Creatures" and "Zoboomafoo" as well as "Be the Creature", which runs on the National Geographic Channel.Fact|date=July 2008
* Martin Kratt (born 1965), brother of Chris, and also an educational nature show host.Fact|date=July 2008
* Alan LeBoeuf - Appeared in the Broadway play, "Beatlemania" as Paul in 1977, as well as on the Arista soundtrack for the play.Fact|date=August 2008
* Laura Prepon (born 1980), actress best known for her work on "That '70s Show" and a role on the TV series "October Road". [ [ " 'That '70s' gal grows up on 'October Road'"] , "New York Daily News" by Marisa Guthrie, March 13, 2007. "Prepon, who is the youngest of five children, went to Watchung Hills High in New Jersey. Her mother still lives there (her father died when she was 14)."]
* Sarah Wickliffe (2001), Student Academy Award nominee in animation (2007) for her film "Art's Desire". [Ball, Ryan. [ "Student Academy Award Winners"] , "Animation Magazine, June 21, 2007. Accessed February 29, 2008.]
* Alison Wright (born 1961), photojournalist and author. [cite news |author=Bella English |title=Alison Wright: Her `Faces of Hope' shows the spirit of children facing huge obstacles |url= |work=The Boston Globe
date=September 29 2003 |accessdate=2008-07-21
* Robert Tsai (2008), Played Lawrence in the movie "School of Rock". [ [ Robert Tsai] , Internet Movie Database. Accessed August 25, 2008.]
* Leah Bezozo, played "Kennedy" in "The Sopranos" episode "Heidi and Kennedy". [ [ Leah Bezozo] , Internet Movie Database. Accessed August 25, 2008.]


External links

* [ Watchung Hills Regional High School website]
*NJReportCard|35|5550|050|Watchung Hills Regional High School
* [ Data for Watchung Hills Regional High School] , National Center for Education Statistics
* [ Watchung Hills Student Activities]
* [ Watchung Hills Student Handbook 2006-2007]

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