Monday, May 20, 2013
30-year veteran teacher Barry Kostibos retires this year.
“There are a lot of good people here; it’s more of a family atmosphere,” Barry Kostibos said, as he reflected upon his 30-year teaching career at Watchung Hills Regional High School, which comes to an end this year. Kostibos, a Villanova University graduate, came to Watchung Hills in 1983 as a member of the Social Studies Department and taught such courses as American History, Introduction to Psychology, Human Relationships and a myriad of Advanced Placement and College Prep courses in history and related social studies areas. Along the way, he himself was taking courses which would lead to two master’s degrees, one in methods of teaching (Seton Hall University), and one in administration (Rutgers University). The name Kostibos has become…
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Watchung Hills led by Abby Cline and MVP Dana Mertz in 3-1 victory over Hillsborough.
Saturday's Somerset County softball final came down to the two teams that fought for the crown last year: Watchung Hills and Hillsborough. And just like in 2012, the Watchung Hills Warriors left as champions, with a 3-1 victory. 1 Hillsborough drew first blood, scoring in the second inning on a line drive by Jess Santelli, sending courtesy runner Josette Spenser home. But that would prove to be the only run the Raiders would score. Watchung Hills would get on the board in the fourth inning when McKayla Brady's single slid up the middle, which scored courtesy runner Madison Scuderi. In the sixth inning, Meghan Kovac singled up the middle, and a bunt single by Deanna Gonnella moved her to second. But Hillsborough would get a showstopper …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Annual program features original presentations—don't miss this year's show.
The Watchung Hills Regional annual Spring Festival of the Arts offers a nearly-overwhelming array of artistic expression by students at Watchung Hills, from fashion and sculpture, to drawing and painting, video productions and dance. For the dance ensemble, the show includes a premiere of original choreography, and this year's presentation will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday nights. Tickets to the show at the school's Performing Arts Center are $10 ($5 for students; seniors free) and are available at the door. WHRHS Dance Teacher Marisa Joshi encourages everyone to "Come out and support these talented dancers and choreographers as they present an evening of new dance works."
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sandra Hockridge and advisory council to be honored by Watchung Hills BOE.
Sandra (“Sandy”) Hockridge, who will retire after 26 years as Watchung Hills Regional High School’s Adult School director/administrator, has compared her position to that of an artist who is faced with a huge, blank canvas that has to be filled in with all kinds of themes, colors, motifs. Every year a new canvas must be filled in, yielding to the tastes, preferences and needs of the viewers. It is a task Hockridge has successfully completed for almost three decades. “I’ve enjoyed my run here: the environment, the energy, the supportive administration, the cooperation and help of the Buildings & Grounds people. I think I’ve given a lot, but I’ve gotten a lot back," Hockridge said. However, as Hockridge steps away, the Adult School itself …
Emotional Watchung Hills Regional Hall of Fame induction ceremony highlighted by a father's praise for his heroic son.
The annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Watchung Hills Regional offers a chance for students to praise former teachers, and teachers to praise former students; sometimes, former classmates can share praise among each other. And while Friday's annual ceremony including all of these, it was highlighted by an emotional recalling of inductee Matthew Kantor's accomplishments and honors by his father. Kantor, who was praised for "giving his all" in class and on the cross country team by teacher Chris Gibson, dropped out of college after only a few weeks to enlist in the U.S. Navy in pursuit of his dream of becoming a member of the elite SEALs. He succeeded where all but a very few fail, and became a member of the Navy SEAL team five. The …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Philadelphia's Clay Studio to showcase Watchung Hills students' work.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
But the reports do not fully measure the work of students who are on shared time.
The Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School received a bronze ranking through the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best high schools in the state. “The designation is a wonderful acknowledgement of the work we do with a diverse group of students,” said Chrys Harttraft, superintendent of the school. “We won a bronze medal of excellence this year and last, based on the exam scores of our students.” Harttraft said the rankings are given by using three criteria, including overall student performance and disadvantaged student performance on language and math proficiency tests. Harttraft said the focus for the school is on career and college readiness, which is not actually considered in the filtering of requirements for …
Monday, May 6, 2013
Elizabeth Jewett set to begin July 1.
Elizabeth Jewett will become superintendent of Watchung Hills Regional following the retirement of Frances Stromsland, as the school's board of education unanimously approved a resolution to hire her Monday. Jewett is currently the Verona school district's director of Instructional Studies, overseeing the district's curriculum. She was acting superintendent for the 2,200-student K-12 school district for a six-month period in 2011 as that district transitioned to a new superintendent. "I'm truly humbled and honored to be selected to be the next leader of the Watchung Hills Regional High School district," she said. She said Watchung Hills Regional was a "highly achieving district that is characterized by outstanding educators, a highly …
But another leaves school in the cold.
This week, Newsweek magazine is reporting its "America's Best High Schools" rankings, and once again, Watchung Hills Regional is among the state's and nation's best. The school comes in at no. 42 for the state's schools—about 10 spots higher selective schools are taken from comparison—and the 514th best in the nation. Contrast that with the rankings posted two weeks ago by U.S. News and World Report, which left Watchung Hills Regional unranked. The difference? The U.S. News rankings do not score test results, instead focusing on participation in AP classes and the state HSPA test results. Newsweek says its list "is based on six components: graduation rate (25 percent), college acceptance rate (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per …
Sunday, May 5, 2013
School joins larger effort with contribution to installation in Washington, DC.
Bones can tell the story of lives taken on a large scale and in disparate locations around the globe, infamous sites such as Armenia, Auschwitz, the Congo, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, the Sudan, Burma. Some bones are not the bones placed reverently in cemeteries, but are hidden in deep pits in dark forests, bleaching on open plains or moldering in caves...some never to be discovered, while others are blatantly displayed. These are the bones of lives taken in events known as holocausts. So significant, so urgent, is the area of Holocaust studies that the State of New Jersey has mandated its inclusion in the school curriculum. At Watchung Hills Regional High School this year, genocide education is being pursued in a unique way, a …