Central High School (Newark, New Jersey)

Central High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades in Newark, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Newark Public Schools.

Central High School
246 18th Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°43′48″N 74°11′36″W / 40.7300549°N 74.193347°W / 40.7300549; -74.193347Coordinates: 40°43′48″N 74°11′36″W / 40.7300549°N 74.193347°W / 40.7300549; -74.193347
TypePublic high school
NCES School ID3411340[2]
PrincipalSharnee Brown
Faculty79.0 FTEs[2]
Enrollment766 (as of 2018–19)[2]
Student to teacher ratio9.7:1[2]
Color(s)  Columbia blue and
Athletics conferenceSuper Essex Conference (general)
North Jersey Super Football Conference (football)
Team nameBlue Devils[3]

As of the 2018–19 school year, the school had an enrollment of 766 students and 79.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.7:1. There were 536 students (70.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 23 (3.0% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]


Central High School was originally Central Commercial and Manual Training School, housed in what is now the Central King Building on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.[4] It opened January 31, 1912.

The school provided vocational education, offering a forge and a foundry, a sewing room, a sheet-metal room and a wood shop, as well as an auditorium seating 1,500. The school manufactured tools for itself and the rest of the district.[5]

A smaller school but without a forge, the East Side Commercial & Manual Training High School was built at the same time.[6] The decade was active one for the school district. In 1911, it opened a School for the Feeble Minded and a School for Blind.[7] The city closed its last segregated school in 1909.[7]

The school was renamed Central High School and remained at the original address until 2008. The Central King Building at New Jersey Institute of Technology was renovated to support the university and STEM counselling.[8]

The school moved to its current location at 246 18th Avenue in Newark after its $107 million completion in 2008.[9] The move was completed in 2010.

Ras Baraka served as principal of Central High School from 2007 to 2013 before his election as Mayor of Newark.[10]

Awards, recognition and rankingsEdit

The school was the 300th-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.[11] The school had been ranked 277th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 274th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[12] The magazine ranked the school 278th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[13] The school was ranked 304th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[14]


Central includes three academic academies: The pre-engineering, the liberal arts academy and the health/dental sciences academy. Students choose their career track once they have enrolled and began the academic year.

Some aspects of the pre-engineering academy curriculum are; Computer-aided drafting, Computer integrated manufacturing, Introduction to engineering design, digital electronics, and Principles of engineering. These courses expose students to the instruments and practices that may be used when they enter the field of engineering.

Project Grad ScholarshipEdit

Central students are given the opportunity to earn a scholarship towards their college education, called the Project Grad Newark College Scholarship [1]. The students and the students' parents read and sign a pledge stating that the student will meet minimum requirements. Some include; maintaining an average GPA of 2.5 or better, completing two college-bound summer institutes, graduating in four years. When the student completes these requirements, they are awarded $6,000 which is paid in installments over the span of four years to the college they plan to attend.


The Central High School Blue Devils[3] compete in the Super Essex Conference, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Essex County and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[15] Before the 2009 realignment, the school had competed in the Mountain Valley Conference, which consisted of public and private high schools covering Union County and Essex County in northern New Jersey.[16] With 630 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 486 to 758 students in that grade range.[17] The football team competes in the National Red division of the North Jersey Super Football Conference, which includes 112 schools competing in 20 divisions, making it the nation's biggest football-only high school sports league.[18][19] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group II North for football for 2018–2020.[20]

Athletic programs offered at the school include:[3]

  • Fall sports: Football, Cross Country, Soccer, Cheerleading and Girls Volleyball
  • Winter sports: Boys Basketball, Bowling, Indoor Track, Girls Basketball and Cheerleading
  • Spring sports: Baseball, Track and Field

The boys spring / outdoor track team won the state champions in 1919-1921.[21]

The boys track team won the indoor / winter track public school state championship in 1922-1926 and in 1933. The girls team won the Group II championship in 1984.[22]

The school's football team won the 1924 state football championship, defeating Asbury Park High School by a score of 39-0, in a game that was mandated by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association after the two teams ended the regular season tied in the standings.[23]

The boys' basketball team won the Group IV championship in 1947 against Union Hill High School, in both 1963 and 1964 against Hillside High School and in 2001 against Ewing High School.[24] The team won the Group IV title in 1964 with a 40-37 victory against Union Hill.[25] The 1964 team outscored Hillside by 12-2 in overtime to win the Group IV title by a final score of 60-50 in the championship game played in front of a crowd of 5,000 at Convention Hall in Atlantic City.[26] The team won the 2006 North II, Group II state sectional championship with a 65-48 win over Madison High School.[27]

The girls track team won the Group III indoor relay state championships in 1982, and in Group II in 1983 and 1989.[28]

The girls team won the NJSIAA spring track Group II state championship in 1983 and 1984.[29]


The school's principal is Sharnee Brown.[30] Her core administration team includes four vice principals.[31]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ History Archived June 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Central High School. Accessed May 6, 2013. "Central High School, founded in 1911, is located in Newark, New Jersey: the largest school district in the state and one of the oldest systems in New Jersey, dating back to 1676."
  2. ^ a b c d e School data for Central High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Central High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  4. ^ Central King Building, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey Institute of Technology. Accessed July 30, 2019.
  5. ^ Bolenius, Emma Miller. "A 'New Idea' High School", p. 326. Popular Educator, Volume 32, February 1915. Accessed March 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ready to begin East Side School", Newark Call, October 17, 1909. Accessed July 30, 2019.
  7. ^ a b District History, Newark Public Schools. Accessed March 9, 2018.
  8. ^ Glover, Teshuan. "NJIT to Host Ribbon Cutting of Renovated Central King Building", The Newark Times, April 7, 2017. Accessed July 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Jackson, Chanta L. "New Central High nears completion", The Star-Ledger, May 25, 2008. Accessed July 30, 2019. "After nearly a decade-long push for a new building, Central High School is not only on track to be completed in time for the start of school in September, but if things go as planned, the Class of 2008 will hold graduation in the gymnasium next month."
  10. ^ The Honorable Ras Baraka, The HistoryMakers. Accessed July 30, 2019. "From 2007 to 2013, Baraka served as the principal of Central High School in Newark."
  11. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  12. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 1, 2012.
  13. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed August 7, 2012.
  14. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  15. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  16. ^ Home Page, Mountain Valley Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  17. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  18. ^ Cooper, Darren. "Here's what we know about the new Super Football Conference 2020 schedule"The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference (SFC) is a 112-team group, the largest high school football-only conference in America, and is comprised of teams from five different counties."
  19. ^ Cooper, Darren. "NJ football: Super Football Conference revised schedules for 2020 regular season"The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference has 112 teams that will play across 20 divisions."
  20. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  21. ^ NJSIAA Spring Track Summary of Group Titles Boys, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  22. ^ NJSIAA Indoor Group Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Staff. "Newark Team Wins New Jersey Title; Central High School Beats Asbury Park, 39-0, for Scholastic Football Honors.", The New York Times, December 7, 1924. Accessed September 30, 2015. "The Newark Central High School eleven yesterday won the interscholastic football championship of New Jersey, defeating the eleven representing the Asbury Park High School before a crowd of 8,000 persons in the stadium at East Orange, N.J. The final score was 39 to 0."
  24. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  25. ^ "Central Snares Group 4 Honors; Union Hill, Weehawken Upset In Tourney", The Record, March 24, 1947. Accessed March 6, 2021, via Newspapers.com. " Five champions were crowned at the 29th Annual N. J. S. I. A. A. Basketball Tournament in Elizabeth Saturday and two of them --Fort Lee and Englewood-- hailed from Bergen County. The Group Four title went to a scrappy Newark Central team that upset Union Hill of Union City 40 to 37."
  26. ^ Staff. "Newark Central, Salem, Trenton Teams Win Titles; Hillside, Roselle Catholic, Mountain High Beaten in State Tournament Final Games", Herald News, March 25, 1963. Accessed February 14, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Newark Central's victory in overtime over Hillside, 60-50, proved to be the only good thing that happened to a North Jersey school in the annual NJSIAA cage carnival here at Convention Hall before 5,000 fans on Saturday night.... Central, winner of its first Group IV crown since 1947, polished off Hillside which was seeking the championship for the first time.... A 12-2 overtime period won the title for Central."
  27. ^ 2006 Boys Basketball - North II, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 7, 2007.
  28. ^ History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  29. ^ NJSIAA Spring Track Summary of Group Titles Girls, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  30. ^ Principal's Message, Central High School. Accessed February 14, 2021.
  31. ^ Administrators, Central High School. Accessed February 14, 2021.
  32. ^ Kwiatkowski, Jane. "A Principled Man", Buffalo News, July 1, 1990. Accessed May 6, 2013. "Was getting tough the answer for Joe Clark? The former high school principal and Army drill instructor made his name nine years ago in Paterson, N.J., as a hard-nosed disciplinarian.... All you have to do is call Central High School in Newark. That was an all-white school, and ironically I was No. 6 in my class."
  33. ^ Patrick Cole, Siena Saints men's basketball. Accessed December 3, 2020. "Hometown: Newark, N.J.; High School: Newark Central"
  34. ^ Greenhalgh Jr., Paul J. In Search of Corky, p. 19. Accessed December 19, 2017. Xlibris Corporation, 2008. ISBN 9781462805181. "The name 'Corky' linked Walter Devlin to his father. He felt proud of that nickname. Newark's Central was the local high school. Corky's city basketball skills allowed him to blend well with friends he respected."
  35. ^ via Associated Press. "Al DeRogatis, 68, Sports Broadcaster", The New York Times, December 28, 1995. Accessed October 15, 2013. "Born in Newark, DeRogatis attended Central High School."
  36. ^ Staff. "No. 1 in Newark Vote; Kenneth Allen Gibson", The New York Times, May 14, 1970. Accessed December 19, 2017. "While attending Central High School, Mr. Gibson played the saxophone in a dance band to help support the family."
  37. ^ Staff. "Chargers' draft mistakes are a boon to free agents" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The San Diego Union-Tribune, December 2, 1999. Accessed May 6, 2013. "DeMingo Graham grew up in Newark, NJ, and lettered in football, wrestling and track and field at Central High School."
  38. ^ Alvarez, Max. The Crime Films of Anthony Mann, p. 15. University Press of Mississippi, 2013. ISBN 9781496801036. Accessed December 19, 2017. "In New Jersey, Emile Anton attended elementary school in East Orange and high school in Newark but dropped out to go to work. The New York Times obituary reports him leaving high school at age sixteen, but the Central High School transcripts indicate a January 1925 dropout date, when Emile Anton was eighteen."
  39. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas F. Fizgerald's Legislative Manual, State of New Jersey, Volume 194, Part 2; Volume 195, Parts 1-2, p. 354. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1971. Accessed April 20, 2020. "Alexander J. Matturri (Rep., Newark) Senator Matturri was born In Newark on November 28, 1913. He was educated at Central High School, Newark ; University of Virginia and Rutgers University Law School."
  40. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Sherman L. Maxwell, 100, Sportscaster and Writer, Dies", The New York Times, July 19, 2008. Accessed December 19, 2017. "Mr. Maxwell graduated from Central High School in Newark and served in the Army in Europe during World War II."
  41. ^ Manuscript Group 1287, Hymen B. Mintz (1909-1986), New Jersey assemblyman and collector Archived February 3, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Historical Society. Accessed March 27, 2018. "Hymen B. Mintz (1909-1986) was born in Newark, New Jersey (Essex County). He was educated at: Lafayette Grammar School, Newark; Central High School, Newark; and at Upsala College where he graduated with an A.B. (1929)."
  42. ^ "Honoring Kyle Moore-Brown Honoree Of Newark Flight Football's Free Youth Football Clinic August 13, 2016", Essex County, New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders. Accessed December 19, 2017. "Whereas, Kyle Moore-Brown was born on February 26, 1971, in Newark, New Jersey. He attended the Newark Public School System and graduated from Central High School in 1989"
  43. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, Volume 197, Part 2, p. 245. E. J. Mullin, 1977. Accessed April 22, 2020. "Mr. Jones was born in Newark on Feb. 4., 1930, the oldest of three children of Leroy and Eleanor Owens of 64 McKay Ave., East Orange. He attended Newton Street Grammar School and CentralHigh School in Newark, graduating from the latter in 1948."
  44. ^ Phillips, McCandlish. "Schary Named City's First Cultural Chief", The New York Times, February 25, 1970. Accessed December 19, 2017. "He was born in Newark and attended Newark Central High School, dropping out at 14 to work but later making up the missed credits."

External linksEdit