Hillside High School (New Jersey)

Hillside High School is a comprehensive community four-year public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Hillside, in Union County, New Jersey, United States, operating as the lone secondary school of the Hillside Public Schools. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools.[3]

Hillside High School
1085 Liberty Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°41′30″N 74°14′11″W / 40.691612°N 74.236387°W / 40.691612; -74.236387Coordinates: 40°41′30″N 74°14′11″W / 40.691612°N 74.236387°W / 40.691612; -74.236387
TypePublic high school
School districtHillside Public Schools
NCES School ID3407290[1]
PrincipalChristine Sidwa
Faculty77.2 FTEs[1]
Enrollment842 (as of 2018–19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio10.9:1[1]
Color(s)  Maroon and
Athletics conferenceUnion County Interscholastic Athletic Conference
Team nameComets[2]
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[3]

As of the 2018–19 school year, the school had an enrollment of 842 students and 77.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.9:1. There were 475 students (56.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 82 (9.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankingsEdit

The school was the 250th-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.[4] The school had been ranked 166th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 217th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[5] The magazine ranked the school 287th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[6] The school was ranked 262nd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[7]


In 2001, students from David Brearley High School and Hillside High School collaborated to develop literary and art projects about bigotry presented at an exhibit, "Making Connections: Two Culturally Diverse Schools Address Prejudice and Hatred by Studying the Holocaust Together." The exhibit was presented at Kean University, and was viewed together with local Holocaust survivors and concentration camp liberators.[8]


Hillside High School on Liberty Avenue was originally constructed in 1939–40 with the first graduating class in 1941, replacing the Coe Avenue (A.P. Morris) School which became a grammar school. Additions were later added to accommodate the baby-boomers of the 1950s and 1960s. In the mid-sixties the high school held some 1,500 students.


The Hillside High School Comets[2] compete in the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which consists of public and private high schools in Union County and operates under the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[9] With 658 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as Central Jersey, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 498 to 750 students in that grade range.[10] Before the 2010 realignment, the school had participated in the Mountain Valley Conference, which consisted of public and parochial high schools in Union County, Essex County and Somerset County.[11] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group II South for football for 2018–2020.[12]

In 1986, the Hillside Comets football team finished with an 11–1 record and a North II Group II state championship with a win against Madison High School.[13] After knocking off the second and third seed in the first two rounds, the seventh-seeded Hillside team won its second North II Group II state sectional championship with a 20-13 win at High Point Solutions Stadium against top-seeded and previously undefeated Point Pleasant Borough High School in the final game of the 2017 tournament playoff.[14][15]

The boys' basketball team won the Group II state championships in both 1990 and 1992, defeating Middle Township High School in the tournament final in both years.[16]

In 2011, the Hillside High School cheerleading team, under coach Keyla Silva, won the title of State Champions at the NJCDCA competition in Trenton in the Intermediate Varsity division. After this victory the cheerleaders held this title for three years in a row, repeating as state division champion in 2012 and 2013.[17]


The school's principal is Christine Sidwa. Her administration team includes two vice principals.[18]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e School data for Hillside High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Hillside High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Hillside High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed April 4, 2020.
  4. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  6. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  8. ^ "Two-school project fights prejudice; Kenilworth, Hillside art and computer classes team up.", The Star-Ledger, June 7, 2001
  9. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 30, 2020.
  10. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Home Page, Mountain Valley Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  12. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed September 1, 2020.
  13. ^ NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2020.
  14. ^ Gould, Brandon. "Hillside football knocks off unbeaten Point Pleasant Boro, wins 1st state title since 1985", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 2, 2017. Accessed December 5, 2017. "Seventh-seeded Hillside completed a memorable championship ride and won its first state title since 1985 on Saturday with a 20-13 victory over top-seeded Point Pleasant Boro in the Central Jersey, Group 2 final at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway.... It took all the Comets had to pull off the championship upset and secure the program's first title win in over three decades. Hillside would not be denied though in its run to the championship, which also included wins over second-seeded South River and third-seeded Johnson on the way to the final."
  15. ^ "Football - 2017 NJSIAA Central, Group 2 Playoffs", NJ.com. Accessed December 5, 2017.
  16. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2020.
  17. ^ NJCDCA Cheerleading State Champions Archive, New Jersey Cheerleading & Dance Coaches Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  18. ^ Directory, Hillside High School. Accessed April 5, 2020.
  19. ^ Bolick, Clint. "Remedial Education (Clint Bolick)", Center for Education Reform. Accessed July 5, 2017. "I grew up in Hillside, a suburb of Newark, in a single-parent, working-class family. In 1975, Hillside High School graduated me with enough skills to secure a scholarship at an excellent college and go on to a successful career in law and public policy."
  20. ^ "Hiram E. Chodosh, Claremont McKenna College's President-Elect", Claremont McKenna College, December 6, 2012. Accessed April 28, 2020. "Chodosh was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and attended Hillside High School in Hillside, New Jersey."
  21. ^ David Jones, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed December 12, 2018. "Born: November 9, 1968 (Age: 50-033d) in East Orange, NJ... High School: Hillside (NJ)"
  22. ^ Staff. "Hiller Staff For Next Year Chosen", The Hillside Times, March 29, 1962. Accessed December 5, 2017.
  23. ^ via Associated Press. "Nets reportedly land Massimino with $375,000 per year contract", Boca Raton News, June 20, 1985. Accessed December 10, 2011. "He then returned to Hillside High School where he compiled a 71–24 mark and led his team to the state finals twice in four seasons."
  24. ^ "Competition at higher level now for Hillside's McMillian", Union County LocalSource, July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2017. "Jerron McMillian is wearing No. 22 for the Green Bay Packers after donning No. 1 for Hillside High School and then the University of Maine."
  25. ^ "1998 Maryland Football Honors Candidates", Maryland Terrapins football. Accessed May 12, 2016. "Kendall Ogle Among the ACC's Leading Tacklers: Linebacker, 6-1, 231, Senior Hillside, N.J. (Hillside High School)"
  26. ^ "Alan Paul to Sing Saturday", The Hillside Times, February 24, 1966. Accessed December 12, 2018. "Alan Paul (Wichinsky) will bring his talents to the Newark 'Y' on Chancellor Ave. Saturday as part of An Evening of Performing Arts.... He is presently a junior at Hillside High School and devotes much of his 'spare time' doing benefit performances."
  27. ^ McQuiston, John T. "Details Given On Suspects In Abduction", The New York Times, June 21, 1992. Accessed December 12, 2018. "After the younger Mr. Seale graduated from Hillside High School in the mid-1960s, he worked briefly as a lifeguard before following his father and joining the Hillside Police Department."
  28. ^ Herndon, Mike. "Spruill fits at Fork Union, South Alabama football's next foe", Press-Register, October 30, 2009. Accessed December 13, 2018. "Marquis Spruill made 110 tackles as a senior at Hillside (N.J.) High School last year. He was a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker who had a nose for the ball and was fully qualified academically, but he didn't draw a college offer."
  29. ^ Staff. "Studeny Most Outstanding Comet Athlete In Years", The Hillside Times, July 2, 1959. Accessed January 8, 2018. "Hillside High School's most outstanding athlete in many years, who graduated last month, was Dan Studney, and he can prove it.... Participating in three sports -- track, football and wrestling -- Studeny climaxed a brilliant track career in his senior year."
  30. ^ "Miss Ynugst Takes Second Beauty Title", The Hillside Times, March 27, 1969. Accessed December 5, 2017. "Miss Hela Yungst, 19, won the title after a performance of a dramatic scene and song from Man of La Mancha, bathing suit and evening gown competition.... Miss Yungst has been active at Hillside High School, Newark State and previously at Hillside High School and is a sophomore majoring in music at the College."

External linksEdit