Passaic High School

Passaic High School is a four-year community public high school, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from Passaic, in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Passaic City School District. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1927.[3]

Passaic High School
170 Paulison Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°51′22″N 74°07′39″W / 40.855985°N 74.127401°W / 40.855985; -74.127401Coordinates: 40°51′22″N 74°07′39″W / 40.855985°N 74.127401°W / 40.855985; -74.127401
TypePublic high school
School districtPassaic City School District
NCES School ID3412540[1]
PrincipalJeannette Torres-Gomez
Faculty141.8 FTEs[1]
Enrollment2,618 (as of 2018–19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio18.5:1[1]
Color(s)  Scarlet and
  Navy Blue[2]
Athletics conferenceBig North Conference (general)
North Jersey Super Football Conference (football)
Team nameIndians[2]
RivalClifton High School
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[3]

As of the 2018–19 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,618 students and 141.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 18.5:1. There were 2,497 students (95.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 97 (3.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankingsEdit

The school was the 317th-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 282nd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 313th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[5] The magazine ranked the school 312th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[6] The school was ranked 310th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[7]


Passaic High School's first graduating class, in 1873, had eight students, who attended the Acquackanonk District School. The first Passaic High School was constructed in 1886–87 at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue (now Broadway). The district's second high school was built in 1910 across the street from the original building on Lafayette Avenue. The present high school on Paulison Avenue was completed in May 1957.[8]


The Passaic High School Indians[2] compete in the Big North Conference, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Bergen and Passaic counties, and was established following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[9] For the 2009–10 school year, the school was part of the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, a conference established on an interim basis to facilitate the realignment. Prior to the realignment in 2009, the school competed in Division B of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League (NNJIL) which included public and private high schools located in Bergen and Passaic counties.[10] With 2,396 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,060 to 5,049 students in that grade range.[11] The football team competes in the Liberty Blue 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.[12][13] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group V North for football for 2018–2020.[14]

Between 1915 and 1924, Ernest Blood coached the school's basketball team to a 200–1 record. Passaic was unbeaten for 159 games over more than five seasons, a feat which is considered to be the longest winning streak in basketball history.[15]

The boys' basketball team won the Group IV state championship in 1920-1922 (defeating Trenton Central High School in the tournament final in each of the three years), 1923 (vs. Asbury Park High School), 1925 (vs. Union Hill High School) and 1929 (vs. Atlantic City High School); the four consecutive state championships won from 1920 to 1923 are tied for the most by any public school program in the state.[16] A crowd of 3,000 watched the 1925 championship game at the Newark Armory, where the team won the Class A (since recategorized as Group IV) title with a 32-25 win against Union Hill.[17][18] The 1929 team won the state title in Class A (now Group IV) with a 34-25 win against Atlantic City in the championship game, in a match-up that was close at the half until Passaic pulled away with a third quarter in which they outscored Atlantic City by an 11-1 margin.[19] The team won the 2001 North I, Group IV state sectional championship, edging Teaneck High School 64–62 in the tournament final.[20]

The boys cross country running team won the All-Group Public state championship in 1924, 1925 and 1927, won the Group A state championship in 1928-1931 and won the All-Group state title in 1932-1934 and 1944. The program's eight state titles are ranked ninth in the state.[21]

The football team won the North I Group IV state championship in 1981-1983, 1985 and 1989.[22] The 1981 team finished the season with a record of 11-0 after winning the North I Group IV sectional title with a 29-0 win in the championship game against Bayonne High School played at Giants Stadium.[23] Craig Heyward scored all of his team's points and took the state scoring title as the 1982 team defeated North Bergen High School by a score of 21-0 in the championship game to win the North I Group IV sectional title and finish the season at 9-2.[24] Behind three touchdowns by Heyward, the 1983 team finished the season 11-0 and was ranked third in the nation by USA Today after winning the North I Group IV title with a 24-13 win against North Bergen in front of a crowd of ten thousand in the championship game.[25][26] The school has maintained a rivalry with Clifton High School, which was listed by The Record as one of the best in Bergen and Passaic counties; though the schools first faced each other before then, from 1950 through the 2017 season, Clifton is ahead with a 39-20-2 record in games between the two schools.[27]

The boys track team won the Group IV spring track state championship in 1986.[28]

Extracurricular activitiesEdit

Passaic High School hosts one of the largest Navy Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NJROTC) programs in the country.[29] In 2004 the unit was awarded the Navy's Unit Achievement award, and in both the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years was recognized with the Distinguished Unit Award. Also in 2006 and 2007, under the command of Chelsea Woodson, the unit's Color Guard drill team won First Place at the National JROTC Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. Also in 2007 at the National Drill Championship in Daytona Florida Senior Yasser Acosta earned a Fourth Place trophy for Platoon Armed. In 2008, the unarmed exhibition team under the command of Senior, Anthony Palma, came in a strong fourth-place finish on a national level in Daytona Beach, Florida. This second only to Karla Ramos 4th-place trophy earned in 2004.

In 2006, at the USSBA National Championships at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, Passaic High School was recognized with the Best Percussion National Championship title and the Best Color Guard National Championship title in Class V.[30] Also winning national Championship at USBANDS National Championship, 2012 with their Performance ¨bound¨

PHS Marching band shows 2008–present

  • 2008 - The Heist
  • 2009 - The Machine
  • 2010 - Spartacus
  • 2011 - The Kingdom Fit for Two
  • 2012 - Bound
  • 2013 - Tribal Effect
  • 2014 - The Uninvited
  • 2015 - Power
  • 2016 - House of Cards/The Gambler
  • 2017 - Deja Vu'
  • 2018 - Dare to dream
  • 2019 - Between the keys


Core members of the school's administration are:[31]

  • Jeannette Torres-Gomez, Principal
  • Reynaldo Acevedo, Assistant Principal
  • Daniel Lungren, Assistant Principal
  • Anthony Maisonet, Assistant Principal
  • Graciella Romero, Assistant Principal

Notable alumniEdit

Notable alumni of Passaic High School include:


  1. ^ a b c d e School data for Passaic High School No. 12, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Passaic High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Passaic High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed February 1, 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 27, 2012.
  6. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed May 2, 2011.
  7. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  8. ^ Passaic City Schools: School - School History Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Passaic High School. Accessed May 2, 2011.
  9. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  10. ^ Home page, Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League. Accessed August 28, 2011.
  11. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ 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."
  14. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  15. ^ Ernest Blood profile Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Basketball Hall of Fame. Accessed August 19, 2014. "From 1915 to 1924, Blood coached the Passaic High School 'Wonder Teams' to a 200-1 mark that included a high school record 159-game winning streak over five seasons. The streak, believed to be the longest in basketball history, began on December 17, 1919, and ended February 6, 1925, when Hackensack Hill High School defeated Passaic 39-35."
  16. ^ NJSIAA Girls Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "Passaic High Five Wins State Title; Beats Union Hill, 32-25, and Takes New Jersey Honors for Fifth Time in Six Years.", The New York Times, March 22, 1925. Accessed February 1, 2021. "The Passaic High School basketball team won the premier honors of the State here this afternoon, defeating Union Hill High School, 32 to 25, in the final of Class A of the New Jersey interscholastic championship tournament. A crowd of more than 3,000 supporters witnessed the battle, and at the finish the Passaic rooters staged a wild demonstration for the victors."
  18. ^ "Passaic Captures Title in Spectacular Contest with Union Hill Quintet", The Record, March 23, 1925. Accessed February 1, 2021, via "The State basketball tourney was concluded in a blaze of color at the Newark Armory last Saturday afternoon. Passaic High school's wonder basketball team is the new State champion. Encountering rugged opposition from Union Hill, the Passaic team was forced to function at top speed to gain a favorable verdict.... Offensive power cracked the backbone of resistance in the third period and also the fourth, emerging with a 33 to 26 win."
  19. ^ "Passaic Captures New Jersey Title; Regains Class A High School Honors by Vanquishing Atlantic City, 34-25. Class B Crown To Summit Scores Hard-Fought Victory Over Woodrow Wilson High of Weehawken, 25 to 24. Passaic Forges Ahead. Class B Final Hard-Fought.", The New York Times, March 24, 1929. Accessed December 29, 2020. "Passaic regained the New Jersey State Class A basketball title before more than 6,000 persons here tonight when the powerful North Jersey quintet defeated Atlantic City, 34-25, in the final of the eleventh annual championship tournament."
  20. ^ 2001 - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 16, 2007.
  21. ^ NJSIAA Boys Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  22. ^ NJSIAA Football History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  23. ^ "Seton Hall Prep Downs Bergen Catholic", The New York Times, December 6, 1981. Accessed January 11, 2021. "Melvin Ross, a senior running back, carried 24 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns and sparked Passaic (11-0) to a 29-0 victory over Bayonne (9-1-1) in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 final at Giants Stadium."
  24. ^ Fox, Ron. "Passaic repeats as State champion", The Record, December 5, 1982. Accessed March 5, 2021, via "Next in line was tailback Craig Heyward's drive to the State scoring championship. Geosits caught a 68-yard pass from Mike Volpe to set up the first touchdown of a 21-0 Passaic win over North Bergen for the Group 4, Section 1 championship at Passaic Schools Stadium.... Heyward caught a short pass, barreled over a defender, and scored with 11:53 left to win it by three points over Bergen Catholic's Mike Morgan."
  25. ^ "Passaic (11-0) Tops North Bergen, 24-13", The New York Times, December 4, 1983. Accessed December 24, 2020. "Craig Heyward closed out his high school football career yesterday when the senior tailback ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns to lead Passaic over North Bergen, 24-13, in the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 final before 10,000 fans in Passaic.... His runs of 28, 11 and 52 yards gave Passaic (11-0) an 18-7 lead on its way to a third consecutive Group 4 title."
  26. ^ "Year-by-year final football rankings", USA Today, June 20, 200. Accessed January 30, 2021.
  27. ^ Cooper, Darren; Farrell, Sean; and Mattura, Greg. "North Jersey football: Best public school rivalries; Read up on the top rivalries in Bergen and Passaic counties, and vote for the one you think is best in the poll at the bottom of this page", The Record, July 17, 2018. Accessed May 13, 2021. "Clifton vs. Passaic... First meeting: Unknown; Series history: Since 1950, Clifton leads 39-20 with two ties"
  28. ^ NJSIAA Spring Track Summary of Group Titles Boys, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
  29. ^ Santora, Joseph A. "A Case Study of the Naval JROTC Program at Passaic High School", Seton Hall University, 2006. Accessed August 27, 2012. "A JROTC program with one of the largest enrollments in the nation today, is the Naval JROTC program sponsored by Passaic High School in Passaic, New Jersey. In 2006, the program earned the Distinguished Unit Award---the highest award recognized by the Department of the Navy for a NJROTC unit."
  30. ^ USSBA National Championship Titles Archived May 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) press release dated November 14, 2006.
  31. ^ 2020-2021 Parent Handbook, Passaic High School. Accessed March 31, 2021.
  32. ^ Jim Castiglia Stats, Accessed March 14, 2018.
  33. ^ Amod Field Stats, Accessed March 14, 2018.
  34. ^ Fitch, Roscoe Conkling (1930). History of the Fitch family, A. D. 1400-1930; a record of the Fitches in England and America, including "pedigree of Fitch" certified by the college of arms, London, England, compiled by Roscoe Conkling Fitch. Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. [Haverhill, Mass. : Record Pub. Co., 1930.
  35. ^ James, George. "Jerseyana; The Basement Tapes? Well, Not Quite", The New York Times, March 14, 2004. Accessed April 26, 2021. "'My name is Rafe Gomez, and you have officially entered the Groove Boutique, America's first and only smooth jazz mix show,' says the voice on New York City's WQCD-FM -- known as CD-101.9 -- late on a Saturday night.... As a teenager, he alternated between playing French horn in the Passaic High School Concert Band -- he was born and raised in Passaic -- and drums in a 12-piece jazz band made up of his buddies called the Funk Machine."
  36. ^ Hezekiah Griggs III - A Self-made Man Archived August 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Self-made Man. Accessed August 26, 2014.
  37. ^ Art Harris, Marshall University Special Collections - Plane Crash Memorial. Accessed November 14, 2017.
  38. ^ "Vivid memories of a New Jersey classmate", November Ever After. December 11, 2013. Accessed November 14, 2017. "Every year on November 14th I make it habit to scan the internet for articles about the Marshall plane crash. I didn't go to Marshall, but my connection comes from being a teammate of quarterback Ted Shoebridge and kicker Marcelo Lajterman at Lyndhurst High School in New Jersey. We played against running back Art Harris who played at Passaic High School."
  39. ^ Litsky, Frank. "Craig Heyward, Who Was N.F.L.'s Ironhead, Is Dead at 39", The New York Times, May 29, 2006. Accessed August 28, 2011. "From ages 10 to 12, Heyward lived in a training school for wayward boys. He became an all-state player at Passaic High School before starring at Pittsburgh."
  40. ^ Dennis Johnson Stats, Accessed March 14, 2018.
  41. ^ Augie Lio Stats, Accessed March 14, 2018.
  42. ^ "Paul Lioy receives his MS in physics", Herald News, September 7, 1971. Accessed April 2, 2021, via "Paul J. Lioy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas P. Lioy, 239 Pennington Ave., has been awarded a master of science degree in physics by Auburn (Ala.) University. Lioy, a graduate of Passaic High School, graduated from Montclair State College magna cum laude and was awarded an NDEA Title 4 Fellowship at Auburn University."
  43. ^ William J. Martini, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed July 13, 2007.
  44. ^ Rosenberg, I. J. "Whatever happened to: Nick Mike-Mayer", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 2, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2018. "His father was a star soccer player in Hungary before the country joined the Soviet bloc nation and he left for Italy. But the family wasn’t allowed to stay in Italy for long, having to choose between the United States and Sweden when Mike-Mayer was 14. The U.S. became the choice and he ended up at Passaic (N.J.) High School, where Oakland Raiders great Jack Tatum was three classes ahead of him."
  45. ^ Ron Mikolajczyk Stats, Accessed March 14, 2018.
  46. ^ William G. "Bill" Mokray enshrined as a contributor in 1965 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Basketball Hall of Fame. Accessed July 13, 2007. "Mokray's romance started while a student at Passaic High School during the era of the 'Passaic High School Wonder Teams.'"
  47. ^ Roland Moss, Accessed September 25, 2019. "Born: September 20, 1946 (Age: 73-005d) in St. Matthews, SC... High School: Passaic (NJ)"
  48. ^ Staff. "Sports People: Track And Field; Passaic Track to Be Dedicated", The New York Times, October 28, 1995. Accessed October 18 , 2017. "In the early 1960s, Sam Perry was a champion sprinter at Passaic High School in New Jersey."
  49. ^ Cowen, Richard. "N.J. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner returns to his Passaic High roots with optimistic message", The Record, March 24, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2021. "Rabner, 55, returned to his roots as keynote speaker at the Passaic Optimist Club’s Youth Appreciation Awards Dinner. Thirty-eight years ago, he was valedictorian of the high school’s Class of 1978 and full of intellectual promise."
  50. ^ "Col. John Roosma Dead at 83; Basketball Star at West Point", The New York Times, November 14, 1983. Accessed August 27, 2012. "He was born in Passaic, N.J., and was captain of the Passaic High School basketball team that was known as the Passaic Wonder Team, having won 179 games in a row."
  51. ^ Barry, Jan. "Mark Rosenberg, Filmmaker; Former Passaic Resident Was 44", The Record, November 8, 2008. Accessed June 3, 2013. "Mark Rosenberg, a Hollywood film producer who grew up in Passaic, died Friday of a heart attack while on location in Texas for his latest film. Mr. Rosenberg, 44, was a 1966 graduate of Passaic High School."
  52. ^ Santos makes most of opportunity: Non-roster invitee enjoying breakthrough season Archived August 14, 2004, at the Wayback Machine,, August 4, 2004. "One the pitches Santos offers, his fastball, was nowhere to be seen when he graduated from Passaic High School in New Jersey in 1995.
  53. ^ Brown, Geoff. "Patent Success", Johns Hopkins Magazine, August 27, 2009. Accessed October 18, 2017. "Born in Canton, Ohio, in 1920, Shapiro relocated to New Jersey as a child and was valedictorian of Passaic High School's class of 1938."
  54. ^ Nutt, Amy Ellis. "Passaic dedicates street to the Shirelles", The Star-Ledger, September 21, 2008. Accessed August 28, 2011. "The Shirelles were just teenagers when they sang their own doo-wop song, 'I Met Him on a Sunday,' and brought down the house at the annual Passaic High School talent show in 1957."
  55. ^ Mark Stevens, Accessed September 25, 2019. "Born: February 19, 1962 (Age: 57-218d) in Passaic, NJ... High School: Passaic (NJ)"
  56. ^ Tyronne Stowe Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards Archived February 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Accessed February 19, 2008.
  57. ^ via Associated Press. "Jack Tatum", The Star-Ledger, July 27, 2010. Accessed November 8, 2010. "Tatum was born in North Carolina but grew up in Passaic, where he was named an All-American as a senior at Passaic High School."
  58. ^ Jack Tatum player profile Archived December 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, DatabaseFootball. Accessed December 17, 2006.
  59. ^ Twentieth-century Children's Writers, p. 1251. Macmillan International Higher Education, 1978. ISBN 9781349036486. Accessed August 22, 2018. "Tresselt, Alvin. American. Born in Passaic, New Jersey, September 30, 1916. Educated at Passaic High School, graduated 1934."
  60. ^ "Paul Troast, Led Jersey Turnpike" The New York Times, July 23, 1972. Accessed December 28, 2017. "Born in 1894 in nearby Garfield, Mr. Troast spent his life in developing resources in Passaic and Clifton. In 1908, when he was graduated from Passaic High School, where he had been president of the senior class, he shared much of his time with the vice president of the class, Eleanor Mahony, who later became his wife."
  61. ^ Jensen, Sean. "They've Got Game, But Few Get A Shot", The Washington Post, June 30, 1998. Accessed October 17, 2017. "One of Grier's Skyhawks teammates is Rahshon Turner, a former Passaic High player who still calls Grier 'coach.'"

External linksEdit