West Side High School (New Jersey)

West Side High School is a four-year comprehensive community public high school complex in Newark, in Essex County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey, operating as part of the Newark Public Schools.

West Side High School
403 South Orange Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°44′28″N 74°12′11″W / 40.741149°N 74.20292°W / 40.741149; -74.20292
Typepublic high school
School districtNewark Public Schools
NCES School ID341134002208[1]
PrincipalAkbar Cook
Faculty46.0 FTEs[1]
Enrollment609 (as of 2022–23)[1]
Student to teacher ratio13.2:1[1]
Color(s)  Green and
Athletics conferenceSuper Essex Conference (general)
North Jersey Super Football Conference (football)
Team nameRoughriders[2]

As of the 2022–23 school year, the school had an enrollment of 609 students and 46.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.2:1. There were 432 students (70.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 35 (5.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

From 2014-2018, the West Side campus hosted two separate high school programs that operated independently but shared a facility and athletic programs:

History edit

West Side High School opened on September 14, 1925, in a building designed to provide students with classrooms, an auditorium, gyms, and other facilities, serving 520 boys and 809 girls.[5]

The school had been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools until 2011, when the school's accreditation status was removed.[6]

Awards, recognition and rankings edit

The school was the 326th-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.[7] The school had been ranked 268th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 319th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[8] The magazine ranked the school 313th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[9] The school was ranked 313th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[10]

The school has twice received gifts of $50,000 from Ellen DeGeneres.[11] West Side also received a gift of $500,000 from Oprah Winfrey to be used for the school's summer initiative.[12]

Athletics edit

The West Side High School Roughriders[2] compete in the Super Essex Conference, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Essex County and was established following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[13] Prior to the 2009 realignment, the team had been in the Skyline Division of the Northern Hills Conference, which included schools in Essex, Morris and Passaic counties.[14][15] With 728 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.[16] The football team competes in the Freedom White 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.[17][18] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group II North for football for 2022–2024, which included schools with 478 to 672 students.[19]

The boys' cross country team won the Group IV state championship in 1949, 1950 (as co-champion with Asbury Park High School), 1951, 1953 and 1954.[20]

The boys' track team won the Group III indoor relay state championship in 1988[21]

The boys track team won the Group II spring / outdoor track state championship in 1988 and the Group IV title in 1989.[22]

The 1993 girls' basketball team won the Group III state championship with a 60–50 defeat in the tournament final of Egg Harbor Township High School, the state's top-ranked team and the group's defending champion.[23][24] Entering the Tournament of Champions as the fourth-seeded team, West Side defeated number five seed Haddonfield Memorial High School by a score of 44–39 in the quarterfinals and top-seeded St. Rose High School by 48–38 in the semis before falling to second-seed St. John Vianney High School in the finals by a score of 57–43 to finish the season with a 30–4 record.[25][26]

The football team won the 2007 North II Group III state sectional championship with a 20–0 win against South Plainfield High School in a game played at Giants Stadium, earning the team its first ever sectional title.[27][28] Since 2009, the football team plays their home games at Untermann Field, which is shared with other public schools in Newark, following the closure and demolition of Newark Schools Stadium, which was constructed in 1925 and closed in 2006.[29]

The boys basketball team won the Group II state championship in 2016 and 2017, defeating Camden High School in the tournament final both years.[30] Down by 17 points at halftime, the 2016 team scored two foul shots with less than two seconds remaining in the game to defeat Camden 85–53 in the Group II championship game.[31] The team won its second consecutive Group II title with a 51–49 win in the championship game.[32] The team advanced to the Tournament of Champions both seasons, coming into the 2016 ToC seeded fourth and falling 71–62 to fifth-seeded Teaneck High School in the quarterfinals; the 2017 team was the fifth seed, again falling in the quarterfinals to Teaneck, this time in overtime by a score of 70–62 to finish the season with a record of 25–7.[33][34][35]

Administration edit

The school's principal is Akbar Cook. The core administration team includes three vice principals.[36]

Notable alumni edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e School data for West Side High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 1, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c West Side High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Newark Early College (NEC), Newark Public Schools. Accessed March 29, 2017. "The mission of the Newark Early College High School is to prepare students for post-secondary academic work, with the goal of completing 30-60 credits of college before high school graduation."
  4. ^ Newark Vocational, Newark Public Schools. Accessed March 29, 2017. "The school's mission is to prepare youngsters for post-secondary education, including certificate-bearing programs, apprenticeships, and immediate productive employment."
  5. ^ History of West Side, West Side High School. Accessed March 30, 2017.
  6. ^ Fall 2011 Accreditation Actions, The Standard; A Newsletter from the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, Winter 2012. Accessed November 11, 2020. "Removal of Accreditation... West Side High School, Newark, NJ"
  7. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  8. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2012.
  9. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 30, 2011.
  10. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  11. ^ Carter, Barry. "Ellen DeGeneres really likes this N.J. principal. She just gave him another $50K check.", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 2, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2020. "Ellen DeGeneres is more than a talk show host to Akbar Cook, principal of Newark’s West Side High School.... DeGeneres, who has a partnership with Cheerios to encourage 'One Million Acts of Good,' gave him another $50,000 check for the work he’s doing at the school to help students overcome adversity and succeed."
  12. ^ Carter, Barry. "Oprah shows up to N.J. school, surprises students with $500,000 gift", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 18, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2020. "The blessings keep coming to West Side High School in Newark, where its principal, Akbar Cook, is removing barriers to education and making national news for how he cares about his kids.... Well, Oprah Winfrey wants the lights to stay on for a long time, too. In a surprise visit Friday evening, Winfrey dropped in to say she is giving $500,000 to West Side’s summer initiative, which is also held during the school year on Friday nights."
  13. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Falzarano, Brian. "Schools Compete in Super Essex Conference; University, West Side High schools enjoying move to competitive, re-aligned conference", Newark Patch, May 18, 2011. Accessed June 11, 2012. "Previously, West Side played in the Northern Hills Conference — Skyline Division, which featured lengthy road trips to Passaic County Tech (Wayne), Passaic Valley (Little Falls), Wayne Valley, West Milford that often took an hour-plus between distance and traffic."
  15. ^ Home Page, Northern Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 28, 2011. Accessed December 15, 2014.
  16. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  17. ^ 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."
  18. ^ 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."
  19. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2022–2024, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 1, 2023.
  20. ^ NJSIAA Boys Cross Country Group State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  21. ^ History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  22. ^ NJSIAA Spring Track Summary of Group Titles Boys, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  23. ^ NJSIAA Girls Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  24. ^ via Associated Press. "West Side whips No 1 Egg Harbor in Group III final; Anthony's 25 points pace stunning upset by Roughriders.", Asbury Park Press, March 17, 1993. Accessed January 13, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Denise Anthony scored 25 points as Newark-West Side won its first New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association girls basketball championship, stunning defending champion Egg Harbor Township 60-50 in the Group III final last night at Monmouth College. The state title was the first for the Roughriders (27-3), while the loss was the first of the year for the Eagles (26-4), the No. 1-ranked team in the state, against a team from New Jersey."
  25. ^ NJSIAA Girls Basketball Tournament Of Champions History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  26. ^ Slater, Tom. "Lady Lancers do it again; St. John Vianney bucks odds", Asbury Park Press, January 13, 2021. "John Vianney proved that winning a Tournament of Champions title is much more fun the second time around. Using their ferocious man-to-man defense, the Lady Lancers wore down Newark West Side 57-43 to win their second state title in three years in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association TOC championship yesterday.... Sophomore guard Rose Jackson, who also scored 21 points and was named most valuable player, got the assignment of shadowing slippery Newark West Side (30-4) point guard Sabriya Mitchell, who ignites the Roughriders' offense."
  27. ^ Kinney, Mike. "Newark West Side rolls to first title, 20-0", The Star-Ledger, December 3, 2007. Accessed December 3, 2007. "That's how on-top-of-the-world West Side was feeling after its 20-0 victory over South Plainfield for the NJSIAA/Gatorade North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 championship yesterday in snowfall at Giants Stadium. It was the first championship for West Side (10-2), which became only the third Newark school to claim a crown but second in as many years."
  28. ^ 2007 Football - North II, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 3, 2007.
  29. ^ Stanmyre, Matthew. "Construction of new super site finally underway at iconic Newark Schools Stadium", The Star-Ledger, July 19, 2009, updated April 1, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2021. "That finish -- projected for approximately August 2010 -- seemed like a distant thought over the past three years, as Schools Stadium withered untouched. The stadium, built in 1925, was condemned in the fall of 2006 after it was deemed unsafe for players and spectators."
  30. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  31. ^ "Isiah Reyes scores 36 as West Side stuns Camden in Group 2 final", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 13, 2016, updated August 24, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2021. "Isiah Reyes sank two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to finish with 36 points as West Side came back from down 18 points to top Camden, 85-83, in the Group 2 final at the Rutgers Athletic Center for the first state championship in program history.... But a Holloway buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter triggered a 24-2 run for the Panthers, with Holloway scoring eight points in the second period to give the South Jersey squad a 42-25 lead that was cut to nine points by halftime."
  32. ^ Schneider, Jeremy. "No. 14 West Side repeats as Group 2 champion versus Camden", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 12, 2017, updated August 23, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2020. "West Side coach Akbar Cook said in the lead-up to Sunday's Group 2 final that Camden is tough, but Newark is tougher. And when the two teams took the court in a rematch of last year's title game, his statement proved true: Camden was tough, but West Side was tougher. The Rough Riders, No. 14 in the NJ.com Top 20, won their second straight title with a physical, bruising and sometimes sloppy 51-49 victory over Camden in the NJSIAA Group 2 championship game at the Louis Brown Athletic Center."
  33. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Tournament of Champions History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 1, 2020.
  34. ^ Cooper, Darren. "H.S. boys basketball: Teaneck tops West Side in TOC opener", The Record, March 16, 2016. Accessed February 28, 2021. "Demonstrating a precise blend of athleticism and basketball savvy, the Highwaymen blew past Newark West Side, 71-62, on Tuesday night in the Tournament of Champions basketball tournament at Pine Belt Arena."
  35. ^ "No. 16 Teaneck outlasts No. 14 West Side in overtime to advance to T of C semis", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 17, 2017, updated August 23, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2021. "Teaneck, No. 16 in the NJ.com Top 20, bested No. 14 West Side, 70-62, in overtime at Pine Belt Arena in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions quarterfinals, with guards Ja'Quaye James and Leondre Washington taking over in the game's final 12 minutes to deliver the victory.... Kirk Parsons paced fifth-seeded West Side (25-7) with 15 points to go with five rebounds and Quaion Taylor had 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists."
  36. ^ School Leadership, West Side High School. Accessed May 16, 2023.
  37. ^ Alma Shealey Adams, Civil Rights Greensboro. Accessed January 26, 2013. "Alma Adams was born in High Point, NC, in 1947, but her family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, while she was an infant. They left Maryland for Newark, New Jersey, where Adams, an African American, attended predominantly white West Side High School."
  38. ^ The North Carolina Manual 2009-2010, p. 365. North Carolina Secretary of State, 2009, Raleigh, North Carolina. Accessed January 26, 2013. "Alma S. Adams; Democrat, Guilford County... Educational Background: West Side High School, Newark, N.J., 1964"
  39. ^ Barbanel, Josh. "Hugh J. Addonizio 67, Convicted Of Extortion As Newark's Mayor", The New York Times, February 3, 1981. Accessed November 15, 2018. "The son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Addonizio was born in Newark on Jan. 31, 1914, and attended West Side High School and St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, where he was an outstanding athlete and was named all-state quarterback."
  40. ^ Dino Boyd, Cincinnati Bearcats football. Accessed September 14, 2022. "Hometown: Newark, N.J.; High School: West Side"
  41. ^ Booker, Cory. United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good, p. 33. Random House Publishing Group, 2016. ISBN 9781101965160. "The other person I met was a man named Ray Chambers. Ray was born in Newark in 1942 and later graduated from Newark's West Side High School."
  42. ^ Miller, Jonathan. "For a City Hall Widow, Politics Can Wait, for Now", The New York Times, September 16, 2004. Accessed November 15, 2018. "She grew up in Newark, the daughter of a preacher, and graduated from West Side High School and Bloomfield College."
  43. ^ Selman, Carol. "Newark Visual, Performance Artist Jerry Gant: From Slave Ship to Mother Ship; Work by leading Newark-based artist on view now", Newark Patch, August 24, 2011. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Gant was born in Newark, grew up in a succession of Newark apartments — 'my mother Shirley was a gypsy;' lost his Dad young to alcohol and cirrhosis, graduated West Side High School and went to Essex County College to study graphic design — just as desktop publishing was coming in and decimating the print industry."
  44. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn. "A Life in the Theatre: Bernard Gersten", Playbill, January 29, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2020 "I grew up in Newark, and at the end of the third grade a play was done to celebrate commencement.... I was in the dramatic club at West Side High School and I was voted best actor in my class."
  45. ^ Sherman, Ted. "Frederick B. Lacey, former U.S. Attorney who took on the mob, dead at 96", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, April 4, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018. "Born in Newark, Lacey was the son of a former Newark police chief and attended West Side High School."
  46. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1975, p. 245. E.J. Mullin, 1975. Accessed January 20, 2020. "Rocco Neri (Dem., Irvington) Assemblyman Neri was born in Newark Sept. 26, 1918. He attended West Side High School, Newark, and served in the Army for five years during the World War II period."
  47. ^ J'Vonne Parker, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed May 16, 2023. "High School: West Side (NJ), Newark Tech (NJ)"
  48. ^ via Associated Press. "Virginia Squires Sign Aulcie Perry", The Gettysburg Times, August 21, 1974. Accessed June 11, 2012. "Perry, 24, played high school basketball at Newark, N.J., West Side High, then at Belknap College in Center Harbor, N.H."
  49. ^ Kanzler, George. "Charli Persip", All About Jazz, February 12, 1999. Accessed November 15, 2018. "Went to West Side High School (in Newark) because Arts High didn't have a team. The West Side football team wasn't any good and neither was I. In my junior year I joined the marching band and that was a lot of fun because I'd never played in any kind of band before."
  50. ^ "The Spots: Redman's New Jersey", Street League Skateboarding, August 21, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2019. "I went to Westside High. You know the East Side High in Lean On Me? I went to the Westside version. It was off the hook. I went to Speedway Avenue School. I went to 13th Avenue School."
  51. ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Richie Regan, 72, Star Player And Then Coach at Seton Hall", The New York Times, December 26, 2002. Accessed November 15, 2018. "Richie Regan, a star guard on Seton Hall's 1953 National Invitation Tournament champions and later the university's basketball coach, athletic director and fund-raising director for athletics, died Tuesday at a hospital in Neptune, N.J. Regan, who lived in Sea Girt, N.J., was 72.... A native of Newark who gained all-New Jersey honors playing basketball at West Side High School, Regan helped Seton Hall reach the N.I.T. in all three of his seasons there."
  52. ^ Staff. "Rod Steiger", The Daily Telegraph, July 10, 2002. Accessed February 29, 2016. "He started acting while still at Newark's West Side High School but quit at 16, enlisting in the US Navy by lying about his age."
  53. ^ Caruba, Alan. "Toma is Returning", The New York Times, June 12, 1977. Accessed January 20, 2020. "Clark is not far from where Mr. Toma was born and reared in the Central Ward of Newark, the youngest of 12 brothers and sisters. However, distance can be measured in many ways, and the Dave Toma of today lives in an entirely different world than the one in which he graduated from West Side High School in Newark, played a little professional baseball and then spent three years in the United States Marines as a drill instructor."
  54. ^ Art Weiner, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed November 15, 2018.
  55. ^ Stanmyre, Matthew. "NFL Draft 2012: Detroit Lions select Newark native Tahir Whitehead in fifth round", The Star-Ledger, April 28, 2012. Accessed June 11, 2012. "They informed Whitehead, a 2008 graduate of Newark's West Side High School, they had selected him with their fifth-round pick — the 138th overall — of the 2012 NFL draft."
  56. ^ Clark, Alice. "Barrence Whitfield: Walk On The Wild Side", Loudersound.com, September 7, 2015. Accessed January 20, 2020. "Once at West Side High School he grabbed every opportunity to perform, 'from taking part in productions of Broadway shows and musicals to playing in soul and funk bands.'"
  57. ^ via Associated Press. "Kevin Widemond, basketball player from Newark, dies during game in Portugal", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 26, 2009, updated April 1, 2019. Accessed November 11, 2019. "Widemond, who was first-team All-Newark in 2003 as a guard for Newark West Side High School, had played 10 minutes in the third-place playoff game of the cup competition, which was canceled following his death."

External links edit