West Side High School (New Jersey)

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, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Newark Public Schools.

The West Side campus hosts two separate high school programs that operate independently but share a facility and athletic programs:

  • Newark Early College High School, which prepares students in grades 7-12 to complete up to 60 college-level credits during their high school career As of the 2015-16 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 469 students and 41.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.4:1.
  • Newark Vocational High School prepares students in grades 9-12 for college and career options. As of the 2015-16 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 312 students and 29.0 classroom teachers, for a student–teacher ratio of 10.8:1.


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.

Awards, recognition and rankings

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. 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. The magazine ranked the school 313th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 313th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.

The school has twice received gifts of $50,000 from Ellen DeGeneres. It also received a gift of $500,000 from Oprah Winfrey.


The West Side High School Roughriders compete in the Super Essex Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 675 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North II, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 508 to 770 students in that grade range. Prior to the 2009 realignment, the team had been in the Skyline Division of the Northern Hills Conference.

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.

The boys' track team won the Group III indoor relay state championship in 1988.

The girls' basketball team won the Group III state championship in 1993, defeating Egg Harbor Township High School in the tournament final.

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. Since 2009, the football team plays their home games at Untermann Field, which is shared with other public school in Newark, following the closure and demolition of Newark Schools Stadium.

Notable alumni

  • Alma Adams (born 1946; class of 1964), educator and longtime North Carolina state legislator.
  • Hugh Joseph Addonizio (1914-1981), politician who served for 13 years as a U.S. Congressman before serving as Mayor of Newark from 1962 to 1970.
  • Ray Chambers (born 1942), philanthropist and humanitarian.
  • Sandra Bolden Cunningham (born 1950), member of the New Jersey Senate since 2007, where she representsthe 31st Legislative District.
  • Jerry Gant (1961-2018), visual artist, poet, performance artist and educator.
  • Bernard Gersten (1923–2020), theatrical producer.
  • Frederick Bernard Lacey (1920-2017) United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
  • Rocco Neri (1919-2011), politician who represented the 28th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1974 to 1976.
  • Charlie Persip (born 1929), jazz drummer.
  • Aulcie Perry (born 1950), professional basketball player.
  • Redman (born 1970 as Reginald Noble), rapper, DJ, record producer and actor.
  • Richie Regan (1930-2002), basketball player and coach who played in the NBA for the Rochester / Cincinnati Royals.
  • Rod Steiger (1925–2002), actor dropped out at age 16 after joining the United States Navy.
  • Dave Toma, former Newark Police Department police detective whose undercover work and battles with his superiors became the basis of the television series Toma, which ran on the ABC network from 1973 to 1974.
  • Art Weiner (1926-2013), end who played in the National Football League for the New York Yanks.
  • Tahir Whitehead (born 1989; class of 2008), professional football linebacker who has played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders.
  • Barrence Whitfield (born 1955), soul and R&B vocalist, best known as the frontman for Barrence Whitfield & the Savages.
  • Kevin Widemond (1985-2009) basketball player who played for the Portuguese basketball club Ovarense.


External links

  • Official website
  • West Side High School's 2015–16 School Performance Report from the New Jersey Department of Education

West Side High School (New Jersey)

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