Passaic High School

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 Secondary Schools since 1927.

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.

Awards, recognition and rankings

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. 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. The magazine ranked the school 312th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 310th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.


Passaic High School's first graduating class, in 1873, was made up of 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.


The Passaic High School Indians compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. With 2,256 students in grades 10–12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015–16 school year as North I, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,090 to 2,568 students in that grade range. 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 County and Passaic County.

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.

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 1920-1923 are tied for the most by any public school program in the state. The team won the 2001 North I, Group IV state sectional championship, edging Teaneck High School 64–62 in the tournament final.

The football team won the North I Group IV state championship in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1989.

Extracurricular activities

Passaic High School hosts one of the largest Navy Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NJROTC) programs in the country. 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. 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 - Tribial 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:

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

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of Passaic High School include:

  • Jim Castiglia (1918-2007), fullback who played in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Amod Field (born 1967), former NFL wide receiver who played one season with the Phoenix Cardinals.
  • Hezekiah Griggs (born 1988), entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor.
  • Art Harris:(1949–1970), running back at Marshall University who was killed in the 1970 Marshall University Football team plane crash.
  • Craig Heyward (1966-2006), a running back who was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 1987 and played for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams, and Indianapolis Colts in an 11-year National Football League career.
  • Dennis Johnson (born 1951), former NFL defensive tackle who played for the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills.
  • Augie Lio (1918-1989), football player, who was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
  • William J. Martini (born 1947), United States district court judge who represented New Jersey's 8th congressional district in Congress.
  • Nick Mike-Mayer (born 1950), football placekicker who played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills.
  • Ron Mikolajczyk (born 1950), retired professional American football offensive lineman and retired professional wrestler, who played in the NFL for the New York Giants.
  • Bill Mokray (1907-1974), basketball historian and statistician enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1965 as a contributor to the sport.
  • Roland Moss (born 1946), former American football tight end who played for three seasons in the NFL.
  • Sam Perry (born c. 1945), track and field athlete who held the world record for the 60-yard dash and who was twice United States champion at that event.
  • John Roosma (1900-1983), captain of Ernest Blood's "Wonder Teams" who became the first college player to total 1,000 points for his career while at the United States Military Academy.
  • Mark Rosenberg (1948-1992), film producer whose works included The Killing Fields.
  • Víctor Santos (born 1976), starting pitcher who has played for the Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Zalman Shapiro (1920-2016), chemist and inventor who played a key role in the development of the reactor that powered the world's first nuclear powered submarine, Nautilus.
  • The Shirelles, the first major female vocal group of the rock and roll era and the first girl group to have a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Mark Stevens (born 1962), former professional football quarterback who played in the CFL for the Montreal Concordes / Alouettes and the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Tyronne Stowe (born 1965), former NFL linebacker.
  • Jack Tatum (1948-2010), former American football defensive back who played ten seasons from 1971 to 1980 for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers in the National Football League.
  • Alvin Tresselt (1916-2000, class of 1934), author of children's books and editor of Humpty Dumpty magazine.
  • Paul L. Troast (1894-1972, class of 1908), building contractor, chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority during its construction, and failed gubernatorial candidate in 1953.
  • Rahshon Turner (born 1975), professional basketball player who is a veteran of the European leagues, playing for teams in the Netherlands, France and Spain.


External links

  • Passaic High School
  • Passaic City School District
  • Passaic City School District's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
  • School Data for the Passaic City School District, National Center for Education Statistics

Passaic High School

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