Princeton High School

Princeton High School
Principal’s letter
Live to Learn, Learn to Live
Princeton, a central New Jersey
in its continuing tradition of academic
community of 30,000, has in recent
and cultural achievement. The
years grown beyond its traditional
richness of its academic programs,
identification but has not outgrown its
extensive club and student-run
traditions. For over 250 years,
activities, and athletics programs assist
Princeton University has symbolized
in preparing its students to be citizens
the community’s values of education
of the world. This whole-student
and culture.
approach reflects the view that learning
is not classroom-bound. Moreover, our
Princeton High School reflects the
students are encouraged to view
lifestyle of a community that takes pride
themselves as valuable citizens of this
community of learning.
School Profile
Discovering Princeton High…
Princeton High School reflects the
values of a community that takes
pride in its continuing tradition of
academic and cultural achievement.
We have worked hard to ensure that
all our programs reflect our students’
abilities and aspirations. Approximately 1,415 students choose from
260 course offerings. More than 70
percent of our students participate in
Advanced Placement or accelerated
programs. We supplement these
courses with extensive elective
offerings in the arts, humanities, and
the sciences.
Special programs focus on student
enrichment and are designed to form
a web of support for all students. Our
Learning-in-the-Community and
School-to-Career programs help
students become aware of community
resources, explore careers, improve
communication skills, and provide
community service. Our Big Brother/
Sister course trains selected seniors
to serve as resources for other
students. The Career Awareness/
Community Service program
educates students to organize and
lead sophomore groups in career and
community-service projects. Our Peer
Group mentors teach selected seniors
to be student leaders for groups of
freshmen in problem-solving
activities, group discussions, and
student-bonding activities. Peer
Group agenda topics reflect issues
faced by teens today. The PHS Ideas
Center provides free tutoring services
to all students in all academic areas,
provided by university students, high
school student peer tutors and highly
qualified community volunteers. Our
Dean of Students creates personal
learning plans for students in need
and to ease the transition of all
students into high school, as well as
helping students to cope with
academic, social or personal needs.
Princeton High School fields teams in
25 sports and sponsors award-winning
student publications, acclaimed
performing groups in vocal and
instrumental music, math, Model United
Nations, debating teams, and over 100
clubs devoted to specialized interests
and over 40 Community Service
groups. Princeton High School students
are admitted to some of the country’s
most competitive colleges. Approximately 85% of our graduates continue
their education in four-year colleges
and an additional 10% continue their
education in a post-secondary setting.
Honored by numerous national
organizations for excellence, Princeton
High School is often named one of
America’s top 100 public high schools
in national news publications.
was 616; our mean Writing Score
was 619; and our mean Math
Score was 635; for a combined
mean of 1,870. Princeton High
School continues to be ranked as
one of the top schools in the state.
Princeton High School is
committed to preparing our
students for the challenges and
demands of an exciting future.
Through the increasing use of
technological innovations,
analyzing the use of instructional
time, and nurturing a climate of
professional dialogue, Princeton
High School offers the best
educational opportunities to its
The population of Princeton High
School reflects a wide diversity.
Students in PHS represent all major
racial and cultural groups (6.0% African
American, 19% Asian, 8.0% Hispanic,
67.0% Caucasian); 15% of students
claim one of 35 languages other than
English as their first language. These
languages range from Arabic to Urdu.
This cultural richness has contributed
to the maturity of the students’
acceptance of others.
Our students have earned many
honors. The class of 2012 included 20
National Merit Semi-Finalists and 44
Commended Scholars. Of the 532
PHS students who took the May 2012
Advanced Placement examinations,
255 received Advanced Placement
Scholars Awards: 117 were Scholars
with Distinction, 50 were Scholars with
Honor, and 88 were Scholars. In
addition, 26 Princeton High students
qualified for the Advanced Placement
National Scholar Award; 91 percent of
the AP scores were three or higher
from the 1,224 tests administered. Our
students have been included in the
highest SAT I groupings in the nation.
Our 2012 mean Critical Reading Score
At a Glance
Fast facts about Princeton High School
Head Administrators
Gary Snyder, Principal
Jessica Baxter, Assistant Principal
Harvey Highland, Assistant Principal
Lori Rotz, Assistant Principal
Student Enrollment
Average class size
Student/Faculty Ratio
SAT Scores (Class of 2012)
Mean Score
Princeton HS
State of NJ
National Merit Scholars
Letters of Commendation
Accelerated: Algebra II, Astronomy, Biology I, Chemistry I,
Geometry, Oceanography, Physics I, Pre-Calculus, Sociology
Others: Multivariant Calculus, Linear Algebra, World Languages
Curriculum Enhancements
English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education
Extra-Curricular Activities
English, Math, Science, American History, World History, World
Languages, Physical Education/Health, Visual/Performing Arts,
Practical Arts, Career Awareness
Advanced Placement: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB/BC,
Chemistry, Computer Science, English III, English IV,
Environmental Science, European History, French, Government &
Politics, Japanese, Macroeconomics, Mandarin, Microeconomics,
Music Theory, Physics, Spanish, Statistics, United States History,
World History
Clubs (a sampling): Anime, Art, Asian American, Badminton,
Chess, Classical Music, Colmar Exchange, Creativity for
Kindness, Food Revolution, French Cinema, French Honor
Society, Gay Straight Alliance, HomeFront, Horticulture,
Japanese, Junior Statesmen of America, Knitting for Needs, Latin,
Mock Trial, Model United Nationals, Numina Gallery,
Photography, PHS Bike, PHS Can Awareness, PHS Computer &
Robotics, PHS Crew, PHS Do Something, PHS for Autism
Speaks, PHS Futsal, PHS Operation Smile, PHS Ping Pong, PHS
Red Cross, PHS True Blue, Princeton Democrat, UNICEF,
Princeton Republican, Psychology, Science Olympiad, Space
Settlement, Spanish, Spectacle Theatre, Spork, Film, The Ivy,
The Prince, The Tower, Tiger Squad
Fall Sports: Cheerleading, Boys/Girls Cross Country, Field
Hockey, Football, Boys/Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis
Winter Sports: Boys/Girls Basketball, Boys/Girls Ice Hockey,
Boys/Girls Swimming, Boys/Girls Winter Track, Wrestling
Spring Sports: Baseball, Softball, Golf, Boys/Girls Lacrosse,
Boys/Girls Spring Track, Boys Tennis
Lior Levy, Class of 2013
Lior Levy is the sort of person other students look up to both
literally and figuratively -- he is both a student leader and a
rather tall guy, somewhere in the range of six-foot-seven
inches. Lior's height helps during basketball season when
he plays for the Princeton High School team. He also enjoys
all sorts of sports, some competitive, and others just for fun
like the annual Corner House All-City Dodgeball
Tournament which is held at PHS. "I've done the Dodgeball
tournament every year and we've had the same team. It's
great that every school in the Princeton area, public or
private, can send teams. It's a lot of fun." Princeton High
School's indoor soccer club, the PHS Futsal Club, is
another way Lior stays active.
"For me, since I've always been tall, they seem really
short,” he laughs. “Everything is new to them. I
remember that's how we were."
Lior schedules his sports, fun and recreation around a
rigorous academic schedule. "Princeton High is a great
school. The academics can be challenging in a good way,"
he says. "The students are really accepting. And it is great
we have a lot of diversity, we have all kinds of kids here."
What's next? Lior looks forward to pursuing his
interest in history as well as basketball in college.
In addition to basketball and Peer Group and other
activities, Lior has been particularly active in Derek's
Dreams, an organization designed to increase
awareness of Ataxia Telangiectasia and support Derek
DiGrigorio, a local student diagnosed with the rare,
genetic, degenerative disease. Derek's Dreams is a
grassroots, community effort that has been going
strong for several years thanks to committed students
such as Lior.
During his years at Princeton High, Lior has discovered an
interest in history. "I took an AP World History course last
year with Mr. Roberts that was excellent," says Lior. "For
projects he had games to help us learn. And I also liked
U.S. History I and II. This year, I am taking AP Government
and Politics with Mr. Campbell, who worked in the Clinton
White House, so he has a lot of insight into elections, which
made this year particularly interesting."
What is a typical day like for Lior? "During basketball
season I practice every day until after five and if we have a
game I don't get home until six or seven, so those days can
be long," he says. But it is worth the time and effort. "With
basketball, like with any sports team, you make great
friends." Lior still has friends from his elementary school
days but "I've made plenty of new friends at PHS," he says.
Serving as a Peer Group Leader is one of Lior's leadership
activities. The Peer Group program provides a Wednesday
afternoon seminar for every PHS freshman, led by seniors,
who are trained to help freshmen navigate the transition to
high school. What strikes Lior about the new freshman?
Wayne Sutcliffe, Physical
Education Teacher
"My job is to try to meet the needs and
capabilities of every single student within my
class,” says Wayne Sutcliffe. “Everyone comes
in with a different background and different
athletic abilities. So that's the challenge."
It is a challenge Mr. Sutcliffe has been meeting
for sixteen years. "Most of the time I get kids who
are very focused and very high-achieving
academically, and they bring that focus into their
physical education classes.”
“We have physical fitness/personal fitness. We
have had classes in wellness, including yoga
and de-stressing. And last year we had a wellness week, which was a really big success," says Mr. Sutcliffe.
“We incorporate wellness and the lifelong benefits physical activity brings into the traditional seasonal sports
such as tennis, soccer, basketball, volleyball, badminton, floor hockey, ultimate Frisbee and softball, which
are the major sports within the units we do.”
In addition to teaching P.E. and health, Mr. Sutcliffe coaches boys' varsity soccer, and has led the team
through many successful seasons. In 2012 Princeton High was a State Co-Champion. “Soccer is
something pretty special in Princeton and Cranbury. We have had a lot of success,” he says. “And there are
many reasons for that. The student support we get is really fantastic. It is a huge factor."
"Players who are new to the district that have a background in the game are always welcomed,” he adds. Mr.
Sutcliffe works to cultivate a balance between academics and soccer. “Over the years we have had such
great student athletes,” he says. “Our guys are going on to some of the most prestigious colleges and
universities in the country.”
Parent-Teacher Organization
All parents of PHS students are members
of the PTO. We appreciate active
participation in any way possible, and hope
to have the opportunity to meet and work
with new and returning members during
the upcoming year. In our experience, the
more involved you are, the more you will
understand and benefit from the PHS
The PTO has many missions, the foremost
of which is to foster communications
among parents, students, faculty,
administration and school board
representatives. We encourage you to
keep informed by attending both our formal
monthly meetings, featuring a report by
Principal Gary Snyder, and our informal
Other PTO activities include assisting with
new student/parent orientation, Back-toSchool Night, guidance events, and
hosting alumni brunches, Faculty/Staff
appreciation breakfast and luncheons,
Post-Prom, and the senior awards dinner
as well as many other events throughout
the year. We welcome and need
participation from all of our parents, even if
you have only a few hours to share. Please
let us know what time and talents you can
volunteer by filling the "12 Ways to Get
Involved" form out. We are a very active
Finally, in a desire to avoid conflicts with
student efforts, our PTO engages in very
little traditional fundraising. We operate
almost exclusively on our parents'
contributions. We are a tax exempt 501
(c)3 organization, so every contribution you
make is tax deductible and may be eligible
for corporate matching from your employer.
Princeton Public Schools Profile
“Live to Learn, Learn to Live” is the motto inscribed above the doors to Princeton High School; it
captures the essence of our values and beliefs throughout the PK-12 school system.
As we strive each hour to serve approximately 3500 pupils from Princeton and Cranbury Township
well, we do so knowing that the work in our classrooms, on our courts, fields and stages and in our
offices matters deeply in the individual lives of each child. We are preparing students for a complex
and challenging world in which they can be both successful and joyful. Our children have the benefit
of exceptional curricula, the most talented teachers and a strong support base of resources,
specialized facilities and community partners which tremendously influence their academic success.
From pre-school through senior year, our learners are also well guided in their abilities to make
good decisions, to serve their fellow human beings, and to contribute in meaningful ways to our
society. “Live to Learn, Learn to Live” is not about numbers of credits or scores on standardized
tests; it is about a lifelong gift that the Princeton Public Schools gives its pupils and alumni. That is
what makes Princeton Public Schools one of our nation’s finest educational systems.
It is a combination of high standards, great expectations, rigor, care and passion that creates
the positive conditions for our learners’ successes. Our exceptional results can be measured
statistically by state tests, by Advanced Placement exams, by reading and math benchmarks,
by graduation rates, by college acceptances and by many other tools. By every indicator we are
certainly a district of high performing students. It is our job to also be a high performing district
in which our children can thrive. Analyses of our processes, patterns, and beliefs are just as
important as test results and for that evaluation we turn to the Tri States Consortium of which
we are a member. Asking peer districts to observe our work, to offer critical recommendations
and to assist us in benchmarking standards for the 21st century is a strategy that is serving
Princeton Public Schools well.
Our Board adopted four key areas of focus as the foundation of the district’s strategic plan:
We will have an expectation of professional excellence leading to the best possible outcome for every student.
We will ensure that all students meet high standards of verbal and analytical competency, recognize their individual talents and potential
for excellence, and are prepared socially, academically and physically to engage confidently in their future endeavors.
We will have a communications system to inform and engage students, parents, families, residents, faculty, staff and community partners
fostering a web of mutual trust, respect and action that supports an optimum environment for student achievement.
Student learning will be enhanced using 21st century technological skills so that students will be better able to communicate with,
collaborate with, and excel among their global peers; and students will be able to use technology in constructive and creative ways in a
variety of situations.
Our community, faculty, staff and Board will be diligent in making each goal a reality so that Princeton Public School’s children continue to thrive.
Judith A. Wilson, Superintendent
(609) 806-4220
Judith Wilson
Board of Education 2012-13
Daniel Haughton
Martha Land
Afsheen Shamsi
Patrick Sullivan
Evelyn Spann
Lewis Goldstein
Assistant Superintendent for
Human Resources,
Community Relations and
Public Information
Princeton High School
Bonnie Lehet
Assistant Superintendent for
Curriculum and Instruction
Timothy Quinn, President
Andrea Spalla, Vice President
Dorothy Bedford
Molly Chrein
Rebecca Cox
Gary Snyder, Principal
151 Moore Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
609.806.4281 (fax)
Stacey O’Neill – Editor
Elizabeth Collier – Reporter
Stephanie Kennedy
Business Administrator
Margaret Crisafulli
Director of Student Services
Assenka Oksiloff
Communications Director