The Hanover Park Regional High School District is comprised of two high schools. Hanover Park High School is located in East Hanover, receives students from East Hanover and Florham Park, and has an enrollment of 893 students. Whippany High School is located in Hanover Township, receives students from Hanover Township and has an enrollment of 692 students. The district enjoys a tradition of excellence with an ongoing commitment to academics, the arts, athletics, service learning, character education and community service.
Both schools continue to rank as one of the Top 100 High Schools in the New Jersey Monthly magazine, as well as being listed on Newsweek’s Top 1000 Schools in the Nation for 2012. Combined, the schools administered 570 Advanced Placement exams with an average of 79% scoring a 3 or higher. Many district students achieved honors status from the College Board Advanced Placement Scholar Awards recognition program: nineteen Advanced Placement Scholars with Distinction, seventeen Advanced Placement Scholars with Honors and thirty-six Advanced Placement Scholars. Besides the availability of Advanced Placement courses, the district offered 254 students’ dual credit courses, college and high school credit, from Fairleigh Dickinson, Seton Hall and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The schools scored above the State and National average in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT); and, with the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), students scored above the District Factor Group and State average for Advanced Proficient in Language Arts and Mathematics. The schools recognized two National Merit Finalists; nine National Merit Commended Scholars; one National Hispanic Recognition; four New Jersey Governor’s School; thirty-six Presidential Academic Awards of Excellence and 136 National Honor Society Inductees. Ninety-five percent of graduates are continuing formal higher education.

Students continue to compete in the Academic Decathlon Competition achieving amazing results-Hanover Park placed first in the North Jersey Division 2 Regional Competition and second overall in the State competition; a Whippany Park High School student received an Honorable Mention in the Music Category. Whippany Park High School received academic recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English with a Letter of Commendation for their outstanding English program and the English teachers for promoting a climate that encourages student writing.

Both high schools excelled this year in the Fine and Performing Art. In fine arts, seventeen students’ artwork/photographs were accepted in the Blackwell Street Art Show; thirteen students had their artwork accepted into the Sixth Annual Caldwell College Teen Arts Jam.; four students had their art and photography works accepted for exhibition at William Paterson’s Power Art Gallery with two students awarded an Honorable Mention. Hanover Park High School’s Choirs performed at a festival at Hershey Park. The Choir was recognized as Best Overall Choir; the Chamber Singers received two First Place Superior ratings; one student was awarded Outstanding Vocal Soloist. They also had two students selected for New Jersey All State Chorus and six students selected for the North Jersey Regional Chorus. Two students were selected Student of the Month by the Mayo Performing Arts Clinic. The Dance Team in its first year, placed first in the South Brunswick Dance competition; second at the Hazlet Dance Competition; sixth at the Universal Dance Association’s Battle of the Northeast. Whippany Park High School had three students selected to the North Jersey Region One Symphonic Band; four students accepted to the Junior Region Band; three students selected to the North Jersey Junior Region Band. Whippany Park High School Madrigal Singers, for the ninth consecutive year, performed at Carnegie Hall; and, the Marching Band received a Gold rating in the Wayne Hills Competition; achieved Second Place in the Randolph Competition and marched in the prestigious New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Whippany Park High School’s drama production, Noises Off, received five nominations from the Montclair State University Theater Night Awards Program.

The two schools fared well in the Future Business Leaders of America competition. Hanover Park High School-Seventy-eight students competed in the Northern New Jersey Regional Competition where twenty-four students placed in the top ten; thirty-three students qualified to compete at the State level where five placed in the top ten; four students qualified to compete at the National level where two students placed in the top ten. One student received the Gold Officer Award and will serve as the Northern Regional Vice President for the New Jersey FBLA’s 2012-2013 Conference. Whippany Park High School-thirty-three students competed in the Northern New Jersey Regional Competition where seven students placed in the top ten; ten students qualified to compete at the State level where all ten students placed in the top ten; five students qualified to compete at the National level where all five students placed in the top ten.

Both schools earned honors for their publications. Hanover Park High School’s newspaper, The Forum, received a First Place Award by the American Scholastic Press Association; and, The Hornet Sting literary magazine won a First Place Award by the American Scholastic Press Association for five consecutive years. Whippany Park High School’s literary magazine, Etcetera, earned a First Place Award from the American Scholastic Press Association and the honor rating of First Class with One Mark of Distinction from the National Scholastic Press Association.

Athletically, both schools won championships. Hanover Park High School-the Girls Softball Team, Boys Spring Track and the Wrestling Team were North II Group II State Sectional Champions; Boys Spring Track was crowned Conference Champions. The Boys Soccer Team, Girls Tennis Team, and the Girls Softball Team were awarded the Sportsmanship Award for the North Jersey Athletic Conference. There was one State Champion Wrestler; two County and eight State Sectional Champions in Winter Track; one County and one State Sectional Champion in Boys Spring Track; one State Sectional Champion in Girls Spring Track. Whippany Park High School- the Girls Softball Team and the Wrestling Team were awarded Conference Champions. The Girls Cross Country Team and Girls Softball Team won a third consecutive State Sectional Championships. The Girls Basketball Team won the State Sectional Championship and the North Jersey Group I State Championship. The Girls Softball Team won a second consecutive North Jersey Group I State Championship, a State Championship and the Harry Nowick Award for representing the spirit of competition and displaying exemplary sportsmanship. One Girls Track athlete won the Group I State Championship in Javelin and finished fifth in the State Meet of Champions. With the district co-operative sports, the Park Ice Hockey Team was awarded the Haas Cup and the Park Golf Team was recognized with a Conference Championship.

Community service, service learning and character development complement each other at the schools. The Character Counts program supports the district’s six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship by giving student awards for Kindness and Justice, Student of the Month, and a student selected monthly who exemplifies the elements for Character Counts. Students who exemplify these values are selected and recognized throughout the year. Many clubs and activities encourage and support student volunteerism such as: cleaning parks, partnering with senior citizens, partaking in hunger walks, sponsoring food drives, collecting educational supplies and clothing for the needy, organizing blood drives, and tutoring students. The district takes pride in being recognized by the New Jersey School of Character Program as an “Emerging District of Character.” The staff and students maintain the school climate of a caring environment by initiating new community service projects each year while keeping with those that have become “tradition.”

Hanover Park High School was awarded a Promising Practice Award from the Character Education Partnership for its promotion of Service Learning and the construction of the Outdoor Classroom. This Service Learning Project involved students, staff, parents and community members. Many teachers and students have enjoyed classes hosted in this new environment. In addition, the Robotics Club recognized four first place winners in the categories of Design, Documentation, and Engineering at the New Jersey Hydrogen Fuel Cell Competition.

The professional staff of the Hanover Park Regional High School District continues to inspire students to be the best they can be. The district supports teachers with meaningful professional development that encourages them to learn strategies that foster the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills as they prepare the students with the 21st century skills needed to succeed in a global society.

Carol Grossi
(973) 887-0320