[NEWARK NJ, January 13, 2022] This is the sixth Newark comprehensive high school we are featuring in this series as the next few weeks brings an end to the enrollment process in Newark for next school year.
“Weequahic High School (WHS) is featured last in this series of the six comprehensive high schools in Newark because of its historic and profound impact on education in the United States,” shared Superintendent León. “Many people are unaware or hope we are not reminded that schools in Newark lead this nation. We have a long way to go, but we are heading in that direction,” he emphasized.
“At Weequahic High School, our vision is that Achievement is Realistic, Obtainable, & Infinite,”explains WHS Principal Kyle Thomas, a veteran public-school educator who was appointed by Superintendent León to lead this prestigious Southward High School in August 2021. “We will remain dedicated in all of our collective efforts to go above and beyond systemic oppression to serve and operate with the collegial mindset of being the most tangible resource and support system for the young minds we educate, remaining deeply rooted in strong cultural pride, core values and guiding principles for achievement.”
Principal Thomas’ roots in the community run deep. His father, Gerald Thomas was a 1967 graduate of WHS and before taking the helm, Mr. Thomas served for several years as Principal at nearby George Washington Carver and Bruce Street School for the Deaf. “The youth of our community are the greatest and they will receive a world class education at our school,” said Principal Thomas. “Our intellectual prominence will catapult our young minds to have infinite power to achieve great success.”
With this in mind, the mission of WHS is to Motivate, Inspire, Empower & Teach. “Through the virus, through the setbacks, through the shut downs, we persevere, we rise, we come together,” explains WHS sophomore student Mirabel Chukwuma. “If there is anything we know how to do, it’s overcome obstacles and conquer adversity and that’s Indian Pride!”
The school’s daily quest is to passionately provide a safe, culturally responsive and rigorous learning environment that builds on knowledge of self, strengthens character, cultivates ingenuity and fosters youth leadership to ensure that all of our students are prepared for college and/or career pathway advancements with diverse academic, social and critical thinking skills necessary for global success, to develop self-esteem and self-advocacy skills.
“Weequahic has a long tradition of producing students who excel in life,” says Myra Lawson, President of the Weequahic High School Alumni Association and 1979 graduate. “This is due to great faculty and staff who push students to do and to be their best. All the time my fellow alumni appreciated our time at Weequahic for giving us the motivation to become lifelong learners, the ability to think critically, and the drive to be productive members of society.”
Here is a focus on Weequahic High School:
Academics and College & Career Readiness
- The school currently offers Advanced Placement and Honors courses.
- The school partners with Montclair State University, Rutgers-Newark and Essex County College to offer dual enrollment pre-college courses where students earn college credit for courses while still at WHS.
- WHS ALLIED HEALTH SERVICES ACADEMY - The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry through a curriculum emphasizing science, human and the organizational elements, with the opportunity to earn college credit and career oriented clinical experience(s). Students who successfully complete the course of study will have the opportunity to earn up to 22 college credits.
- Industry Certification- Students will also have the opportunity to earn one of the industry certifications listed below: Certified Home Health Aide; Certified Clinical Medical Assistant; EKG/Telemetry Technician; Phlebotomy Technician; Physical Therapy Aide Certificate Program;Medical Insurance Billing Specialist; CPR/First Aid/Basic Life Support/EMT-B
- JAG – Jobs for America’s Graduates – Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) is a state-based national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting young people of great promise. JAG is delivering the best results in its 40-year history, while serving youth who face significant challenges, to help them reach economic and academic success. The goal of the WHS JAG program is to help young people of great promise succeed both in school and on the job, leading to productive and rewarding careers.
- WHS Honors & AP Academy – This pathway is designed to cultivate the talents, interests and scholastic aptitude of our students with an enhanced focus on the 9th and 10th graders. The Advanced Honors Academy will lead to multiple Advanced Placement courses that will allow students to perform at a rigorous level and earn college credits. Available courses of study include: AP Calculus AB, AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature, AP U.S. History and AP Physics B. Students enrolled in this Academy will receive an extended hour of instruction that will allow them to gain membership into the Pathways to College Program and The National Honor Society as well as prepare for ACT, SAT and Advanced Placement testing. In addition to learning advanced skills, students will be exposed to the college admission process, campus tours, and various collegiate activities.
- WHS Athletics is the premier athletic program in the city with teams earning several state championships through the years in Track & Field, Football and Basketball. This program has also produced several professional athletes as well. Aside from Fall/Winter Track & Field, Football and Basketball, the school also offers Girls Volleyball, Cheerleading, Baseball and Softball.
- The Weequahic High School Marching Band has a rich tradition of community pride and excellence in which students participate in performances, showcases, and provide support to our athletic events as the pride of our dear school.
- WHS also offers an after school programs which include clubs, social groups, student council, national honor society, debate, dance and cultural expression.
- Each quarter students are recognized for academic and school-wide success by teachers and members of the school community at our monthly WHS Pride Convocation.
- Our guidance department recognizes all our students' career pathway advancements when they obtain acceptance into colleges, universities, and technical institutions statewide and abroad.
Social, Emotional, and Mental Health
- Daily Motivation is provided every morning to students during daily school-wide convocation, a standing meeting each morning with the Principal of the school and all students in which the school’s daily motivational chant is recited by all and a WHS ritual.
- Mentorship and Restorative Practices are utilized daily to engage students with positive interactions.
- Social & Emotional support is provided to all students by social workers, counselors and other key staff to ensure that the wellness of students remains paramount.
- The Weequahic High School Alumni Association is one of the country’s most premier and established alumni associations. Please visit the WHSAA website to learn more about the school’s rich history and alumni https://weequahicalumni.org/
- Our long list of notable alumni can be found here including the few mentioned below:https://weequahicalumni.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Distinguished-Weequahic-Alumni-Revised-07-19-20.pdf
- Sid Dorfman, Newark Star-Ledger sports journalist
- Dr. Nathan Weiss, longtime President of Kean University
- Philip Roth, Pulitzer Prize winning author of thirty-one books. Inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame.
- Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, Board President, Chief Education Officer for the City of Newark.
- Sheila Oliver, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor; Speaker of the New Jersey State Assembly.
- Marquis “Bo” Porter, manager of the MLB Houston Astros baseball team.
- Adenah Bayoh, Entrepreneur
- Alturrick Kenney, Essex County Surrogate, Deputy Mayor of Newark, Board Member.
- And, a super long list of simply incredible people.