Northern Highlands Education Association

Northern Highlands Education Association


We wanted you to hear the wonderful announcement that Mr. Occhino made to start off the Clap Out and see Mr. Leib start his last trip to the English Office! Thank you for everything Mrs. Rokoszak and Mr. Leib! Your legacy at Northern Highlands will last a lifetime!
A new tradition was started by the English Department this year to celebrate Laura Rokoszak and Phil Leib for their many years of service to Northern Highlands! Each teacher had their own pathway from their classroom to the English Office for their last official journey through the halls with the students and staff showing their love and admiration for the two along the way! We hope you enjoy the first ever Retirement Clap Out!
After 4,575 days of high school for Mr. Leib and a whopping 6,954 days for Mrs. Rokoszak, our favorite thespians and English teachers are officially retiring. The NHEA would like to send our best wishes for a relaxing and carefree retirement. Stay tuned over the next few days for individual retirement posts!
Amazing work by Allendale Police Officer Alex Helmer!!
Today was our 6th Highlands Engineering Regatta! The results are in with the following teams placing on the podium:

#1 Sweet Life on Deck
Caroline Bodnar
Kaiden Canariato

#2 Sharks
Thomas Alarcon
Bronson Moses

#3 Phinias & Ferb
Sarah Cornacchia
Brianna Schulstad

Thank you to all of the teachers that volunteered to make the day a success and all of the students who spent many weeks preparing their boats! It was a perfect day for all!
2022 Northern Highlands Regatta heat 1
Northern Highlands students and staff came together to support each other this week after the tragic loss of one of our students and continued to show the world what it means to be “Highlands Strong”. Mrs. Albano quickly reached out to local shirt vendors in order to bring back our 'Highlands Strong" t-shirts that had been distributed in years past after tragedy had affected our school community. We appreciate the quick response and donation of time and effort on behalf of Mike at Big Color Digital in Wyckoff, who quickly turned around 200 shirts for us in only a few days. Seniors Sheldon Wright, Adrian Colaku and Amelia Theriault, worked alongside Mrs. Albano to organize, distribute and deliver the shirts to students and staff that ordered them. These shirts were used as a way to show of support for our school community during a time of devastating loss and were not sold for profit. Our students and staff will need to be “Highlands Strong” for each other as we finish out this school year under the shadow of this unimaginable loss.
Congratulations to our newest Eagle Scouts of the NH student body! We have several Eagle Scouts in our faculty as well that are proud of this new group achieving the highest rank of scouting!
Great job by Mr. Mugno & our STEM Competition Teams!

The NHEA represents the teachers, counselors, secretaries, custodians, aides, & nurses at NHRHS.

Operating as usual


Order your 2023 yearbook before it’s too late! Deadline to order is Thursday, January 19. All books must be ordered in advance. Visit to order today!!!!


Congratulations to NH Hockey on the 3-2 win over Tewksbury High School(MA) on the outdoor ice at Fenway Park in Boston! What a tremendous opportunity and a moment this team will remember forever!


A historic event for our Highlands Hockey team will occur today as they play at Fenway Park in Boston! Our team was invited by the NHL to play last year's Massachusetts state champ Tewksbury, on the ice in Fenway Park today at 2:30 pm! You may recognize the location from the NHL Winter Classic that took place two days ago!

Here is the story of how the game came to be from their local newspaper:

Be sure to tune in for the live stream!


Welcome back Highlanders!!

LAST CHANCE TO BUY A 2023 YEARBOOK! Don't miss out, order before January 19th to assure that you will get a yearbook when they arrive in June. Capture the memories of this year and cherish them for a lifetime! Go to to reserve your copy today!


A little pajama day to end spirit week and it was the last day of school in 2022! We hope all students, staff, families and community members have a happy and healthy winter break. Happy Holidays to all!


Students in AP European History participated in an “upcycling” holiday gift exchange. They wrapped lightly used or unused items they no longer want/need to spread holiday cheer. While exchanging gifts, the class viewed pictures of the famous holiday markets in Europe and played festive music. A fun time was had by all. Happy Holidays!


The Northern Highland Wrestling team hosted their annual Alumni Night last night. Over 45 alumni, from the class of 1969 through the class of 2022, came out to support the current team. Coach Rehain extends his deepest gratitude to all of those that came back to make this night truly something special. Once a Highlander, always a Highlander!

Photos from Northern Highlands Education Association's post 12/22/2022

Students in Mrs. Albano’s Honors Graphic Design classes recently completed their first project that involved using the Cricut vinyl cutter and heat press to make t-shirts and canvas tote bags. Students designed original graphics in Adobe Illustrator and then exported them as individual files based on color. Then they brought those images into Cricut Design Space and cut them out of vinyl, and then heat pressed them on to shirts and tote bags. Many students enjoyed this project so much that they created extra items that will be given as holiday gifts, while other students became mini-entrepreneurs, creating extra t-shirts to sell to their friends. Overall, this project was a huge success and students added a new, wide array of tools and techniques to their existing graphic design skills.


Another great Holiday Hoopla today for our staff and students! It was a hard fought battle on the volleyball court for our staff, but the students took home the win this year! Thank you to our staff members that volunteered their time during today’s lunch to play volleyball. We also want to thank all our staff advisors for running various fundraising tables throughout the 90 minute lunch and also thanks to the staff that completed their duty assignments to facilitate a successful day! We hope everyone had fun and made some new memories today!

Reminder that tomorrow’s final theme day for the half day is Pajama Day!! Remember to dress up, by dressing down!

Photos from Northern Highlands Education Association's post 12/21/2022

Dress like a celebrity day had some great staff and student outfits! Check out the pictures of our staff members and their celebrity doppelgängers!

Photos from Northern Highlands Education Association's post 12/20/2022

Some festive holiday sweaters from our staff for day one of spirit week! Looking forward to tomorrow’s theme of “Dress like a Celebrity!”

Photos from Northern Highlands Education Association's post 12/19/2022

Please vote here:

The NHEA wanted to have a little fun this holiday season and sponsored an “a-DOOR-able” door decorating contest! The theme/topic was left up to each staff member. There sure are a lot of doors to choose from, so please take a look at all the submissions at the link and vote for your favorite! The winning door will be rewarded with a bagel breakfast for their department! Please consider voting for the best door at Northern Highlands Regional High School!


On December 15th, our Ceramics I and Ceramics II students had the joy of hearing from a world-renowned sculpture artist. Carolyn Palmer's work has been featured in famous parks like the Lucille Ball Park in Jamestown, NY, TV shows like Madam Secretary, waterfronts like Hoboken New Jersey, religious sites like the Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, and more! She has been commissioned to create so many famous portraits out of bronze like Frank Sinatra, the Roosevelts, the Wright brothers, and multiple popes and presidents. Ms. Palmer presented to our ceramics students about the clay molding process as well as how a bronze sculpture is poured and polished. Northern Highlands students had the chance to learn about how the medium they work with every day in class can be utilized in a professional setting and can lead to a successful career. As they helped "reconstruct" the Lucy clay sculpture, our students were filmed as part of a documentary being filmed about Ms. Palmer, her work, and influence. Thank you to this local (Saddle River) artist for showing our students valuable clay techniques and processes! Check her out at Carolyn D. Palmer Sculpture Artist for more examples of her work!


Our Biology classes have been testing some common foods for the presence of macromolecules! For those that have been out of the biology world for a bit, a macromolecule is a very large molecule important to biophysical processes, such as proteins, carbohydrates or nucleic acids. They are often composed of thousands of covalently bonded atoms.


NH Alum Jordyn Freedman (Class of 2018) visited Mrs. Albano's Graphic Design classes in person last week to share her experience and how design has played a role in her career. Jordyn is currently working as a Marketing Associate for NYX Cosmetics at L'oreal in Los Angeles. She shared how she got started in the beauty industry after graduating from Tulane University and ended up moving to LA to pursue a career with NYX/L'oreal. Even though Jordyn doesn't work as a designer, what she learned in Mrs. Albano's design classes still remains relevant and transferable to all that she does in her current role, including overseeing the design and production of cosmetic displays, end caps and marketing videos. She also shared an exciting collaboration with NYX & AVATAR for which she helped create the new in-store display that just debuted at Ulta stores this month. Students learned how product displays go from concept to retail, and see how design plays a role in many areas beyond that of an actual designer. We thank Jordyn for coming in to speak to our current students and for inspiring them to consider how creativity and design plays an important role throughout many careers and across various industries. 


Students in Mr. McCabe's criminal law class got to listen to a special presentation from Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella. Mr. Musella was sworn in as the Bergen County Prosecutor on May 20th, 2019. He is the chief law enforcement officer of Bergen County, which is the most populous county in New Jersey and home to one million residents living in 70 municipalities, larger than five states in the union!

Mr. Musella went into detail on responsibilities of the prosecutor's office within the criminal justice system and Bergen County as whole. He also shared with the students his personal experiences from a life in law and provided tips for all the students who wished to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to our students Mr. Musella!


Students in Mrs. Albano’s & Ms. Carpino’s “Intro to Graphic Design” classes are getting into the holiday spirit by using their Adobe Illustrator skills to re-design Starbucks holiday cups. Students had to create vector graphics and come up with a holiday design that celebrates the season without being too specific to any one holiday. After creating their designs in Illustrator, they then printed and folded their paper to create a cup shape, and added an actual lid to complete the look. These cup designs are now on display in the main lobby. Come by to check them out and congratulations to our student designers whose cups were selected for the showcase!


Amazing accomplishment by Junior Grayson Denberg!

This past week, Junior Grayson Denberg competed in the Spartan World Championship Mens Elite Race in Abu Dhabi. In order to qualify, Grayson had to place among the top three Spartan athletes nationally. In 104 degree heat, Grayson competed alongside athletes from 85 countries on a 14-mile course that included over 30 obstacles. After finishing the course in four hours, Grayson came in third place in his age group! Way to go, Grayson!


The NHEA would like to recognize one of our own, Mr. Ray Meizys on being named the 2023 Governor’s Educator of the Year for Northern Highlands.

The Governor’s Educator of the Year program recognizes educators who exhibit outstanding performance in the classroom and in school. The selection committee was comprised of representatives from our administration, Supervisors Association, students, NHEA, and Home and School Association, which reviewed nominations that were submitted by our staff, students, and parents.

Mr. Meizys has had an amazing 26 years of extraordinary service to Northern Highlands. He introduced the AP American Government course 17 years ago and has had hundreds of students experience his instruction and grow in their understanding of the US government. His knowledge in the field of social studies, caring commitment to our students, and dedication to our school community are truly remarkable. Congratulations Mr. Meizys!


In November, junior Hansa Suresh competed in the 26th annual Brown University Simulation of the United Nations(BUSUN) and was awarded Best Delegate. She competed in the Sustainable Development Commission and represented Kazakhstan. Congratulations Hansa!


We just hit 1,000 followers on Instagram!! Thank you everyone for following us and staying up to date with everything happening at Northern Highlands! We love being able to share our student and staff achievements, general announcements, sports teams accolades, extracurricular events, fundraisers and more! Be sure to share our page with your friends to help others in the community learn about all the great NH news as quickly as possible!

Photos from Northern Highlands Education Association's post 11/30/2022

This past Saturday, the Highlands Voices participated in the Totowa/Woodland Park Fire Department holiday lights parade. There were over 225 entries in the parade! They sang holiday music while riding on a beautiful parade float. We hope the parade attendees enjoyed their music!


AP Art History teachers Krista Carpino and Mary Lardiere, traveled with students to NYC to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students explored a variety of exhibits including Ancient Greek and Roman Sculpture, Egyptian, Islamic and the European painting galleries. Seeing the works in person further enhances their understanding and knowledge of the art content that is required for the AP exam in May.


NH alum, Nora Verhoff (Class of 2014) visited Mrs. Albano's Honors Graphic Design classes via Zoom last week to share her experience and role as a brand manager for Good Citizen Coffee. Nora oversees the design, production and packaging of Good Citizen's new line of products that are currently sold in stores such as Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters. Nora spoke to how design has played a vital role in her career and how she enjoys using her creativity without working specifically as a designer. We thank Nora for returning to Highlands to share her experience with our current students, and for inspiring them to consider how creativity plays an important role in many different career fields.


Thanksgiving is often a time of extended family gathering and the English Department took that quite seriously this year when Phil Leib and Laura Rokoszak came back fresh off their retirement for a breakfast get together! It’s rare that someone would willingly get up early when retired but we know that this group definitely made it a worthwhile morning trip!


Today’s half day schedule! We hope all staff, students, families and community members have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and safe travels for anyone traveling!


Our instructional coaches Mike McCabe and Amy Pierret went around the building today offering free coffee and tea to staff members to thank them for always going above and beyond for their students! Thank you Mike & Amy for the surprise visits! We are sure our teachers appreciated the pick me up on this short (but long) week before the Thanksgiving break!


Attention Senior parents!! December 1st is your last day to submit Senior Parent Ads for the Yearbook! Don’t forget and don’t miss this important date! You don’t want to be one of the only families missing from the Northern Highlands Regional High School Yearbook!!


Mr. Tralongo took his son and son’s friends to West Point for a Hockey game and couldn’t help but snap a picture of NH Alum Sean Vlasich who is a Freshman Defender for West Point! Best of luck to West Point as they play Bentley University!


DECA Advisors Zach Lisella and Anthony Sagliocca spent last weekend in Arlington, VA at the Ultimate DECA Power Trip. The annual Advisor Professional Learning Series aims to engage educators in professional development focusing on curriculum and instructional content that support preparing students for college, business careers and connects the conference content to the classroom. Workshop topics included: using project management skills in DECA, getting students to the stage and integrating ethics in the classroom. The DECA Advisors are excited to bring their new knowledge back to Northern Highlands to help students prepare for their first competition in January.

Photos from Northern Highlands Education Association's post 11/19/2022

Students in Mrs. Lardiere’s Honors Photo class recently completed a shutter speed unit where students photographed using both slow and fast shutter speeds. Students dropped objects in a fish tank filled with water and used fast shutter speeds to ‘freeze’ the action. When shooting with slow shutter speeds, students used a variety of light sources such as flash lights, strip lights and cell phones, to create unique images that show movement. These unique and creative images can be used in the students portfolios as they continue to explore photography and it’s possibilities.


This week, Police Officers from the district presented the S.T.O.P. Program (Student Teacher Officer Partnership) to our 10th grade students.

The S.T.O.P. Program is a follow up to Drivers Education and touches upon important topics such as the responsibilities of a motor vehicle operator, what to do if you are pulled over or in a crash, underage drinking and its consequences, and other legal implications.

Thank you to our local PD!

Allendale Police Department
PO Kevin Azevedo
PO Alex Helmer

HHK Police Department
Det. Chris Santos

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