JFK High

 Iselin's High School is John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, located at 200 Washington Avenue.
The mascot is the MUSTANG and the school colors are GREEN AND WHITE.
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The school's website can be found HERE.
The State's "report card" for JFK can be found HERE.
High School Sports.net is HERE

UPDATE 7/2012:

 JFK was nationally recognized for its academic achievements and outstanding performance. For the year of 2012, The U.S. News & World Report ranked John F. Kennedy as number 48 out of 389 high schools in New Jersey. JFK placed number 1,472 out of over 21,000 high schools in the country, which earned the school a silver medal.

You can read the full article HERE!

and you can see

the John F. Kennedy Memorial High School entry HERE

or JFK on the list HERE! (just scroll down the page to # 1472!)


Here's my article on NJ.Com's ranking of JFK High School as #1 in our DFG:

I was on NJ.Com’s “Inside Jersey” section, and found their most recent ranking of NJ public High Schools; you can read it if you go HERE.  Or, you can buy the September 2011 edition of the “Inside Jersey” magazine, if you prefer print.
And YES, I was REALLY EXCITED!  Because it reaffirms something that we all already know …  That Iselin’ s JFK High School is NUMBER ONE!!!


I went to talk to the Principal of John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, Mr. Cilento, about the "Inside Jersey" article.  He had seen the article, and was understandably very proud of his students, faculty, and staff.

“I truly believe it takes people, not programs, to successfully educate our kids,” he told me.  “We have a very dedicated faculty and staff, who take a lot of pride in making sure that each student who enters our building is successful.”  Mr. Cilento is famous for his speeches at assemblies and pep-rallies, declaring to the students that JFK is one of the best high schools in New Jersey.  Now he has even more proof!

I need to back up a minute, though.  To really understand our #1 ranking, there is one thing you need to know: mainly, that the ranking is based on a comparison of apples to apples.  Using the New Jersey Department of Education’s designation of “DFG’s”, or District Factor Groups, all of New Jersey’s school districts are divided into one of eight groups:  A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I, and J.  Schools grouped in each category are considered similar to each other.  The State of New Jersey formed these categories by considering specific socio-economic factors of each community from the US Census:  Educational Attainment, Occupational Status, Population Density, Income, Unemployment, and Poverty.

So the schools grouped in the “A” group have similar socio-economic status, and include places like Camden, Newark, and Perth Amboy.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, all the schools grouped into the J group have the highest socio-economic factors – places like Millburn and Mountain Lakes, where, for example, the median home prices are more than $900,000.  This makes sense to me.

JFK High School, and in fact all of Woodbridge Township, falls into the  “DE” category.   There are 52 High Schools in our category. We are grouped with towns like Jackson Township, Secaucus, Sayreville, Kenilworth, Ridgefield Park, and Toms River, among others. 

John F. Kennedy High School is number one of the 52 schools listed in the “DE” factor group.  And, as Mr. Cilento mentioned, “We are the only school in Middlesex County to receive a number one ranking within our group.”

I asked Mr. Cilento why he thinks our students are so successful, and he spoke to me again about the hard work and dedication of the faculty, staff, AND the students; and he continued,  “We believe that our great diversity, and the respect that our kids have for one another, has a lot to do with our success.  Our staff and students have bought into our vision, that the things we do across the curriculum – language arts, mathematics, (everything) – has helped with our success.”

Mr. Cilento also gave a lot of credit to caring parents, who are supportive of both their children and the High School.  “The parents have a major impact on the educational process, and the majority of our parents do support us, and do trust us to educate their child.”

“People will buy houses in Iselin specifically so their child can go to school here at JFK,” continued Principal Cilento.  “We have even had students from neighboring towns whose parents are willing to pay tuition in order to get their child enrolled here, and that is because of our reputation.  We have a good reputation in Academics, Athletics and the Arts.  (Our goal is to) set a positive educational tone, where children can come to school every day without the feeling of being harassed or intimidated.”

“What are your challenges, going forward?” I asked Mr. Cilento.
“We want to continue to challenge our students,” he said.  “We want to raise the bar academically.  We are looking to constantly improve all of the standardized testing scores, the SATs and PSATS as well as the state-mandated HSPA scores. We’ve had several students each year score perfect scores on sections of the SAT, and some of our students go on to very competitive Ivy League colleges, “ he concluded. 

The future can be very bright for a student at JFK High School in Iselin!

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Go Mustangs!

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