Hanover Park Regional High School District
East Hanover, NJ
Hanover Park Regional High School District

How do you best use the four years given to you to mold students to be both “smart and good”? This was precisely the task facing the staff of New Jersey’s Hanover Park Regional HS District, which consists of two high schools-Hanover Park and Whippany Park. The three towns that we service (East Hanover Township, Florham Park and Hanover Township) trace their roots to Revolutionary days and have strong traditions in civic engagement. In 2004, the district formally adopted the Six Pillars of Character because these core values clearly complemented our vision. Although we promoted the pillars, deep down we felt “something was lacking.” In 2009, we found that “something” with the arrival of a new superintendent, Mrs. Carol Grossi. Having served as the principal of Cranford HS (2004 NSOC), she knew first-hand the value of engaging young people and making service-learning a high school staple. Soon, character education became our district-wide focus: she energized the district staff, supported effective professional development, and involved the parents and community. Within a year, the Character Counts values became our living qualities. A Learn and Serve grant enabled us to build an outdoor classroom. Students began taking the lead in initiating service projects, academics improved, and discipline problems decreased. A miracle? Hardly. However, we learned that a district vision, buttressed with hard work and collective zeal, could bring about amazing results!

Promising Practice: Outdoor Classroom
Students from all facets of the high school campus became involved in designing and building an outdoor classroom.


The greatest challenge in school culture at Whippany Park has been showing students that there is independent access to morality. The culture in which we live does not always favor the right decision over the most expedient or personally satisfying course of action. Through authentic demonstration of ethical behavior, we teach students the most valuable lesson: character can and should be demonstrated by all people without regard to status or rank within a community. By holding ourselves to the same standards as our students, we teach them to "do as we do" not to "do as we say."
- Melissa Casciano, English Teacher

Every aspect of good character is carried out daily in the school community by very supportive staff through curriculum, peer inter actions, and motivation through modeling. The staff teaches by example, holding one another to the highest standard of good character, creating an environment conducive for learning and maturing into good citizens. Leading by example, the staff models trustworthiness by consistently reinforcing loyalty and honesty with one another in and out of the classroom to instill the importance of keeping your word and living up to promises made as well as keeping confidences between staff and students.
- Judy Tappan, Instructional Aide

There are so many wonderful qualities of Hanover Park. Teachers are very caring, and when we feel that we are being overloaded with work, teachers will sometimes shift their lesson plans around to fit our schedules. The people here are very kind, and all of my classes are filled with hard workers. I have yet to be on or see an Hanover Park team with bad sportsmanship because we are taught how to behave correctly by watching the actions of our coaches.
- Kaleigh, Grade 11

Every time I am at Hanover Park High School it reminds me of what high school means to kids and how their lives are affected by the respectfulness their teachers emulate. It exemplifies an overall school climate where the bonds of friendship, working together to fulfill goals and just simple "kindness" are fostered and so appreciated. Hanover Park continues to impress me by the way they instill values in their students, and create a balanced environment of academics and character; all of which will create lasting memories for their students.
- Michele Pasquale

The role of the school in the community is to provide a supportive environment where each student has the opportunity to grow emotionally, intellectually and socially, while encouraging them to contribute to the greater good in the community. It takes the vision of a strong administration and board, the dedication of our talented teachers and the support of the parent community working together help each student to open their eyes to the world around them.
- Francine Ling, Resident of Community

Contact Information

Christopher Kelly
Supervisor of Instruction
75 Mount Pleasant Avenue
East Hanover, NJ 07936
Phone: 973-888-0320
Email: ckelly@hpreg.org
Website: http://www.hpreg.org