I am a veteran of the financial services industry and a long-time resident of Hoboken. Also, with two high school juniors, I am an enthusiastic supporter and 'satisfied customer' of Hoboken High School. As a lifelong proponent of public education, it was clear which path our kids would take and they have benefited and grown stronger with every step, thanks to Hoboken's public schools (both its core public district and charter schools).
Hoboken High, in particular, has a tremendous amount to offer students across the performance spectrum. Extensive curriculum options accommodate a diverse student body. Top-performing students are challenged in a competitive academic environment while kids that learn at different paces or have special needs are given the time and attention required to achieve their potential. Career-focused programs such as media production, theater, and culinary arts, among others, provide access to state-of-the-art facilities and multi-year coursework that teaches relevant professional skills beyond the core curriculum. These programs provide graduates differentiation on college applications and an edge in the job market. Other powerful differentiators include the committed and engaging faculty, a panoply of extracurricular activities, strong athletics programs and the safe and supportive student community that is Hoboken High School. A few recent accolades include Harvard Model Congress National Excellence Awards, Paper Mill Playhouse Young Critics Awards First/Second Place, and Princeton University Distinguished Secondary Teacher of the Year (national). College placements including UPenn/Wharton, Penn State, U Pittsburgh, Denison, Drew, FIT, Drexel, and full scholarships to Stevens and Rutgers also highlight some of these strengths.
I have always advocated for a strong public district and recognized great potential in all the schools and their students, even when my kids, in their younger years, attended Elysian Charter School. I believe that the current range of public options available to Hoboken residents is a tremendous asset to the community and, while the pursuit of funding dollars and classroom space frustrates administrators and boards, the competition for students drives all the schools to meet ever-higher standards. It leads to higher quality and better educational options for all.
Notwithstanding these broader benefits, however, I strongly believe that such a vibrant 'educational market' must have, at its heart, a strong core public school district. It's a common dynamic: innovative challengers emerge in response to an incumbent that isn't fully addressing market needs. Typically, the upstarts are at their best in such competitive conditions and the established player (the traditional school system, in this case) is forced to ‘up its game’. The consumers (families and students) are the ultimate beneficiaries.