Trenton Central High School

For other schools with similar names, see Trenton High School (disambiguation).
Trenton Central High School
Trenton Central High School
Trenton Central High School
Trenton Central High School
400 Chambers Street
Trenton, NJ 08609
Type Public high school
School district Trenton Public Schools
Principal Erick Wisky
Vice principals Matthew Cordonnier
Mary Courtney
Gwendolyn Hansen
Dana Williamson
Melissa Wyatt
Faculty 178.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,821[1] (as of 2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio 10.2:1[1]
Color(s)      Black and
Athletics conference Colonial Valley Conference
Team name Tornadoes[2]
Website School website

Trenton Central High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Trenton, in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Trenton Public Schools.

As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,821 students and 178.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.2:1. There were 1,428 students (78.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 112 (6.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Trenton Central High School was the focus of a research study aimed at preventing obesity in students, in which student evaluations of the results played a major role in interpretation of the outcomes.[3]

Awards, recognition and rankings

The school was the 333rd-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[4] ranked the school 372nd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 14 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (22.9%) and language arts literacy (60.2%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[5]


In the late 1920s the Trenton Board of Education had the foresight and the good fortune to acquire one of the last undeveloped tracts in the city: the 36-acre (150,000 m2) Chambers Farm, then used as a nursery. The new high school would be the city's third, replacing the then existing high school at Chestnut and Hamilton Avenues built in 1900, which in turn replaced the first high school on Mercer Street built in 1874.

Trenton Central High School (TCHS) opened on January 4, 1932, and was dedicated on January 18 at ceremonies attended by 5,000 people. Hailed as "an ornament to the city" and "one of the show places of Trenton," TCHS was one of the largest and most expensive high schools built in the country. The Chambers Street façade stretches broadly for almost 1,000 feet (300 m), nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. The cost of the building, including land and furniture, totaled $3.3 million. Most firms involved in the construction were based in Trenton, including John A. Roebling's Sons who provided "Jersey" wire lath to fireproof the ceilings and walls.


Trenton Central High School is divided into Small Learning Communities (SLCs) that span across three separate sites throughout the city of Trenton. The Chambers Campus, located on Chambers Street, houses five communities: Applied Science and Engineering, Media Technology, Performing Arts, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism, and Business, Computer, Technology Design. The North Campus is located on N. Clinton Avenue and is home to the Medical Arts community. The West Campus sits on West State Street in the building that was formerly the home of the Arthur J. Holland Middle School. Three communities reside there: Law and Justice, Renaissance, and Business and Finance.


The Trenton Central High School Tornadoes[2] compete in the Colonial Valley Conference, which consists of public and private high schools located in Mercer County, Monmouth County and Middlesex County, operating under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[6] With 2,070 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as Central Jersey, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,083 to 2,230 students in that grade range.[7]

The girls basketball team has won the Group IV state champions three times: in 2002 vs. Morristown High School, in 2007 vs. Eastside High School (Paterson, New Jersey) and in 2008 vs. John F. Kennedy High School (Paterson, New Jersey). The boys basketball team has won seven Group IV state titles: in 1927 vs. Passaic High School, in 1928 vs. New Brunswick High School, in both 1932 and 1933 vs. South Side High School, in 1934 vs. Union Hill High School, in 1935 vs. New Brunswick High School and in 1961 vs. Camden High School.[8]

In 1961, Tal Brody led the undefeated boys basketball team to a 24–0 record and a New Jersey state championship in his senior year, as he was voted a New Jersey basketball All Star and selected to the first team Newark Star-Ledger All-State Team. Brody, though later drafted # 12 in the NBA draft, passed up an NBA career to play in Israel.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

The boys basketball team won the Central, Group IV sectional championship in 2003 with a 54–40 win over Old Bridge High School.[15]

The girls basketball team won the 2007 Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title with a 51–24 win against Howell High School.[16] The team moved on to win the 2007 Group IV state championship, defeating Eastside High School 52-44 for the title.[17]

Extracurricular activities

The Tornadoes 381 FIRST robotics team, from the Applied Engineering & Science Academy, is sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb, Sarnoff Corporation and Princeton University. The Team 381 Tornadoes were the 2004 Philadelphia Regional Winner in the FIRST Robotics Competition.[18] In 2008, the Tornados became the Trenton Regional Winners.

The school includes a military program called United States Army ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps).


Core members of the school's administration are:[19]

Notable faculty

Notable alumni


  1. 1 2 3 4 School Data for Trenton Central High School - Main Campus, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 6, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 Trenton Central High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 25, 2015.
  3. The Trenton Central High School Obesity Prevention Project: Encouraging Democracy Through Inclusion. Accessed November 13, 2006.
  4. Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  5. School Overview; Click on "Rankings" for 2010-11 HSPA results, Accessed June 14, 2012.
  6. League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  7. 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for Central Jersey, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed November 24, 2014.
  8. NJSIAA Group Basketball Past Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 25, 2015.
  9. Staff. "Tal Brody returns to basketball home, A Trenton High star who became a star in Israel leads students on a U.S. exhibition tour.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 2006. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  10. "NBA Takes Back Seat to Nationalism for Maccabi's Brody". Daily News of Los Angeles. October 4, 1990. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  11. Levi Epstein (March 23, 2011). "One on One with Tal Brody". Algemeiner. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  12. Ron Kaplan (March 23, 2011). "The Hall is calling". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  13. Hoffman, Gil (August 30, 2007). "Tal Brody, basketball superstar, wants to lead Likud to victory". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  14. Robert Slater (2000). Great Jews in Sports. J. David Publishers. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  15. 2003 Boys Basketball – Central, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 30, 2007.
  16. 2007 Girls Basketball – Central, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 24, 2007.
  17. 2007 Girls Basketball – Public Group Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, May 9, 2007.
  18. Tornadoes 381. Accessed November 13, 2006.
  19. Home Page, Trenton Public Schools. Accessed November 25, 2015.
  20. Tarr, Mary Ann. "'Mooch' soccer has big plans for Trenton", The Times (Trenton), June 27, 2007. Accessed July 27, 2007. "Fink is a health, physical education and driver's ed teacher at Trenton High School's campus on North Clinton Avenue.
  21. Livingston, Guy. "George Antheil's Childhood in Trenton", Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, September 2001. Accessed May 6, 2008. "In the winter of 1918, George flunked out of Trenton Central High School in the midst of his Senior year."
  22. Horvitz, Peter S.; and Horvitz, Joachim. "The Big Book of Jewish Baseball: An Illustrated Encyclopedia & Anecdotal History", p. 27. SP Books, 2001. ISBN 1-56171-973-0. Accessed January 22, 2011.
  23. Elvin Bethea, database Football. Accessed November 26, 2007.
  24. Staff. "Tal Brody returns to basketball home, A Trenton High star who became a star in Israel leads students on a U.S. exhibition tour.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 13, 2006. Accessed January 25, 2011.
  25. 1 2 3 Modica, Glenn R. "Trenton High past and present", Trenton Downtowner, April 2005. Accessed May 6, 2008. "TCHS has had no shortage of famous alumni who could fill the niches, including composer and pianist George Antheil, tenor Richard Crooks and baseball players George Case and Al Downing."
  26. Cheers, D. Michael. "Mayor of 'The Big Apple': 'nice guy' image helps David N. Dinkins in building multi-ethnic, multiracial coalition – New York City", Ebony (magazine), February 1990. Accessed September 4, 2008. "Known affectionately as "Dink" while growing up, Dinkins was class president (1943) at Trenton High School and graduated in the top 10 of his class, where he studied Latin and advanced math."
  27. Fisher, Rich. "Grant and Bannon remember historic run", The Trentonian, January 16, 2014. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Grant enjoyed a successful career at TCHS and then went to play at Morris Brown College in Atlanta."
  28. Laurie, Maxine N.; and Mappen, Marc; Encyclopedia of New Jersey: Rutgers University Press; 2004/2005. "Kovacs, Ernest Edward", p. 444.
  29. Holt, Bob. "Security for Jay-Z and Beyonce's baby, Blue Ivy Carter, upset hospital visitors",, January 9, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2012. "She and Jay-Z, who went to Trenton Central High School in his youth, rented out Lenox Hill's whole fourth floor at a cost of $1.3 million."
  30. Fleming, John. "Gentlemen of the Old School". Gladly Lerne, Gladly Teche. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  31. 56 - Almondo Sewell, Akron Zips football. Accessed November 24, 2014.
  32. "Ntozake Shange", The Spotlight, October 2013. Accessed April 6, 2016. "By age 13, her family returned to New Jersey where she graduated from Trenton Central High School."
  33. Alton Sutnick Collection, Drexel University College of Medicine. Accessed November 25, 2015. "Marching band letters from Trenton High School and University of Pennsylvania"
  34. Miller, Wiliam J. "LINDO OF JEFFERSON NEARS MARK FOR 600", The New York Times, March 9, 1986. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Wendy Vereen of Trenton Central in New Jersey holds the national indoor record at 38.79 seconds."

Coordinates: 40°13′08″N 74°44′39″W / 40.218986°N 74.744269°W / 40.218986; -74.744269

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