New Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Academy Opens with Dedication Ceremony

Board of Education President Charlene Barthelus unveils plaque to the family of the late Frank J. Cicarell. Credits: Board of Education

ELIZABETH, NJ – There may not have been 76 trombones, but the Elizabeth High School band was certainly present when the new Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Academy officially opened.

The new high school, located across the street from City Hall, is a 183,000 square-foot, four-story school was designed to educate nearly 1,280 students in grades nine through twelve. The school provides 35 general education classrooms, ten science labs, seven small group instruction classrooms, self-contained special education classrooms, an auditorium, a cafeteria with a full service kitchen, a gymnasium, an auxiliary gymnasium and a media center.

“The newly constructed Elizabeth High School – Frank J Cicarell Academy is a culmination of years of hard work and tremendous commitment to our community by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, the Elizabeth Board of Education, and members of central administration,” said Elizabeth Public Schools Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer. “It is very fitting this outstanding facility, borne of such tireless effort and resolve, is named in honor of Mr. Cicarell, a man who was so passionately committed to the Elizabeth community during his more than 55 years of dedicated service at Elizabeth Public Schools. We look forward to every child achieving excellence at Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Academy for years to come.”

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Cicarell, who was the principal of Thomas Jefferson High School and the renowned head coach of the football, swimming, and baseball teams, served the Elizabeth Public Schools and the members of the Elizabeth community for over 55 years. He also actively served his community by participating in numerous athletic and educational organizations throughout his career, including the Rahway Board of Education, the Union County Education Services Commission, the North Jersey Board 33 of Approved Basketball Officials Association, and the NJSIAA Basketball Committee.

During the ceremony, presentations to Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Academy Principal Michael Cummings included a book donated by Senator Lesniak for the school’s library that was signed by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton; a football from the 1970 Thomas Jefferson state champion football team, presented by Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy Principal Michael Ojeda; and the Super Bowl Honor Roll gold football sent to Elizabeth High School by the NFL during the league’s 50th season in honor of former Elizabeth High School student Todd Bowles participating in Super Bowl XXIII, which was presented by Elizabeth Public Schools Athletic Director Judy Finch-Johnson.

The evening also included performances of The Star-Spangled Banner by the Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Chorus, directed by Benjamin Schwartz; Sebastian Yradier’s La Paloma and Jacques Offenbach’s Can-Can by the Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Orchestra Ensemble, directed by Shakura Ismail, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Act III by the Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Marching Band, co-directed by Wayne Dillon and Schwartz.

“I hope that the excellent achievements of the students of EHS over the past several years, by virtue of those same unique traits, will inspire every student who walks into this school to embrace the challenge of building a legacy of excellence here at Elizabeth High School – Frank J. Cicarell Academy and that legacy of excellence officially begins here tonight,” commented Hugelmeyer.



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