Teacher on the Bleacher—Mr. Ross


With energetic greetings at the front doors every morning and engaging Friday Academic Focus presentations, an inspirational administrator has made a difference for countless Edison High students and alums. As a result, this edition’s “Teacher on the Bleacher” is Mr. Charles Ross himself, a former teacher and the current principal of Edison High School for eleven years. Prior to joining the Edison High community, he taught history subjects in East Orange and was an Assistant Principal of East Orange High School. Mr. Ross is an advocate for diligence towards academic success as he has an impressive academic record himself. He completed his higher education at Rutgers University and New Jersey City University. 

Known for his eccentric personality, Mr. Ross usually welcomes incoming Edison High students with a rousing speech about what is great about Edison High. However, for this year’s freshman class, this pandemic has hindered their ability to experience his presentation in person about important topics, such as the four R’s. 

As the new year begins, now is the perfect time to hear some of Mr. Ross’ reflections from the past year and some words of encouragement he holds for his students at home. He points out the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning has created for students as well as for him, as one of the hardest school years in his career: “Absolutely. The amount of change is usually incremental but the change this year has just been on so many different facets. I do enjoy a challenge.”

Mr. Ross reiterated that with all this change in the world, there must be some sort of semblance to how events were carried out in the past. As a result, instead of speaking on the intercom, Mr. Ross shares a prerecorded video with the whole school to highlight the Academic Focus every Friday. Especially in these turbulent times, he notes that there is still a need to celebrate the unique accomplishments that students have achieved.

Just as students are attending classes through Zoom or Google Meets, Mr. Ross now conducts his meetings through these online platforms. He shares the same hope as many high schoolers: to return to in-person learning. However, his main priority is and always has been the safety of his students. In fact, one of his goals for 2021 is to “try to keep the school and its population as safe as possible.” Clearly, these times have been difficult for everyone. Although Mr. Ross would rather be strolling Edison High’s halls discussing diverse topics with students and staff alike, he focuses on his responsibilities at hand. When asked to share some encouragement for those who may be struggling or possess a lack of motivation, his words are that “tomorrow’s a new day and just try to get up, get in all your zoom, try.” While the days may become indistinguishable, blurring into one another, Mr. Ross’s advice is to find a starting point, no matter the circumstances, and strive for success in whatever form that suits you. 

“With all the hardships experienced in 2020, there has been an equal and arguably greater amount of successes reached with consistent effort—only a few kids are not making determined attempts,” Mr. Ross remarks. Therefore, a crucial reminder from Edison High’s principal is to utilize your free time to destress and explore your passions. Mr. Ross has been recently indulging in more books and TV shows of various genres, one of them being history—the subject he once taught. Although his message for students is that “Success is everyday: Doing it again, doing it again,” this “Teacher on the Bleacher” explains that first, students must recognize that work in school matters. Mr. Ross may have moved on from his official role as instructor, but if there has been anything this pandemic has proven, learning never stops. He hopes his words can be supportive, and his reflections upon 2020 and this school year so far should be an exceptional way to realize what is great about Edison High School. Finally, Mr. Ross applauded the staff for their tireless efforts and all the work that goes on behind the scene, “I salute you guys.” As always, he summarized his remarks with the desire for all students to “just be what’s great about Edison High.”

Photo Credit: Abigail Alvarez ’22