The Trailblazer

The July 23 Board meeting addressed pressing issues facing the district, including the reopening of Hills, the mascot removal, and racial equity efforts.

School reopening, mascot removal, Black Lives Matter discussed at July 23 Board meeting

July 23, 2020

Hills is preparing for a new school year unlike any other, but the community remains divided on recent decisions made by the Board and district administration.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Pascack Hills and every school in New Jersey were closed from March 13 through the end of the 2019-20 school year.

What New Jersey’s school reopening guidelines may mean for Hills

June 26, 2020

After a spring of Zoom lessons and virtual test-taking, many have asked: Will students be back at Pascack Hills this fall? According to Governor Phil Murphy, the answer is yes –– with precautions.

The Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education, which held a meeting Thursday on Zoom focusing on the removal of the Cowboy and Indian mascots at Hills and Valley.

Amid vocal praise and criticism, Board says Cowboy and Indian mascot removal is final

June 25, 2020

At their meeting on June 25, the majority of the Board of Education stood by their decision to remove the Cowboy nickname at Hills and the Indian mascot at Valley despite backlash from students, parents, and alumni.

Pascack Hills students attend a protest in the school’s parking lot to speak out against changing the Cowboy mascot.

Protests, petitions, and public outcry after Cowboy mascot removed

June 25, 2020

The Board's vote was unanimous, but some students have voiced their opposing opinions on social media –– and through protesting.

Roughly one third of responses so far were among rising juniors, while nearly one fifth were among rising seniors. Roughly 13% of those who responded were rising sophomores; around 5% were among this year’s graduating class. The remaining responses were alumni, community members, or anonymous.

Community responds to Trailblazer form on Cowboy removal

June 24, 2020

On Tuesday, June 23, the Trailblazer published a Google form inviting community members to share their thoughts on the Board's decision to remove the Cowboy nickname at Hills and the Indian mascot at Valley.

Protests against the removal of the Cowboy as Pascack Hills' mascot.

Media: Community members protest against removal of Cowboy as Hills’ mascot

June 23, 2020

Meeting in Hills' parking lot, participants held signs calling for defunding the Board of Education and unfurled a banner in support of President Trump patched to say "Make Hills great again."

Pascack Hills' athletic field, with

Board of Education votes to remove Cowboy and Indian mascots at Hills and Valley

June 22, 2020

The Board approved the removal of the nickname of Pascack Hills, the Cowboy, and the mascot of Pascack Valley, the Indian. They said they would assign new names at a later date in a "thoughtful and expeditious manner."

Hills Principal Glenn deMarrais, in a photo taken upon the announcement of his retirement in January. deMarrais has since been approved to step in as Valley's principal next school year.

From ‘Hills Pride’ to ‘Wagon Wheel’: deMarrais’ impact on Hills

June 16, 2020

Instead of simply being in a position of authority, Hills Principal Glenn deMarrais puts in the effort to connect with as many people in the school as possible, formulating bonds that will remain long after he leaves Hills.

From left to right: Valedictorian Hallie Wikfors and Salutatorian Miranda Luo.

Getting to know the 2020 valedictorian and salutatorian

June 16, 2020

How valedictorian Hallie Wikfors and salutatorian Miranda Luo reacted to being chosen, what their friends and teachers say about them, and how they are celebrating their accomplishment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Monday, students and faculty wrote the names of African Americans killed by police in Hills' parking lot. The protest against racial injustice was planned by the Hills-Valley equity team.

Hills community plans and partakes in Black Lives Matter protests

June 8, 2020

Since the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis two weeks ago, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the country –– including on Monday at Hills.

This year, both Hills and Valley joined forces to create an equity team within the district. After the killing of George Floyd, they believe tough conversations are even more vital.

‘It’s not just George Floyd’: Hills-Valley equity team plans protest

June 4, 2020

In an interview with the Trailblazer, members of the equity team outlined their response to George Floyd's killing and how they believe the district can educate students about racial equity.

What junior Liz Mashini's screen looked like after encountering an error submitting her responses for the AP Physics I exam.

AP students at Hills encounter errors submitting virtual exams

May 14, 2020

"It said I didn't give a response," Noah Hirshfield explained. AP students at Hills reported issues submitting their virtual exams and have no apparent choice but to retake them in June.