17-year-old Phil Woods is a junior in the Roselle Park School District (RPSD). He attends classes at the Academy for Information Technology (AIT) and, perhaps because he does not go to classes at the Roselle Park High School (RPHS), students such as Phil usually do not receive much public recognition or accolades for their accomplishments. There is no intentional malice in the oversight, just something that happens in a school district of over 1,900 students – most with qualities that deserve recognition. During the April 23rd Board Of Education (BOE) meeting, Board member Loren Harms spoke on Phil’s notable athletic accomplishments which included being wrestling team captain, district champ, state qualifier, and NHSCA High School All American. In addition, Mr. Harms wanted to note that Phil wrestled in the NJSIAA State Wrestling Tournament in Atlantic City and took 6th in the nation at the Junior Nationals; which is how he became an All-American.
Mr. Harms added, “It’s something that, with all of his accomplishments, is a top one that anybody should be proud of to accomplish.”
Phil has applied to numerous colleges including Stevens Institute, Brown University, The College of New Jersey, Brucknell University, Franklin & Marshall College, and West Point but he hopes to get into Princeton as a wrestler.
“I know he’s not a student in the Roselle Park High School but he is one of our students in our community,” Mr. Harms said, “And we should recognize some of them that accomplish some of the things that he’s accomplished.”
Mr. and Mrs. Woods were touched by Mr. Harms and the Board. When reached for comments, they responded, “We would like to thank the Board of Education for recognizing our son’s accomplishments this past wrestling season. We are very proud of him and he is very proud to be a part of the Roselle Park High School Wrestling Program.”
Phil himself thanked Mr. Harms and the BOE, adding, “I could not have accomplished any of these things without the support of my family, Coach Ranieri, Coach Frost, and the rest of the Roselle Park High School wrestling program.”
In his closing words, Mr. Loren Harms said, “I want to congratulate Phil Woods on his accomplishments that he’s won. The other thing is that he’s a great kid. He’s got everything going for him.”