Brockton High School

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Brockton High School
470 Forest Ave. Brockton, MA 02301
Coordinates 42°4′5″N 71°2′39″W / 42.06806°N 71.04417°W / 42.06806; -71.04417Coordinates: 42°4′5″N 71°2′39″W / 42.06806°N 71.04417°W / 42.06806; -71.04417
School type Public High School
School district Brockton Public Schools
Principal Sharon Wolder
Faculty 998
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 4,426
Campus Urban
Color(s) Black & Red          
Mascot Boxers
Rivals Durfee, New Bedford, Bridgewater-Raynham, Waltham, Xaverian
Average SAT scores 443 verbal
460 math
429 writing
1332 total (2014)[1]

Brockton High School, established in 1870, is a high school located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a part of Brockton Public Schools. As of 2010 Brockton High School, with about 4,100 students, is one of the largest high schools in the United States and the largest high school in Massachusetts.[2] Although widely stated by locals to be the largest high school East of the Mississippi River, it is in fact false, as this title is currently held by Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City.[3] Brockton High School's colors are Black & Red and their mascot is the Boxers, which is a reference to the storied boxing history of the city, and also a tribute to hall-of-fame boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, who are both from Brockton and alumni of Brockton High School.[4]


When Brockton High was established, it could house only 125 students. As the population of Brockton grew, there was increasing demand for a larger building. In 1906, a new high school was constructed, consisting of an "A" building and a "B" building. By the 1960s, student numbers exceeded capacity, causing split sessions; upper classmen and sophomores attended school at different times of the day. The sophomores attended in the afternoon while the upperclassman took their classes in the morning. In 1965, the City Council Finance Committee approved an $8 million proposal to construct a new high school to accommodate the swelling student body. In 1965, the ground for the new building was broken and in 1970, the school was complete. The "A" building has since been torn down, and the "B" building currently houses about 4,265 students in the nine buildings which comprise the current high school. The building is approximately the size of an aircraft carrier (1/3 mile long) and has 13.5 acres (55,000 m2) of floor space, about half the size of the Prudential Center in Boston.[1]

Sam Dillon of The New York Times wrote that in a period around 10 years before 2000, Brockton High "was a case study in failure" everyone just kept failing for no apparent reason.[2] At that time the school's unofficial motto was "students have a right to fail if they want".[2] Around 1999 the school set up a reform plan, using the skill areas of reading, reasoning, speaking, and writing and using them in the school's curriculum. By 2001 student performance improved. Susan Szachowicz, the principal, said that the school culture and large size was crucial to the school's turnaround. This occurred in a period when education advocates promoted small schools.[5]


Brockton High School is set on a small urban campus comprising nine buildings including four student academic buildings divided by colors (Azure, green, red, and yellow). The campus also does feature a gym, football stadium, ice skating rink, 25-yard swimming pool, 1608-seat capacity auditorium, TV and Radio stations, and a planetarium.

The current Brockton High School campus was state of the art for its time when it first opened in 1970, for it featured a modern greenhouse, planetarium, a modern public address system, and a high-tech TV studio (redone in 2003.) It also has the original fire alarm system from 1970, which is still in use as of 2012.


In 1999 75% of its students failed Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) mathematics examinations and 44% failed MCAS English examinations.[5] Around that period, about 1/3 of students of each Brockton class dropped out.[2] By 2001 student performance improved.[5] Between 2000 and 2001, more students went from failing to passing at Brockton High than at any other school in Massachusetts.[2]

In 2005, 98% of the senior class (850 students) graduated. In 2008 78% of the graduating senior class planned to pursue a college degree.[citation needed] In 2006, Brockton High School was a recipient of the National School Change Award.[citation needed] Brockton High School was one of 7 schools in the United States to receive this award. Out of the seven schools, there were only two high schools.[citation needed]

In 2008, Brockton students had a higher level of improvement on the English MCAS than 90% of the Massachusetts high schools. By 2010 it was one of the highest performing schools on the MCAS.[5]


As of 2010, the school had 4,300 students. Of its 10th grade class, 64% received free or reduced lunch and around 66% was Hispanic.[5]


Brockton High is quite well known for its athletics, especially Football. The football program is regarded as one of the most storied, successful, notorious, and dominant high school football programs of all-time.

  • Since the football teams' inaugural season in 1897, they have achieved 17 undefeated seasons.
  • In the past 35 years, the football team has achieved 12 undefeated or one-loss seasons.
  • Since 1972, the football team has made 17 appearances in the MIAA Division 1 State Championship game, winning it 11 times. (1972, 1973, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2005)
  • From 1979-1992, Brockton was one of the most dominant high school football teams in the country. During this 14-year period, the Boxers' record was 118-14-0. They are regarded as one of the greatest high school football programs of the 1980s. Achievements of the football team from 1979-1992 are listed below.

Football Accomplishments - 1979-1992

  • Undefeated seasons (3) - 1984, 1985, 1987
  • One-loss seasons (8) - 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992
  • State championships (6) - 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992
  • The football team has made USA Today's Top 25 list a total of 4 times. In 1984 (#7), 1985 (#9), 1987 (#5), and 1988 (#17).
  • Over 25 players from Brockton have played in the NFL, including Ken MacAfee, Greg McMurtry and Rudy Harris.
  • Brockton is the 14th winningest high school football program in the country.
  • Armond Colombo, who coached at Brockton for 34 years (1969–2002), is the 2nd winningest head coach in Massachusetts behind Ken LaChapelle of Northbridge High School (316-100-5)[6]

The school's mascot is the Boxer. The actual mascot is a dog, but the name is a pun in reference to Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, two famous boxers from Brockton. The stadium in which the Brockton High School Boxers football, soccer and outdoor track teams play is called Rocky Marciano Stadium. The BHS baseball team plays in the newly constructed Campanelli Stadium, which also plays host to the amateur baseball team, the Brockton Rox, of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

Clubs and activities[edit]

There is a club for most of the cultures that are within the student body (cape-verdian club, Haitian club.....) There are also a number of programs students can join, (My TURN, H.E.R.O, peer mediation, student council, yearbook committee)

Music Department[edit]

The music department consists of a concert band and advanced concert band, two jazz ensembles, a wind ensemble, marching band, a repertory choir and concert choir, jazz choir, and show choir.

In 2006, the BHS Wind Ensemble competed in the Music Festival's competition in Virginia. They were awarded first place.[citation needed]

In 2010, both the BHS Wind Ensemble and BHS Advanced Jazz Band competed in the Music Festival's competition in Virginia. Both were awarded first place.

In 2012, both the BHS Wind Ensemble and BHS Jazz Band competed in Festival of Music's competition in New York City. Both were awarded first place with a superior rating. Brockton High School also won the Best Overall Concert Band Award and the Best Overall Jazz Band Award.

JROTC-Boxer Battalion[edit]

The Army JROTC battalion held 2 state champion drill teams. They are the current holder of the Governors Cup and regional champions. On October 14, 2010 the JROTC Boxer Battalion won the 'Honor Unit with Distinction' award for the Second Time.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Dillon, Sam. "4,100 Students Prove ‘Small Is Better’ Rule Wrong." (also "4,100 Massachusetts Students Prove Small Isn’t Always Better") The New York Times. September 27, 2010. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "National Center for Educational Statistics - School Directory Information 2011-2012". 
  4. ^ Winokoor, Charles. "Brockton bad rap not fair?". The Taunton Gazette. The Taunton Gazette. Retrieved January 5, 2006. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d e "Core Skills, Not MCAS, Turned Brockton High Around." (also "Inside Brockton High School's Turnaround") WGBH. October 7, 2010. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
  6. ^ "Boxer Football History". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]