Chatham High School (New Jersey)

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Chatham High School
255 Lafayette Avenue
Chatham Township, NJ, 07928
Type Public high school
Established July 1988
Principal Darren J. Groh
Assistant principals Douglas Walker
Lori Gironda
Faculty 88.5 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,159[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 13.10:1[1]
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Navy and White
Athletics conference Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Team name Cougars

Chatham High School is an American four-year comprehensive public high school in Chatham Township, in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the School District of the Chathams and serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from both Chatham Borough and Chatham Township.[2] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1989.[3]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,159 students and 88.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.10:1. There were 27 students (2.3% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 4 (0.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]


The new regional high school, serving two municipalities, was dedicated at Lafayette Avenue after the creation of the School District of the Chathams on July 1, 1988, and joined the Lafayette Elementary School on its original site. The two schools share performing arts facilities.

The previous Chatham High School on Fairmount Avenue adjacent to the Chatham train station in Chatham Borough is a historic early twentieth century Gothic Revival building that still bears the name on its façade. Secondary level students from Chatham Township were bused to it and, later to a senior high school on Main Street, for many years under the auspices of the former, Chatham Board of Education.

From 1966 through 1988, Chatham Township students attended the newly constructed Chatham Township High School on Lafayette Avenue where Chatham High School is today. CTHS had as its mascot the Gladiator and CBHS the Eskie. The two schools were strong rivals at Homecoming games for the twenty-two years they were separate high schools. Today the school mascot for the combined Chatham High School is the Cougar.

The school and several students were featured in the PBS program Frontline in 2008 for an episode related to a generation growing up with the internet.[4]

During the 2007-08 school year, Chatham High School stopped giving midterm exams. Instead of midterm exams, students must complete alternate assessment projects, a move strongly supported by co-principal Michael Lasusa and backed by the School District of the Chathams. However, according to student poll data, a majority of students do not support the changes and would like to revert to midterms again. This policy continued into the 2008-09 school year.[5]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

For the 2004-05 school year, the high school was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[6] the highest award an American school can receive for excellence in the No Child Left Behind Act.[7][8]

The school was the top-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[9] The school had been ranked 20th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 8th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[10] The magazine ranked the school 10th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[11] The school was ranked 12th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.[12] ranked the school tied for 47th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 8 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (91.6%) and language arts literacy (98.3%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[13]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 15th in New Jersey and 647th nationwide.[14]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 173rd in the nation among participating public high schools and 11th overall (and fifth of non-magnet schools) among schools in New Jersey.[15] The school was ranked 183rd in the nation and 14th in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.[16]

Music and theater[edit]

Marching Band[edit]

Chatham High has a marching band led by Brian Conti. This past season the 58 member band fell under the Group 2 open classification. The band was ranked continuously in the top five bands in Group 2 Open and held an overall #1 ranking for several weeks in 2008.[17] As of 2012, the band is now in Group 3 Open.


Chatham High School has an active theater program that performs two productions a school year, a play in the fall and then a musical in the Spring.

In past years the Theater Department has put on The Adding Machine, You Can't Take It With You, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Scapino, Our Town, Metamorphoses. As for musicals the High School has presented High School Musical, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Grease, Guys and Dolls, The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde, and Anything Goes.


The Chatham High School Cougars compete in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[18] With 865 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North II, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 758 to 1,061 students in that grade range.[19] Prior to the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed as part of the Iron Hills Conference, made up of public and private high schools in Essex County and Union County.[20]

The boys basketball team won the 2007 Group II NJSIAA State Championship, defeating Pascack Hills High School 67-53 in the semifinals and topping Haddonfield Memorial High School 48-42 in the finals.[21]

The boys tennis team won the North II, Group II state sectional championship with a 3-2 win over West Essex High School.[22]

The boys cross country team won the 2006 North II, Group II state sectional championship for the second time in three years and won again in 2008.[23] Additionally, the team went on to win the 2006 Morris County Championship, topping both perennial powerhouses Morris Hills and Delbarton.[24]In November of 2013, the boys cross country team won the North II Group III Sectional title by one point by beating their rivals,Morristown. [25] In 2014, The Cougars won the Morris County championship for the first time since 2006, captured the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Large-Schools team title for the first time ever, finished second at the NJSIAA North 2 Group III championships, third at the overall Group III meet and 13th at the Meet of Champions.[26]

The girls soccer team won the 2004 Group II NJSIAA State Championship, defeating Cinnaminson High School in the finals in double overtime by a score of 1-0.[27][28]

The 2007 girls volleyball team won the triple crown, winning the conference, county and state championships, winning the Group II state championship with a come-from-behind win in three games against Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest (11-25, 25-19, 25-22).[29] They lost in the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions to Hunterdon Central Regional High School by 26-24 and 29-27.[30]

The 2008 boys tennis team won the North II, Group II state sectional championship with a 4-1 win in the tournament final over Mountain Lakes High School.[31]

The 2008 girls lacrosse team won the triple crown by capturing the conference, county, and state championships while being ranked the no. 3 team in the state. They lost 16-9 to powerhouse Moorestown High School in Chatham High School's first ever appearance in the Tournament of Champions final game.[32]

The 2008 Chatham golf team completed a highly successful campaign by going undefeated at 21-0 for the year. The Cougars won the conference championship as well as the NJ Group II state championship.[33] Chatham was named Golf Team of the Year by the Daily Record and was ranked fifth in the state of by The Star-Ledger by virtue of their overall finish at the Tournament of Champions event held at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands.[34]

The 2010 men's soccer team advanced to the Group III state championship, where they fell to Holmdel High School by a score of 2-1.[35]

The 2010-2011 Chatham hockey team won the Public B state championship with a 7-3 victory over Middletown High School South at the Prudential Center, the school's first state championship in the sport since the tournament system began in 1976.[36] The 2012-13 team won the second hockey state title in three years for Chatham, scoring three goals in the third period to defeat Morristown High School by a score of 3-0 at the Prudential Center to take the Public B title.[37]

The 2014 girls swim team won its fourth consecutive Public B state title. The girls team finished their season 15-0. [1]


Core members of the school's administration are:[38]

  • Darren J. Groh, Principal
  • Doulgas M. Walker, Assistant Principal
  • Lori B. Gironda, Assistant Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Chatham High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 16, 2015.
  2. ^ School District of the Chathams 2014 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 16, 2015. "The School District of the Chathams is a learning organization serving the communities of Chatham Borough and Chatham Township, and the roughly 4100 students attending its schools. The two communities, situated approximately 35 minutes west of New York City by rail or car, are characterized by well-educated, well-resourced, and highly supportive residents."
  3. ^ Chatham High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  4. ^ Growing Up Online, PBS. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  5. ^ Interviews: Rose Porpora, Frontline, January 22, 2008. Accessed March 18, 2011. "Q: Does the school or the school district have a philosophy about this that's been articulated to the teachers? Or does each teacher teach the way that comes naturally to them? A: There's a lot of freedom for methods as long as they're working, and I think there's a lot of trust. I think the community has come to trust us very much. We just made changes this year; next year we're eliminating our midterm because we think that there are better, more effective ways to assess the students. They accepted our proposal, and I think that was huge."
  6. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 Through 2005, United States Department of Education. Accessed May 15, 2006.
  7. ^ CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  8. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post, September 29, 2005. "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  9. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  10. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 24, 2012.
  11. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  13. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed February 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Chatham High School", The Washington Post. Accessed July 17, 2011.
  15. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
  16. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast / Newsweek, May 20, 2012. Accessed May 22, 2012.
  17. ^ 2008 National Schedule, USSBA. Accessed July 17, 2011.
  18. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 18, 2014.
  19. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed November 18, 2014.
  20. ^ Home Page, Iron Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 3, 2014.
  21. ^ 2007 Boys Basketball - Public Group Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  22. ^ 2007 Boys Tennis - North II, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 1, 2007.
  23. ^ Grant, Ed. North Jersey 1 Sectional Cross-Country Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  24. ^ 2006 Morris County Cross Country Championship, Morris County Track Association, October 30, 2006. Accessed July 17, 2011.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Staff. "Christian's clutch goal lifts Chatham to crown", Daily Record (Morristown), November 20, 2004. Accessed June 22, 2011. "Christian, a sophomore midfielder, connected off a Julia Berger pass with 8:10 remaining in the second overtime to lift Chatham to a 1-0 upset victory over Cinnaminson in the Group II girls soccer championship game at College of New Jersey on Saturday."
  28. ^ History of NJSIAA Girls Soccer, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  29. ^ 2007 Girls Volleyball - Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 12, 2008.
  30. ^ 2007 Girls Volleyball - Tournament of Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 12, 2008.
  31. ^ 2008 Boys Team Tennis - North II, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 2, 2008.
  32. ^ Moretti, Mike. "Moorestown 16, Chatham 9", The Star-Ledger, June 7, 2008. Accessed June 21, 2008. "Moorestown defeated Chatham, 16-9, yesterday in the NJSIAA/New Balance Tournament of Champions final yesterday at Rutgers' Yurcak Field in Piscataway.... Moorestown scored the first two goals of the game, but feisty Chatham, which was appearing in its first T of C ever..."
  33. ^ Staff. "For Chatham, last year's pain, this year's gain", Daily Record (Morristown), May 14, 2008. Accessed July 17, 2011. "The foundation for the NJSIAA North Jersey Group II state sectional championship that Chatham captured Monday at the Overpeck Golf Course in Teaneck..."
  34. ^ Hague, Jim. "Chemistry key for undefeated Chatham", Daily Record (Morristown), June 18, 2008. Accessed July 17, 2011. "'Coming off last year I knew we graduated only one senior from that team and we had some very talented players returning', said Ervin, who coached Chatham to an undefeated 20-0 record this season including the NJSIAA Group II championship and the distinction of being the 2008 All Daily Record Golf Team of the Year."
  35. ^ Orlando, Chris. "Holmdel 2, Chatham 1 (High school Boys Soccer scores and results)", The Star-Ledger, November 22, 2010. Accessed November 18, 2012. "Dan Metzger blasted in his second goal of the game with 10:14 remaining in the second half off a free kick to lift Holmdel, No. 20 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a dramatic 2-1 victory over No. 9 Chatham in the championship game of the NJSIAA/The Sports Authority Stores Group 3 tournament before 1,000 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing."
  36. ^ Orlando, Chris. "2011 NJSIAA Boys Ice Hockey Championship - Public B - Round 5 - Game 1 - Boys Ice Hockey; Chatham vs. Middletown South", The Star-Ledger, March 13, 2011. Accessed August 24, 2012. "Casey scored three straight times during a four-goal second period yesterday when Chatham, No. 10 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, broke away from a one-goal lead and rolled to a 7-3 victory over Middletown South in the NJSIAA Public B championship game before an approximate crowd of 2,500 at the Prudential Center in Newark. The state title is the first for Chatham (21-3-3) since the current NJSIAA tournament began in 1976."
  37. ^ Breeman, Dan. "Chatham ice hockey shuts out Morristown for Public B title", Daily Record (Morristown), March 9, 2013. Accessed March 19, 2013. "And it was the Cougars who poured it on over the final 15 minutes to break a scoreless tie and skate off with a 3-0 victory, claiming their second Public B title in the past three years."
  38. ^ Chatham High School, Chatham High School. Accessed November 3, 2012.
  39. ^ Chatham NJ High School Reunions. Accessed April 19, 2007.
  40. ^ Best Boys Tennis Team of the Century, The Star-Ledger. Accessed December 10, 2007.
  41. ^ Staff. "Hat Bandit faces Jan. 24 sentencing", The Star-Ledger, January 3, 2008. Accessed August 24, 2012. "The 1975 Chatham High School graduate known as the Hat Bandit following a string of bank robberies will be sentenced Jan. 24, according to a report in the Daily Record."
  42. ^ Jandoli, Ron. "The Century's Best -- Boys Soccer: Top 10 Players of each decade", The Star-Ledger, November 7, 1999, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 10, 2003. Accessed September 11, 2008.
  43. ^ Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- David Williams

External links[edit]