Emmaus High School
|Emmaus High School|
|500 Macungie Avenue|
|Principal||David F. Piperato|
|Colors||Green and Gold|
Emmaus High School is a public high school located in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The school serves grades 9 through 12 in Pennsylvania's East Penn School District in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.
Student population 
As of the 2010-2011 academic year, Emmaus High School was attended by 2,663 students. The school serves students from Emmaus and its surrounding townships of Alburtis, Lower Macungie Township, Macungie, Upper Milford Township, Vera Cruz, and Wescosville.
Emmaus High School ranks among the top Lehigh Valley high schools in its percentage of graduating students who pursue post-secondary education. Among its Class of 2007, 79 percent of its graduates entered colleges, universities, or other post-graduate education. The school also maintains a program for academically gifted students, which includes advanced classes and a mentorship program. Noting the academic quality of Emmaus High School, Money magazine named Emmaus one of the nation's "Top 100" places to live in 2007 and 2009.
1880s to 1955 
What today is the East Penn School District began in the 1880s as the Emaus School District, using the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of Emmaus until the name of the town and its associated educational facilities were formally changed to the Biblical spelling in 1938. Upon its founding in the 1880s, Emaus School District began offering high school classes, providing education up to tenth grade in one of the rooms of a 4-room school building on East Main Street, in what was then Emaus. The first graduating class on record was the Emaus High School class of 1890, with two graduates. In 1891 the high school grades were moved to the Central Building on Emmaus's Ridge Street.
Emaus High School obtained a home of its own when, in 1915, the high school moved into a brand new building on North Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets in Emaus. While the building was designated the Jefferson Building, yearbooks of the era identify the school as Emaus High School. By this time, the high school was made up of tenth grade (juniors) eleventh grade (middlers) and twelfth grade (seniors). The yearbook of the class of 1916 pictures 18 graduates, evenly divided between boys and girls.
The Jefferson Building was enlarged several times. By 1934 it was considered a state-of-the-art high school, with 16 classrooms, a library, auditorium, gymnasium, woodshop, and home economics room. By this time, Emaus High School had developed many of the activities and athletic teams that continue to this day, with the 1931 yearbook listing a band, chorus, orchestra (55 players), 16 different clubs, and teams for football, basketball (boys and girls) and debating. Emaus High School's main football rival at this time was East Greenville High, which met the Hornets every year on "Turkey Day" (Thanksgiving). Today, East Greenville students attend Upper Perkiomen High School. In the 1930s, the Emaus High School football field was located about a mile away from the high school, at the site of Emmaus's current recreational Fourth Street Field.
The Emaus High School class of 1931 had 45 graduates, who took either the general or the commercial course. One of the bygone features of Emaus High School life on North Street was "open lunch" where students could walk home for lunch, or go across the street to a student-oriented restaurant.
The Emaus School District has been operating since at least 1861. By the 1930s and 1940s, the boroughs of Macungie and Alburtis contracted with the Emaus district to send their high school students to Emaus High School. There were no school buses running, and out-of-borough students took the Reading Railroad passenger service to the Emaus train station.
Emaus High School becomes Emmaus High School 
In 1938, the borough abandoned the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of its name in favor of the original spelling which had been used from the town's founding in 1759 until 1830. Referenced in the Bible's New Testament, Emmaus is the location in present day Israel where Jesus appeared to travelers hours following His resurrection. East Penn School District and the high school followed suit in adopting the traditional spelling.
With Emmaus High School's population growing rapidly, the Jefferson Building no longer was able to accommodate the needs of the growing school. The boroughs of Emmaus, Macungie, and Alburtis, along with the townships of Lower Macungie and Upper Milford, merged their school districts into the East Penn Union School District (now known as the East Penn School District). This unified district combined their efforts to construct a vastly expanded high school at 500 Macungie Avenue, in Emmaus, the school's current location. It has since been upgraded and renovated several times to accommodate a growing student population.
1955 to current 
In 1955, the first sections of the new Emmaus High School opened. The new building included an auditorium and gymnasium, which far surpassed those of the old building, plus science labs, language labs, and a natatorium (swimming pool). After the high school moved out of the Jefferson Building, that building was briefly used as Emmaus Junior High School, until a seventh and eight grade wing was added to the new high school building around 1960, making Emmaus High School a six-year high school with a single principal, but separate assistant principals for the senior high and junior high grades. The Emmaus Junior High School building, with its own faculty and administration, was opened on the north side of the high school building in 1965, ten years after the opening of the neighboring Emmaus High School. At that time, Emmaus Junior High School served grades seven through nine. The Jefferson Building, in turn, was designated as one of several Emmaus elementary schools.
By the early 1960s, the number of sports teams at Emmaus High School expanded to include basketball, field hockey and softball for girls, and football, basketball, wrestling, track and field, cross country, baseball, swimming and golf for boys. A class play was presented annually and, in 1969, Emmaus High School produced its first musical, Bye Bye Birdie.
By 2000, the school's population had grown significantly due to an influx of residents from New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia, and Emmaus High School expanded again, taking over the junior high building in 1998, adding additional space and using the whole complex to house grades nine through twelve. A second major expansion of the high school was completed in 2005.
The Jefferson Building, the first dedicated home of Emmaus High School, was subsequently decommissioned as a school. In 1999, the Jefferson Building was demolished and replaced by Jefferson Elementary School.
Emmaus High School today is larger and more vibrant than ever, having grown from a small town high school in the late 19th century and early 20th century, with a handful of students, to one of the largest high schools in the Lehigh Valley, the third largest metropolitan region in Pennsylvania. As Emmaus High School has grown, it has distinguished itself considerably in academics, the arts, and athletics. Since its founding in the late 19th century, several Emmaus High School graduates have gone on to significant global achievement and notoriety.
School accomplishments 
Emmaus High School ranks in the top academic tier of Pennsylvania public high schools, based on state testing results. In the 2008 Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSAs), Emmaus High School ranked in the top five percent of all public high schools in the state in writing, in the top 20 percent in reading, and in the top 25 percent in mathematics. In 2007, the mean SAT score for Emmaus High School students was 1580.
The school's academic team has made several appearances at the national level, appearing three consecutive years (2003, 2004, and 2005) in the Panasonic Academic Challenge at Disney World. Emmaus High School placed fifth nationally in the competition in 2003.
Emmaus High School also holds the record for the most wins of any high school in Pennsylvania's Scholastic Scrimmage contest, an advanced academic quiz game televised on Pennsylvania PBS affiliates. Emmaus has won the contest seven times (1981, 1983, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2003, and 2004) and placed second three times (1986, 1991, and 2002).
The school's Class of 2008 produced 10 National Merit semi-finalists.
Emmaus High School competes athletically in the Lehigh Valley Conference (LVC) in the District XI division of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, one of the premier high school athletic divisions in the nation. The school fields teams in all of the association's sports. Its primary LVC athletic rivals are Parkland High School in South Whitehall Township and Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township.
Emmaus High School's mascot is the "Green Hornet." Entrances to the school's campus prominently feature green and gold billboards and flags stating "Home of the Hornets," in the school's colors of green and gold. Since 1955, Emmaus has won LVC championships at least once in every one of the conference's sports, and several of its graduates have gone on to success in professional and Olympic-level athletics, including in the NFL and NBA. Among the Emmaus High School Class of 2007, 26 Emmaus High School athletes signed letters of intent for full NCAA athletic scholarships.
Emmaus High School holds the record for the most recorded LVC championships in eight conference sports: boys baseball, boys lacrosse, boys soccer, boys swimming, girls field hockey, girls soccer, girls swimming, and golf. The school holds the second most LVC championships in all sports, behind only Parkland High School. Emmaus holds the record for the most Pennsylvania state championships in all sports (13 since 2002) among all LVC schools.
Girls field hockey 
Emmaus High School is known nationally for the success of its girls field hockey team, which is regularly ranked among the nation's best. Emmaus has won the Pennsylvania state championship in girls field hockey ten times in the program's history, including in five of the last nine years (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010). As of 2010, Emmaus has won the PIAA District XI girls field hockey championship in 22 consecutive seasons. In 2010, the national sports web site, topofthecircle.com, ranked Emmaus the best girls field hockey team in the nation for the third time in the program's history. The Allentown Morning Call has called the program "an organized, multifaceted machine."
Other sports 
Emmaus High School's girls swimming and diving team has proven one of the best in the state, winning the Pennsylvania state championship in six of the last nine years (2000, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009). Its boys swimming and diving team has been consistently one of the top teams in the state, dating back to the 1970s, and has won the state championship the past two years (2006 and 2007) and has finished the last three consecutive years (2005, 2006 and 2007) with an undefeated regular season record.
In 2006, Emmaus High School's boys and girls U.S. Marine Corps physical fitness team, which is based on the United States Marine Corps physical fitness regimen, placed second in the Pennsylvania state competition. As with Emmaus High School's girls field hockey team, its Marine Corps physical fitness team and its individual members have often ranked among the nation's best, dating back to the 1970s, with several team and individual national championships.
In 2008, Emmaus High School's boys volleyball team won the LVC championship and advanced to the Pennsylvania state tournament. Also in 2008, running back C.J. Billera broke Emmaus High School football records for most all-time touchdowns and career scoring.
In 2010, for the first time since the 1981 season, Emmaus won Pennsylvania's Class 4A Eastern Conference Championship in football. During the 2010 season, Emmaus senior tailback Joseph Williams broke three school football records: most yards in a single game (282), most touchdowns in a single game (6) and most points in a single game (36).
In 2012, the Emmaus High School wrestling team took first place in the United States Military Duels, held in South Carolina.
Music and the arts 
Twenty-two Emmaus High School choral students were selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 10 Chorus Festival, more than any other high school in the seven District 10 counties. Sixteen Emmaus High School students advanced to the Regional Chorus Festival held at Boyertown High School, also outnumbering all other districts (including double that of rival Boyertown High School). Out of the sixteen, four Emmaus High School students (more than any other high school participating in the festival) went on to participate in the PMEA All-State Conference, held April 2007 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Emmaus High School's spring 2007 production of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida earned the school fourteen Freddy Award nominations and five awards, including "Outstanding Performance By An Orchestra," "Outstanding Light Design," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role," and "Outstanding Scenic Design."
Due to the writers strike, NBC launched a short-lived talent contest dubbed Clash of the Choirs in December 2007. After submitting a video recording of "Jingle Bells" for the show's Holiday Challenge, Emmaus' men's a cappella group, known as Fermata Nowhere, landed a brief stint on the show.
Emmaus High School had the top number of students participating in the District 10 Chorus Festival in 2008. Twenty-four Emmaus High School choral students were selected to be part of the 2008 festival, which was held at Brandywine Heights High School in February 2008. Ten of those students qualified for the Region V Chorus Festival in March 2008. Three Emmaus students advanced to the All-State Festival in April 2008.
In spring 2008, Emmaus High School's Drama Department performed Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's Les Misérables. Emmaus received sixteen Freddy Award nominations and four wins, including "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role," "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role," "Educational Impact Award," and the coveted "Outstanding Overall Production." Also in 2008, three Emmaus High School orchestra and band member were named to the MENC All-Eastern Band and Orchestra.
In 2009, Emmaus High School received the highest number of qualified students in all three District 10 festivals. Twenty-eight Emmaus singers were selected for chorus, while band and orchestra each had ten qualified musicians. A number of students then qualified for the Regional and All-State festivals.
Emmaus High School's spring 2009 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific earned the school nine nominations, including "Outstanding Overall Production". Emmaus received the Freddy for "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" for the third year in a row.
In March 2010, Emmaus High School performed the complex musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This elaborate production earned Emmaus a total of fourteen Freddy Award nominations including "Outstanding Overall Production" for the sixth consecutive year.
In 2011, thirty-two Emmaus High School choral students were selected by audition to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 10 Chorus Festival, conducted by Amy Allibon and hosted at Easton Area High School. For the fifth consecutive year, Emmaus sent more than any other high school in the seven District 10 counties to the festival. Twenty-two Emmaus High School students then advanced to the Regional Chorus Festival, conducted by Dr. Rodney Caldwell and hosted at Parkland High School. As most schools were only able to send two or three students, Emmaus greatly outnumbered all others participating in the festival (including rival Parkland High School). Out of the twenty-two, seven Emmaus High School students were selected to participate in the PMEA All-State Conference, held April 2011 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The school also performed The Phantom of the Opera for their musical and was nominated for "Outstanding Overall Production".
For the sixth year in a row, Emmaus High School had the most students to qualify out of the 65 participating high schools for the PMEA District 10 Chorus Festival in 2012. Forty-one choral students from Emmaus High School were selected to perform in this group, outnumbering any other school in the festival. The school sending the next highest number of participants is Parkland High School with eighteen singers. Of the over 800 students who auditioned, approximately 27 students were chosen for each of the eight voice parts. They performed Guys and Dolls for their 2012 musical and participated again in the Freddy Awards competition. Zach Petrovich and Mattea Pechter tied with Notre Dame-Green Pond HS for the Best Small Ensemble, and Petrovich also won the Freddy for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor.
School newspapers 
The Stinger 
Emmaus High School's official student newspaper is The Stinger. The newspaper's name is a reference to the school's mascot, the hornet. The newspaper is produced by a staff of students, who report, photograph and write all of the newspaper's content.
Typically, the newspaper has several sections related to Emmaus High School, including Emmaus High School sports, faculty, coach and student interviews, editorials, local popular culture, and satire and jokes related to school news and events. In most issues, the final page of The Stinger is dedicated to student-drawn comics, which also usually deal with student-related themes.
News from the West Wing 
In addition to The Stinger, from 1999 to 2001, a second, unofficial Emmaus High School newspaper, News from the West Wing, was distributed at the school. It was an independent humor newspaper distributed both at the school and available online. Similar in editorial style to The Onion, the newspaper was founded in 1999 by a small group of Emmaus High School students and was entirely student-run.
The newspaper featured a satirical look at Emmaus High School student life, while routinely poking fun at the school administration. The newspaper was popular and widely-read among Emmaus High School students. In 2000, a special issue of the newspaper was selected by the Principal, Dr. Herman Corradetti, to be placed in the high school's cornerstone, upon the completion of the renovated high school. News from the West Wing also was the subject of a 1999 front page Local News article in The Allentown Morning Call.
Satirical news stories in News from the West Wing included a gang war between the school's East and West Wings (the latter of which inspired the publication's name), the East Penn School District Superintendent's decision to purchase a "matter transporter," and a scientific analysis of an Emmaus High School cafeteria food item that the newspaper dubbed the "Taco Boat."
Notable alumni 
- Roy C. Afflerbach, former Mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Charles Bierbauer, former television journalist, CNN
- Dane DeHaan, television and film actor
- Keith Dorney, former professional football player, Detroit Lions
- Aaron Gray, professional basketball player, Toronto Raptors
- Todd Howard, executive producer and video game director, Bethesda Softworks
- Keith Jarrett, jazz pianist and composer
- Michael Johns, health care executive and former White House speechwriter
- K. C. Keeler, former head football coach, University of Delaware
- Joe Milinichik, former professional football player, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams and San Diego Chargers
- Marty Nothstein, 2000 Summer Olympics gold-medal winner, track cycling
- Michael Oleksa, Orthodox Christian archpriest and historian of Orthodox Christianity
- Heather Parry, film producer, Happy Madison Productions and former video producer, MTV
- Nicole Reinhart, former professional cyclist and two-time Pan American Games gold-medal winner
- Cindy Werley, 1996 Summer Olympics women's field hockey player
See also 
- "About Us," Emmaus High School web site, accessed November 21, 2010.
- "Academics at EHS," Emmaus High School Official Web Site.
- Emmaus High School, Test Results, at GreatSchools.net
- Emmaus High School academics, East Penn School District Web Site.
- Emmaus High School Athletic Letters of Intent, Class of 2007, at East Penn School District Official Web Site..
- LVIAC Historical Stats.
- "District Titles," LVIAC.net.
- Emmaus Skews Comparisons of Leagues' Strengths, The Allentown Morning Call, October 26, 2008.
- "The Final Top 50," TopoftheCircle.com, December 14, 2010.
- "Sportspersons of the Year: Emmaus' Butz-Stavin in a class by herself," The Morning Call, December 31, 2010..
- "A Real Workhorse," The Allentown Morning Call, October 24, 2008.
- "Emmaus gets some revenge," The Morning Call, November 19, 2010.
- "Freddy Awards 2007 Winners" at PennLive.com.
- Freddy Awards Official Site at State Theatre, Easton, Pennsylvania.
- http://www.pmeadistrict10.org/files/0809D10ChorusList.htm "2009 District 10 Chorus Results"
- http://www.pmeadistrict10.org/files/0809DistBandMembers.htm "2009 District 10 Band Results"
- http://www.pmeadistrict10.org/files/0809DistOrchMembers.htm "2009 District 10 Orchestra Results"
- "The high cost of bad behavior: Costs skyrocketing for East Penn, other school districts," The (Allentown) Morning Call, December 15, 2008.
- News from the West Wing Official Web Site.
- "High Schoolers are Winging it with Paper: Emmaus Students Have Classmates Rolling with Satirical Publication," The (Allentown) Morning Call, December 20, 1999, page B1.
- Emmaus High School official home page.
- Emmaus High School academics home page.
- Emmaus High School athletics home page.
- Emmaus High School at Public School Review.
- News from the West Wing (an unofficial Emmaus High School student publication published from 1999 until 2001).