Freedom High School (Pennsylvania)

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Freedom High School
Freedom High School.JPG
Freedom High School, 2007
Location
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA
Information
Type Public high school
Established 1967
School district Bethlehem Area School District
Principal Michael J. LaPorta
Staff 163
Enrollment 2,757
Campus Suburban
Color(s)      Black
     Gold
Team name Patriot
Website

Freedom High School is a public high school, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States. Freedom is one of two public high schools in the Bethlehem Area School District. It is located at 3149 Chester Avenue, Bethlehem Township. The total student population is about 2,000 students. The principal for the 2013-2014 school year is Michael LaPorta.

History[edit]

1960s[edit]

  • 1967 - Students at Liberty High School who are scheduled to attend the new High School pick the Patriot as the future Freedom Senior High School mascot along with the School Colors of Black and Gold. Freedom Senior High School opens as a for grades 10-12 for the fall semester of 1967. Joseph McIntyre appointed first FSHS principal. FHS Patriot Marching Band created.
  • 1968 - First FHS class graduates.

1970s[edit]

  • 1970 - FHS Patriot Band plays in the Orange Bowl Parade.
  • 1976 FHS Patriot Band plays in the Rose Bowl Parade

1980s[edit]

  • 1983 - FHS becomes a high school for grades 9-12. First year coach George Kazakos leads the FHS Soccer Team to a Pennsylvania State Title.
  • 1987 - FHS Gymnastics team wins the Pennsylvania State Title.

1990s[edit]

  • 1990 - First issue of PEN AND INK, a continuation of the FIFE AND DRUM, FHS's literary-and-arts magazine
  • 1994 - New Science Wing of the school opens up with 11 new science, biology, chemistry, and physics classrooms

2000s[edit]

  • 2002 - FHS joins the Lehigh Valley Conference. FHS Girls Tennis wins the PIAA State Title.
  • 2006 - FHS New Gymnasium, aerobic room, fitness center, and renovated Natatorium open for the winter 2006-2007 athletic seasons. New Business Wing of the school completed.
  • 2007 - Michael LaPorta appointed FHS principal. New FHS cafeterias open in the fall semester.
  • 2009 - First color yearbook.

Academics[edit]

Freedom's Scholastic Scrimmage team has turned in several first and second place finishes in the Lehigh Valley region. The team placed first in 1976, 1980 and 1989 and second in 1981 (losing to Emmaus High School), 2005 (losing to Allentown Central Catholic High School), 2012 (losing to Pen Argyl Area High School), and 2013 (losing to Moravian Academy). In 2007, Freedom went undefeated in the Lehigh Valley Conference regular season, losing to Liberty High School in the East Division championship. The team defeated Allentown Central Catholic High School for third place in the conference. In 2008, the team advanced to the quarterfinal round of "Scholastic Scrimmage", where they lost again to the Liberty Hurricanes, on a disputed last-second ruling that is still under review. In 2012, Freedom's team qualified for the Pennsylvania Academic Competition in the state's capitol for the first time in school history, where they tied for second in the state.

Freedom's Math Team also had many successes, including placing in the top three in at least two of the three events at Bloomsburg Math Competition since 2006. Two Freedom students, Eashwar Rangarajan and Yiran Lin, were also chosen to join the Lehigh University chapter of the American Regions Mathematics League, a prestigious mathematics competition.

In 2007, senior Isha Himani Jain placed first in the Siemens Competition, one of the two most prestigious science competitions in the United States.[1][2]

Athletics[edit]

Freedom competes in the Lehigh Valley Conference in the District XI athletic division of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Diane Jordan is currently the athletic director at Freedom High School. It holds the record for the most Lehigh Valley Conference championships in boys volleyball.[3]

In boys athletics, Freedom has golf, swimming, ice hockey, soccer, baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, Swimming, and Diving teams. In girls athletics, Freedom has basketball, cheerleading, tennis, and volleyball teams.

The FHS football, soccer, and field hockey teams play their home games at Frank Banko Field at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium, which seats 13,600 and can accommodate up to 15,000 in the standing room section.

Their most recent championships include:

  • The cheerleading squad has won eight Grand National Championships and numerous other championships and competes regionally and nationally in cheerleading competitions; most recently in San Antonio Texas in 2009, Baltimore Md. in 2010 and Myrtle Beach, SC in 2011. In March 2012 the squad traveled to Walt Disney World in Florida to compete in an international competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports venue where the junior prep stunt squad took first place and senior Captain Gabby Spadaccia won 1st place in individual competition. The 2008 Freedom Varsity Cheerleading squad won the District XI Cheerleading Championship.
  • The 2009 Boys Volleyball Team won the District XI Championship
  • The 2007 football team won the 2007 District XI Eastern Conference Championship.
  • The ice hockey team won the 2006-2007 LVSHL (Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League) championship.
  • The baseball team won the 2007 inaugural championship of the Pride of the Diamond baseball league.
  • 19:02
  • The boys cross country team was undefeated in the 2012 season and finished as both League and District champions. The team was led by freshman Dan Quigley, Sophomores Jason Lopez and Ben Ziegler, Juniors Chris Kelly and Jordan Fodale, and Senior captains Robbie Bogardo and Doo Park, powered by Senior Nicholas Maurer's speeches.

The Freedom Patriot Band[edit]

Freedom vs. Liberty High School pre-game show, 2006

Ronald H. Demkee was the original director of instrumental music at Freedom and conductor of the Patriot Band and Orchestra from 1967 until his retirement in 1997. The first year band had a membership of 90. In 1970, band members made their first major national appearance (3 years after the school opened) as they marched down the streets of Miami, Florida in the Orange Bowl parade, in front of a national television audience. Under the leadership of current band director Michael Moran, the Freedom Patriot Band has performed at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. In 2004, the Freedom High School Patriot Marching Band performed at the Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. The Patriots turn in several all district band members each year (from Freedom High).

In March 2008 the Patriot Band performed in both the Limerick and Dublin St. Patrick's Day parades. In Limerick, the band won Best Uniform and won Best International Band. At the Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade, the band was honored with the award for Best Overall Band.

FHS Planetarium[edit]

Freedom High School is home to one of two Planetariums in the Bethlehem Area School District, the other being Broughal Middle School. It is operated by astronomy teacher Bill Safranek, who is an alum of Freedom High School, and a teacher there since 1987. The Planetarium provides instruction for second, third, and eighth - 12th grade students in the Bethlehem Area School District. The Freedom High School planetarium and astronomy clubs also make use of the only BASD planetarium. Planetarium visits may be arranged by contacting the school.

Construction[edit]

Freedom High School, 2008

A new main entrance was completed in June 2006 and Freedom's athletic facilities opened in December. Other additions created new main offices, classrooms, a business wing, a refurbished pool & old gymnasium, a fitness center, a new athletic office, a new trainer's room, and a state-of-the-art gym. A larger combined cafeteria opened for the fall semester of 2007. The academic wings of the school still remain in their original state with no current plans for remodeling.

FHS Theatre Company[edit]

Freedom High School has theatre company. Recent projects were The Drowsy Chaperone, performed in November 2013, and Les Misérables, which was performed in April 2013.

The company produces two plays per year and participates in a local awards show called The Freddy Awards. Since the Freddys began in 2003, Freedom has been nominated for Best Musical and performed at the ceremony 9 out of the 11 years. The performances include: "Dance at the Gym" (West Side Story), "Crapshooters Ballet" (Guys and Dolls), "I Got Rhythm" (Crazy For You), "Anything Goes, "Honestly, Sincere" (Bye Bye Birdie), "Jitterbug" (The Wizard of Oz), "Go, Go, Go Joseph" (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), "The Speed Test" (Thoroughly Modern Millie), and "One Day More" (Les Misérables). Both Crazy For You and Anything Goes received 14 Freddy nominations. Joseph and Les Misérables each received 15 nominations. Thoroughly Modern Millie garnered 17 nominations, breaking Freddy records. Crazy For You still holds the honor of receiving 8 Freddys, the most received to date in Freddy history. The Wizard of Oz garnered 12 Freddy Award Nominations.

Awards include:
2003: "Best Performance by a Featured Ensemble Member" (Tim Sampson as Action) (West Side Story)
6 Other Nominations- Best Leading Actor (Erich Jones as Tony), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Christopher as Anita), Best Supporting Actor (Adam Chisnall as Bernardo), Best Production Number (Gee, Officer Krupke), Best Featured Dancer (Tim Sampson as Action), Best Musical

2004: "Outstanding Choreography" (Guys and Dolls)
10 Other Nominations- Best Supporting Actress (Lauren Zito as Miss Adelaide), Best Chorus, Best Production Number (Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat), Best Orchestra, Best Dancer (Mariel Letourneau), Best Duet (Tim Sampson and Lauren Zito, "Sue Me"), Best Stage Crew, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Musical

2005: "Outstanding Scenic Design," "Outstanding Costume Design," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Choreography," "Outstanding Featured Dancer" (Andy Truscott as Bobby Child), "Outstanding Male Lead" (Andy Truscott as Bobby Child), "Outstanding Production Number" (I've Got Rhythm), "Best Overall Musical" (Crazy for You)
6 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Outstanding Lighting Design (Vince Rocioli -LD, Ryan Hay-ALD), Best Supporting Actress (Mariel Letourneau as Irene), Best Small Ensemble (Josue Rivera, Jose Gonzalez, Alex Shuck, "Bidin' My Time"), Best Stage Crew, Best Leading Actress (Julie Boring as Polly Baker)

2006: "Outstanding Featured Performance" (Brittany Stahlberg as The Witch) (Into the Woods)
7 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Best Costume Design, Outstanding Lighting Design (Ryan Hay), Best Small Ensemble (Alex Shuck & Justin Glessner, "No More"), Best Scenic Design, Best Stage Crew, Best Leading Actress (Kristin Stachina as The Baker's Wife)

2007: "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor" (Drew Stonesifer as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh) (Anything Goes)
13 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Best Costume Design, Outstanding Lighting Design (Ryan Hay), Best Chorus, Best Small Ensemble (Amanda Kostalis, Alex Shuck, & John Andreadis, "Friendship"), Best Supporting Actor (Alex Shuck as Moonface Martin), Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography, Best Stage Crew, Best Production Number (Anything Goes), Best Featured Actress (Christine Stehly as Bonnie), Best Leading Actress (Amanda Kostalis as Reno Sweeney), Best Overall Musical

2008: "Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Stage Crew," "Outstanding Production Number" (Honestly, Sincere), "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor" (John Andreadis as Conrad Birdie) (Bye Bye Birdie)
11 Other Nominations- Best Costume Design, Best Performance by an Ensemble Member (Karly Kaschak as Ursula Merkle), Best Lighting Design, Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Elena Zervos as Mrs. Mae Peterson), Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Alison Christopher as Kim MacAfee), Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Zachary Gibson as Mr. Harry MacAfee), Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography, Best Leading Actor (Nick Conti as Albert Peterson), Best Leading Actress (Amanda Kostalis as Rose Alvarez), Best Overall Musical

2009: "Outstanding Production Number" (Munchkinland Musical Sequence), (The Wizard of Oz)
11 Other Nominations- "Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Achievement in Costuming," "Outstanding Performance by a Male Ensemble Member" (Cameron Benda as Guardian at the Gate), "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting," "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" (Nick Conti as Hickory/Tin Man, Cameron Benda as Hunk/Scarecrow), "Outstanding Achievement in Scenery," "Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance" (Alison Christopher, "Over the Rainbow"), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role" (Alison Christopher as Dorothy), "Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical"

2010: 4 Nominations- "Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra," "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Use of Scenery" (The Sound of Music)

2011: 15 Nominations- Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra," "Outstanding Performance by a Featured Dancer" (Dedrea Becker as Apache Dancer), "Outstanding Use of Costuming," "Outstanding Performance by a Male Ensemble Member" (Justin Mathis as Judah), "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Use of Scenery," "Outstanding Choreography," "Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance" (Danny Youngelman, "Any Dream Will Do"), "Outstanding Stage Crew," "Outstanding Production Number" (One More Angel in Heaven"), "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actress" (Brianna McCullough as Narrator, Kate Dawson as Narrator), "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role" (Danny Youngelman as Joseph), "Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical" (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)

2012: "Outstanding Use of Costuming," "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Production Number" (The Speed Test), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role" (Hannah Arnold as Millie Dillmount), "Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical" (Thoroughly Modern Millie)
11 Other Nominations- "Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra," "Outstanding Performance by a Featured Female Ensemble Member" (Sydney Duffy as Miss Flannery), "Outstanding Small Ensemble Performance" (Hannah Arnold and Danny Youngelman, "I Turned the Corner"), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" (Kate Dawson as Mrs. Meers), "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" (Greg Adams as Mr. Trevor Graydon), "Outstanding Use of Scenery," "Outstanding Choreography," "Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance" (Danny Youngelman, "What Do I Need with Love?"), "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor" (Joseph Rivera as Ching Ho), "Outstanding Stage Crew," "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role" (Danny Youngelman as Jimmy Smith)

2013: "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting," "Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance" (Daniel Youngelman, "Bring Him Home"), "Outstanding Stage Crew" (Les Misérables)
12 Other Nominations- "Outstanding Use of Costuming," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Small Ensemble Performance" (Emily Anderson, Lex Donatelli and Hannah Arnold, "A Heart Full of Love"), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" (Emily Anderson as Cosette), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" (Hannah Arnold as Eponine), "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" (Adam Conti as Thenardier), "Outstanding Use of Scenery," "Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal Performance" (Hannah Arnold, "On My Own"), "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor" (Greg Adams as Javert), "Outstanding Production Number" (One Day More), "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role" (Daniel Youngelman as Jean Valjean), "Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical"

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Catherine Arnst (2007-12-03). "Girls Dominate the Siemens Competition". Business Week. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  2. ^ Amanda Millner-Fairbanks (2007-12-04). "Girls Make History by Sweeping Top Honors at a Science Contest". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  3. ^ LVIAC Historical Stats.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°39′50″N 75°20′24″W / 40.664°N 75.340°W / 40.664; -75.340