Freedom High School (Pennsylvania)
|Freedom High School|
|Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA
|Principal||Michael J. LaPorta|
|Color(s)||Black and Gold|
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 around 2,000 students. Its main rival is Bethlehem's other public high school, Liberty High School. Their other rival is Bethlehem Catholic High School which is also in Bethlehem.
The principal for the 2010-2011 school year is Michael LaPorta. Assistant principals vary according to grades.
Freedom High School holds football games and other sporting events at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.
- 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.
- 1970 - FHS Patriot Band plays in the Orange Bowl Parade.
- 1976 FHS Patriot Band plays in the Rose Bowl Parade
- 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.
- 1994 - New Science Wing of the school opens up with 11 new science, biology, chemistry, and physics classrooms
- 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.
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. Along the way, they only defeated other teams. 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.
|Wikinews has related news: Girls sweep Siemens science competition for US high schools|
Freedom's Math Team also had many successes under their belt, 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.
The school has received considerable attention as the starting point for the career of Dwayne Johnson, famously known as "The Rock" and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. At Freedom High School, Johnson participated on the school's football, wrestling, and track and field teams.
Freedom competes in the Lehigh Valley Conference in the District XI athletic division of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, one of the most competitive athletic divisions in the state. It holds the record for the most Lehigh Valley Conference championships in boys volleyball.
The FHS football, soccer, and field hockey teams play their home games at Frank Banko Field at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium, which is recognized as one of Pennsylvania's premier all purpose stadiums. The stadium comfortably 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.
- 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 Quiggley, Sophomores Jason Lopez and Ben Ziegler, Juniors Chris Kelly and Jordan "Shane is Better" Fodale, and Senior captains Robbie Bogardo and Doo Park who were powered by senior Nick Maurer's speeches before every race.
The Freedom Patriot Band 
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 
Freedom High School is home to Bethlehem Area School District's only Planetarium. 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 Safranek at the school.
Like many Lehigh Valley schools, Freedom underwent construction to accommodate a quickly increasing student population. The new main entrance was completed in June 2006 and Freedom's athletic facilities opened in December. The additions boast 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 
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 8 out of the 10 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), and "The Speed Test" (Thoroughly Modern Millie). Both "Crazy For You" and "Anything Goes" received 14 Freddy 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.
2003: "Best Performance by a Featured Actor" - Tim Sampson(West Side Story)
6 Other Nominations- Best Leading Actor (Erich Jones), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Christopher), Best Supporting Actor (Adam Chisnall), Best Production Number (Gee, Officer Krupke), Best Featured Dancer (Tim Sampson), Best Musical
2004: "Outstanding Choreography" (Guys and Dolls)
10 Other Nominations- Best Supporting Actress (Lauren Zito), 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), 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), "Outstanding Male Lead" (Andy Truscott), "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), Best Small Ensemble (Josue Rivera, Jose Gonzalez, Alex Shuck), Best Stage Crew, Best Leading Actress (Julie Boring)
2006: "Outstanding Featured Performance" (Brittany Stahlberg) (Into the Woods)
7 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Best Costume Design, Outstanding Lighting Design (Ryan Hay), Best Small Ensemble (Alex Shuck & Justin Glessner), Best Scenic Design, Best Stage Crew, Best Leading Actress (Kristin Stachina)
2007: "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor" (Drew Stonesifer) (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), Best Supporting Actor (Alex Shuck), Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography, Best Stage Crew, Best Production Number (Anything Goes), Best Actress (Christine Stehly), Best Leading Actress (Amanda Kostalis), 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) (Bye Bye Birdie)
11 Other Nominations- Best Costume Design, Best Performance by an Ensemble Member (Karly Kaschak), Best Lighting Design, Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Elena Zervos), Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Alison Christopher), Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Zachary Gibson), Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography, Best Leading Actor (Nick Conti), Best Leading Actress (Amanda Kostalis), 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), "Outstanding Achievement in Lighting," "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" (Nick Conti, Cameron Benda), "Outstanding Achievement in Scenery," "Vic Kumma Award for Outstanding Solo Vocal" (Alison Christopher - Over the Rainbow), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role" (Alison Christopher), "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), "Outstanding Use of Costuming," "Outstanding Performance by a Male Ensemble Member" (Justin Mathis), "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, Kate Dawson), "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role" (Danny Youngelman), "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), "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), "Outstanding Small Ensemble Performance" (Hannah Arnold and Danny Youngelman, "I Turned the Corner"), "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" (Kate Dawson), "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role" (Greg Adams), "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), "Outstanding Stage Crew," "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role" (Danny Youngelman)
Notable alumni 
- Lisa Boscola, Pennsylvania State Senator
- Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock"), actor and former professional wrestler
- Daniel Dae Kim, actor, Lost and Hawaii Five-0
- Michael Pocalyko, business executive and novelist
- Rob Weppel, TSgt, Famous Air Force Supervisor, known for Weppel World
- Rob Skae, Uncircumcised Hero
- Catherine Arnst (2007-12-03). "Girls Dominate the Siemens Competition". Business Week. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- 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.
- LVIAC Historical Stats.