Hackensack High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School seal.jpg
First & Beech Streets
Hackensack, NJ, 07601
Type Public high school
Motto "There is no limit to the good a man can do, if he doesn't care who gets the credit."

Seal motto: Scientia Terras Irradiamus (We irradiate the Earth with knowledge.)
Established 1894
School district Hackensack Public Schools
Principal James Montesano
Assistant principals Celso King (Grade 9)
Patricia Aquino (Grade 10)
Anibal Galiana (Grade 11)
Mark Johnson (Grade 12)
Ralph Dass (Athletic Director)
Faculty 136.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,818[1] (as of 2012-13)
Student to teacher ratio 13.37:1[1]
Color(s) Blue and Gold            
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Comets
Rivals Teaneck High School
Newspaper The Voice
Yearbook The Comet
School song Old Hackensack
Athletics 25 Teams

Hackensack High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Hackensack, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Hackensack Public Schools. Hackensack High School serves students from the Bergen County, New Jersey communities of Hackensack, South Hackensack (80 students in 2011-12), Maywood (250 students) and Rochelle Park (120 students).[2]

As of the 2012-13 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,818 students and 136.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.37:1. There were 602 students (33.1% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 132 (7.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 242nd-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.[3] The school had been ranked 206th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 198th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[4] The magazine ranked the school 184th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[5] The school was ranked 203rd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[6] Schooldigger.com ranked the school 266th out of 367 public high schools statewide in its 2009-10 rankings which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[7]


Hackensack High School was founded in 1894 and graduated its first class on February 1, 1898. The cornerstone for its present location at First and Beech Streets in Hackensack was laid on December 2, 1916. The building was dedicated in 1918. By 1920, twenty-two Bergen County towns sent their students to Hackensack High School. New wings were built in the 50's. The 1966 expansion of Hackensack High School encompassed neighboring Beech Street School and extended a two-story bridge over First Street and in 1967 the Beech Street elementary school became the "east wing" of the high school as it stands today.[8]


The Hackensack High School Comets compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[9] With 1,293 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North I, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,108 to 2,479 students in that grade range.[10] In the 2009-10 school year the school's athletic teams competed in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, a conference established on an interim basis to facilitate realignment.[11] Hackensack had been a founding member of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League.[12] Hackensack High and Ridgewood High School were the only founding members of the NNJIL to remain in the league, though Hackensack was the only school to remain continuously in the league.[13] Since the 1912 visit of Halley's Comet, Hackensack's athletic teams have been known as the Comets ("Colts" before 1912).

On February 6, 1925, the Hackensack Comets Boys Basketball team won 39-35 against the Passaic High School, ending that school's 159-game winning streak.[14] The ball commemorating this feat still remains in the trophy case in the gym named for that team's captain, Howard Bollerman, Sr. (later principal of Hackensack High School).

The football team won the North I Group IV state sectional championships in 1992-1996, 1999 and 2000.[15] The HHS homecoming football game has been held annually on Thanksgiving Day against rival Teaneck High School since 1931, alternating each year with each school as host.[16]

Vince Lombardi was offered $6,000 to coach football at Hackensack High School, but couldn't get out of his contract with neighboring St. Cecilia's in Englewood, New Jersey.[17] Hackensack turned to Tom DellaTorre to coach the football team, he responded by winning 13 championships. DellaTorre later served as the schools athletic director. Upon his retirement in the early 1980s the football field was renamed "Tom DellaTorre Athletic Field".

The school won a share of the 2010 Group IV outdoor track and field title after East Brunswick High School tied Hackensack in the final event, marking the program's first state title since 1971, when they shared a Group IV title after a tie with Henry Snyder High School.[18]

School song[edit]

The alma mater of Hackensack High School was written by W. Demarest and B. Pratt of the Class of 1918. It is to the tune of the alma mater of New York University, "Palisades" (used by permission).


Core members of the school's administration are:[19]

  • James Montesano, Principal
  • Celso King, Assistant Principal, Grade 9
  • Mark Johnson, Assistant Principal, Grade 10
  • Patricia Lozano, Assistant Principal, Grade 11
  • Anibal Galiana, Assistant Principal, Grade 12
  • Dave Petrella, Athletic Director

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Hackensack High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 25, 2015.
  2. ^ Tarrazi, Alexis. "Agreement reached between Maywood, Hackensack", Hackensack Chronicle, March 9, 2012. Accessed November 25, 2014. "The Maywood school district has been sending its students to Hackensack High School for decades and currently sends 250 students. The high school also serves about 120 students from Rochelle Park and 80 students from South Hackensack, according to The Record."
  3. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 1, 2012.
  5. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed April 3, 2011.
  6. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  7. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2009-2010, Schooldigger.com. Accessed December 29, 2011.
  8. ^ Hackensack High School pictures, accessed August 7, 2006
  9. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  10. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  11. ^ League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Home Page, Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 9, 2009. Accessed November 25, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Staff. "Induction Night; New Jersey Sports", The New York Times, April 26, 1974. Accessed June 13, 2011. "The Hackensack High School Sports Hall of Fame will induct nine former graduates to morrow night, bringing its total to 323 men and women.... Chet Hanulak played football under Jim Tatum at Maryland and then with the Cleveland Browns. The late Stan Pitula pitched for the Cleveland Indians. Probably the best-known member of the Hackensack Hall is a nonathlete - Robert Schmertz, owner of the Boston Celtics, New England Whalers and the New York Stars. He was inducted last year."
  14. ^ Staff. "‘Prof’ a character, winner", The Record (Bergen County), October 13, 2009. Accessed June 13, 2011. "The streak ended on Feb. 6, 1925, at the Hackensack Armory. The Hackensack High School Comets, behind 6-foot-6 center Howie Bollerman, took down the Wonder Team, 39-35. But the loss was mired in controversy for years. Rumors swirled that Hackensack had slicked up the armory floor with sawdust to slow down the Wonder Team’s fast break."
  15. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, NJSIAA. Accessed November 16, 2011.
  16. ^ Schutta, Gregory. "HACKENSACK'S CARTER BURIES TEANECK", The Record (Bergen County), November 29, 1991. Accessed August 11, 2008. "Carter ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns as Hackensack trampled Teaneck, 39-21, in the 60th Thanksgiving football meeting between the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League Pacific Division rivals."
  17. ^ O'Connor, Ian. "St. Vincent's In Lombardi Image, Packers Have A Prayer", Daily News (New York), January 10, 1996. Accessed June 13, 2011. "St. Cecilia couldn't stash its treasure forever. Hackensack High School called in a $6,000 bid, but Lombardi couldn't bring himself to leave."
  18. ^ Clark, Ronald P. "First-place tie to Hackensack", The Record (New Jersey), May 30, 2010. Accessed August 23, 2011. "The Hackensack boys shared the State Group 4 title with East Brunswick with 34 points each Saturday. It was Hackensack’s second Group 4 title, the other being a share of the title in 1971 with Snyder."
  19. ^ Administration, Hackensack High School. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  20. ^ Staff. "Award-winning Actor Hector Bustamante Guests on Eye on Entertainment on Time Warner Cable", I-Newswire press release dated June 2, 2010. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Bustamante began his acting career in high school (Hackensack, NJ) but was discouraged after being told by an acting teacher that his thick accent would never allow him to be a professional actor."
  21. ^ Staff. "Chet Forte, 60, an Innovator in Television Sports", The New York Times, May 19, 1996. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Fulvio Chester Forte Jr. was born Aug. 7, 1935, in Hackensack, N.J., the only child of his sports-loving mother and of a physician. The class president at Hackensack High School, he became an All-American player at Columbia despite being 5-7 and 145 pounds, small even by 1950's standards."
  22. ^ Mike Fratello, Turner Sports. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Fratello graduated from Hackensack High School, Hackensack, N.J., where he was captain of the basketball, baseball and football teams."
  23. ^ Mike Fratello, Basketball-Reference.com. Accessed November 1, 2007.
  24. ^ Matt Golombek, NASA. Accessed June 13, 2011. "High School: Hackensack High School, Hackensack, NJ"
  25. ^ Fullerton, Hugh, Jr. "Sports Roundup", Reading Eagle, June 3, 1949. Accessed June 13, 2011. "That path you can see leading to Hackensack, N. J., was worn by major league scouts going to watch Stan Pitula pitch for Hackensack High School... Stan just won ten games this season, making it 16 straight for two years, but seven were shutouts and two were no-hitters."
  26. ^ Staff. "Who's Who in the Cast", Playbill, 1981. Accessed June 13, 2011. "GENE SAKS (Director) began his theatrical career playing Lord Fancourt Babberley in the Hackensack High School's production of Charlie's Aunt."
  27. ^ Montville, Leigh. "Meet sports' Superfan", The Boston Globe, July 12, 1972. Accessed June 13, 2011. "The last time he played publicly was as 6-foot center for Hackensack High School."
  28. ^ Corcoran, David. "Theodore Trautwein, Judge in Landmark Press Case, Dies at 80", The New York Times, September 2, 2000. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Theodore Walter Trautwein was born on March 29, 1920, in Paramus, N.J. He graduated from Hackensack High School, where he was an all-star athlete, won a scholarship at Columbia University and was drafted as a pitcher by the St. Louis Cardinals."
  29. ^ Kane, Paul; Billson, Anne; and Oregan, Marie. Voices in the Dark: Interviews with Horror Writers, Directors and Actors, p. 239. McFarland & Company, 2010. ISBN 0-7864-4634-X. Accessed June 13, 2011.
  30. ^ Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens and State Guide 2. J.J. Scannell. 1919. p. 648. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°53′06″N 74°03′08″W / 40.88505°N 74.052119°W / 40.88505; -74.052119