Highland Park High School (New Jersey)
|Highland Park High School|
|102 North Fifth Avenue
Highland Park, NJ 08904
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Highland Park Public Schools|
|Principal||Frederick D. Williams|
|Asst. Principal||Colleen Price|
|Faculty||27.4 (on FTE basis)|
|Grades||9 - 12|
|Enrollment||413 (as of 2010-11)|
|Student to teacher ratio||15.07:1|
|Color(s)||Cardinal and White|
|Athletics conference||Greater Middlesex Conference|
|Newspaper||The Highland Fling|
Highland Park High School (HPHS), is a four-year comprehensive public high school, part of the Highland Park Public Schools system, that serves student in grades nine through twelve from the borough of Highland Park, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The school was established in 1926 as a junior high school, serving up to grade 10. Until HPHS became a senior high school in 1937, students from Highland Park finished their education at either New Brunswick High School or Metuchen High School. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1940.
As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 413 students and 27.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 15.07:1. There were 70 students (16.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 24 (5.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
The original school building was designed by architect Alexander Merchant and built in the 1920s. Later additions are the Science and Math wing in 1958; the English wing in 1968; the library and arts wing in the 1980s; and the cafeteria and a connected middle school (grades 6, 7, and 8) in 1996. Student population peaked in the 1960s, with a population in the 900s.
Awards, recognition and rankings
The school was the 67th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 37th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 50th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 31st in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 184th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 54 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the two components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), mathematics (79.0%) and language arts literacy (93.3%).
In 2008, two students were National Merit Finalists, twelve were National Merit Commended Scholars, and eleven were Bloustein Distinguished Scholars.
In 2007, six students were National Merit Finalists, eleven students were National Merit Commended Scholars, eleven students were Bloustein Distinguished Scholars. Almost ten percent of the graduating class went on to Ivy League schools.
In 2006, HPHS students were recognized for Advanced Placement Awards. One student qualified for the National AP Scholar Award. 16 students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. 13 students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award. 15 students qualified for the AP Scholar Award.
In 2005, a team of three HPHS students were recognized as First Place National Finalists in the 13th Annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards science competition for their innovative design of a satellite-based earthquake and tsunami detection/prediction system.
Extracurricular programs at HPHS include multiple instrumental music programs, drama club and tech crew, SAGA (the Straight and Gay Alliance), The Highland Fling (school newspaper), a Model United Nations and Model Congress Program, Dead Center (literary magazine), and the Albadome (yearbook). The HPHS academic teams compete in many all-state competitions such as Science League, Math League, and the News 12-sponsored NJ Challenge. These teams excel, having won top-10 plaques in past years.
The Community Teen Center also contributes to the school's extracurricular list, recently initiating many successful and interesting clubs and groups such as a robotics and philosophy club. The Philosophy Club is in close contact with Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, which offers one of the highest ranked philosophy majors in the country. The Philosophy Club is visited by guest speakers and aims at providing a thought provoking, challenging, and analytical environment for students at Highland Park High School to advance their perspectives on a myriad of philosophical topics and controversies essential to their day to day lives.
Beginning in 1971, the high school had a ten-watt FM radio station, WVHP, the voice of Highland Park, that broadcast from 6AM to 8AM and 5PM to 10:30PM Monday through Friday. Several radio personalities got their start there, among them Ken Friedman (WFMU-FM General Manager), Soterios Johnson (of WNYC in New York City) is the local host for NPR's Morning Edition and Bob Sommer (KALW-FM in San Francisco). Jim Axelrod (CBS News) was also on the air at WVHP at one point. Willie Paszamant (actor Willie Garson of Sex and The City) had a morning show at WVHP.
The school's mascot is the Owl. The colors of HPHS and their various sports teams are maroon and white. Highland Park High School competes in the Greater Middlesex Conference, which operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). The school is in the Blue division in most of its sports, and competes in the Blue division in football. Its main sports rival is Metuchen High School. With 308 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2011-12 school year for most sports as Central Jersey Group I, a category that included schools with enrollment of 117 to 490.
HPHS is well known for the performance of its football team, under the leadership of only four coaches during the program's entire history. Starting with Bus Lepine, then Jay Dakelman, the football team was led by its former all-state quarterback Joe Policastro (class of 1959),the team is now led by head coach Richard McGlynn. L.J. Smith, now with the Baltimore Ravens, was a star of both the HPHS football and basketball teams in the 1990s. The football team won the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I state sectional championship in 1974, 1977–78, 1986, 1989-90. The Highland Park Football team was four-time Gold Division champions (2006-2009).
HPHS is also known for its long-time success in track and field and baseball, with more recent successes in Boys' and Girls' soccer, Girls' Basketball, Girls' Tennis, there is also a cheer leading and dance team that performs at football and basketball games. HPHS is also home to an Ultimate Frisbee team, the Enforcers, although the team is not affiliated with the school's varsity sports program.
The boys varsity soccer team, under the direction of Keith Roig, won seven consecutive Gold Division titles before moving up to the Blue Division in the 2006-07 season.
The girl's tennis team went undefeated in the 2010 spring season.
In 2011, the boy's tennis team won the New Jersey Group I championship for the first time.
- Jim Axelrod, class of 1981, White House correspondent for CBS News.
- Wheeler Winston Dixon, class of 1968, filmmaker, critic, and author.
- Willie Garson (born 1964, as Willie Paszamant; class of 1982), actor best known for his appearances on Sex and The City
- Alan Guth (born 1947), physicist.
- Michael Jacobs (Class of 1973), Broadway playwright and award-winning creator of many television series such as Boy Meets World, Dinosaurs and Charles in Charge.
- Soterios Johnson, local host of NPR's Morning Edition on WNYC.
- L. J. Smith (born 1980), tight end who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Frederick Williams, Principal
- Colleen Price, Assistant Principal
- Data for Highland Park High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 9, 2012.
- Highland Park High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. accessed January 14, 2012.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 7, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed January 14, 2012.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- School Overview; Click on "Rankings" for 2003-11 HSPA results, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 8, 2012.
- Highland Park High School Home Page
- ExploraVision 2005 National Winners
- Earthquake Detection : 7400 Leagues Above the Sea
- League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
- 2011-2012 Public Schools Group Classification for ShopRite Cup–Tennis–Soccer–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for Central Jersey, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 14, 2012.
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 9, 2012.
- 2007 Girls Basketball - Central, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, accessed May 10, 2007.
- Lerner, Gregg. "Highland Pk. prevails, 50-35", The Star-Ledger, March 6, 2007. Accessed August 2, 2007. "Last night, Wallace was indeed a factor, collecting 13 points and nine rebounds while Boyd and Zakiya Sailor netted 14 apiece to send Highland Park to a 50-35 victory over Dunellen in the NJSIAA/ShopRite Central Jersey, Group 1 final at West Windsor-Plainsboro North in Plainsboro."
- History of Boys Team Tennis Championship Tournament, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 17, 2012.
- Makin, Bob. "Levinson Axelrod celebrates 70 years of service", Home News Tribune, November 12, 2009. Accessed August 17, 2012. "His son is with CBS News as their Washington reporter. He's writing a book that is out soon about his relationship with his father. His name is Jim Axelrod. He's well known. They're Highland Park people. Jim went to Highland Park High School."
- Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey "Community, Loss, and Regeneration: An Interview with Wheeler Winston Dixon", Senses of Cinema. Accessed June 24, 2012.
- "B", Home News Tribune, May 13, 2005. Accessed August 8, 2007. "Highland Park high school graduates who have gone on to careers in the media and the performing arts will be the featured speakers at the Highland Park Educational Foundation's spring fundraiser tomorrow. The speakers are WNYC news ancher Soterios Johnson, CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod and Willie (Paszamant) Garson, the actor from Sex in the City, NYPD Blue, Groundhog Day, and Something About Mary."
- Lemley, Brad. "Guth's Grand Guess: Most people really want to know where we came from. We have evidence. We no longer have to rely on stories we were told when we were young'", Discover (magazine), April 2002. Accessed January 14, 2012. "And here comes Guth, apologizing for his lateness, hand extended. He is shortish at 5 feet 7 inches and energetic, sort of bouncy. It's easy to believe he was once the champion long jumper at his high school in Highland Park, New Jersey."
- L.J. Smith profile, Philadelphia Eagles. Accessed June 9, 2007. "Growing up in the small town of Highland Park, NJ (2 square miles, population 14,500), Smith graduated from the local high school as part of a 115-person class.... Attended Highland Park (NJ) HS where he caught 10 TDs and had 143 tackles, 11 sacks and 5 INTs at LB as a senior.
- High School Personnel, Highland Park High School. Accessed April 9, 2011.
- Highland Park High School official web pages
- Highland Park Public Schools
- Highland Park Public Schools's 2010–11 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Highland Park Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- Web page for Highland Park alumni. Includes classes 1938-Present