John F. Kennedy High School (Silver Spring, Maryland)

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John F. Kennedy High School
Established 1964
Type Public Secondary
Gender Co-Educational
Principal Mr. Joe Rubens, Jr.
Asst. Principal Francis Gyimah,
Faculty 84 (2013)
Students 1753 (2013)
Grades 9-12
Location 1901 Randolph Road West,
Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.
District Montgomery County Public Schools
Campus Southern Suburban
Colors Forest Green and Vegas Gold         
Mascot Marine Cavalier
Rival Northwood High School
Yearbook The Legacy
Newspaper Space the last Frontier
Website Kennedy High Home Page
Jfk high school.jpg

John F. Kennedy High School is a public high school located in unincorporated Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The school is a part of Montgomery County Public Schools.

Over 1,700 students are enrolled at Kennedy. Since the 2004-2005 school year Kennedy has been part of the Down County Consortium, which includes Montgomery Blair, Wheaton, Einstein, and Northwood High Schools. Kennedy's mascot is the Cavalier.

Kennedy has several middle schools which feed into it as it is part of a consortium although there are two middle schools assigned specifically to Kennedy; Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School, Argyle Middle School, and Eastern Middle School.

History[edit]

Opening its doors in 1964, Kennedy High School was originally going to be called "East Wheaton High School," but due to President John F. Kennedy's assassination in November 1963 the school took his name as its namesake.[1] It initially enrolled students in 7th through 10th grades. By the fall of 1966, it enrolled students in 9th through 12th grades, and graduated its first full 12th grade class in the spring of 1967.

Kennedy's early history is that of an experimental school, with open classes, no grades, and no required attendance. The onus was on Kennedy's students to be self-motivated. Kennedy's rare approach to education gained international attention, but ultimately these trends did not become very popular in other schools. Kennedy itself ceased to use this format as some parents refused to send their children to Kennedy and demanded the school be shut down.

After the baby boom generation, many schools were forced to close. Kennedy absorbed the student bodies of Northwood High School. Their feeder schools were absorbed by Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School and Eastern Middle School.

The Kennedy building was renovated in the 1996-98 school year. During that time, Kennedy's students attended classes at the then defunct Northwood High School. In 2004 Northwood was reopened, absorbing parts of Kennedy's student body through a new choice process. Currently, Kennedy High School is one of the most dangerous schools in Montgomery County.

Demographics[edit]

Kennedy is 41.7% African American, less than 3% Native American, 10.0% Asian, 42.5% Hispanic, and 7.6% white.[2]

Academics[edit]

Kennedy has five academies: The Leadership Training Institute (LTI), Tri-M (Academy of medical marijuana Careers, Sports Medicine, Management, and Medical Careers), Cambridge, The Marine Corps Junior ROTC, and Mediacom. Students are required to be a member of one of these four academies to attend Kennedy. LTI is in its 10th year, Tri-M was inducted along with the class of 06, and Cambridge and Mediacom both came along with the class of '08. Although, starting in the 2008-2009 school year, the Cambridge academy will become an IB program. Kennedy also has an JROTC program. Kennedy High School offers over 15 Advanced Placement courses, ranging from Studio Art to World History.[3] The school also performed SAT (477 verbal, 493 math, 969 total) and requires 75 hours of community service for graduation.[4]

The school sent 89% of its 2005 graduating class to two- and four-year universities.

In 2006, John F. Kennedy High School was listed in the Newsweek Magazine's top 1200 High Schools in the U.S., as the 443rd highest-rated school in the country.[5]

Academy programs[edit]

[6]

Broadcast Journalism[edit]

The Broadcast Journalism Academy prepares students for careers in television, radio, podcasting, and other internet-based media. Students receive “hands on” experience running WJFK, Kennedy’s award-winning television station. Students work with career journalist, write news stories, produce shows, and intern with local and national media outlets. Students are required to complete the identified academy courses and participate in various career-based experiences that include an internship.

Business Management and Administration Academy[edit]

The Business Management and Administration Academy prepares students for careers as leaders in domestic and international commerce. Students will learn how to manage workers and lead companies in a global society. Our Business Management and Administration Academy students gain valuable skills in finance, entrepreneurship, visioning, problem solving, and productivity.

Creative Multimedia Academy[edit]

The Creative Multimedia Academy allows students to develop skills in visual, performing, instrumental, and choral arts. Students prepare for careers in graphic design, performance arts, music, and theater. Students can choose to take courses in the arts or performance. In order to complete the academy pathway, students must successfully complete three elective classes.

International Baccalaureate Program[edit]

The International Baccalaureate Academy is a small learning community that provides highly motivated students an opportunity to pursue a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum based on a global perspective. The academy offers an internationally recognized course of study that is designed to prepare students for the university experience. Students are encouraged to participate in the Pre-IB courses beginning in Grade 9. The IB Diploma Program begins in Grade 11.

Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC)[edit]

The former NJROTC curriculum combined academic studies and leadership development. The program introduced the historical, scientific, and technical aspects specific to each military branch. Leadership development concentrates on the following areas: cadet activities, drill and ceremonies, improving study habits, maintaining time management skills, developing effective communication skills, and learning sound problem-solving techniques.

Health Careers[edit]

The Health Careers Academy is an academic career development program that enables students to explore careers in the health care industry and to develop skills related to patient care practiced in hospitals and long term facilities.

Public Communications[edit]

The Public Communications Academy prepares students careers as public relations specialists, press secretaries, media directors, speech writers, lawyers, teachers and other advocates. Academy courses build skills in creative writing, advocacy, and public speaking skills.

Leadership Training Institute (LTI)[edit]

John F. Kennedy High School’s signature program empowers students through rigorous interdisciplinary experiential learning, community service projects, and leadership theory and application. It is an application-only program.

Medical Careers[edit]

The Medical Careers program is an academic career development program that enables students to explore careers in the health care industry and to develop skills related to patient care practiced in hospitals and long term facilities. Successful students will receive cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training and certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with the Maryland Board of Nursing. The medical careers program is an application only program in during grades 11-12.

Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC)[edit]

John F. Kennedy High School offers a unique program as an elective course, Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (MCJROTC). This course of instruction is available all four years of high school. The mission of MCJROTC is “to instill in students the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.”

The curriculum is divided into academic studies and leadership development. Academics introduce the historical, scientific, and technical aspects specific to each service. Leadership development concentrates on cadet corps activities, drill and ceremonies, improving study habits and time management skills, developing effective communication skills, and learning sound problem-solving techniques plus how to Fix and reload a M-14 for Drill and as of June 2013 they will allow only JFK high school to use a real M-14 without the firing pin. As of June 2013, Montgomery County Board of Education has let the NJROTC turn into a Marine Corps JROTC because of too many NJROTC programs in Montgomery County public schools.

Commissioned in 2001, Kennedy High School's NJROTC unit was led by several individuals before being recommissioned into a Marine Corps junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (MCJROTC).

Senior Naval Science Instructors[edit]

2001-2007 CAPT Kenneth Trass, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

2007–present LCDR Leonard C. Greig, U.S. Army/U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.)

Naval Science Instructors[edit]

2001-2004 GySgt Gregory Bowman, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

2004-2005 1stSgt Russell Steward, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

2005–2011 MCPO Tommy Brady, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

2011–2012 SCPO Kenneth Montgomery, U.S. Marine Corps/ U.S. Navy (Ret.)

2012–present MCPO Tommy Brady, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

The MCJROTC Area Five Manager's Inspection in 2004

Unit achievements[edit]

In 2003, the Kennedy High School MCJROTC Drill Team was invited to the Area Five Regional Championship in Norfolk, Virginia where they placed first in armed and second place unarmed standard Drill.[7]

Kennedy's NJROTC Unit has received the "Unit Achievement" award four times; 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2007–2008, and 2011-2012.

In the 2008-2009 year, the Area Five manager awarded JFK MCJROTC with "Distinguished Unit", a first in its 8 year history.

Athletics[edit]

Kennedy vs. Blake in 2007

Teams[edit]

Kennedy High School is home to a number of sports teams:

Fall sports[edit]

  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Cheerleading
  • Pom Poms

Winter sports[edit]

  • Basketball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Indoor track
  • Wrestling

Spring sports[edit]

  • Baseball
  • Tennis
  • Lacrosse
  • Track and field
  • Softball
  • Volleyball[8]

Championships[edit]

All tournaments and finals are conducted by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA)[9] --- An incomplete list of a few Championships:

  • Football State Championships:[10]
  • 1977 (Class C; 13-0; Coach Wesley Abrams)
  • 1984 (Class A; 18-15; Coach Brady Straub)
  • Boy's Soccer State Champions
  • 1978 (Class B vs. Oakland Mills; Coach Gene Hostetler)
  • 1989(Class 3A; tied 2-2 vs. Howard {then #1 ranked team in USA Today}; Coach Jeff Schultz)
  • Field Hockey State Champion:
  • 1981 (5-0; Coach Barbara Belt)
  • Boys' Cross Country State Champions:
  • 1974 (Class A; 64; Coach Al Bellman)
  • Girls' Cross Country State Champion:
  • 1983 (Class A; 67; Coach Al Bellman)
  • Cheerleading State Champions:
  • 1999; 2000; 2007
  • Wrestling: 1988 Montgomery County Individual Champion Shawn Dykes (189 lbs)
  • Football Division Champions: 1984; 1990
  • Football Regional Champions: 1984
  • Boys' Soccer Finalist: 1980; 1985
  • Boy's Track & Field Finalist; 1967 [11]
  • Field Hockey State Semi-Finalist: 1980; 1982
  • Boys' Soccer Regional Champions: 1979, 1980, 1985, 1987
  • Boys' Soccer Division Champions: 2010
  • Girls' Soccer Division Champions: 1997;2009
  • Boys' Tennis Division Champions: 1980; 1988; 1989; 1999; 2000; 2005
  • Girls' Tennis Division Champions: 1993; 2002
  • Girls' Cross Country Division Champions: 1983; 1984; 1987; 1988
  • Girls' Cross Country Regional Champions: 1983; 1984
  • Cheerleading County Division Champions: 1999; 2000; 2002; 2008;
  • Cheerleading County Champions: 1999; 2000
  • Girls' Basketball Division Champions: 2006
  • Boys' Basketball Division Champions: 1989; 1997; 2004
  • Boys' Basketball Regional Champions: 1989; 1996; 2004
  • Boys' Swim & Dive Team: Division Champions: 2005; 2007
  • Girls' Swim & Dive Team: Division Champions: 2007
  • Girls' Indoor Track County Champions: 1986; 1989
  • Girls' Indoor Track Regional Champions: 1985; 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989
  • Girls' Track & Field Division Champions: 1983; 1984; 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989;
  • Boy's Indoor Track County Champions: 1986
  • Boy's Indoor Track Regional Champions: 1979
  • Boys' Track & Field Division Champions: 1984; 1988; 1989; 1993; 2002

Notable achievements[edit]

The football team was noted in The Washington Post for a lengthy losing streak in 2005 which had since been broken.[12]

Recent history[edit]

Reemergence of football[edit]

In the 2006 fall season the Kennedy football team came in with a 25-game losing streak. With a new head coach, former arena league and NFL receiver Gunnard Twyner, and the emergence of star athlete Melvin Harris the Cavaliers broke their losing streak by winning their first game of the season against Albert Einstein High School. The Cavaliers exceeded expectations by winning 10 games and making the playoffs. Kennedy managed to avenge their 49-7 loss from earlier in the season by beating the state powerhouse Seneca Valley Screamin' Eagles 19-7, the team's first playoff win since 1992. The team entered the second round of the playoffs against Urbana High School, but came up short.

However since that season the Kennedy football team has fallen back into their losing ways. The team is currently ranked one of the worst in the county.

Baseball[edit]

When the graduating class of 2008 arrived at Kennedy H.S. in 2004, it was easy to recognize that this would be one of the best athletic group of student-athletes the school would ever have. Though not easily noticeable, improvements were taking place little by little in all of Kennedy's sports seasons. Not many records improved, but much respect was gained. The 2005 baseball season for the Cavs concluded in the ending of a 5-year losing streak, with a come-from-behind win against Albert Einstein H.S. Jack Chizik, coach at the time, and the team would have something to be proud of and build on. The following year, some experienced sophomores who played on the varsity team the year before returned to the field once again, looking to keep improving and make Kennedy's varsity baseball program a well-respected one. And so they did, finishing the season with a 2-14 record, and losing some close games to tough teams not to mention an 8-3 win against powerhouse Paint Branch H.S. A big role was played by new coach and former Southern University MVP Mike Maroto, who came from Atlanta, Georgia, after having coached a team that constantly made the state championships. Maroto had a rough transition to make, but in his first year, a huge improvement showed. In 2007, the team was mainly made up of '07 and '08. The players formed close bonds and, yet again, doubled their win total from the year before, to a record of 4-12. Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable improvement came in the 2008 baseball season. With many position players missing due to graduation in 2007, the Cavs felt they were not in a good position. Nevertheless, Coach Maroto stayed positive and led an offseason workout program in which prominent role players improved not only physically, but mentally, and skillfully. After dropping the first game, the Cavs came back to win the next four in a row. Due to the efforts and hard work of the team, and coaches (Maroto and Watts), the Cavs finished the season with an 8-8 record. Prominent role players included senior catcher Tony Staffa, Senior shortstop Elio Peraza, Senior pitcher/first baseman Michael Sullivan, and Senior center fielder Noah Walker. The Cavs had their best season in decades, along with Staffa making the County All-Star team.

Lacrosse[edit]

Although on a recent downward trend since the departure of Coach David Heiney-Gonzalez, the Cavaliers lacrosse team is known throughout Montgomery County as a powerhouse contender. Former Coach Gonzalez was instrumental in converting football athletes to emerging lacrosse players. Although they lacked strong stick skills, due to pure athleticism and coaching, the team was able to compete with established lacrosse teams including Springbrook, Wooton and Sherwood High School. Previous notable players include Munachimso Okoji, Sanoussy Barry, Prashant Rao and Thomas "Teddy" Wescott that showed strong potential under Coach Gonzalez's training. During the 2006-2007 season the Rockville-Kennedy rivalry reached an all-time high with players, coaches and even parents trash-talking over the popular internet website Facebook. This almost spilled over, with several students threatening others but fortunately no incidents occurred. The teams played each other during the 2006-2007 season and both times Rockville won. Since then the rivalry has subsided, but Rockville-Kennedy lacrosse games still fill the stands.

Athletic Rivalries[edit]

Kennedy's main rival is Wheaton High School which is located down Randolph Road. The Rivalry is fueled by the schools close proximity to one another.[13][14][15] The Wheaton-Kennedy Rivalry is one of the oldest rivalries in Montgomery County.[16]

Other smaller rivalries include those with Albert Einstein High School and for Lacrosse; Rockville High School (Maryland).

Facilities[edit]

Kennedy's Football stadium is named in memory of Brady Straub, who coached the 1984 football team to the state championship. The following year, he bravely led the team while battling cancer, succumbing shortly after the end of the season. The field was redone in the spring of 2007 after being condemned by the county for poor conditions.

The gymnasium hallway bears the last name of former Kennedy all-star basketball player and captain Jeremy Herring. Herring, who was the lead scorer for Montgomery County in 2007, was slain along with his brother Justin Herring (also an alumni) in the summer following his graduation.[17][18]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Allison Krause, (Class of 1969) one of the students who died protesting at the Kent State massacre.
  • David Silverman (Class of 1975), animator of the show The Simpsons. Supervising director of The Simpsons Movie.
  • Eric Robinson (Class of 1978), Captain of the 1978 Maryland State Championship Football Team. Offensive Captain, Indiana State Univ Football 1980-82. COSIDA NCAA Academic All-American 1981 & 1982, Football. He played two seasons in the USFL for the Washington Federals 1983-1984, All-USFL 1st team KR/PR. Minnesota Vikings (1985) RB/KR.
  • Mark Robinson (Class of 1980), All-American, Penn State Univ. 1981, 1982 & 1983. Captain 1982 National Championship Team Penn State Univ.(vs Univ of Georgia) MVP 1983 Sugar Bowl-National Championship. COSIDA Academic All-American 1982. He played seven seasons from 1984 to 1990 for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Won the Ed Block Courage Award with the Kansas City Chiefs, 1986.
  • Vencie Glenn (Class of 1982), He played ten seasons from 1986 to 1995 for the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. He had 35 career interceptions. He had one of the longest returns for a touchdown (103 yds) in NFL history.
  • Erik McMillan (Class of 1983), He played six seasons from 1988 to 1993, playing for the Jets for five of those seasons, and the Eagles, Browns & Chiefs the last. He recovered 2 fumbles for touchdowns in a season, tying an NFL record. He is a 2-time pro-bowler
  • William Joppy, He attended 9th & 10th grade at Kennedy from 1984 to 1986. He has held the WBA middleweight title on two occasions.
  • Curtis Pride (Class of 1986), First team Parade Magazine All-American soccer player. Fifth deaf player in Major League Baseball history, playing for the Expos, Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Yankees and Angels (1993–2006).
  • Derrick Gray, (Class of 2004), CFL player for the Calgary Stampeders.
  • Lori Stokes, (Class of 1980), Television Journalist... Presently news anchor at WABC-TV in New York. One of the original anchors of MSNBC and first First African to speak on MSNBC, Previously anchored at WJLA, WBFF-TV, WBTV and WCIA.

John Nelson[Class of 1980] Seen and won on the price is right t.v. show. Seen and won on the Newlywed Game. Also seen in the movie Bait shop on the usa network and Disney commercials as well as the Tiger Woods commercial for EA sports.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°3′56.4″N 77°2′19.7″W / 39.065667°N 77.038806°W / 39.065667; -77.038806