John Jay High School (Cross River, New York)

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John Jay High School
Cross River, NY, USA
Coordinates 41°16′24″N 73°36′39″W / 41.2733°N 73.6107°W / 41.2733; -73.6107Coordinates: 41°16′24″N 73°36′39″W / 41.2733°N 73.6107°W / 41.2733; -73.6107
Type Public high school
Principal Mr. John Goetz
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1400
Color(s) Purple, White, Black
Mascot Indian, Statesman

John Jay High School is a public high school located in Cross River, New York.[1] It is the only high school in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.[2] The school, which opened in 1956,[3] is named after John Jay, a Founding father of the United States, and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who lived nearby.


'Vagina Monologues' censorship controversy[edit]

John Jay briefly made national and international[4] news in March 2007 when three students were facing punishment after reading a poem from the play The Vagina Monologues at an Open Mic Night, an event open to the community. The extract included the word "vagina", and the girls had been asked to edit the word out because of the expected crowd which would include many young children; they had said they would follow this order but then disobeyed (they underlined the word by saying it in unison). The school gave them a one-day suspension - not for what was said, but for their insubordination. The girls decided not to appeal their suspension. They agreed they had been insubordinate, but the incident was widely reported and the original order criticized as an act of censorship. Many students protested the punishment to no avail. However, many students also protested the media's portrayal of the situation, believing that the school had acted correctly and that the girls deserved to be punished for their insubordination, for they had previously agreed not to say the word. The play's author Eve Ensler gave the students her support[5] and was invited by parents for a school visit. The suspension was put on hold while policies were reviewed and eventually rescinded.[6]


Cross Country[edit]

John Jay has an exceptional Cross Country team, coached by Tom Nohilly. In 2013 the girl's section of the team were the State of New York Cross Country Federation Champions. These athletes gathered the school's first ever state athletic title.


John Jay's Varsity bowling team was accepted into county-wide sectionals in the 2008 season. The 2009-2010 boy's team won the league title.


Over the last seven years, John Jay wrestling became Section 1 dual meet champions and #2 in the section. In the 2007-2008 season John Jay wrestling had a record of 27-1. They also won every tournament except the section 1 tournament where they came in 2nd.


The boy's soccer team has made it to the sectional tournament every year since 2001. In 2008, the team turned in a 15-3-2 record and won its first League Championship since 1987.[7]


The football team has reached the section finals for the three of the previous five years.


John Jay High School's lacrosse team is nationally recognized and has been ranked in the top 25 in the country in multiple polls for the majority of the past 6 years. They have been NYS Section 1 Champions 7 times since 1997, including a streak of 4 years in a row from 2005-2008. In 2007 John Jay was the New York State runner up in Class B to Jamesville-Dewitt High School after ending Huntington High School's 63-game winning streak in the State semifinals.

Ultimate Frisbee[edit]

John Jay High School's Ultimate Frisbee team, Air Raid, was formed in 2007 by students who, in that same year, coached themselves to a 2nd place finish in their inaugural New York State Championships tournament. The next year, the team finished 1st in the state and 8th in the nation. Air Raid convincingly achieved their second state championship in their 2010-2011 season due to a very strong showing at the tournament. In the 2011-2012 season, the team won their 3rd state championship and tied for 5th at the Northeastern Regional championships. During the 2012-2013 season, the team began including female students on the roster of both their A & B teams.

Student life[edit]

School dances[edit]

By 2010, due to declining attendance of school dances, the school reduced the number of dances, now only holding prom.[8]

Vocal Jazz[edit]

John Jay High School's Vocal Jazz ensemble, directed by Steven Morse, has competed at Berklee College of Music's High School Jazz Festival ever year but one since 2003. The group, ranging from 15-35 students and accompanied by a rhythm section, placed 2nd in the nation in the 2013 competition (their best finish to date,) by only one point out of all Division 1 schools.[9] In the 2012 competition, three of John Jay's students were recognized for Outstanding Musicianship. The group finished in 3rd place at that competition.[10]

A Cappella groups[edit]

John Jay High School has three a cappella groups, one all-female (The Noteables), one all-male (The Rolling Tones), and a newly formed co-ed (The Treble Makers), founded in 2008. All three a cappella groups perform at various local venues throughout the school year, including school concerts, community service performances, and seasonal events.

Mock Trial[edit]

Since the early 1990s, John Jay has reached the quarter-finals of the Westchester County Tournament. In 2005, John Jay set the record for winning a match by the largest margin of victory in New York State Mock Trial history (John Jay:55, Hackley:12). In 2007, JJHS Mock Trial Team advanced to the semi- final round of the Westchester County Championships.

Junior State of America[edit]

In 2005, a chapter of the Junior State of America (JSA) was founded at John Jay High School. [2]

JJTV Club / MSG Varsity / Excellent Fun[edit]

JJTV produces video content relevant to the student body and recently has partnered with Cablevision's MSG Varsity to provide sports-related content for their channel. Excellent Fun is a separate filmmaking club that focuses on online comedy videos and music. The studio that houses these clubs was built during the summer of 2007, and utilizes industry standard editing and camera equipment.

Science Olympiad[edit]

John Jay High School has attended the New York State Science Olympiad final - usually held at West Point - every year but one since its founding. In 2010, a new event called "Protein Modeling" was created, and John Jay finished first in the state for an "extraordinary construction of [influenza] surface proteins." [3]


John Jay High School's theater program typically produces two major performances per school year: a drama in the fall, and a musical in the spring. In the 2013-2014 school year, JJHS put on Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound and Eugene Ionesco's The Bald Soprano in the Fall[11] and Jonathan Larson's Rent in the Spring.[12]

Wind Ensemble[edit]

The Wind Ensemble traveled to Williamsburg, VA, to compete at Heritage Festivals on April 23–26, 2009, where it won a total of four awards. John Jay High School News, page 4

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ School homepage
  2. ^ Katonah-Lewisboro School District,
  3. ^ Duncombe, Francis Katonah: The History of a New York Village p. 357
  4. ^ Article about the 'censorship' incident on Spiegel Online, major German magazine Der Spiegel's internet section (in German)
  5. ^ Appearance on the Today Show by the students, the author and the president of the school district's education board
  6. ^ Story on WCBS-TV after the suspension was lifted.
  7. ^ John Jay High School Varsity Men's Soccer Web site
  8. ^ Moss, Caroline. "My high school no longer holds dances." CNN. March 17, 2014. Retrieved on April 9, 2014.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^
  11. ^ "John Jay performs fall drama this weekend". The Lewisboro Ledger. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Running Lines: John Jay's 'Rent'". The Journal News. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  13. ^ Chaplin's profile
  14. ^ "Andy is no idiot, Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), - Sep 9, 2005
  15. ^ Turco, Al. "Democrat Robert Reich says he’s prepared to make a difference in Mass.", Stoneham Independent, March 20, 2002. Accessed April 21, 2008. "Reich started out as a graduate of John Jay High School, a regional public high school in small-town Cross River, New York."
  16. ^ a b "GLUTTONS FOR PUNISHMENT: Actors take over the kitchen to whip up the cinematic souffle `Big Night'", The Dallas Morning News, September 28, 1996. "...the pair - Mr. Tucci is 35, Mr. Scott 34 - have been friends since John Jay High School in Cross River, NY..."
  17. ^ Stanley Tucci profile,, accessed April 8, 2007. "He studied at John Jay High School Cross River, New York. "

External links[edit]