Pennsbury High School

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Pennsbury High School
608 South Olds Blvd (West Campus)
705 Hood Blvd (East Campus)

Fairless Hills, Bucks County, Pennsylvania 19030

Type Public
School district Pennsbury School District
Principal Shawn Neely (Co-Principal)
Lisa Becker (Co-Principal)
Enrollment 3,369 [1]
Color(s) Orange and Black         
Mascot Falcon
Rivals Neshaminy Redskins, Council Rock North, Council Rock South

Pennsbury High School is a public high school located in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is part of Pennsbury School District.

With 3,369 students enrolled for the 2010-2011 school year, Pennsbury High School is the largest high school in Bucks County, and the tenth largest high school in the state of Pennsylvania. There are approximately 255 faculty and staff. It is the only high school in Pennsbury School District, which has a total enrollment of 10,958 students (includes Bucks Technical High School and Intermediate Unit student totals).[1]

Pennsbury had a graduating class of 840 students in 2011, of which 91% were college-bound. The school had seven National Merit Scholarship finalists and one winner.[2]

Senior Prom[edit]

Each year, the school holds a lavish senior prom, and months are spent preparing for the event by students, faculty and other volunteers to transform the high school into a night to remember. Students arrive to bleachers full of local families who gather to watch the parade of inventive vehicles and their dressed-up occupants. Ambulances, hearses, trolleys, classic cars, parade-like floats, Zamboni Machines, and shopping carts are employed by students who want to arrive at the prom in style. In 2004, the event was awarded "Best Prom" by Reader's Digest as part their "America's 100 Best" feature.[3] In 1991, to the horror of the Lower Makefield parents, 2 Live Crew performed in the school's gymnasium where they played hits "Me So Horny" and "Dick Almighty"[citation needed]. 2004, singer-songwriter John Mayer performed for a crowd of nearly a thousand students. In 2007 and 2012, former student and hip-hop artist, Asher Roth performed. In 2008, singer-songwriter Rick Seibold performed. On May 16, 2009, pop rock musician Ryan Cabrera performed. In 2013, the main performer was a Lady Gaga impersonator.

Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School[edit]

Bamberger's book documents the senior year of Pennsbury High School students.

In 2002, Pennsbury High School's prom tradition caught the attention of Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Bamberger. After writing an article for the magazine about the 2002 prom, Bamberger went on to write a book, Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School, which chronicled the senior year of a group of Pennsbury students. The rights for the book were bought by Paramount, and MTV and Tollin/Robbins Productions were to produce the film, which had tentatively been named Pennsbury. [4] In 2004, Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins signed with Walt Disney Studios,[5] leaving the status of the project uncertain.

Bob Costa, one of the students documented by Bamberger in the book, spent his senior year spearheading an effort to get John Mayer to perform at Pennsbury's senior prom.[6] On prom night, May 16, 2004, the singer performed a three song set. Mayer followed in the footsteps of multi-platinum bands like Eve 6 and Maroon 5, who performed special acoustic shows at Pennsbury in 2003. In 2007, popular rapper (and Pennsbury alumnus) Asher Roth performed. On May 16, 2009, pop rock musician Ryan Cabrera performed. At the 2010 prom Thomas Ian Nicholas performed, as did the Quincy Mumford Band. In May 19, 2012, rapper T. Mills and Pennsbury alumnus Asher Roth each performed a set.

School bus accident[edit]

On January 12, 2007, seventeen Pennsbury High School students were injured when a school bus veered into a group of students as they left school. The bus "jumped a curb outside one of the school buildings, drove over a sidewalk, barreled down an access road, mowed down a fence and slammed head-on into the retaining wall." [7] All injured students required hospitalization for their injuries. The incident received nationwide media coverage.

Ashley Zauflik, the most seriously injured student, suffered a fractured pelvis, internal bleeding and a crushed left leg, which later had to be amputated above the knee. She was released from the hospital on February 22.[8] All other students injured in the accident have returned to school.

The NTSB announced they had "not found any major mechanical errors with the school bus," however did note that the brakes were out of adjustment. The vehicle, a Thomas Saf-T-Liner MVP-ER school bus, was involved in a similar accident in 1994.[9]

On March 13, 2007, Falls Township police concluded that the school bus driver slammed on the gas pedal instead of the brake. The driver was not driving his usual vehicle, and "the accelerator of the replacement bus was close in shape and location to the brake in the bus he normally drove." The school bus driver remains on paid leave, and officials have said charges will not be filed. The school bus driver disagrees with the results of the investigation, claiming it was mechanical failure, and his attorney intends to "conduct his own investigation of the crash." [10] The results of the NTSB's investigation will take 6–12 months to complete. A lawyer representing Ashley Zauflik indicated a civil lawsuit would be filed.[11]

Two days after police announced the results of their investigation, a fire damaged two Pennsbury school buses parked outside a school district garage. School district officials said it was too "speculative" to connect the two events, however they also deemed the fire "suspicious." [12] Fire investigators later concluded the fire was intentionally set.[13]

Notable alumni[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 40°10′26″N 74°50′07″W / 40.173824°N 74.835327°W / 40.173824; -74.835327