Ridgewood High School (New Jersey)
|Ridgewood High School|
|627 East Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07451
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Ridgewood Public Schools|
|Principal||Dr. Thomas Gorman|
|Assistant principals||Jeffrey Nyhuis
|Faculty||137.0 (on FTE basis)|
|Grades||9 - 12|
|Enrollment||1,669 (as of 2011-12)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.18:1|
|Athletics conference||Big North Conference|
As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,669 students and 137.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.18:1. There were 23 students (1.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 8 (0.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Composed of one central building, which, along with the original gym, was completed in 1919 at a total cost of $285,000, the building features brick walls, a slate roof and other stone features. The building was planned to be opened at an earlier date but it was postponed because of World War I. The building was designed by the noted architectural firm of Tracy and Swartwout, who also designed the Missouri State Capitol building.
Awards, recognition and rankings
During the 1986-87 school year, Ridgewood High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
The school was the 28th-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. The school had been ranked 28th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 20th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 7th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 24th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.
Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 40th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 8 positions from the 2010 ranking), which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (94.6%) and language arts literacy (96.5%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 27th in New Jersey and 917th nationwide. In Newsweek's May 22, 2007 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Ridgewood High School was listed in 549th place, the tenth-highest ranked school in New Jersey. The school was ranked 472 in Newsweek's May 8, 2006, issue, listing the Top 1,200 High Schools in The United States, and was ranked 323 in Newsweek's 2005 survey.
In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools," The Daily Beast ranked the school 363rd in the nation among participating public high schools and 32nd among schools in New Jersey. The school was ranked 273rd in the nation and 25th in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.
In the Spring of 2013, Medha Kirtane, a Social Studies teacher at RHS was honored as an "exceptional" secondary school teacher by Princeton University. An alumnus of Williams College and Harvard Graduate School, Kirtane was recognized along with three other teachers throughout the entire state.
Ridgewood High School has had success with its academic teams. In 1999, its quiz bowl team finished second in the country at the National Academic Championship and in fifth place at the National Scholastics Championship sponsored by the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence. Recent successes have included finishing victories in 2013 at various local tournaments.[clarification needed] Ridgewood's JV History Bowl team won the Northern New Jersey History Bowl in January 2013 and later finished as a quarterfinalist at the 2013 National History Bowl National Championships. Ridgewood High School was also the site of the 2010 Tri-State History Bowl, a history quiz tournament which served as the pilot competition for what became the National History Bee and Bowl.
Ridgewood High School competes in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. For the 2009-10 school year, Ridgewood was part of the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, a conference established on an interim basis to facilitate the realignment. Before then, Ridgewood High School was one of the public high schools from Bergen, Essex and Passaic counties that were members of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League. With 1,277 students in grades 10-12, the school is classified by the NJSIAA for most sports as North I, Group IV, which includes schools with enrollment of 1,108 to 2,479. The school's sports teams are nicknamed the Maroons. Ridgewood High School athletics are broadcast locally on RHS-TV Sports, a student-produced sports television network, every Tuesday night at 8PM throughout the school year.
The football team won the North I Group IV state sectional championships in 1991, 2003 and 2004. In 1991, Ridgewood, under coach Chuck Johnson, defeated North Bergen High School in football to win the North I Group IV state championship, the first ever for the Maroons. In 2003, the football team defeated Morristown High School 35-6 in the NJSIAA North I Group IV title game at Giants Stadium. In 2004, the football team repeated the feat by defeating Hackensack High School 27-20, again at Giants Stadium.
The boys lacrosse team has won state championships in 1990 (vs. Arthur L. Johnson High School) and 1991 (Montclair High School), along with Group III championships in 2004 (Westfield High School), 2006 (Randolph High School), 2008 (Montgomery High School), 2009 (Shawnee High School), 2012 Morristown High School (New Jersey), and 2013 Shawnee High School (New Jersey). In 2011 Ridgewood High School won the Gibbs League (one of the most respectable in the country). Also in 2011 Ridgewood won the Bergen County Tournament Championship vs. Don Bosco Prep High School. Ridgewood High School has made it to the final four of the Tournament of Champions (six best teams in New Jersey) both in 2012 when they lost to Bridgewater-Raritan High School in triple overtime (Ranked top 20 in the country by InsideLacrosse magazine in 2012) and in 2013 to Don Bosco Prep High School (Ranked 25th in the country via InsideLacrosse magazine in 2013).
In 2007, the boy's tennis team won their second State Sectionals title in three years, defeating Livingston High School 3-2 to win the North I, Group IV championship. The 2008 Boys Tennis Team won their third consecutive North I, Group IV state sectional championship with a 4-1 win in the tournament final over Livingston High School. In 2009, the Maroons defeated Bergen Tech 4-1 at Paramus High School for their fourth consecutive North I Group IV state sectional championship.
In 2007, the girl's indoor track and field team came in 2nd nationally for the Shuttle Hurdle Relay. That same year, the team were North I, Group IV champions barely edging out East Orange Campus High School in a thrilling final 4X400m race. Although not running as fast as they did in 2007, the team came 1st in 2008 for the Shuttle Hurdles at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships. In 2008, the boy's outdoor track and field team placed 6th nationally in the Sprint Medley Relay, the first sprint team to place at Nationals for RHS after numerous previous Top 6 finishes in the Distance Medley Relay.
In 2010, the girls' lacrosse team won the Tournament of Champions with a 7-6 win against West Morris Mendham High School. They also won in 2011 with a comeback victory against rival Moorestown High School, winning 10-9.
The Ridgewood boys cross country team has won Group IV state championships in 1991 and 1992. The team, headed by Coach Mike Glynn since the 1970s (with the exception of a two-year break), has won multiple titles at the Bergen County Meet of Champions since the 1990s, earning Glynn recognition from The Record in 2010 as its Coach of the Decade. Notable runners in previous years include Joe Lemay, who went on to represent the United States at the World Half Marathon Championships and the World Cross-Country Championships, and Bob Keino (son of Kenyan Olympian Kip Keino), who won the New Jersey State Meet of Champions in both 1992 and 1993. Taro Shigenobu qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals in 2008, and was recognized by The Record as its runner of the year in 2009 and as part of its All-Decade team in 2010, joining Michael Cator, Byron Williams and Ari Zamir on its list of top Bergen County runners. The girls team won Group IV titles in 1980, 1992, 1998 and 1999, and won individual Group IV championships in 1984, 1993, 1997 and 2001.
Girl's soccer coach Jeff Yearing, in his 25th year of coaching, won his 400th career game in September 2011, placing him second among all active Bergen County coaches. In the Maroon's past season of 2013, they finished with a record of 15-2-2, one of the ties being a 4-3 penalty kick win over Ramsey, sending the girls to the Bergen County quarter finals. The most triumphant success of the season was the shut out Immaculate Heart Academy(ranked No.4 in the nation). 
The Ridgewood boys' track and field teams have also experienced notable success. Most recently, in the 2013 spring season, the Maroons boys won the Bergen County Relays championship, Big North league championship, the Bergen County Team championship, (over perennial powerhouse Don Bosco Prep), and their fourth consecutive North I Group IV state sectional championship. The sectional championship qualified RHS for New Jersey's first ever Group Team championship in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, where the Maroons finished second. At New Balance Nationals, the team set a new school and county record in the 4x800 meter relay, finishing seventh in the nation. The team's coaches are Josh Saladino and Mike Glynn.
The newest part of the school, the state-of-the-art Science wing, was completed in 2001 and contains 15 laboratory classrooms, three computer labs and a new industrial arts center. A new fitness center, gymnasium, and multipurpose room, the Campus Center, were also included in the renovation. Due to their proximity to the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, the school's fields often flood during heavy rains and spring runoff.
Ridgewood High School's Music department offers three orchestras, three choirs, three concert bands, a marching band, two jazz ensembles, and numerous small ensembles. Ridgewood High School was named a Grammy Signature School in 2004.
The three curricular bands are the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Wind Ensemble. John Luckenbill conducts the Symphonic Band. The Symphonic Band is an entry-level band where students focus on sharpening their skills in rhythm, pitch, and balance. The use of method books and exercises is supplemented by appropriate concert selections (Level 2.5 to 3), and these skills are developed in an enjoyable environment.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Thomas Gorman, Principal
- Jeffrey Nyhuis, Assistant Principal: Guidance, Curriculum and Instruction
- Basil Pizzuto, Assistant Principal: Administration and Student Services
- Robert T. Bakker (born 1945), paleontologist.
- Martin Courtney, founder of indie rock band, Real Estate.
- Gerry Duggan (born 1974; class of 1992), television writer and comic book author.
- Willie Geist (born 1975), co-host, MSNBC's Morning Joe.
- Sonny Igoe (1923-2012; class of 1939), jazz drummer.
- Robert Sean Leonard (born 1969), actor who started acting while at the school and was given work study credit for his theatrical work.
- David Madden (born 1981; class of 1999), 19-day champion on Jeopardy!, founder and executive director of the National History Bee and Bowl.
- Andrew Maguire (born 1939), politician who represented New Jersey's 7th congressional district from 1975 to 1981.
- Richard Muenz (born 1948), actor.
- Kim Ng (born 1968), Major League Baseball executive.
- James "Buddy" Nielsen (born 1984), musician Senses Fail.
- Nelson Riddle (1921–1985), bandleader, arranger and orchestrator.
- Thomas M. Ryan, Jr. (born 1928), retired United States Air Force four-star general.
- Kazbek Tambi (born 1961; class of 1979),current Seton Hall University women's soccer head coach and former professional soccer player, who was inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
- David Van Tieghem (born 1955), percussionist, composer and sound designer.
- Data for Ridgewood High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed September 16, 2014.
- Hanley, Robert. "The $25 Million Defeat", The New York Times, December 21, 1997. Accessed January 22, 2012. "The high school, built in 1919 for $285,000 (after one bond issue failed), sits on a little bluff and is one of Ridgewood's most imposing buildings."
- "Ridgewood High School - History of RHS". Retrieved 2010-09-09.
- Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- "CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department", Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
- "Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test", The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 12, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed June 22, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 26, 2012.
- Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Ridgewood High School", The Washington Post. Accessed August 4, 2011.
- "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,200 top U.S. schools", Newsweek, May 22, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007.
- Top 1,200 High Schools in The United States, Newsweek May 8, 2006.[dead link]
- America's Best High Schools, Newsweek, August 5, 2005.[dead link]
- Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast / Newsweek, May 20, 2012. Accessed May 24, 2012.
- League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 16, 2014.
- League Memberships - 2009-1010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed September 16, 2014.
- 2014-15 Public Schools Group Classification for ShopRite Cup–Tennis–Soccer–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. FOOTBALL PLAYOFF CHAMPIONS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 8, 2011.
- via Associated Press. "High School Football Playoffs Roundup", The Press of Atlantic City, December 11, 2003. Accessed June 30, 2011. "RIDGEWOOD 35, MORRISTOWN 6: Senior Derek Pilipiak ran for two touchdowns and threw for another on a halfback option to lead Ridgewood to victory over Morristown in the North 1, Group IV title game at Giants Stadium."
- Staff. "FINAL GANNETT N.J.TOP 20 FOOTBALL POLL", Daily Record (Morristown), December 6, 2004. Accessed August 4, 2011. "Last week No 8 Paul Gallo rushed for 111 yards and a TD as the Maroons avenged an earlier loss to Hackensack with a 27-20 win over the Comets"
- HISTORY OF THE NJSIAA BOYS' LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIPS, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 29, 2011.
- 2006 Softball - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 26, 2006.
- "Palisades Park wins sectional", The Record (Bergen County), May 22, 2007. "Quentin Sengun and Walter Green rallied to win what proved the be the winning match as top-seeded Ridgewood defeated third-seeded Livingston, 3-2, at Montclair Kimberley to win its second sectional title in three years."
- 2008 Boys Team Tennis - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 2, 2008.
- 2009 Boys Tennis Tournament - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- Schwartz, Paul. "Ridgewood girls grab gold", The Record (Bergen County), March 15, 2008. Accessed July 9, 2008.
- Mike Moretti. "Girls Lacrosse - 2010 NJSIAA Tournament of Champions - Round 2 - Game 1 - Girls Lacrosse". Retrieved 2010-09-09.
- Guiffra, Brian. "Ridgewood girls lax team wins second straight Tournament of Champions title", The Record (Bergen County), June 11, 2011. Accessed August 15, 2012. "Trailing top-seeded Moorestown by two goals with just over seven minutes left in the girls lacrosse Tournament of Champions final, No. 2 Ridgewood staged an incredible comeback to earn a 10-9 win on a misty Saturday afternoon at Yurcak Field in Rutgers."
- Cross Country State Group Team Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2011.
- Staff. "All-Decade boys cross-country", The Record (Bergen County), June 10, 2010. Accessed September 1, 2011.
- Leonard, Tim. "Girls soccer: Ridgewood’s Jeff Yearing wins 400th", The Record (Bergen County), September 21, 2011. Accessed September 21, 2011. "Tuesday’s win was No. 400 for Ridgewood coach Jeff Yearing.... Yearing was surprised by the gesture and thought his players didn’t know the milestone was fast-approaching. He started the season with 397 wins in 24 previous seasons."
- Mills, Ed. "H.S. Boys Track: Ridgewood rolls to fourth straight state sectional crown", The Record (Bergen County), May 26, 2013. Accessed December 22, 2013. "The Maroons ended up with all three relay victories, and also gold in the 100-meter sprint as they swept to a championship Saturday at the track and field state sectional championships.Ridgewood won the North 1, Group 4 title for an unprecedented fourth year in a row and qualified for the group state championships this weekend at Egg Harbor."
- GRAMMY Foundation Announces 2004 Signature Schools, MENC: The National Association for Music Education press release dated April 28, 2004, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 3, 2006. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- "John Luckenbill III- Marching Band Director, Associate Director of Bands", Ridgewood High School Bands. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- Symphonic Band, Ridgewood High School Bands. Accessed October 18, 2011.
- Administration, Ridgewood High School. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- "NJEA honors outstanding N.J. public school grads", NJEA Reporter, October 2007, Volume 51, Number 2. Accessed July 9, 2008. "A 1963 graduate of Ridgewood High School in Bergen County, Bakker credits the Dec. 7, 1953 issue of Life Magazine, which he unearthed at his grandfather’s house, for his interest in dinosaurs."
- Ebbels, Kelly. "Ridgewood's Real Estate finds the right market", The Ridgewood News, October 14, 2011. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- O'Donnell, Chuck "Ridgewood native's love of comics takes him to The Infinite Horizon", The Ridgewood News, December 2, 2011. Accessed September 12, 2012. "Staring at a dog-eared copy of Homer's "The Odyssey" he had pulled off a shelf, Duggan's mind flashed back to the first time he was introduced to the book as a student at Ridgewood High School."
- Rondon, Nayda. "Willie Geist: Getting “Freaky” in Ridgewood: The MSNBC commentator signed copies of his humorous new book at Bookends.", Ridgewood Patch, October 26, 2010. Accessed June 23, 2011. "Currently a resident of New York City, Willie Geist attended Glen School and Ridgewood High School, where he was captain of the football and basketball teams."
- Herzog, Laura. "Ridgewood honors jazz great who went to RHS", The Ridgewood News, April 15, 2013. Accessed December 5, 2013. "Another name recognized by many serious musicians was former Ridgewood resident Sonny Igoe, who died last spring at age 88. A 1939 Ridgewood High School (RHS) 'distinguished alumni' graduate, Igoe was one of America's great big band drummers, who even played with the 'King of Swing' himself, Benny Goodman."
- Klein, Alvin. "FOR STAGE NOVICE, 'ACTING IS IT", The New York Times, January 5, 1986. Accessed October 29, 2007. "'He's not only having an awful day, he's having an awful time,' as the actor, Robert Leonard of Ridgewood, puts it.... A junior at Ridgewood High School, Robert is enrolled in a 'work study' program under which he gets credit for his theater experience."
- Amos, Darius. "Area students to compete in History Bowl and Bee in Ridgewood", The Record (Bergen County), February 2, 2012. Accessed August 15, 2012. "The bee for individuals and the bowl for teams are part of the greater National History Bee and Bowl, which was founded by Ridgewood resident and 1999 RHS graduate David Madden in 2010."
- Gene Andrew Maguire, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed June 10, 2007.
- Crossette, Barbara. "New Face: Richard Muenz A Baritone Aspiring to Be an Arthurian Legend in His Own Time; Follows 'Most Happy Fella'", The New York Times, July 25, 1980. Accessed January 26, 2011.
- Brown, Tim. "Can Kim Ng break the gender barrier?", Yahoo! Sports, July 3, 2011. Accessed January 26, 2011.
- Aberback, Brian. "Ridgewood's Senses Fail performs on the Warped Tour at PNC", The Record (Bergen County), July 10, 2012. Accessed August 15, 2012. "Senses Fail formed in 2002 when Nielsen, then a Ridgewood High School senior, met like-minded Bergen County musicians through Internet message boards."
- September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle, accessed April 22, 2007. "Riddle was born in Oradell, New Jersey. His father played trombone and piano and encouraged his son to take music lessons at an early age. Already a six footer in his teens, he attended Ridgewood High School and was encouraged by his school music teacher to continue his musical studies, which he would ultimately do most of his life."
- "GENERAL THOMAS M. RYAN JR.". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19., United States Air Force. Accessed January 26, 2011.
- RHS Athletic Hall of Fame: Kazbek Tambi - Class of 1979, Ridgewood High School, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 3, 2009. Accessed June 30, 2011. "A three-year starter at RHS, Tambi is still the fourth all-time scorer in soccer at RHS with 81 career points."
- Kobel, Peter. "Percussionist Van Tieghem Hears A Different Drum", Chicago Tribune, August 18, 1987. Accessed October 29, 2012. "Van Tieghem -- tall, angular and soft-spoken -- grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., and now lives in downtown Manhattan. He played in a number of rock bands in high school and then studied percussion at the Manhattan School of Music."
- Ridgewood High School website
- Ridgewood High School's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Ridgewood Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- The RHS Band Program