Roxbury High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Roxbury High School
Rhs 2005.jpg
A Commitment to Excellence in Education
1 Bryant Drive
Succasunna, NJ 07876

Type Public high school
Established 1903
Principal Jeffrey Swanson
Assistant principals Dr. Linda Bowles
Stuart Mason
Dominick Miller
Faculty 109 (on FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment 1,499 (as of 2010-11)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 13.75:1[1]
Color(s) Blue and gold
Athletics conference Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Nickname Gael
Newspaper Roxbury Review

Roxbury High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school in the Succasunna section of Roxbury Township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Roxbury School District.

Roxbury High School's students come from Roxbury Township, as well as from Mount Arlington, who attend as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Mount Arlington School District.[2]

As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,499 students and 109.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.75:1. There were 85 students (5.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 49 (3.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 93rd-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 115th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[3] The magazine ranked the school 98th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[4] The school was ranked 113th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[5] ranked the school tied for 148th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 1 position from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (82.4%) and language arts literacy (95.1%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[6]


Roxbury High School consists of one rectangular building with various wings. The school only has windows on the front of the building, which faces northwest. This was done in order to save on energy costs, as the school was built during the prelude to the 1973 energy crisis. In 2003 a referendum was passed to add a music suite and an athletic training area/weight room to the original facility. The school shares Bryant Drive with nearby Eisenhower Middle School. Behind the school are athletic fields, including a track and a football field. A wooded area is also used for the "Project Adventure" program (which includes various types of climbing and trust-building activities for freshman).

Performing arts[edit]

Roxbury High School offers a comprehensive, fully curricular performing arts curriculum.


The Roxbury Marching Gaels have won State Championships, and have shaped themselves into one of the best marching bands on the East Coast. In 2005, Roxbury performed "The Music of Scheherazade", and placed 2nd at the United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) New Jersey State Championships with a score of 96.70, and 4th overall at the USSBA East Coast Championships at Giants Stadium with a score of 96.48. Also in 2006, the music from Stravinsky's "The Firebird" won them second place at USSBA Regionals with a score of 97.375, a new record in the school at the time. In 2007, Records were broken with the Gaels performing their show "Deja View" winning them USSBA Group 6 Open NJ State Championships, and then winning 1st place overall at the USSBA Regionals with a score of 98.00. Then in 2009, Roxbury won 1st place at National Championships with their show "Upon A King". They received a score of 98.188, Roxbury's highest score ever received.

The Roxbury Honors Wind Symphony has distinguished itself as a prominent band in the Eastern United States, and has received many "superior" ratings. It has also performed at the prestigious Midwest Clinic. The Roxbury Bands are conducted by Todd Nichols, Richard Hartsuiker, and Sarah Bednarcik.

  • The Roxbury Marching Gaels (for full staff go to
  • The Ninth Symphony (directed by Sarah Bednarcik)
  • The Symphony Band (directed by Richard Hartsuiker)
  • The Honors Wind Symphony (directed by Todd Nichols)
  • The Jazz Ensemble (directed by Todd Nichols)
  • The Jazz Lab Band (directed by Richard Hartsuiker)

Composer Robert Farnon composed The Gaels: An American Wind Symphony, as a commission to the Roxbury High School band in honor of the school's mascot, the gael.[7] The piece made its world debut in May 2006. It was performed by the Roxbury High School Honors Wind Symphony under the direction of Dr. Stanley Saunders, a close friend of Farnon.

The band has also performed in New York City's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.


The Roxbury Choir program is a notable performing group. The select ensembles tour every year to regional and national contests and festivals; on these tours they have taken home many awards including "Best Overall Choir" from these contests. Roxbury's Director of Choral Activities, Lorraine Lynch, initiated the Roxbury Invitational Choral Festival, which is held annually, attracting two dozen choirs from as far as Maine and Virginia. The 2006 tour took the Roxbury Choir to the Music in the Parks Festival, where the choir received six 1st place trophies, six overall ratings of Superior, and the overall best choir of the day. In March 2007, Classic Sounds Honors traveled to Carnegie Hall for the second time.

  • Roxbury Concert Choir
  • Roxbury Classic Sounds Honors
  • Roxbury Freshman Women's Ensemble
  • Roxbury Revelation
  • Roxbury Vocal Jazz
  • Roxbury Chorale
  • Roxbury Madrigals
  • Roxbury Melodies
  • Roxbury Select Men's Choir


There are five levels of sequential curricular dance classes offered. Headed By Rebecca Pietras, Students learn basic technique and various styles of dance including hip-hop, lyrical, modern, and jazz. The curriculum is suited for dancers of all levels of skill.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Extra- and co-curricular activities include:



Student government and leadership[edit]

  • Conflict Resolution Team
  • Echo (yearbook)
  • Peer Leadership
  • Roxbury Review (newspaper) a three-time winner of the GSSPA best all around paper.
  • Prime Time Roxbury (television)
  • Student Council
  • Student Empowerment/Advocacy (SEA)
  • Guardian Angels



Roxbury High School's mascot is the Gael, an Irish warrior, which was a nickname given to the football team in the 1930s by local news writers because of three Irish brothers on the team that were standouts. The Roxbury High School Gaels now compete in the American Division of the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[8][9] Prior to the realignment that took place in 2010, Roxbury had participated in the now defunct twenty-member Iron Hills Conference. With 1,144 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2011-12 school year as North I Group IV, a category that included schools with enrollment of 1,120 to 2,479.[10]

The Roxbury athletic program is best known for their football, wrestling, baseball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field, and girls soccer teams. Sports offered include basketball, cross country, football, golf, field hockey, swimming, soccer, tennis, lacrosse, wrestling, track, volleyball, baseball, ice hockey, and softball. The Gaels once had a bowling team, but it is no longer in existence. Through 100 years of athletic competition, Roxbury has amassed 159 team championships in 18 sports, second to Morristown High School for the Morris County record.[citation needed]


The first Roxbury football team was formed by students in 1913 and lost their first game to Newton High School by a score of 7-0. Under Coach J.B. Shambaugh, the 1926 team won the school's first state championship, taking the Class 'C' Regional title. The 1928 team won the second state championship in school history, in the team's only season with Coach Robert Mohor.

The first of Roxbury's early rivals was Dover High School, who they beat for the first time in 1917 by a score of 7-6. A turkey dinner was given to the team whenever they topped the Tigers. By 1929, Hackettstown High School became the annual Thanksgiving Day contest. The series ended in 1976 with a 34-7 Gael victory; Roxbury and Hackettstown have not played since. One of the most intense rivalries in the state began in 1965 against Randolph High School. Some of the more exciting contests were a 7-0 Randolph victory in 1987 in front of 10,000 people and a 6-6 tie in 1991 ending Randolph's 56-game winning streak. The series is currently 26-18-2 in favor of Randolph, with Roxbury's last win in the series coming with a 13-7 in 2012.

The early 30's saw a string of five County Class 'B' Championships, climaxed by Roxbury's only undefeated season in 1934, when the team won the Morris County title. The 1941 team, known as the Galloping Gaels, registered six shutouts. In addition to winning the Morris County Championship, the 1942 team posted the Gaels' 100th victory. The 1959 team won the school's third State Championship, being declared North II, Group II Champions after showing a 6-2-1 mark. Roxbury's 200th win came in 1964 and the 300th win came in 1979, a 30-10 win over Dover High School. Roxbury's 400th win was in 1998 over Columbia, 40-0.

The '86 and '87 teams advanced to the state tournament finals, losing to Union High School on both occasions. 1987 was the senior season of Dave Moore ‘88, a future NFL pro-bowler, whose #88 was retired. After a 7-2 regular season, the 1998 team beat heavily favored Plainfield High School at Giants Stadium by a core of 7-6, earning the third State Championship in school history and the first in 39 years.[11] The highlight of the 2001 season was Roxbury's 27-26 last-second win over Elizabeth High School, ranked #13 in country and #2 in the state, in the first round of the state playoffs.

2002 marked Head Coach Cosmo Lorusso's first year in Roxbury. The 2008 season began with a disappointing loss. However, the '08 Gaels responded with an eight-game winning streak, including an instant classic, 35-29 win over Morristown, which propelled the team to the final IHC-Iron crown to be contested. The 2009 team jumped to an 8-0 start, quickly winning the inaugural Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference-American Division championship. After two sound victories to start the '09 postseason, Roxbury faced East Orange in the State Final, to be played at Giants Stadium. The Gaels won a 14-6 thriller, clinching the 5th State Title in school history, as well as setting the school record for wins in a season with 11. In 2012, the Roxbury High School Football Gaels played its 100th season of football.

The football team's overall record is 493 wins, 363 losses, and 41 ties (through November 1, 2013).[citation needed]

State championships
Year Coach Record Section
1926 John B. Shambaugh 5-2-1 Norh Jersey Class C
1928 Robert Mohor 5-2-1 North Jersey Class C
1959 Bob Schiffner 6-2-1 North II, Group II
1998 John Quinn 10–2 North II, Group IV
2009 Cosmo Lorusso 11-1 North I, Group IV
2012 Cosmo Lorusso 11-1 North I, Group IV
State Championships 6

Boys lacrosse[edit]

The history of lacrosse being played at Roxbury dates back to 1993. Coach Steve Manitta started the program at club status, where it remained through the 1994 season. The first year of accreditation as a varsity spot proved difficult, with the Gaels ending at 4-10. However, 1995 did mark the first major victory in program history, a 7-6 victory over state champion Kinnelon High School. The following season marked two new breakthroughs for Roxbury: winning its first Morris County Tournament game and making the New Jersey state tournament.

In 2008, the Gaels had its second winning season and second State Playoff appearance, the first in twelve seasons for both. However, the apex of the lacrosse program was reached the following year, as Coach Donnelly’s charges at last bought home the long awaited banner, annexing the Klank Conference Championship. They won a 17-8 victory over Morris Hills High School, ending with an 11-6 campaign.

The 2010 season proved yet another landmark for Roxbury, with the Gaels winning the program’s first State Playoff game, 14-4 over Toms River High School South.

The 2007-08 Roxbury Gaels Varsity Ice Hockey team had a record-setting 22-1-1 season record, having won the HAAS Cup as the HAAS Division champions. Their only loss came in the second round of the State Playoffs against Morris Knolls High School.[12]

From 1996-1998 the Roxbury Gaels Baseball team won three consecutive Morris County Championships, beating rival Randolph High School in both '96 and '97. The team was coached by Bruce Shatel.

In the 1995-96 season, the Roxbury wrestling team won the North Jersey Section II Group IV state sectional title. The Gaels also won the state sectional title during the 2003-04 season, this time as a member of the North Jersey Section II Group III competition.[citation needed]

The Girl's Basketball team, during the 2003-04 season, posted a 25-2 record and won the Iron Hills Conference, Iron Division Championship. Going undefeated in the conference, they also finished ranked number #18 in The Star-Ledger's Top 20,[citation needed]

In March 2005, Roxbury's Ryan Fikslin won the individual 103 lb. wrestling championship in Atlantic City.[13]

In both the fall of 2004 and 2005 the Roxbury girl's cross country team won County, Conference, Sectional and State championships and was invited to the Nike National Championships which they placed in the top 10 both years.

The baseball team won the 2001 NJSIAA North II, Group IV state title with a 4-1 win against West Orange High School.[14]

The girls soccer team won the 1997 Group IV state title with a win over Eastern High School.[15] The team won the 2004 North I, Group IV sectional title, topping Randolph High School 3-0 in the tournament final.[16] In 2005, the team repeated the feat, winning the sectional championship against Montclair High School, 2-1.[17] The team lost in the Group IV state championship game in both 2004 and 2005, falling to Brick Memorial High School and Eastern High School in those two seasons.[15]

The soccer team won the 1999 North II, Group IV title with a 5-2 win over Columbia High School.[18]

The Roxbury Varsity Cheerleaders placed first at the Pocono Regionals 2007. At the 2008 UCA Nationals in Orlando, Florida, Varsity placed 17th in the nation and Junior Varsity placed 14th. Roxbury Varsity also placed first at the 2008 Pocono Regionals. In February, at the 2009 UCA High School Nationals in Orlando Florida, Varsity placed 5th in the nation in Division 1 for Small Varsity and Junior Varsity placed 12th in the Small Junior Varsity Division.


Roxbury High School consists of the following departments: Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Studies, Industrial Arts and Technology, Mathematics, Language Arts, PE and Health, Social Studies, Science, Special Education, Visual Arts, and World Languages.


The school follows the New Jersey state curriculum.

In order to graduate, the school requires 4 years of English classes, 4 years of Physical Education, 3 years of mathematics, 3 years of sciences, 3 years of history, 1 years in foreign language, 1 year of a practical art, and 1 year of a fine/performing art.

Practical arts include keyboarding, woodworking, and cooking classes. Fine/performing arts include band, orchestra, choir, and dance, as well as any art-related class (for example, Ceramics).

Students who fulfill the requirements before their normal graduation are not permitted to graduate early. Students must carry at least 35 credits (7 full-year classes) worth of courses per semester.

SAT scores[edit]

Average SAT scores for the 2004–05 school year were 532 on the Mathematics section and 529 on the Verbal section. 79% of students took the test.


There are very roughly 200 faculty members. Some in teaching positions have bachelor's or master's degrees, with a small number of doctoral degree holders. Core members of the school's administration are:[19]

  • Jeffrey Swanson, Principal
  • Dr. Linda Bowles, Assistant Principal
  • Stuart Mason, Director of Athletics and Student Activities
  • Domonic Miller, Assistant Principal

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Data for Roxbury High, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 10, 2012.
  2. ^ O'Dea, Colleen. "State orders impact study of school regionalization", Daily Record (Morristown), November 23, 2008. Accessed January 30, 2011. "Mount Arlington, K-8, sends its high school students to Roxbury, K-12."
  3. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 29, 2012.
  4. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed August 23, 2011.
  5. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  6. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed March 5, 2012.
  7. ^ Darryl J. Bott, Mason Gross School of the Arts. Accessed November 7, 2013. "During Bott’s tenure, Roxbury High School also commissioned two major symphonies for wind band including Dr. Andrew Boysen Jr’s Symphony #3 JFK and the British composer Robert Farnon’s Wind Symphony: The Gaels."
  8. ^ League Memberships – 2012-2013, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 27, 2012.
  9. ^ School Info, Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference. Accessed August 23, 2011.
  10. ^ 2011-2012 Public Schools Group Classification for ShopRite Cup–Tennis–Soccer–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 5, 2012.
  11. ^ Glickson, Grant. "HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL; Second Straight Title for Morristown", The New York Times, December 6, 1998. Accessed November 7, 2013. "Next came a 7-6 triumph by Roxbury (10-2) over Plainfield (11-1) in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 final."
  12. ^ 2008 Ice Hockey Tournament - Public A, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 23, 2008.
  13. ^ State Champions, New jersey Wrestling. Accessed December 23, 2011.
  14. ^ 2001 NJSIAA Baseball - North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  15. ^ a b History of NJSIAA Girls Soccer, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 23, 2011.
  16. ^ 2004 Girls Soccer - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  17. ^ 2005 Girls Soccer - North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  18. ^ Public Group Semifinals - North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 29, 2007.
  19. ^ Faculty and Staff, Roxbury High School. Accessed August 23, 2011.
  20. ^ Jennings, Rob. "ROXBURY GRAD ALMOST FAMOUS", Daily Record (Morristown), May 11, 2002. Accessed January 30, 2011.
  21. ^ Player Profile: Dave Moore, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Accessed December 6, 2006.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°51′50″N 74°38′40″W / 40.863961°N 74.644469°W / 40.863961; -74.644469