Strath Haven High School

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Strath Haven High School
Strath Haven.jpg
Wallingford, PA, United States
Type Public high school
Established 1983
School district Wallingford-Swarthmore School District
Principal MaryJo Yannacone
Assistant principals Michael Marano
Andrea LaPira
Grades 9th - 12th
Number of students 1,150
Color(s)      Black
Team name Panthers
Feeder schools Strath Haven Middle School

Strath Haven High School is a four-year public high school in Wallingford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania serving the Township of Nether Providence and the Boroughs of Rose Valley, Rutledge, and Swarthmore, as well as the communities of South Media, Garden City, and sections of Morton. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association and was awarded the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the Department of Education in 2002. The student body numbers roughly 1200. The school is led by principal Dr. Mary Jo Yannacone, who was promoted from assistant principal in March 2005 when Albert Bichner became the Superintendent of High Schools for the School District of Philadelphia. The school is the product of a merger between the former Swarthmore High School and Nether Providence High School. In 1983, the two schools combined to become Strath Haven, based at the newer Nether Providence campus. The school was named after the Thomas Leiper Estate -- called Stwauthhwavener—a Registered Historic Place in Nether Providence. This was in turn named after Strathaven, Scotland where Thomas Leiper was born. It is the sole high school in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. The 1984 graduating class was the charter class of Strath Haven High School. Strath Haven is also noted for its burgeoning musical scene. During the 2008 presidential primary season, on April 2, 2008, Barack Obama held a town meeting in the school's gym. On November 2, 2008, the school hosted the Republican nominee, John McCain.

Student Performance[edit]

The Class of 2003 achieved average SAT scores that were significantly higher than state and national averages. The mean SAT verbal score was 563 and the mean SAT math score was 574. More than 94% of the Class of 2005 participated in college admissions testing; the student body produced 15 National Merit Finalists, 3 Semifinalists, and 17 commended students. The football team won state titles in 1999 and 2000 with players such as Mark Jones, a former punt returner for the Tennessee Titans,[1] Dan Connor (American football player), an All American linebacker from Penn State who is now a member of the New York Giants. They also made title game appearances in 2001 and 2002. The Strath Haven Panthers football team is a member of the Central League, which consists of twelve different teams. Other notable alumni include Mike Conway and Chris O'Connell of Fox 29 and John Clark WCAU-TV Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia; Jon Cohen (writer), screenplay writer of Minority Report; and David Buck (flutist), principal flutist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.[2] In addition, the school is known for its vibrant arts community; many students who participate in musical and visual arts programs go on to some of the best schools in the country. Strath Haven boasts many students performing in state, national, and international musical competitions. In addition, Strath Haven's various musical groups have performed across the globe, in places ranging from Canada to Italy. The Strath Haven Cantata joins Paul Winter in the Earth Mass every year at New York City's Saint John the Divine.


Partnerships have been established with Delaware County area technical schools to make vocational training available for students. Students enrolled in technical school programs spend one-half day at Strath Haven taking a required core curriculum, and one-half day at the technical high school. Special education programs are available for students with special needs. Strath Haven High School is known in the area for its high-quality assistance for hearing-impaired and students with disabilities.

All students are required to complete four years of study in major subject areas. A wide variety of electives are available to help students meet the course requirements listed below:

Guidance counselors assist in course selection, college and career placement, as well as student support. A full-time psychologist and communications specialist are the core of a Student Assistance Program providing help to students at risk. In addition, Strath Haven maintains a career center for post-secondary advising.

Strath Haven is also known for its large marching band. Under the direction of Jack Hontz, the band consists of about 425 students ranging from 9th graders to 12th graders. They are present at every football game, and also perform in many parades in the surrounding communities. The band wears t-shirts with the number "12" on then, signifying they are the "12th member" of the football team. After each football game, the football team runs towards the band and raises their helmets, showing their thanks for the band's presence and support.

The Five "A's"[edit]

Strath Haven operates along the theme of the "Five A's," a phrase used primarily in appearances by administration officials. The "Five A's," according to this system, are academics, arts, athletics, altruism, and activities. The "Five A's" theme was developed by former Principal Al Bichner, during his tenure at Strath Haven. An oft-cited "Five A's" figure is that over 90% of Strath Haven High School students participate in athletics , music, the arts, and a host of extracurricular clubs (statistic based on Class of 2003). As stated above, the music scene at Strath Haven is very much up and coming. The marching band has roughly 400 members each year.



Strath Haven's marching band is known for its massive size. The band currently has over 450 members. It is the largest marching band in the state of Pennsylvania, over 100 members larger than the Penn State Blue Band. As of 2010, it is the second largest marching band in the country. It is conducted by the Music Director, Jack Hontz.


On April 2, 2008, Barack Obama held a town hall meeting and Question and Answer session in the Strath Haven gymnasium. Later, on November 2, 2008, Senator John McCain held a "Road to Victory Rally" in the school's gymnasium. Senator McCain gave a speech, as did Senator Joe Lieberman, and Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

Strath Haven High School also publishes an annual literary magazine, displaying student-submitted artwork, poems, short stories, drawings, photographs, etc. The literary magazine is known as 'Jabberwocky'.


  1. ^ "Mark Jones Profile Tennessee Titans". ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports (ESPN). 2009-11-02. p. 1.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  2. ^ "DSO hires principal flutist and percussionist". 2012-08-29. p. 1.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°53′41″N 75°22′19″W / 39.8948°N 75.3719°W / 39.8948; -75.3719