Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School

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Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School
2100 Wootton Parkway
Rockville, Maryland, United States
Coordinates 39°04′36″N 77°11′02″W / 39.07661°N 77.18376°W / 39.07661; -77.18376Coordinates: 39°04′36″N 77°11′02″W / 39.07661°N 77.18376°W / 39.07661; -77.18376
Type Public Secondary
Motto Patriot Pride
Established 1970
School district Montgomery County Public Schools
Principal Michael J. Doran
Asst. Principal Joseph Du Boyce, Jeffrey Brown, Kimberly Boldon, EunHee Cho
Grades 9–12
Gender Co-Educational
Number of students 2414 (2009–2010)
9th Grade: 571
10th Grade: 590
11th Grade: 605
12th Grade: 648
Campus Suburban
red, white and blue
Mascot Patriot
Newspaper Common Sense

Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School or Wootton High School (WHS) is a high school in Rockville, Maryland. Its namesake is Thomas Sprigg Wootton, a former member of the Maryland Constitutional Convention and the founder of Montgomery County. The school was founded in 1970 and is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. The majority of the students come from Robert Frost Middle School, although some come from Cabin John Middle School. The principal since July 2003 has been Michael Doran. The Wootton class of 2009 was the largest class ever to graduate the school, with 664 students.


In 2005, Wootton was named the 17th best high school in the United States by Newsweek. The only school from Montgomery County to beat it was Richard Montgomery High School, which placed 11th. However, the rankings have come into question because of the controversial method used to evaluate schools. "Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors." This method completely disregards the scores on the test, i.e., the school ranked number one could have the lowest scores on tests in the country as long as that school takes the most tests.[6][7] In addition to the usual selection of Advanced Placement and Honors-level classes and the unique College Institute program, which allows senior students to take classes through Montgomery College, Wootton also offers two signature programs: the Humanities and Arts Program, and the STARS Program.

Humanities and Arts Program[edit]

In the Humanities and Arts Program, students typically have an affinity for at least some of the following: Social Studies, English, Foreign Language, and Fine Arts. Humanities students are enrolled in separate classes in the subjects of English and Social Studies for their freshman, sophomore and junior years. These classes count for the same credits and cover the same materials as their regular counterparts, but allow for more creativity and intellectual discussion in the classroom.

In order to complete the program, students must complete five more credits than what is normally required to graduate. In addition, students must have an "Off-campus Experience". This requirement can be fulfilled by studying abroad, attending a pre-college program on a college campus, or interning in a humanities or arts subject. It encourages Humanities students to step outside their comfort zone and learn outside the classroom. Finally, students must complete a "Senior Independent Project" (SIP), which is the focus of the Humanities Program for a student's junior and senior years. The project may be in the form of an extended essay or creative project. The extended essay involves writing an argumentative research paper of 18–20 pages, while the creative project involves completing a relevant project and writing a shorter argumentative or expository essay of 8–10 pages. The SIP was introduced to the program a year after the Humanities Program was formed in 2001, and it has been a defining part of the senior-year experience. Humanities students have traditionally been closely involved in Wootton's musical and theatrical productions.

STARS Program[edit]

STARS is short for the Science Technology and Research Scholars Program at Wootton. Students in STARS are passionate about science and technology, and wish to pursue careers in these fields. Students can choose to focus on one of the following during their high school years: Global Science, Computer Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Molecular Biology. They take challenging courses in their area of interest and participate in various extracurricular activities related to their subject. With the change of leadership in the STARS program in 2008, several major changes were made in the program's requirements.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


  • The Wootton High School Cancer Awareness Club raises awareness of the deadly disease in the school's community. They were recently invited to WHIT Washington FM 99.5 to talk about their club with show host Julian.
  • The Wootton TV / Film Club submitted a film to the Montgomery County Schools Media Festival held on April 28, 2006 at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. The film, titled "The S.G.A.", was directed by Eric B. Fleischman, a member of the TV / Film Club of 2006, and starred English teacher Mr. Lightsey and Wootton Principal Dr. Doran. The film won second place in the live action video category. Blake High School claimed first place in that category.
  • In Spring 2007, a team (Steven Zhang and Christine Sun) from Wootton's Research, Design, and Experimentation Club won 1st place at the Montgomery Science Fair, exploring the validity of hormesis.
  • In 2006, Nellie Darling won 1st Prize at the Maryland State Science Fair for her work on antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • In February 2005 and February 2006, the Wootton Science Bowl team won the Maryland Regional Science Bowl.
  • At the 2005 National Science Bowl, the Wootton Science Bowl team earned 5th place out of 63 schools nationwide, all of which had won their respective regional event[8].
  • In 2014, the Wootton Science Bowl Team became semi-finalists in the Maryland Regional Science Bowl.[1]
  • In March 2005, the Wootton Programming Team got 3rd place out of the 32 schools competing in the University of Maryland Computer Science Competition[9]. In October 2005, the programming team earned 2nd place at the Hood College Competition. In March 2006, the team placed 5th at the University of Maryland Computer Science Competition, winning $400.
  • In February 2006, a team of eight Wootton students placed 4th in the B division of the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament.
  • In March 2006, the Wootton Model United Nations Club attended the Johns Hopkins Model United Nations Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The club members acted as delegates representing Ukraine and Iceland on various UN Committees. In 2008, the club once again attended the conference, representing Japan and Moldova.
  • In April 2007, Wootton won 1st place [10] for the second-year-team at the University of Maryland's 23rd Annual Chemathon. Twenty-four high schools from Maryland, Virginia, and DC participated. It was the third consecutive year that Wootton had placed 1st in the Level II division. The first-year-team placed 8th in this event.
  • From 2009-2013, Wootton won 1st place [11] for the second-year-team at the University of Maryland's 25th-28th Annual Chemathon. More than twenty high schools from Maryland, Virginia, and DC participated.
  • The Wootton High School Debate Team placed 3rd in the 2007–2008 regional tournament.
  • Wootton's Equestrian Club was ranked second in Maryland as of November 1, 2008.
  • Wootton's Equestrian Club ranked first in varsity and second in JV in Maryland as of the 2010-2011 competing year.
  • In 2009, Wootton's Drumline placed 2nd in a county drumline competition.
  • In 2011, Wootton's Drumline placed 1st in a county drumline competition.
  • In 2012, Wootton's Drumline placed 1st in two separate county drumline competitions.
  • In 2013, Wootton's Drumline placed 2nd in a state drumline competition, (first in Montgomery county).
  • Wootton`s annual "Puttin' on the Hitz" (POTH) show is also a way for dance groups and class planning groups to be involved in the school
  • Founded during the 2012-2013 school year, Wootton’s ‘Lincoln Club’ is devoted to moderate, conservative values.


  • The Wootton boys basketball team won back-to-back state championship in 1978 (25-2) and in 1979. The team won 2 other state titles in following years (need update).
  • The Wootton ice hockey team in 2009 became the first Maryland public school to win back-to-back state championships (2008, 2009).
  • The Wootton Boys Varsity Soccer team became State Champions 2012.
  • The Wootton Boys Varsity Tennis Team became State Champions in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
  • The Wootton Golf team won the State Championships in 2012, and 2013
  • The Wootton Girls Swim and Dive team went undefeated winning Divisionals, Metros, and State (2012-2013)
  • The Wootton ice hockey club team won the Maryland state championship in 2014

Performing arts[edit]

Wootton's December 2005 production of Jason Robert Brown's "Songs for a New World" was selected to be the full-length featured show at the Maryland State High School Theaterfest on February 11, 2005.[2] The 2009 Spring musical was "Beauty and the Beast".[3][4][5][6][7]

In addition to the annual play and musical productions, the year 2009 included an extra performing arts event. Wootton students staged a production of an adaptation of the Academy Award Winning short film, West Bank Story.[8][9][10]

List of shows 2003 - Les Misérables
2004 - Fiddler on the Roof, The Odd Couple, Songs for a New World
2005 - Seussical the Musical, Flowers for Algernon, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
2006 - On the Town, Sweeney Todd
2008-2009 Grease, Beauty and the Beast
2009-2010 Aida, Bye Bye Birdie
2010-2011 Wootton the Musical, Once Upon a Mattress
2011-2012 The Miracle Worker, The Wizard of Oz
2012-2013 Little Shop of Horrors, The 39 Steps, Ragtime
2013-2014 Little Women, Romeo and Juliet, Hairspray

Notable events[edit]

President George W. Bush speaks at Wootton.

In 2001 the band Of A Revolution (O.A.R.), which includes four alumni, performed at the James A. Coles Field (the Wootton football field and track) before they reached the Billboard charts.[12]

In November 2001, President George W. Bush visited Wootton HS and signed the congressional bill officially recognizing "Veterans Awareness Week" which takes place the week before Veteran's Day. [13]

In early 2005, the Wootton cheerleading squad was caught in a scandal when pictures of cheerleaders in uniform in provocative poses made their way to pornographic sites. The story made the national media, including The Washington Post. [14]

The Graduation ceremony for the class of 2005 featured a speech from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. For the graduation of the class of 2006, former Congresswoman Connie Morella was the speaker.

In April 2008, the bands Gym Class Heroes and Pat McGee Band performed in a "Rock the Vote" concert. The concert's goal was to generate political activism throughout the school.[11]

On November 14, 2008, CNN's chief national correspondent John King spoke to students and teachers during all three lunch periods. His son and daughter currently attend Wootton. His son plays for Wootton's varsity football team.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ 2014 Maryland Science Bowl Competition - Volunteers
  2. ^ Songs for a New World
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ Lessons of Love, Loss and Family in Wootton's 'Eden'
  6. ^ [3][dead link]
  7. ^ [4][dead link]
  8. ^
  9. ^ Wootton High students turn Oscar-winning movie into play
  10. ^
  11. ^ [5],
  1. ^
  2. ^ Science Bowl#Results of the national competition
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Best High Schools in America[dead link]
  6. ^
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  13. ^
  14. ^

External links[edit]