Wellesley High School

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Wellesley High School
Address
50 Rice Street
Wellesley, MA, 02482
United States
Information
Established 1938
Principal Andrew Keough
Assistant principals Lynne Novogroski
Jamie Chisum
Faculty 108
Grades 9–12
Number of students approx. 1300
Color(s) Red & Black         
Mascot Raider
Average SAT scores 623 verbal
631 math
631 writing (2011)[1]
Newspaper The Bradford
Yearbook The Wellesleyan
Website

Wellesley High School is a public high school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, educating grades 9 through 12. Its current principal is Dr. Andrew Keough, who assumed the position in 2007 after the retirement of Ms. Rena Mirkin. He is planning on retiring for the school year of 2014-2015, instead relocating to the position of Superintendent in another private school.[2] Its two assistant principals are Lynne Novogroski and Jamie Chisum. As of 2008, it has over 1300 students and is one of the most academically challenging public high schools in Massachusetts.[3] In 2007 it was ranked the 163rd best public high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in terms of college readiness, earning a Gold Medal.[4] In 2008 the school received an academic warning from NEASC instead of the expected accreditation.[5]

History and current state[edit]

Wellesley High School is a comprehensive four-year institution whose goal is to provide an outstanding educational experience to its students. Guided by a set of core values (Academic Excellence, Respect for Human Differences, Cooperative and Caring Relationships and Commitment to Community), the school maintains a high standard for its students and faculty. A culture of professionalism and collegiality exists throughout the school, with administrators and faculty working together to promote and maintain a high level of excellence. Students are challenged to achieve excellence through a rich selection of classes, extracurricular activities and leadership opportunities.[6]

The old school building was originally built as a public works project in 1938 during the Great Depression, designed by Perry Shaw and Hepburn and built by M. Spinelli and Sons Co., Inc. The building has been modified with several additions throughout its existence, most recently with a new fitness center.

In February 2012, the students walked into the new school building.

Of the class of 2004, 92% of students planned on attending four-year colleges, while the remaining 8% planned on attending two-year college, specialized school, or post-graduate school[2]. Many graduates attend some of the most selective and prestigious institutions in the nation. According to matriculation data provided by the high school's guidance department, the Wellesley High has been a major feeder school for NESCAC colleges.

Renewal and expansion[edit]

Wellesley High School in 2009 before demolition

Age and maintenance issues have taken their toll on the school structure. The increasing size of the student body as well as the evolving nature of education have challenged the capability of the building to meet the needs of the school community effectively and safely. In September 2005, the exploration of options for a new building or refurbishment was commenced by the town.[7]

In October 2007, a public meeting was held to introduce several options for the expansion of the school, including renovation and extension of the existing building and its demolition and replacement by a completely new structure. The site has been expanded by purchase of three adjacent properties in Seaver Street and transfer of publicly owned land.

On December 10, 2008, town voters approved the project, by nearly 2 to 1 (5,026 YES to 2,869 NO), to build a new, state-of-the art high school on the parking lot next to the existing buildings. Construction began March 2010 with an estimated completion date of September 2013. It actually opened in February 2012, and the school held a gala to say goodbye to the old building and old alumni such as Billy Squire, Jane Curtin and Biz Stone gave last rites in the school auditorium over a series of weekend concerts and get together events in 2011 .[8]

After much analysis, the existing structure, was declared to be a good example of the Art Deco style of Architecture, however was found, by the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.), not to be a historically significant example and it was eventually demolished during 2011 and 2012. The State authorities held the final say in this ruling, but the A.I.A. review opened the door for the eventual knock-down and the final site plotting. The new structure which opened to students in February 2012 incorporates some of the design features of the prior building and is limited in its visual impact to be in scale with the surrounding residential neighborhood. The total cost was estimated to be $130 million with $85 million of that total to be raised from State and Federal matching funds. However, the final project came in under budget at 90 million and opened 18 months ahead of schedule [9]

Site clearance started in August 2009 with the relocation of one house to a nearby site.

Governing bodies[edit]

  • Students: Student Congress
  • Teachers: Faculty Senate
  • Administrative: ATM
  • Legislative: School Council
    • Co-Moderator (Principal), Co-Moderator (Student)
    • For next year School Council has been changed to have eleven members: two teachers, four students, and three parents, a community member, and the Principal.
      • Two student representatives are elected in Student Congress, another is the president of Student Congress, and another is appointed by Dr. Keough.
  • District Wide: School Committee
  • Representatives to Greater Boston Regional Advisory Council to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: Delegates, Hamed Nilforushan & Adam Chernew

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Wellesley High School offers many after school clubs that are mostly run by students. Notable clubs include Academic Decathlon, the active Debate Club, the Key Club, WHH, the Botball Robotics Team, the Science Olympiad Team, the Math Team, Amnesty International, Global Connections, and the many other cultural and humanitarian-focused clubs.

Model UN[edit]

The Wellesley High School Model UN club is an after school club formed in 2010. The team has attended the BosMUN conference all four years and plans to travel to more conferences in the 2014-15 year.

Academic Decathlon[edit]

Wellesley High School has an Academic Decathlon team. The team consistently makes the states competition. In 2012, the team narrowly lost to the Academic Decathlon powerhouse Acton-Boxboro High School. The team is coached by John Finneron.

Sports[edit]

Raiders vs. Rockets in the 2005 Thanksgiving Day Game at Hunnewell Field in Wellesley

Wellesley participates in the Bay State Conference and consistently[specify] sends various sports teams to the Eastern Massachusetts playoffs. Over 70% of all WHS students participate in one of the 34 different offered sports at some point during their time at Wellesley High. Altogether, there are 63 varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams at the school.[3]

In 2005–2006, the Wellesley varsity girls ice hockey team won the state championship. The boys lacrosse team made it to three straight state finals between 2004 and 2006, managing to capture the title of state champions in 2006. In 2007 the Wellesley Raiders golf team came in 2nd in the state finals, the golf team then came in 3rd in the state finals in 2010. Then in 2008, the girls varsity basketball team defeated Millbury at the DCU Center in Worcester, bringing home Wellesley High School basketball's first ever State Championship.[10] In 2010, the Wellesley Raiders Tennis team went undefeated (26–0) and captured Wellesley's first ever Division 1 State Championship defeating St. John's 5-0.

Varsity Sports in Wellesley for the 2008–2009 academic school year are as follows:

  • Fall
    • Football
    • Boy's Soccer
    • Girl's Soccer
    • Field Hockey
    • Cross Country
    • Volleyball
    • Girl's Swimming and Diving
    • Golf
    • Step Squad
  • Winter
    • Boy's Basketball
    • Girl's Basketball
    • Indoor Track and Field
    • Boy's Hockey
    • Girl's Hockey
    • Boy's Swimming and Diving
    • Dance Team
    • Alpine and Nordic Ski Team
    • Wrestling
    • Gymnastics
  • Spring
    • Softball
    • Baseball
    • Outdoor Track and Field
    • Boy's Tennis
    • Girl's Tennis
    • Boy's Lacrosse
    • Girl's Lacrosse
    • Boy's Volleyball
    • Sailing Team
    • Girl's Golf

Curricular offerings[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

  • Band
    • 1 o'Clock Jazz Band – Winner of many[specify] different medals at the International Association for Jazz Education.[11]
    • 2 o'Clock Jazz Band – The 2 o'clock Jazz Band was a finalist at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition and Festival in New York City for the second year in a row.[12][13] The group has been accepted as a finalist again in 2009 for the third time. They were also accepted in 2011, their fourth time. They won first place at the 41st Annual Berklee Jazz Festival in 2009, their second consecutive victory there. They won again in 2014. They have won a gold medal at the MAJE state finals for each year since 2002.
    • Concert Band
    • Wind Ensemble – Since the origin of the WHS Wind Ensemble, it has won the gold medal at the MICCA state finals several consecutive years, and has performed at both Mechanics Hall in Worcester and Symphony Hall in Boston.[14]
  • Orchestra (strings)
    • The orchestra won a gold medal at MICCA in 2009 and performed at Symphony Hall in March.
    • The Honors Chamber Orchestra won a gold medal at MICCA in 2011 and performed at Mechanics Hall in April.
  • Drama Program
    • The Wellesley High School Drama Society has won the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Festival and advanced to New Englands five times in the past ten years. Their most recent win was in 2010 with their production of the self-scripted Blüdpayne VII: A Fistful of Blüdpayne.[15] In 2007, Wellesley won with their production of Dark of the Moon,[16] and in 2006, with the self-scripted Der Waffle Haus, Ergo Leggo My Ego.[17]
  • Technical Theatre
  • Choral Program

Foreign languages[edit]

Regular classes are offered in French, Spanish, German, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese (as of 2008).

The foreign language department regularly[specify] engages in exchange programs with students of French- and German-speaking countries. The German program was involved in an exchange with students from Munich, Germany in the 2005–2006 school year.

Science and technology[edit]

The science and technology department at Wellesley High School offers a comprehensive program of science education and a selection of electives in technology. The departmental sequence in science consists of earth science in ninth grade, chemistry in tenth grade, biology in eleventh grade, and physics in twelfth grade.[18] AP courses are offered in chemistry (as a second-year course), biology, and Physics B.

Electives in technology consist of wood manufacturing, automotive technology, and design technology. Robotics is offered by demand. Operating without any school funding, Wellesley Botball team managed to place 1st regionally and Top 10 Internationally in 2009, and third nationally in 2001 [19]

Social studies[edit]

The social studies department offers several elective majors, available for junior and senior students. These include Russian History, Theory of Knowledge, East Asian History, Economic Theory, Political Science, and Sociology. The department offers two advanced placement courses: AP Psychology and AP United States History.

English[edit]

The English Department offers a comprehensive program that covers writing, poetry and literature. Students are exposed to a wide range of literature[specify] and given a strong background in writing. Opportunities exist to take various[specify]electives, and the department sponsors a summer reading program where a particular book is read over the summer by the entire school community. The program culminates with a school wide seminar, usually led by the author of the book, or an individual knowledgeable about the book or its subject. During the summer of 2007, students and faculty read 1776 by David McCullough, who came in to speak when the school year began.

Health and fitness[edit]

The Health and Fitness Department offers a variety of courses designed to promote the current and future health of students. A variety of fitness options are provide to allow all students to participate in a fitness program that is appropriate to their level. Classes covering various health related topics are offered to ensure that students are aware of the risks and benefits that various life activities may entail.

Mathematics[edit]

Standard mathematics classes include geometry freshman year, algebra sophomore year, analysis or pre-calculus junior year and calculus or statistics senior year (all offered in varying levels). AP Calculus, both AB and BC, and AP Statistics are offered senior year. There is also a separate Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) track through junior year.

Guidance[edit]

The Guidance Department provides a variety of services in three areas: personal/social, career/college, and academic counseling. Counselors spend the majority of their time working directly with students. Through individual counseling and semester-long guidance seminar classes, counselors address the developmental needs of students and provide crisis intervention. Its current director is Ms. Julie Trask. http://fc.wellesley.k12.ma.us/~WHS_Guid/

Art[edit]

Along with elective courses leveled by ability in jewelry making, ceramics, film making, photography, digital art, and newly added creative journal making, the school offers a five-credit honors course for serious artists called Drawing and Painting Intensive. The course is taught by artist and teacher Dr. Robert Callahan and, in addition to requiring weekly homework assignments, is counted towards students' GPA. In April 2014 the Art Department will travel to Central Europe with 36 students.

Publications[edit]

Wellesley High School has a number of student and faculty written publications.

The Student Handbook[edit]

The WHS Student Handbook is given to all students attending Wellesley High School. Its purpose is to outline all the official rules of the school, such as consequences for behavior and exactly what is not allowed. A student can not be punished for anything not written in the handbook, and punishments must fit the guidelines written in the handbook. Additionally, the handbook has policies and descriptions of the various branches of School Government, such as Student Congress and Faculty Senate. Currently, any changes from to the handbook submitted by a student must go through Student Congress, and must also be voted on and approved by School Council.

The Bradford[edit]

The Bradford is the Wellesley High School newspaper. The Journalism class is responsible for publishing new issues.

Red Ink[edit]

Red Ink is an arts and literary magazine with student submitted poetry, stories, and otherwise. It posts content to its website, www.whsredink.org

The Green Pages[edit]

The Green Pages is a digital newsletter, published bimonthly by students, focusing on the "green happenings" of the Wellesley Public Schools. Material and information about subscribing is available at http://wellesleygreenpages.wordpress.com/.[20]

Associated programs[edit]

Child Lab[edit]

Child Lab is a developmentally appropriate laboratory preschool for 3, 4, and 5 year olds located on the ground floor of Wellesley High School. Since its inception in 1979, the Lab School has enrolled 18 children each year. It is an elective in which high school students enroll to learn about the development of young children and the best ways to approach optimum learning for the children. Child Lab is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about different ages and stages of children as well as to have the children taught by the students who have taken an interest in early childhood development.

Partnership with Wellesley College[edit]

Students at WHS may take classes at Wellesley College without paying tuition, provided that the classes are not offered at WHS.

METCO Program[edit]

Wellesley is a member of the METCO Program, which gives inner-city students access to a better education, by busing them in from the City of Boston.

Bridge Program[edit]

Students out of school for an extended period of time due to hospitalization are eligible for this support program. It is run by former Magic 106.7 DJ Adam Diliberto and Social Worker Lindsey Slotnick.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • American poet Sylvia Plath, former Wellesley resident, graduated from Bradford High now known as Wellesley high in June 1950 and she remains an influence on the town and school; attempted suicide while living on Elmwood Road, a story which she retold in The Bell Jar.
  • Billy Squier, a 1968 graduate, rock star during the late seventies and early eighties.
  • Damon Santostefano, a 1977 graduate, director of several feature films and television shows, notably "Three to Tango" starring Matthew Perry and Neve Campbell (1999).
  • Phil Laak, (pronounced "lock") a 1982 graduate, professional poker player, was the winner of a World Poker Tour title in 2004 and has appeared on nationally-aired television shows.
  • Joe Hurd, a 1987 graduate, former Obama Administration official, lawyer and entrepreneur/angel investor in the Bay Area.
  • Biz Stone, a 1992 graduate, co-founder of Twitter and also helped make Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, and Obvious. Publisher of two books.
  • Aneesh Raman, a 1997 graduate, was CNN's Middle East Correspondent and is currently a presidential speechwriter at the White House.

References[edit]

  1. ^ SAT Performance Report – School and District Profiles: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Profiles.doe.mass.edu. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  2. ^ Reed, Brad (January 25, 2007). WHS Principal Hired. Wellesley Townsman.
  3. ^ a b Wellesley High School Profile
  4. ^ U. S. News & World Report (November 29, 2007). Gold Medal Schools. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
  5. ^ NEASC letter
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ http://savewhs.org/townsman1012A.htm
  8. ^ "A gala farewell for old Wellesley High". The Boston Globe. 
  9. ^ "Wellesley High School" (PDF). Symmes Main & McKee Associates. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  10. ^ Wellesley girls basketball wins state title – Wellesley, Massachusetts – The Wellesley Townsman. Wickedlocal.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "WHS jazz bands take home gold and silver". WickedLocal. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2008. 
  12. ^ Bowers, Jack (April 5, 2005). "The Mancini Institute: A Beacon of Light". all about jazz. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Essentially Ellington Winners!". all about jazz. April 22, 2006. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  14. ^ Scott, Steven. (December 15, 2006) WHS auditorium no longer serving our needs – Wellesley, Massachusetts – The Wellesley Townsman. Wickedlocal.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  15. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Mhsdg.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  16. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Mhsdg.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Mhsdg.com (April 1, 2006). Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  18. ^ Wellesley High School Program of Studies 2005–2007
  19. ^ AAAI Hosts the National Botball Tournament!
  20. ^ http://wellesleygreenpages.wordpress.com/

External links[edit]