William Allen High School
|William Allen High School|
|126 North 17th Street
|School district||Allentown School District|
|Principal||Luke M. Shafnisky|
|Number of students||3,705|
|Color(s)||Canary and Blue|
The school, which is located at 126 North 17th Street, serves students from the western and southern parts of the city. Allentown's other public high school, Dieruff High School, serves students from the city's eastern and northern parts. Until Dieruff's opening in 1959, William Allen High School was known as Allentown High School.
With 3,705 students in the 2006-2007 school year, William Allen High School is the largest high school in the city of Allentown, the largest high school in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, and the third largest high school in the state of Pennsylvania.
Allentown High School was first established in a building on South Penn Street in 1858. In 1869, the first commencement ceremony took place - three students graduated. A new high school was built in 1894 (which is now used as Central Elementary School) at Lumber and Turner Streets. In 1916, a new Allentown High School was opened at its current location on Seventeenth Street. The Annex and Little Palestra were built in 1930, and the Linden Street Wing was opened in 1957. The school was renamed William Allen High School in 1960. In 1975, a Library-Science Center was built on the site of the Little Palestra. In 2010 a new 9th grade center was built on the former St. Cloud Building site, at the corner of Linden and St. Cloud streets. It was then dedicated as the "Clifford S. Bartholomew Building".
In 2010 and 2011, the largest and most expensive renovation in the schools' history took place. While still maintaining the architectural features in the older structures. It resulted in a new 4 story building, along with extensive renovations done to the 7 other campus buildings.
Also resulting in over 1 Million Dollars spent on the auditorium. "To give students access to the most advanced stage equipment and to restore it to the beauty and class it exhibited when it was first built." From new curtains, new seating, and restoration done to the imported Stretched Oil on Canvas Portrait situated above the stage. Along with restoration to historic plaster work that adorns the walls and ceilings. A 15ft stage extension was also built. Lighting and sound upgrades consist of a "state of the art" ETC Lighting Console along with 2 dimming cabinets and 20 led color changing border light alternatives, and, a Custom integrated Simple and Front of House sound system with an independently dedicated SFX system and Yamaha Ls9 console with iPad for remote mixing. As one patron said, "Parkland may have a nice theater, but this is class".
All of the remaining buildings were gutted, and each one receiving new; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, paint, doors/ stairwells, and air conditioning throughout all 7 buildings. New dance studios were constructed on the first floor of the Annex Building 2 with proper floors/mats. Art rooms, chorus and band facilities, were constructed in the Linden Building 6 and 7. Art Labs were equipped with proper tables, lighting and tech. In the other buildings, renovations include, up graded science lab equipment, new tables in the cafeterias, a multimedia center, and upgrades in the black box theater, and hundreds of new and refurbished class room spaces, also, elevators were put in buildings that were without and accessible facilities were created for the disabled.
In all the William Allen Campus is finally equipped to provide students with a proper 21st century education in the schools Academic and Arts Academies of Study.
The school's class size is approximately 30 students per teacher, with the Pennsylvania average at 15 per teacher. The student ethnicity is as follows: Hispanic 52%, White 22%, Black 20%, Asian & Pacific Islander 1%, and Native American & Native Alaskan less than 1%.
The Allentown School District was ranked 482nd out of 498 Pennsylvania school districts, in 2010, by the Pittsburgh Business Times. The ranking was based on student academic achievement on four years of PSSA results in: reading, writing, mathematics and two years of science.
In 2010 the high school is in Corrective Action II 4th Year level in AYP status due to chronically low student achievement for the past five years. The Pennsylvania Department of Education identified the school as Persistently Low Performing in its application for the 2010 federal School Improvement Grant funding.
11th grade Math:
2010 - 35.5% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 59% of 11th graders are on grade level in Math
2009 - 32%, State - 55%
2008 - 39%, State - 56%
11th grade Science:
2010 - 12% on grade level. In Pennsylvania, 39% of 11th graders are on grade level in Science.
2009 - 13%, State - 40%
Past academic honors
- In its annual ranking of the nation's "Top Public High Schools," Newsweek magazine ranked Allen High School the ninth best public high school in Pennsylvania and the 924th best in the nation.
- Second Place, Odyssey of the Mind, State Finals (Fooled Ya)
- Fifteenth Place - Odyssey of the Mind, World Finals
William Allen is one of 12 high schools that compete in the Lehigh Valley Conference excluding the football team which is in MVC. The school plays its home football and some of its soccer games at J. Birney Crum Stadium. Most of its indoor athletics are played in the school's J. Milo Sewards Gymnasium. The school's primary athletic rivalry is with cross-town Dieruff High School.
- Second place, Lehigh Valley Conference Boys Basketball
- Second place, PIAA District XI AAAA Boys Basketball.
- First place, PIAA District XI AAAA Boys Basketball.
- Five-time Pennsylvania State Boys Basketball Tournament Champions.
- One-time Pennsylvania State Girls Basketball Tournament Champions.
- 7th in Pennsylvania History for all time Boys Basketball wins 1,588
- 520 overall wins
- 21 Conference Championships
- District 11 champions 1992
- Eight undefeated teams (1929, 1930, 1931, 1941, 1944, 1946, 1953, and 1957).
- Thom Browne - fashion designer
- Charlie Dent - U.S. Congressman
- Lee Iacocca - former chairman of Chrysler Corporation
- Michael McDonald - costume designer, 2009 Tony Award and Drama Desk nominee for Hair
- Lara Jill Miller - voice actress, Cartoon Network's The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
- Irene Ng - former actress, Nickelodeon's The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo
- Larry Seiple - former professional football player, Miami Dolphins
- Amanda Seyfried - model and actress, Mean Girls, HBO's Big Love and star of Mamma Mia! (film) and Dear John (2010 film)
- Marci Shore - author and historian
- Joe Wolf - former professional football player, Arizona Cardinals
Our voice of praise and glory hear
To whom all reverence we bear,
Of you forgetful we'll be ne'er.
We shall forever for you yearn
And cherish all that we may learn
Through future days of life,
'Mid joy and strife;
True may we stand, both to you
And Canary and Blue.
Throughout the land of you we'll sing,
Loud will our praises ever ring,
Of days that have passed by,
Fond memories of dear old high.
Oh Alma Mater, hear our praise;
To you all honor we do raise;
Through future days of life,
'mid joy and strife;
True may we stand, both to you
- "Pennsylvania Department of Education: 2006-2007 Public Enrollment by County, LEA, School, and Grade". Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- Statewide Honor Roll Rankings 2010, released April 30, 2010.
- Honor Roll Rank - state public districts, Pittsburgh Business Times, June 2008
- Three of the top Districts in state hail from Allegheny County. Pittsburgh Business Times, May 23, 2007
- Allentown City School District Report Card 2010
- William Allen Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card data table 2010
- William Allen Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009
- William Allen Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card Performance levels 2010
- William Allen Senior High School 2009 PSSA information The Morning Call 2009
- 2009 PSSA results: Reading, Writing, Math and Science
- "America's Top Public High Schools," Newsweek magazine, 2005.
- Musolino, Nick; Simpson, Wendy (June 8, 2001), "Parkland Beats Allen In Finals Of "Scholastic Scrimmage' ** Final Score Is 540 To 200. Students Flex Their Brains On A Variety Of Tough Questions", The Morning Call: B.1
- Csencsits, Sonia (June 5, 1992), "Allen High Again Defends Title, Wins 4th Scholastic Scrimmage", The Morning Call: B.1
- Harry, Rich (June 7, 1991), "Allen High Holds On To Win TV Scholastic Scrimmage", The Morning Call: B.1
- Harry, Rich (June 10, 1988), "Showdown Pits High IQs At 20 Paces Parkland Trounces Allen 385-25 In Scholastic Scrimmage Final", The Morning Call: B.1
- "AHS Kids Attempt To Build A Stronger Structure", The Morning Call, May 19, 1988: N.03. "In April, the team won a gold medal in the state finals held at Altoona, Blair County."
- Guth, Phyllis (June 9, 1988), "Team Doesn't Mind 4th Place", The Morning Call: N.09
- "Allen High Team Wins State Olympics Of Mind", The Morning Call, March 30, 1987: B.03
- "AHS Kids Attempt To Build A Stronger Structure", The Morning Call, May 19, 1988: N.03. "Last year, in world competition with 46 teams, the Allen group captured second place."
- "Allen Team Reaches 'Olympics Of Mind' World Finals", The Morning Call, April 9, 1986: B.10
- "Olympians' From Allen Take 16th At Finals Tasks Challenge Their Minds", The Morning Call, June 3, 1986: B.05
- "Lehigh Valley Conference District Titles" (PDF). Lehigh Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- Groller, Keith (March 4, 1993), "Canaries And Their Outgoing Coach Celebrate District 11 Football Title", The Morning Call: N.45
- Lauer-Williams, Kathy (June 7, 2009), "Designs on a Tony: Allentown Native Michael McDonald is Nominated for Broadway's Top Honor for Costumes for 'Hair'", The Morning Call
- "WAHS - Tradition - Alma Mater". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
- William Allen High School Official Home Page.
- William Allen High School Alumni Web Site.
- Newsweek magazine's "Best High Schools in America" article.
- William Allen High School athletics schedule and scores at HighSchoolSports.net.
- William Allen High School Page at Lehigh Valley Conference Official Web Site.