William L. Dickinson High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William L. Dickinson High School
Dickenson High JC jeh.jpg
2 Palisade Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey 07306-1202
Type Public high school
Established 1906
School district Jersey City Public Schools
Principal Dr. Frederick D. Williams
Vice Principals Gekson Casillis
Sophia Harrold
David Herman
Lydia Suarez
Faculty 201.6 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,389 (as of 2011-12)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 11.85:1[1]
Athletics conference Hudson County Interscholastic League
Jersey City High School
William L. Dickinson High School is located in Hudson County, New Jersey
William L. Dickinson High School
Coordinates 40°43′48″N 74°03′13″W / 40.73000°N 74.05361°W / 40.73000; -74.05361Coordinates: 40°43′48″N 74°03′13″W / 40.73000°N 74.05361°W / 40.73000; -74.05361
Area 11 acres (4.5 ha)
Built 1906
Architect John T. Rowland
Architectural style Beaux Arts
Governing body Jersey City Board of Education
NRHP Reference # 82003275[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 1, 1982
Designated NJRHP December 23, 1981
Overlooking lower Jersey City

William L. Dickinson High School is a four-year public high school located in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Jersey City Public Schools. Dickinson occupies a prominent location on Bergen Hill overlooking lower Jersey City and the New York Harbor. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1929.[3]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,389 students and 201.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.85:1. There were 1,451 students (60.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 200 (8.4% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 304th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[4] The school had been ranked 302nd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 308th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[5] The magazine ranked the school 295th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[6] The school was ranked 291st in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[7]

In 1999, student Samir Kapadia placed fourth at the Annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his project "Identification and Targeting Multiple Myeloma Cancerous Tumors."[8]

In 2002–03, students Juliet R. Girard and Roshan D. Prabhu won the team competition of the Siemens Westinghouse Competition for "Identification and High Resolution Mapping of Flowering Time Genes in Rice." The duo shared a $100,000 scholarship with their victory.[9]

In 2007, Abdullah Anwar, a student was recognized as a semi-finalist in the 2007 New Jersey Business Idea Competition conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.[10]


Originally named Jersey City High School, the property was purchased in 1904 and the new building opened on September 6, 1906, in an attempt to relieve overcrowding in the city's public schools.[11] It was the first public secondary school in the city.[12] When the school opened, it housed a 2,000 seat auditorium that saw extensive public use, and hosted such events as a lecture by Helen Keller and political rallies for United States Presidents Taft, Wilson, and Roosevelt.[12] The original school was expanded with the construction of a second building in 1912 to further industrial skills education. This building contained a foundry, print shop, and vocational classrooms.[12] In 1913, the school was renamed William L. Dickinson High School for the superintendent who had advocated for creation of the school during his term from 1872 to 1883.[11] The school was expanded again in 1933 with the addition of an annex containing a swimming pool, cafeteria, and gymnasium.[12]

The rear of the building is the site of a late 1800s-era cannon mount built to protect the Hudson River shoreline from early invaders. Given the location of the cannon and the associated technology of the time, its doubted that the cannon would ever have been effective as a defensive emplacement. While the cannon has since been removed, the original mounting was reused as the site of a black-granite monument to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In 1946, students went on strike to protest a proposal by the city's board of education to extend the end of the school day from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, with striking students arguing that the longer school day would interfere with their part-time jobs..[13]


The William L. Dickinson High School Rams compete in the Hudson County Interscholastic League, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.[14] With 1,432 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as North II, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,087 to 3,896 students in that grade range.[15]

In 1930 Walt Singer (as an end) and his identical twin brother Milton (at running back) led the Dickinson football team to a 9–0 record as it became the second-ever Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association champion.[16]

The Dickinson Rams football team were led by head coach Rich Glover who used to play as a defensive lineman for the New York Giants. In February 2010, the Jersey City Public Schools cut funding for interscholastic sports and ended the football program at Dickinson.[17] The Dickinson football tram was re-established in 2012 after a few years in hiatus; the varsity will be back for the 2014 season.

The Dickinson High School boys basketball team won the 2000 Public Sectionals – North I, Group IV, edging Memorial High School 43–41 in the tournament final.[18]

In 2008, the boys cross country team (the "Wolf Pack") placed 4th in the North II, Group IV state championships.

In 2009 the boys soccer team went on to the state tournament, losing to Ridge High School by a score of 2–0 in the tournament final, finishing with a record of 17–8–0 and marking the first time in Dickinson history that the boys varsity soccer team made it to state finals, under the coaching of Rene "Toro" Portillo and Tom Worley.[19]

The 2009 Boys Volleyball Team won the Jersey City Public Schools Championship, and went on to the North New Jersey State tournament as the 20th seed, but lost to Bloomfield High School in the first round.


Core members of the school's administration are:[20]

  • Dr. Frederick D. Williams, Principal
  • Gekson Casillas, Vice Principal
  • Sophia Harrold, Vice Principal
  • David Herman, Vice Principal
  • Lydia Suarez, Vice Principal

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • John C. White (born 1975), the Louisiana state education superintendent since 2012, taught English at Dickinson from 1998 to 2001.[36]

Dress code[edit]

The school requires its students to wear school uniforms, consisting of a black, white or maroon Dickinson High School polo, black or khaki pants, and sneakers or shoes.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Data for William L Dickinson, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  3. ^ William L. Dickinson High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed December 29, 2011.
  4. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed December 29, 2011.
  7. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  8. ^ "Special Awards presented to Finalistsof the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair", May 6, 1999. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Identification and Targeting of the Multiple Myeloma Cancerous Tumor; Samir Kapadia, 17, William Dickinson High School, Jersey City, New Jersey"
  9. ^ Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. Accessed November 22, 2006.
  10. ^ 2007 New Jersey Business Idea Competition, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Accessed May 6, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Dickinson High School. Accessed January 6, 2007.
  12. ^ a b c d Goodnough, Abby. "Once Upon a Time, When High Schools Were Palaces", The New York Times, October 6, 1996. Accessed August 20, 2014. "NINETY years ago, an enormous Beaux Arts building went up on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. It had Corinthian columns, terrazzo floors and a vestibule lined with English marble. It could have passed for a palace, or at least a palatial estate. But it was neither. It was, in fact, William L. Dickinson High School, the first public secondary school in Jersey City."
  13. ^ Staff. "SCHOOL STRIKERS INCREASE RANKS; 400 of Dickinson High School, Jersey City, Join Others in Protest on Hours", The New York Times, December 18, 1946. accessed August 20, 2014. "The ranks of striking high school pupils here were enlarged today when 400 pupils of the William L. Dickinson High School left their classes in sympathy with the 1,000 of Henry Snyder High School who walked out yesterday protesting a proposed lengthening of school hours."
  14. ^ League Memberships – 2014-2015, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 11, 2014.
  15. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for North II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed September 11, 2014.
  16. ^ Hague, Jim. "Moments of Gridiron Greatness The history of football in Jersey City", Hudson Reporter, October 14, 2007. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Coached by Charlie Witkowski, an All-American performer at Villanova who later became the mayor of Jersey City, the Dickinson football team of 1930 became the second-ever champion of the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, then defeated a highly regarded Passaic team to win what was known as the Tri-County title. The Rams were 9-0 that season and led by lineman Ed Franco, halfback Al Barabas and standout twins Milt and Walt Singer."
  17. ^ Hague, Jim. "SCOREBOARD 02-14-2010The end of an eraJersey City Board of Education pulls the plug on Dickinson football", Hudson Reporter, February 14, 2010. Accessed December 29, 2011. "The Jersey City Board of Education convened last week to address budgetary problems, and the powers-that-be decided to slice the entire athletic budget in half, cutting 50 percent of the entire budget that was set aside for athletics. Among those cuts included the complete elimination of high school football at Dickinson High School."
  18. ^ 2000 Public Sectionals – North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 6, 2007.
  19. ^ Staff. "Ridge 2, Dickinson 0", The Star-Ledger, November 13, 2009. Accessed November 30, 2011. "Phil Welsh assisted Jake Hotz seven minutes into the first half and then scored off a feed from Zach Brody two minutes after the break to lead Ridge, No. 14 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a 2–0 victory over Dickinson in the NJSIAA/Investors Savings Bank North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 final yesterday in Basking Ridge."
  20. ^ Secondary Schools, Jersey City Board of Education. Accessed April 3, 2013.
  21. ^ Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. "Two Giants Were Heroes Far From Playing Field", The New York Times, January 26, 1991. Accessed September 25, 2009. "Blozis, who was born in Garfield, N.J., and was a star athlete at Dickinson High School in Jersey City before going to Georgetown on a track scholarship, was regarded as the strongest player in professional football and had the physique to prove it."
  22. ^ Nelson, Jennifer L. "You, Me, & The Duprees", New Jersey Monthly, January 2008. Accessed June 23, 2008.
  23. ^ Via Associated Press. 'Dream Comes True For Flora Tonight", The Free Lance-Star, December 12, 1957. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Many of the basketball fans who helped vote Flora Jersey City's 'Mr. Basketball' in his junior year at William Dickinson High School will be on hand."
  24. ^ Ed "Devil Doll" Franco, College Football Hall of Fame. Accessed July 22, 2007. "Ed Franco came from Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Fordham."
  25. ^ Staff. "JAMES J. GALDIERI; Ex-Assemblyman From Hudson County Dies in Home at 47", The New York Times, April 28, 1944. Accessed May 20, 2009.
  26. ^ Mary Teresa Norton, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 15, 2007.
  27. ^ Staff. "Ralph Peduto", Santa Cruz Sentinel via Legacy.com, May 31, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014. "As a child Ralph was part of a rich and textured life in Jersey City. He attended both Ferris High School and Dickinson High School where in 2000 he was inducted into Dickinson's Hall of Fame for achievement in performing arts."
  28. ^ Mary Philbrook, 1872–1958. Accessed May 6, 2007. "Mary Philbrook was born in Washington, D. C. in 1872 but her family moved to Jersey City by the time she was six. She attended Public School No. 11 (now Martin Luther King, Jr. School) and then Jersey City High School (now Dickinson High School)."
  29. ^ Rivera.htm Freeholder Eliu Rivera – District 4, Hudson County, New Jersey. Accessed September 25, 2009.
  30. ^ Foreman, Jonathan. "SLUGGING IT OUT OVER 'GIRLFIGHT': STUDIOS HOT FOR B'KLYN TEEN TALE", New York Post, January 26, 2000. Accessed July 26, 2012. "Born in Texas and raised mostly in New Jersey, but also in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, she dropped out of Dickinson High ('a terrible school!') in Jersey City in the ninth grade, though she was good at English and science and later earned a GED"
  31. ^ "Biography of Eddie August Schneider (1911–1904) written to accompany his papers deposited at the George H. Williams, World War I Aviation Library at the University of Texas at Dallas". Gretchen Hahnen (1902–1986). 1948. Eddie Schneider was born October 20, 1911 on Second Avenue, and 17th Street in New York City. Later his family moved to Red Bank, New Jersey where he attended grade school. From there his family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey and he graduated from Dickinson High School. ... 
  32. ^ "A. Simpson, Figure in Hall-Mills Case". The New York Times, July 21, 1953. Accessed September 25, 2009.
  33. ^ Harrigan, Will. "Dickinson, Hudson County's oldest football program, returns", The Jersey Journal, July 22, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014. "The golden generation of Rams football graced the gridiron from 1928 to 1931. Those teams featured the likes of Ed Franco, one of Fordham’s famed 'Seven Blocks of Granite,' who played alongside Vince Lombardi, as well as other all-time greats like Al Barabas and twin brothers Milt and Walt Singer. Walt was also a starting center for the New York Giants who later went on to coach Dickinson in the 1940s."
  34. ^ Richardson, William D. "GIANTS VANQUISH BOSTON YANKS, 31–0; Paschal Leads Ground Attack for 113 Yards With Cuff and Calligaro Aiding STRONG TALLIES 7 POINTS Boots 4 Placements and Field Goal – Petrilas Scampers 66 Yards for a Score", The New York Times, November 6, 1944. Accessed July 26, 2012. "The new Giant backfield combination of Joe Sulaitis, former Dickinson High School star; Bill Paschal, Ward Cuff and Len Calligaro worked out fairly well."
  35. ^ Joe Sulaitis, database Football. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  36. ^ Meyer, Peter. "The New Superintendent of Schools for New Orleans; Education Next Issue Cover: A conversation with John White", Education Next, Fall 2011. Accessed August 20, 2014. "TFA sent White to Jersey City, to 3,000-student Dickinson High School, overlooking the Holland Tunnel, where he taught English for three years and learned that “there are a lot of challenges and we shouldn’t kid ourselves....'"
  37. ^ "Our Uniform Policy – Dickinson High School". Jersey City Public Schools. Accessed March 9, 2009.

External links[edit]