Winston Churchill High School (Potomac, Maryland)
|Winston Churchill High School|
|Motto||School of Excellence
Where Excellence Soars
|Principal||Dr. Joan C. Benz|
9th Grade: 501
10th Grade: 531
11th Grade: 510
12th Grade: 545
|Location||Potomac, Maryland, USA|
|District||Montgomery County Public Schools|
|Rival||Thomas S. Wootton High School, Walt Whitman High School|
|Newspaper||The Churchill Observer|
|Website||Winston Churchill Home Page|
The school is named after Sir Winston Churchill, British statesman and politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. Founded in 1964 as Potomac High School and was changed to Winston Churchill three years later (citation needed). Churchill is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. The majority of the students come from Herbert Hoover Middle School (75%) and Cabin John Middle School (25%). The principal, as of the 2014–2015 school year, is Dr. Joan C. Benz. Winston Churchill, ranked #1 in Maryland for consecutive years failed to meet the requirements of students on "free-lunch" and now ranks 0.
School awards and recognition
Churchill has been in the top 100 High Schools in the United States for years, climbing to as high as 42 in 2007. Churchill earned the 2007 Maryland Blue Ribbon Award, and it was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2007 National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School. In 2012 Churchill was rated the best High School in Maryland, according to U.S. News & World Report 
Departments and programs
The school also has a Signature Program, which allows students the opportunity to follow one of several course paths to specialize in a particular career field. The Signature Program comprises three academies: The Academy of Math, Science, & Technology; The Academy of International Studies; and The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts
The Bridge Program provides a program for adolescents and young adults with learning/emotional disabilities. The program's intention is on fostering academic skill development and altering behaviors that interfere with academic learning. It is supervised by an interdisciplinary team intended to meet the needs of socially vulnerable Middle and High School students who may be challenged by problem-solving abstract thinking, organizing and planning, interpreting social cues, establishing relationships with peers, coping with anxiety, changes in routine, and transitioning.
Churchill is well known for its performing arts programs. Many theater productions are put on regularly, including several nights of one-act plays in which many students are able to participate. Theater classes at three levels and a television production class are taught.
Churchill also has an outstanding show choir program. Simply Irresistible is the all-female group, and Showstoppers is the mixed-gender group. Both groups regularly compete within Montgomery County, as well as regional and national competitions. Churchill also hosts its own show choir competition annually, The Mid-Atlantic Show Choir Showcase.
In 2007, Churchill's fall production of Singin' in the Rain was nominated for 6 Cappies High School Theater Awards, winning Best Orchestra (for the third consecutive year), Best Cameo Actor, and Best Cameo Actress. Only one other school received more awards.
In 2009, Churchill's fall production of Rent: School Edition was nominated for 4 Cappies High School Theater Awards: Best Male Vocalist, Best Female Vocalist, Best Orchestra, and Best Song. Churchill won awards for Best Female Vocalist as well as Best Orchestra.
Past spring musical performances include: 2013 – Peter Pan 2012 – Legally Blonde
Past fall musical performances include: 2010 – Anything Goes 2009 – Chicago 2008 – Rent (School Edition) 2007 – Kiss Me Kate 2006 – Singin' in the Rain 2005 – West Side Story 2004 – Big the Musical 2003 – Guys and Dolls 2002 – The Music Man 2001 – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 2000 – The Pajama Game
Churchill is well known for its annual Blast from the Past production, in which more than 200 student singers, dancers and musicians perform a variety of popular songs. These songs range from the 1920s to modern day, and they all relate to a selected theme for each school year.
Kristofer Sanz conducts Churchill's bands and orchestras. Former conductor of the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras (MCYO) Philharmonic Orchestra, David Levin, widely considered one of the best music educators in the Washington area, held the position until his departure in 2012.
Many students form their own bands, typically of a rock variety, and the school occasionally facilitates this by sponsoring a battle of the bands or band performance. Sometimes, the school has sponsored day-long concerts to take place on school grounds. For example, The Merritthon, a fundraising event for Leukemia research, occurred annually from 2002 to 2004.
In 2009, the instrumental music program won four awards at the Windy City Classic, including Best Symphonic Band, Best Orchestra, Best Classical Soloist and Best Overall Program. The jazz band received second place in that category. All three groups received a gold rating.
Churchill produces three publications, all of which have won awards: its newspaper, The Churchill Observer; its yearbook, Finest Hours, and its literary magazine, Erehwon. Each publication is accompanied by three levels of instruction in the related publishing topics.
In January 2010, a criminal investigation exposed a grade changing scandal at Churchill. Law enforcement, prosecutors, and school officials examined the actions of many students who used a USB key logger to compromise teachers' passwords and alter the grades of hundreds of students. Three of the eight students identified as agents withdrew from the school, others were expelled. Many of the students who left the school eventually returned. Most of them going on to College at Maryland.
Churchill High School offers the following sports:
|Season||Sport||Number of Championships||Year|
|Fall||Cross Country, Boys||4||1968, 1975, 1977, 1978|
|Cross Country, Girls||2||1979, 1991|
|Field Hockey||2||1978, 1983|
|Golf||12||1976, 1987, 1988, 1995, 1998, 2002–2006, 2008, 2010, 2014|
|Soccer, Boys||7||1980, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2002|
|Winter||Basketball, Girls||2||2002, 2003|
|Ice Hockey||3||2006, 2011, 2013|
|Indoor Track, Boys||2||1976, 2011|
|Swimming and Diving, Girls||2||2009, 2012|
|Outdoor Track, Boys||1||1976|
|Wiffleball||5||1969, 1978, 1980, 2011, 2012|
- Marc Zell (class of 1970) – Attorney
- Susan C. Lee (class of 1972) – State Senator- Maryland State Senate of Maryland General Assembly
- Samuel L. Stanley Jr. (class of 1972) President, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
- Sterling Harwood (class of 1976) – Philosopher, Attorney and Author
- Brian Holloway (class of 1977) – Professional football player
- Jeffrey Allan Kemp (class of 1977) – NFL Football player (QB LA Rams, Seattle Seahawks, SF 49ers); son of Jack Kemp
- Michael Hardt (class of 1978) – Philosopher
- Darren Star (class of 1979) – Television (Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Sex and the City) creator and producer
- Marti Leimbach (class of 1981) – Novelist
- Bruce Murray (class of 1983) – international soccer player; two-time First Team All American at Clemson; selected to College Team of the Century; member of 1988 Summer Olympics and 1990 FIFA World Cup soccer teams; National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Paul Palmer (class of 1983) – NFL Football player
- Lori Alan Denniberg (class of 1984) – Actress/voice actor
- Mike Barrowman (class of 1987) – 1992 Olympic Gold Medal winner, 200 meter breaststroke
- Jordan Ellenberg – (class of 1989) professor of mathematics at University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Jimmy Kemp (class of 1989) – CFL Football player
- Rachel Nichols (class of 1991) – ESPN reporter
- Jeff Halpern (class of 1994) – NHL Hockey player
- Dhani Jones (class of 1996) – Professional football player
- Ben Feldman (class of 1998) – Actor
- Samuel Marcus (attended for one semester) – Actor (The People's Couch, Teens React)
- Kelen Coleman (class of 2002) – actress (The Office, The Mindy Project, The Newsroom, The McCarthys)
- Neil Vranis (class of 2008) – Soccer Player
- Kamie Crawford (class of 2010) – Miss Teen USA 2010
- Shinsaku Uesugi (class of 2010) – Olympic Chess Player (Chess Olympiad)
- Joshua Coyne (class of 2011) – Composer and Musician
- Jerome Dyson (class of 2005) – Professional basketball player
- Mike Sacks (class of c. 1990) – Magazine Editor/Humor Writer
- Julie Kent (class of 1987) – American Ballet Theatre
- Taylor Momsen (class of 2011) ((did not graduate)) – Actor (Gossip Girl), Musician (The Pretty Reckless), Model
- "Parent And Student Handbook 2012–2013" (PDF). Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- Gold Medal Schools, November 29, 2007
- Jacobson, Erica (December 13, 2006), "Two local schools awarded Md. Blue Ribbon designation", Washington Examiner
- Winston Churchill HS Named National Blue Ribbon School, October 2, 2007, retrieved May 15, 2010
- Best High Schools, May 8, 2012
- Donaghue, Erin (November 4, 2009). "Signature Program faces more hurdles at Churchill". Potomac Gazette.
- Silverman, Speri (March 20, 2010), School Based Services
- Mack, Jean (May 17, 2007). "And the Nominees Are...". Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Vaughn, Peggy (June 13, 2007). "Wootton, Churchill students bring home some Cappies". Potomac Gazette.
- [dead link]
- "2009 National Capital Area Nominees".
- Cetron, Ari (June 18, 2003). "Rock for the Cure". Potomac Almanac. Retrieved May 23, 2010
- "MSPA 2003 Publications Contest Results". Maryland-District of Colombia Scholastic Press Association. University of Maryland. 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2009.[dead link]
- "Publication Awards Recognize Best in Area". Maryland-District of Colombia Scholastic Press Association. University of Maryland. Winter 2002. Retrieved February 5, 2009.[dead link]
- "MSPA 2002 Publications Contest Results". Maryland-District of Colombia Scholastic Press Association. University of Maryland. 2002. Retrieved February 5, 2009.[dead link]
- Birnbaum, Michael; Morse, Dan; Johnson, Jenna (March 4, 2010), "Criminal investigation opened in grade-changing scandal at Churchill High", Washington Post: A01, retrieved May 16, 2010
- "Fall Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- "Winter Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- "Maryland Scholastic Hockey League Past Champions". Mshl.org. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Spring Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2010.