Bernards High School
|Bernards High School|
|25 Olcott Avenue
Bernardsville, NJ 07924
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Somerset Hills Regional School District|
|Asst. principals||Dr. Michael Corbett
|Enrollment||843 (as of 2014-15)|
|Student to teacher ratio||13.1:1|
|Athletics conference||Skyland Conference|
|Website||Bernards High School|
Bernards High School is a comprehensive four-year regional public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. The school is part of the Somerset Hills Regional School District, a regional K–12 school district that consists of the participating municipalities of Bernardsville, Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone. Students from Bedminster are sent to the district's high school for grades 9-12 as part of a sending/receiving relationship. The school is located in Bernardsville, within walking distance from the main section of Bernardsville. The school is overseen by the New Jersey Department of Education.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 843 students and 64.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.1:1. There were 58 students (6.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 25 (3.0% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Awards, recognition and rankings
In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 88th out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 18th among all high schools in New Jersey and fifth among the state's non-magnet schools.
In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 235th in the nation among participating public high schools and 18th among schools in New Jersey. The school was ranked 169th in the nation and 12th in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.
In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 6th in New Jersey and 288th nationwide. The school was ranked 198th in Newsweek's 2009 ranking of the top 1,500 high schools in the United States and was the fourth-ranked school in New Jersey, with 3.023 IB tests taken in 2008 per graduating senior and 49% of all graduating seniors passing at least one IB exam. In 2008, the school was ranked 518th nationwide. In Newsweek's May 22, 2007 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Bernards High School was listed in 218th place, the sixth-highest ranked school in New Jersey. The school was listed in 141st place, the fourth highest ranked school in New Jersey, in Newsweek's May 8, 2006, issue, listing the Top 1,200 High Schools in The United States.
The school was the 15th-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. The school had been ranked 11th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 32nd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 36th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 50th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school 52nd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 16 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (92.3%) and language arts literacy (97.4%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The Bernards High School Mountaineers compete in the Skyland Conference, which operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Bernards joined the Skyland Conference in the 2006–07 school year, after having been in the Colonial Hills Conference for many years. With 628 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as Central Jersey, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 498 to 750 students in that grade range.
The football team won conference champs and the boys cross country team won a sectional title during the 2005–06 school year. More recently, the school's fencing team finished 1st in 2006 (Boys), 1st in 2007 (Girls, defeating Columbia High School by a score of 16-11), and 1st in 2008 (Boys again). All three State Fencing Team Championships achieved by a program created seven years ago. Also during the 2006–07, Catherine Carr scored her 2,000th point. Junior Shane Painter scored his 1,000th point.
The school is also known for its girls' track team. The team dominated in the 1980s, but was dismantled in 1989 because of budget deficits. The program was resurrected in 2000 and the team has won multiple conference titles and championships. They won the Indoor NJSIAA State Group I Relays along with the Indoor NJSIAA North I Group I Sectional Championships and the Indoor NJSIAA State Group I Championships in 2009 and 2010, the seventh group title won by the program in its history. The girls' track team had four All-Americans in 2010, with its 4x800 team taking 5th place at the New Balance Nationals track meet, with the 7th fastest time in the nation, breaking the Somerset County record and was the fastest time in New Jersey that year.
The 2006-07 Bernards boys soccer team won the Skyland Conference championship in their inaugural year there. The team won the Group II state championship with a 2–1 win over Ramsey High School in the semifinals and a 3–2 win against Haddonfield Memorial High School in the finals.
In the second semester of 2006–07, the Bernards Mountaineers Marching Band was invited to travel to New Orleans to perform in a Mardi Gras parade for Houma, Louisiana, a town that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
The following historical synopsis derives from Among the Blue Hills...Bernardsville...a History, published by the Bernardsville History Book Committee, 1991. "On January 26, 1926, a Citizen's Committee was chosen to work with the Board of Education.....The Committee reported that the two existing buildings contained sixteen classrooms, for two classes of each of the eight grades. It was believed that this would be adequate for some time. In order to provide for the special equipment and facilities needed for a high school program, the building of a new high school would be the logical solution....The building was completed and occupied in 1927."
From the school's certification in February 2002 until the end of the 2008-2009 school year, the school offered students the opportunity to participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB), a comprehensive two-year curriculum pursued by students during junior and senior years. Students took a course of studies in six academic areas. Successful completion of an IB Diploma could lead students to earn college credit. Enrollment was highly selective and honors credit was earned. Students had to take a variety of internal and external assessments. The school had to end the program due to the incoming budget cuts in the next fiscal year from the then new governorship of Chris Christie. According to NJ.com, many residents were satisfied with the budget cuts. However, others felt the budget decisions were painful, and then-superintendent Peter Miller said, "I feel like I'm getting the rug pulled out from underneath me," and that the school "had the money available." The school was one of only 16 schools in New Jersey to offer the IB program at the time. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are still offered, which may also lead to college credit.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Scott Neigel, Principal
- Dr. Michael Corbett, Assistant Principal
- Michael Hoppe, Assistant Principal / Athletic Director
- Roger Bart (born 1962, class of 1980), Tony award-winning actor.
- Philip Capice (born 1931, class of 1948), Emmy award-winning television producer. Producer of TV shows Dallas, Eight is Enough, TV movie Sybil and many others
- John W. Geils Jr. (born 1946, class of 1964), musician, J. Geils of The J. Geils Band.
- Katie Meyler (born 1982, class of 2000), 2014's Time Person of the Year (Ebola Fighters)
- Meryl Streep (born 1949, class of 1967), Academy Award-winning actress, attended BHS in the late 1960s.
- Ryan Scott Weber (born 1980, class of 1998), filmmaker.
- Administration, Bernards High School. Accessed May 25, 2016.
- School data for Bernards High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Bernards High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 25, 2016.
- Somerset County School Districts-Sending/Receiving/Regional, Somerset County Superintendent of Schools. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2016", Newsweek. Accessed November 11, 2016.
- Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast / Newsweek, May 20, 2012. Accessed May 22, 2012.
- Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Bernards High School", The Washington Post. Accessed July 22, 2011.
- Staff. "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools", Newsweek, June 8, 2009. Accessed June 10, 2009.
- "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,200 top U.S. schools", Newsweek, May 22, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007.
- Top 1,200 High Schools in The United States Archived March 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Newsweek May 8, 2006.
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 27, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 21, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 26, 2012.
- League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 25, 2016.
- General Public School Classifications 2-15-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- 2016 - 2018 Co‐Operative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Sectional Cross-Country Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Harleston, Gregory. "NJSIAA FINAL: Fencing: Bernards boys claim 1st state title", Courier News (New Jersey), March 2, 2006. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Sherman, Jason. "Fencing: Bernards girls capture 1st state crown", Courier News (New Jersey), March 10, 2007. Accessed June 28, 2011. "After four straight runner-up finishes, the second-seeded Mountaineers captured their first NJSIAA championship Thursday night with a 16-11 victory over top-seeded Columbia at Morris Hills High School."
- Dunleavy, Ryan. "Girls Basketball: Carr hits 2,000", Courier News (New Jersey), February 10, 2007. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Carr scored her 1,000th career point Jan. 10, 2006 and needed just 39 games to get her second 1,000."
- Carino, Jerry. "Winter Track - Bernards adds more gold to school's trophy case", Courier News (New Jersey), February 21, 2010. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Senior Kristin Smoot won two events to lead the Mountaineers to their second straight NJSIAA Group I championship and the seventh in program history..."
- 2009 NJSIAA/Star-Ledger/M-F Athlete Group Boys & Girls Track & Field Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- 2010 NJSIAA/Star-Ledger/M-F Athlete Group Boys & Girls Track & Field Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Bevensee, Rich. "Bernards girls break Somerset County 4x800 relay record", The Star-Ledger, June 19, 2010. Accessed June 28, 2011. "The Bernards girls 4x800 relay – Dana Giordano (2:13.6), Elizabeth Sahrkey (2:19.8), Isabel Henderson (2:16.2) and Kristin Smoot (2:10.8) – finished fifth overall in 9:00.38, a new Somerset County record, at the New Balance Nationals at Aggie Stadium on the North Carolina A&T campus."
- 2006 Boys Soccer Tournament - Public Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 25, 2007.
- Among the Blue Hills...Bernardsville...a History, published by the Bernardsville History Book Committee, 1991.
- , NJ.com. Accessed May 3, 2016.
- , The Bernardsville News. Accessed May 3, 2016.
- Find an IB World School—results, International Baccalaureate Organization. Accessed May 24, 2007.
- Staff. "New Bernards High School principal to take the reins", The Bernardsville News, May 11, 2012. Accessed October 30, 2016. "A new principal has been chosen to lead Bernards High School.Scott Neigel, currently an assistant principal at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, was appointed by the Somerset Hills Regional Board of Education at a special meeting on Thursday, May 3."
- Hatala, Greg. "Glimpse of History: Arm-in-arm at commencement", The Star-Ledger, June 23, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2014. "Some of the school's notable alumni include Tony Award-winning actor Roger Bart ('80), John Geils Jr. of the J. Geils Band ('64) and Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep ('67)."
- Staff. "Meryl Streep Before She Was Meryl Streep", 20/20, February 26, 2010. Accessed June 28, 2011. "'Funny story, she went out with J. Geils from the J. Geils Band,' said Castrilli. 'He was a senior at Bernards High School when we were freshmen. And it wasn't a serious dating relationship, but she hung around with him, and he -- seniors were allowed to drive to school. And he drove her. ... So you know, and it was kind of like a -- senior dating a freshman, whoa. It was almost scandalous, you know?'"
- "Katie Meyler featured at benefit March 16 in Bernardsville", The Bernardsville News, March 9, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2017. "A Bernardsville native, Meyler is a Bernards High School graduate and founder of the More Than Me Foundation, a non-profit organization that educates girls in Liberia. She was named a 2014 Time magazine 'Person of the Year' for her work in this impoverished West African nation, which has been hit hard by the deadly Ebola virus."
- "N.J. TEACHERS HONOR 6 GRADUATES", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 12, 1983. Accessed July 20, 2007.
- Zavalick, Charlie. "B'ville filmmaker hopes to make horror classic here", Bernardsville News, January 21, 2011. Accessed May 8, 2013. "Weber, a 30-year-old Pine Street resident, can normally be found at the Bernardsville Library where he has worked part-time in technical services for about two years. But the 1998 Bernards High School graduate has aspirations to become a film director and hopes Mary Horror can help jump-start his career."
- Baratta, Amy. "Zombies invading Bernardsville; Local filmmaker working on second horror flick", Bernardsville News, August 24, 2012. Accessed May 8, 2013. "Filmmaker Ryan Scott Weber is at it again. Just nine months after he premiered his first horror flick, locally filmed Mary Horror, at Bernards High School, the 32-year-old borough man has taken to the streets of Bernardsville to film a sequel."
- Bernards High School website
- The Somerset Hills School District
- Bernards High School's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for Bernards High School, National Center for Education Statistics
- Bernards High Alumni website