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Butler High School (New Jersey)

Coordinates: 40°59′53″N 74°20′23″W / 40.99816°N 74.33960°W / 40.99816; -74.33960
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Butler High School
38 Bartholdi Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°59′53″N 74°20′23″W / 40.99816°N 74.33960°W / 40.99816; -74.33960
TypePublic high school
School districtButler Public Schools
NCES School ID340252004166[1]
PrincipalRory Fitzgerald
Faculty41.3 FTEs[1]
Enrollment480 (as of 2022–23)[1]
Student to teacher ratio11.6:1[1]
Color(s)  Royal blue and
Athletics conferenceNorth Jersey Interscholastic Conference
Team nameBulldogs[2]

Butler High School is a four-year public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from Butler, in Morris County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey, operating as the lone secondary school of the Butler Public Schools.

Students from Bloomingdale attend Butler High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Bloomingdale School District.[3][4] In 2020–21, more than 40% of the students in the high school came from Bloomingdale.[5]

As of the 2022–23 school year, the school had an enrollment of 480 students and 41.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.6:1. There were 80 students (16.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 31 (6.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]


Students from Butler had been sent to attend high school in Paterson before Butler High School was opened in 1903. From the time the school opened, the school served students from a 200-square-mile (520 km2) area that included Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Pequannock Township and Riverdale in Morris County, and Bloomingdale, Ringwood, Wanaque and West Milford in Passaic County until they built their own schools or established alternate arrangements with other school districts.[6][7]

In September 1954, the Butler district notified its eight sending communities that growing enrollment of borough residents would mean that there would be no space available at Butler High School and that the local districts serving students from Passaic County communities and Pequannock Township would have to make alternate arrangements by 1958.[8] While Pequannock Township, Ringwood and Wanaque met the 1958 deadline, West Milford left four years later, Kinnelon and Riverdale left with the opening of Kinnelon High School in 1962 and Jefferson Township ended their sending relationship with the opening of Jefferson Township High School in 1964.[9][10]

The original building occupied by Butler High School was built in the late 1800s and soon expanded with an annex (Still existing, "Annex Building") constructed in 1916. The school then doubled its size with an addition parallel to Bartholdi Avenue in the mid 1930s. After sections of the original Butler High School facility caught fire in January 1963, with damage focused on the portion of the building constructed in 1897, the school was shut down for renovations.[11] The gymnasium was unusable due to water damage caused during the fighting of the fire and physical education classes were held outside for the remainder of the school year. Several classrooms in the original 1888 building were also heavily damaged and that building was town down. The school day was increased and the freshmen and some sophomores began classes later in the morning. Trailers were used for the guidance offices, freeing space in the main building for classrooms. The "Art Building" was then built to the left of the original school and opened after 1964.

The "Art building" (as of 2011): four locker rooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria and kitchen, five bathrooms, nurse's office, athletic director's office, physics lab, forensic science, two art rooms, an English classroom, culinary arts, health room, photo lab, auxiliary gym, and library w/ media center. The "Main building" (as of 2011): Main and attendance offices, Principal and Vice Principal's offices, guidance offices, and academic offices. Band and choir room, auditorium, foreign language, history, mathematics, and English classrooms, and science laboratories. Also, an updated computer lab; TLC lab, and six bathrooms (two for the use of faculty) The "Annex building" (as of 2011): Butler Board of Education, student resource center, one marketing and financial classroom, and two computer labs: (Business and computer-animated design).

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 162nd-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.[12] The school had been ranked 94th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 176th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[13] The magazine ranked the school 123rd in 2008 out of 316 schools.[14] The school was ranked 116th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[15] Schooldigger.com ranked the school as 224th out of 376 public high schools statewide in its 2010 rankings (an increase of 14 positions from the 2009 rank) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[16]


The Butler High School Bulldogs[2] participate in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference, which comprises small-enrollment schools in Bergen, Hudson, Morris and Passaic counties, and was created following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[17][18][19] Until the 2018–19 school year, the school had been part of the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, but shifted to the NJIC to compete against other smaller schools.[20] Before the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed in the Northern Hills Conference an athletic conference that included public and private high schools in Essex, Morris and Passaic counties.[21] With 374 students in grades 10–12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group I for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 75 to 476 students in that grade range.[22] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group I North for football for 2022–2024, which included schools with 184 to 471 students.[23]

The girls field hockey team won the North II Group II state sectional championships in both 1978 and 1979. The team was the Group II co-champion in 1978 after a 1–1 tie in the finals against the two-time defending champion Haddonfield Memorial High School.[24][25]

The football team won the NJSIAA North II Group II state sectional championship in 1982 and 1983, won the title in North II Group I in 1990 and 1994–1997, and won in North I Group I in 2018.[26] The 1982 team finished the season with an 11–0 record after winning the North II Group II sectional championship game with a 23–7 win against James Caldwell High School.[27] The 1983 team finished the season with an 11–0 record, and brought the program's winning streak to 24 consecutive games, after taking the North II Group II sectional title with a 16–8 victory against Hillside High School in the championship game.[28] The team won the 1994 North II Group I title with a 35–21 victory in the championship game against New Providence High School.[29] After winning the first two rounds of the 2018 NJSIAA playoffs by shutout, the team won the North I Group I state sectional championship with a 35–28 win against Park Ridge High School in the final game of the tournament.[30][31][32]

The girls' basketball team won the 2003 North II Group I championship, defeating runner-up Glen Ridge High School 65–39.[33] The team moved on to the Group I state championship, defeating Wildwood High School by 43 - 37 in the final game.[34][35]

The girls' soccer team won the 2002 North I Group I state sectional championship over Glen Ridge High School by a score of 2–1.[36] In 2004 they made it to the finals again, defeating Glen Rock High School 1–0 in the final game of the tournament.[37] The team won the sectional state championship again in 2005, with a 3–0 win over Midland Park High School.[38]


The school's principal is Rory Fitzgerald.[39] His core administration team includes the assistant principal and athletic director.[40]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e School data for Butler High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 1, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c Butler High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Butler Public Schools 2016 Report Card Narrative Archived September 14, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 14, 2017. "The district also engages in several Shared Service agreements with the Bloomingdale school district, beyond the send-receive high school experience, including sharing of school Library oversight, Special Education and sharing the services of the Student Assistance Counselor."
  4. ^ Butler High School profile Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Butler High School. Accessed November 15, 2014. "Butler High School is a public high school servicing the students of the Borough of Butler and the Borough of Bloomingdale."
  5. ^ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Butler Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education, for year ending June 30, 2021. Accessed January 4, 2023. "The District received high school students from Bloomingdale, in Passaic County, on a tuition basis. These students comprised 44.3% of the high school enrollment in the 2020 - 2021 school year."
  6. ^ Fagan, Matt. "Butler High School's Hall of Honor accepting nominations", The Record, September 12, 2017. Accessed September 13, 2017. "However, between 1906 and early 1960s, Butler was the high school for vast portions of Morris County and northwestern Passaic County and even portions of Sussex County, Wall said.... At one time the high school served as the regional high school for Bloomingdale, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Pequannock, Ringwood, Riverdale, Wanaque and West Milford. Before 1903, when Butler High School first opened its doors, graduates of the Butler Grammar School attended Paterson High School, Butler school board officials said."
  7. ^ Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. "Honoring Butler High School", Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 152 (2006), Part 9, June 19, 2006. Accessed February 23, 2022. "Butler High School graduated its first class in 1907, making the senior class of 2006 the 100th class to graduate from the school. Until 1903, graduates of the Butler Grammar School attended Paterson High School. In the early years, Butler High School was a 'regional' high school in the extreme sense of the word. Originally the school encompassed a territory of more than 200 square miles, providing secondary education to students from Bloomingdale, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Pequannock, Ringwood, Riverdale Wanaque and West Milford. Over the years the sending districts, with the exception of Bloomingdale, withdrew from Butler High School as municipalities built their own high schools or regional districts were created."
  8. ^ Staff. "Enrollments Tax Schools In Bergen; Auxiliary Rooms Are Being Converted for Classes and Construction Is Pushed", The New York Times, September 5, 1954. Accessed September 13, 2017. "Butler, in near-by Morris County, is taking drastic action to relieve congestion in its high school... Four of these 'sending districts' -- Riverdale, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon and Pequannock Township -- are in Morris County. The others -- Wanaque, Ringwood, West Milford and Bloomingdale -- are in Passaic County. Butler has given Pequannock Township and the four districts in Passaic until 1958 to complete withdrawal of their students."
  9. ^ "Students Choose 'The Colts,' Colors of New Kinnelon H.S.", The News, April 18, 1962. Accessed April 8, 2022, via Newspapers.com. "The vote was taken by Riverdale and Kinnelon sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, and ninth graders attending Butler High School, who will attend the new Kinnelon High School in September."
  10. ^ History of BHS, Butler High School. Accessed September 13, 2017. "Until 1903, graduates of the Butler Grammar School attended Paterson High School. In 1903, the district's supervising principal, Mr. Clarence J. Howell, oversaw the establishment of Butler High School.... Ringwood, Wanaque and Pequannock withdrew in 1958, following by West Milford in 1962, and Kinnelon, Riverdale and Jefferson in 1964."
  11. ^ "Fire Damages Butler School", Courier News, January 15, 1963. Accessed April 8, 2022, via Newspapers.com. "Fire burned through a section of the Butler High School from basement to roof early today causing heavy damage to classrooms and offices. Fire departments from eight communities fought the blaze, which was brought slowly under control after more than four hours. The fire began about 3 a.m. in the janitor's room in the basement and spread throughout the older section of the two-story school. Damage was centered in the original building, which was built in 1897."
  12. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  13. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
  14. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed June 22, 2011.
  15. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  16. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2009-2010 Archived September 14, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 15, 2012.
  17. ^ Mattura, Greg. "Small-school NJIC may debut its own league championship", The Record, January 9, 2017. Accessed August 30, 2020. "The small-school North Jersey Interscholastic Conference may debut its own boys basketball tournament this season, one season after introducing its girls hoops championship. The NJIC is comprised of schools from Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties and the event offered to the 36 boys teams would serve as an alternative to likely competing against larger programs in a county tournament."
  18. ^ Member Schools, North Jersey Interscholastic Conference. Accessed August 30, 2020.
  19. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Havsy, Jane. "Butler off to smooth start in new small-school conference", Daily Record, September 28, 2018. Accessed August 27, 2020. "Butler High School's athletic teams wandered into uncharted territory this fall. The Bulldogs are taking on the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference, an allegiance of NJSIAA Group I schools in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties. As the league's first Morris County member, Butler began its transition from the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference in January 2016."
  21. ^ Home Page, Northern Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 28, 2011. Accessed November 25, 2014.
  22. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Football Public School Classifications 2022–2024New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 1, 2023.
  24. ^ History of NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 1, 2023.
  25. ^ Gormley, Helene. "Haddonfield is mirrored in tie for Group 2 honors", Courier-Post, November 20, 1978. Accessed March 1, 2021. "Against Butler, the four-time South Jersey champ began and ended like a team on fire, slumping a little in the middle. After a torrid beginning, which saw seven shots by Haddonfield in the first 15 minutes, the Haddons regrouped to rally for a 1-1 tie with Butler and their third straight Group 2 state title."
  26. ^ NJSIAA Football History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 1, 2022.
  27. ^ Mayer, John. "Butler takes 1st State title", The Record, December 5, 1982. Accessed March 5, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Watching films of the upcoming football opponent is supposed to better prepare a team for the game, but yesterday afternoon it may have done Caldwell more harm than good. 'When we looked at the films, their linebackers played way back, so our game plan was to run on Butler all day,' said Chiefs quarterback Jeff Durr after his team had lost 23-7 in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 2, Section 2 championship game."
  28. ^ "Passaic (11-0) Tops North Bergen, 24-13", The New York Times, December 4, 1983. Accessed December 24, 2020. "Brian Woop scored from the 2 on a 28-yard drive set up Mark Zignorski's interception in the second quarter and lifted Butler to a 16-8 victory over Hillside in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 championship in Hillside. Butler (11-0), which extended the state's longest current winning streak to 24 games with its successful title defense, was led by Mark Lisa, who passed for 129 yards."
  29. ^ Carty, Jim. "For Pioneers, no solace in playing well", Courier News, December 4, 1994. Accessed January 24, 2021. "The Pioneers didn't want to talk about their great defensive effort in Saturday's North Jersey 2, Group 1 final against Butler. They didn't want to talk about gallant yet failed comebacks. New Providence proved to the world what coach Frank Barrone insisted going into the game that Butler was beatable. The Pioneers had not, however, closed the deal, falling 35-21 after a furious fourth-quarter comeback."
  30. ^ "Football - 2018 NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 Playoffs", NJ.com. Accessed August 7, 2019.
  31. ^ Gantaifis, Nick. "State of the Program: After sectional title, Butler football looking for more in 2019", The Record, July 10, 2019. Accessed August 7, 2019. "Butler has won eight NJSIAA sectional titles, its most recent coming last fall when the Bulldogs defeated Park Ridge 35-28 in North 1, Group 1. It was their first state sectional final appearance since 2009. Butler claimed consecutive North 2, Group 1 titles in 1982 and 1983, but its glory years were the 1990s when the small Morris County school won five more in an eight-year period, highlighted by four straight championships from 1994 to '97."
  32. ^ Staff. "QB Smith powers Butler past Park Ridge, 35-28 in NJ 1, Gr. 1 final", The Star-Ledger, November 17, 2018. Accessed August 7, 2019. "Smith's 1-yard touchdown run came with 1:39 left and helped give the Bulldogs a 35-28 victory over Park Ridge in the NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics North 1, Group I championship game held at Pequannock High School.... It was the school's first sectional championship since 1997, when Butler won its fourth straight title."
  33. ^ 2003 Girls Basketball - North II, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2007.
  34. ^ 2003 Girls Basketball - Group I, Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2007.
  35. ^ NJSIAA Girls Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  36. ^ 2002 Girls Soccer - North II, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2007.
  37. ^ 2004 Girls Soccer - North I, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2007.
  38. ^ 2005 Girls Soccer - North I, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed April 25, 2007.
  39. ^ Our Principal, Butler High School. Accessed February 12, 2024.
  40. ^ Parent / Student Handbook - Student Code of Conduct 2023-2024 School Year, Butler High School. Accessed February 12, 2024.
  41. ^ Larry Hand, NJSports.com. Accessed November 18, 2017. "Larry Thomas Hand was born July 10, 1940 in Paterson and grew up in the nearby town of Butler. Larry was a late bloomer size-wise. When Larry enrolled at Butler High School in 1955, he stood 5'6" and weighed 135 pounds."
  42. ^ "Two township residents honored by Butler High School", West Milford Messenger, October 15, 2018. Accessed January 9, 2020. "Two township residents were among six Butler High School graduates inducted into the school's Hall of Honor on Sept. 27 at the Barnyard and Carriage House in Totowa, the school announced.... A sixth honoree, Christopher Kreski, class of 1980, is deceased, according to the school."
  43. ^ Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. "Honoring Butler High School", Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 152 (2006), Part 9, June 19, 2006. Accessed February 23, 2022. "The commencement speaker will be Wendy Larry, Butler High School graduate and the Head Women's Basketball Coach at Old Dominion University."
  44. ^ Wendy Larry, Old Dominion University. Accessed February 23, 2022. "Larry is a native of Bloomingdale, N.J., and was recently inducted into the Butler High School Hall of Fame in April."
  45. ^ Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual, 1966, p. 403. Accessed August 30, 2019. "He graduated from Butler High School in 1937 and entered Tusculum College, Greenville, Tennessee."
  46. ^ "Bloomingdale native promoted to brigadier general", United States Army Test and Evaluation Command via The Record, October 8, 2013. Accessed January 24, 2021. "Bloomingdale native Scott A. Spellmon was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas, last week.... A 1982 graduate of Butler High School, Spellmon was commissioned a second lieutenant from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986."
  47. ^ Dulavy, Ryan. "NFL personnel notice Butler grad Turzilli at Rutgers Pro Day", Daily Record, March 5, 2015. Accessed May 27, 2017. "'I feel like (the key is) just getting an opportunity and I'll make the most of it,' said Turzilli, a Butler High School graduate who spent one year at Rutgers after transferring from Kansas."
  48. ^ "Arthur Vervaet Jr. of Oakland, 86", The Record, November 23, 1999. Accessed August 28, 2019. "Mr. Vervaet, who was born in Pompton Lakes and attended a one-room schoolhouse in Oakland, graduated from Butler High School in 1931."
  49. ^ "George Kiick Appointed As Aide To Notre Dame Alumnus", The Morning Call, July 18, 1947. Accessed March 12, 2024, via Newspapers.com. "George H. Kiick, Bucknell University graduate and former pro football player, was named to the post as assistant football coach at the same time."

External links[edit]