Camden High School (New Jersey)

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For other schools with the same name, see Camden High School (disambiguation).
Camden High School
Camden High School is located in Camden County, New Jersey
Camden High School
Camden High School
Camden High School is located in New Jersey
Camden High School
Camden High School
Camden High School is located in the US
Camden High School
Camden High School
1700 Park Boulevard
Camden, NJ 08103
Type Public high school
Established 1891
School district Camden City Public Schools
Principal Scott E. Shanklin
Faculty 66.5 FTEs[1]
Enrollment 695 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 10.5:1[1]
Color(s)      Purple and
Athletics conference Olympic Conference
Team name Panthers[2]

Camden High School is a four-year comprehensive community public high school that serves students in ninth through twelfth grades from the city of Camden, in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. The school is part of the Camden City Public Schools, which is classified as an Abbott District.[3] The school, established in 1891, celebrated its centennial in 1991.[4] The school was originally known as the Camden Manual Training and High School, admitting its first class of 48 boys in 1891, with girls entering the school three years later.[5] The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1929.[6]

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 695 students and 66.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.5:1. There were 598 students (86.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 14 (2.0% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

In 2003, Bonsall Family School, Camden High School and East Camden Middle School were identified as three of the seven "persistently dangerous" high schools in New Jersey.[7]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 339th-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.[8] The school had been ranked 287th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 322nd and lowest in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[9] The magazine ranked the school 316th in 2008 as the lowest out of 316 schools.[10] The school was ranked 314th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[11]

Performance and building condition[edit]

A report indicated that in the city of 80,000, only three high school students posted SAT scores deemed "college ready."[12]


The Camden High School Panthers compete in the Olympic Conference,[2] an athletic conference consisting of public and private high schools located in Burlington County, Camden County and Gloucester County.[13] The Olympic Conference operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[14] With 778 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as South Jersey, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 496 to 778 students in that grade range.[15]

Previously, the athletic teams at Camden High School were called/known as the "Purple Avalanche," a fitting name for the large football teams (60 or more players) on the sideline at the start of their games in the 1960s and 1970s.[16] As of 2009, Camden High had won over 41 South Jersey Championships, and appeared in over 20 state championship games, winning 11 of them.[citation needed]

The school and their crosstown rival, Woodrow Wilson High School, still play the traditional Thanksgiving Day football game each year. The Thanksgiving Day game in 1979 was suspended after rival gangs started shooting at each other, resulting in at least 14 injuries and dozens of arrests.[17]

The school operates as the lead agency for a cooperative wrestling program with Woodrow Wilson High School, under an agreement that expires at the end of the 2017-18 school year.[18]

The boys' basketball team went undefeated in both 1959 and 1960, winning state championships each year. The team won a total of seven state championships in the 1970s and 1980s. USA Today ranked the 1986 team as number one nationwide. Curtis Walls, Lee Wall, Louis Banks, Sean Turner, Larry Cohen, Reggie Lawrence, Kevin Smith, Dennis Brown, Davis Nieves, and Vic Carstarphen all played on this team.[19]

The 2000 boys basketball team won the South Jersey Group III state championship as the seventh-seeded team, with an 89–64 win against top seed Lakewood High School, as Dajuan Wagner topped all scorers with 43 points. Camden High went on to win the State Group III title against Malcolm X Shabazz High School. From there they moved on to the Tournament of Champions, which pits each state champion against each other to determine one overall champion. Camden defeated Seton Hall Preparatory School in the championship game.[20][21]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Camden High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Camden High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 4, 2015.
  3. ^ Abbott School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Ott, Dwight. "Camden High School Turns 100", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 6, 1991. Accessed July 1, 2011. "The school, once predominantly Jewish and Italian and now largely black and Hispanic, has produced other well-known alumni: Superior Court Judges Isaiah Steinberg and Theodore Davis; former Camden Mayor Angelo J. Errichetti; record producer Leon Huff; former Camden County Prosecutor Samuel Asbell; former Supremes singer Cindy Birdsong; basketball player Billy Thompson of the Miami Heat, and physician and civic leader Charles Brim."
  5. ^ History, Camden High School. Accessed July 1, 1011. "Camden High School (CHS), originally known as Camden Manual Training and High School was located at 123 Federal Street in 1891. Forty-eight boys entered and were taught by the male principals of the city. In 1894, a group of girls were admitted and ordinary teachers were assigned to the school."
  6. ^ Camden High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools. Accessed July 1, 2011.
  7. ^ List of dangerous schools, CNN, September 25, 2003. Accessed July 25, 2007.
  8. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 10, 2012.
  10. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed July 1, 2011.
  11. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  12. ^ Via Associated Press. "Only 3 students scored college-ready in Camden",, December 18, 2013. Accessed August 27, 2014. "The new school superintendent in Camden says it was a 'kick-in-the-stomach moment' when he learned that only three district high school students who took the SAT this year scored as college-ready."
  13. ^ Olympic Conference. Accessed July 25, 2007.
  14. ^ League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 26, 2016.
  15. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Callahan, Kevin. "Frambes was go-to guy for S.J. sports history", Courier-Post, July 6, 2008. Accessed July 19, 2012. That was because often unbeaten seasons and championships were on the line when the Purple Avalanche (Camden's old nickname) played the Panthers of Collingswood."
  17. ^ Staff. "14 Hurt at Camden Stadium As Gangs Exchange Gunfire; 37 Taken Into Custody", The New York Times, November 23, 1979. Accessed July 1, 2011. "Three separate volleys of shots, perhaps a dozen in all, set off a stampede of hundreds of an estimated total of 3,600 football fans and led to the suspension of the Thanksgiving Day game between Camden and Woodrow Wilson High School, which are traditional rivals."
  18. ^ 2016 - 2018 Co‐Operative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  19. ^ a b c d Strauss, Robert. "IN PERSON; Hoop Dreams Revisit Camden", The New York Times, February 13, 2000. Accessed July 25, 2007. "There has often been hope in that gym. Camden High has been winning state basketball championships for more than four decades now. It went undefeated all the way to the title in 1959 and 1960. Its 1986 team was ranked best in the nation by USA Today. And there were seven other state championships in the 1970's and 1980's.... Legends have grown up around its stars, from the Sunkett brothers and Itchy Smith in the 1960's to Billy Thompson and Milt Wagner, teammates in the early 1980's, both of whom went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.... On game day, the gym is usually filled and attention is almost always focused on one young man, DaJuan Wagner, son of Milt, touted by the top high school junior in the nation.
  20. ^ Narducci, Marc. "Wagner Powers Camden To S.j. Title With 43 Points; The Super Junior Took Advantage Of A Man-to-man Defense By Lakewood. The Result Was An 89-64 Camden Romp.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 8, 2000. Accessed August 19, 2007.
  21. ^ Public Sectionals - South, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 19, 2007.
  22. ^ Anastasia, Phil. "Camden's Dajuan Wagner aims to play again in NBA", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 9, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2016. "Wagner last played in the NBA in November 2006.... Camden city councilman Arthur Barclay, a teammate of Wagner's at Camden and Memphis, said his old friend's return to the court would be a thrill."
  23. ^ John Brown player profile, database Football. Accessed August 16, 2007.
  24. ^ Naedele, Walter F. "Mary DiSabato; headed N.J. State Parole Board", The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 23, 2016. Accessed October 27, 2016. "Born in Camden, Mrs. DiSabato graduated from Camden High School in 1946 and served as a Sixth District Assemblywoman, covering parts of Camden and Burlington Counties from 1974 to 1980, son Stephen Croce said."
  25. ^ George Hegamin, database Football. Accessed September 30, 2007.
  26. ^ Burney, Melanie. "A homecoming in Camden for an R&B songsmith Leon Huff was half of a duo instrumental in the Sound of Philadelphia. His alma mater honored him yesterday.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 28, 2002. Accessed July 1, 2011. "When Mayor Gwendolyn Faison decided her city should have an official song, she called on popular songwriter and native son Leon Huff. Huff wrote Camden, New Jersey last year in honor of the city where he began his music training more than 50 years ago playing piano for his church choir. Yesterday, the city paid tribute to Huff at his alma mater - Camden High School - where the soon-to-open Fine Arts and Communications Academy will bear his name."
  27. ^ Staff. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey; 1990 Edition, p. 208. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1990. Accessed September 28, 2016. "Mr. Laskin was born June 30, 1936, in Atlantic City. He was graduated from Camden High School in 1954."
  28. ^ Los Angeles Public Library reference file
  29. ^ Callahan, Kevin. "Competitor stirs love of cooking", Courier-Post, June 8, 2008.
  30. ^ Staff. "Payton's a Surprise", The Dispatch, March 6, 1979. Accessed August 27, 2014. "Turner talked Payton into coming out for basketball his junior year at Camden High."
  31. ^ a b Biddle, Joe. "Florida: Kentucky Players Nearly Went to Bethune-Cookman", Daytona Beach Morning Journal, November 12, 1977. Accessed July 1, 2011. "Kentucky, winner of seven straight and 8-1 overall, is anchored by defensive end Art Still and quarterback Derrick Ramsey, former teammates at Camden, N. J., High School."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′03″N 75°05′54″W / 39.934195°N 75.0982°W / 39.934195; -75.0982