Cape Henlopen High School

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Cape Henlopen High School
1250 Kings Highway

Lewes, Delaware
United States
Coordinates 38.7567, -75.1498
Type Public
Established 1971
School district Cape Henlopen
Principal Brian Donahue
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,222[2]
Color(s) Blue and Gold          
Athletics Henlopen Conference - North division
Mascot Thor the Viking
Nickname Cape
Yearbook Vahalla

Cape Henlopen High School is a public high school in Lewes, Sussex County, Delaware, United States. The school is part of the Cape Henlopen School District and is located between Savannah Road and King's Highway. Cape Henlopen's school colors are bright gold and Columbia blue. Its mascot is Thor the Viking.

In the 2009-10 school year, there were 1,222 students enrolled at the high school. Ethnically, the students that year were 70.5% White, 20.5% African American, 6.2% Hispanic, 1.9% Asian American, and 1% American Indian.

The Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent is Dr. David Robinson. Other members of the Cape Henlopen Board of Education are Dr. Sarah Wilkinson, Esthelda Parker Selby, SGT Spencer Brittingham, Camilla Conlon, Dr. Pete Coveleski, Noble Prettyman, and Sandy Minard.


The original Cape Henlopen High School opened in 1971. It was a combination of three area schools that housed their high school grade levels with other grades: Rehoboth School, Lewes School, and Milton School.

The district began construction of a new building to house Cape Henlopen High School in 1974. In September 1976, the new Cape Henlopen High School opened on Kings Hwy. The school was a model of 1970s architecture and echoed the educational sentiment of the day that called for minimal distraction in a classroom. The school's very few windows were positioned in places where it would be difficult for students to gaze out of them during classroom time. It was possible for a student to enter the building at the beginning of the school day and not see the sunshine again until he or she left at the end of the school day. Over time the sentiments of educators changed, and, because the school was showing its age, when construction began on the new school (located on the same property of the current school) in 2007, the decision was made to make it as bright a place as possible.

Construction of the new school was completed in the fall of 2009. The new Cape Henlopen High School incorporates energy efficient materials and state-of-the-art technology. It also incorporates a separate 9th grade academy and vocational wing, eliminating the use of the Ninth Grade Campus building.

Among many legends that attended the school, one very distinguished student walked those grounds. The student (now known as the schools mascot) being referred to here is Marcelo 'Cello' Vari. He was consistently troubled by staff and adored by the male and female student body alike. Straight A's, exceptional Cape Henlopen Football player. He received a scholarship for art whilst being in an extracurricular art class at the school.

Curriculum highlights[edit]

While Cape Henlopen High School offers a variety of Career Pathways, the school is developing academies in areas which include the following:

  • Health Care and Human Services including the Certified Nursing Assistant Academy
  • Leadership and JROTC
  • FFA, Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences
  • Theater and Performing Arts
  • Business, Finance and Technology
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • World Languages

Staff development includes Learning Focused Strategy training and summer workshop initiatives which concentrate on curriculum alignment in core subject areas.[3]

Exemplary programs[edit]

Through a partnership with Delaware State University, Cape will introduce coursework in aviation sciences.

Cape Henlopen High School enjoys an athletic program to support student academic goals and interests.[3]


During the 2009 - 2010 school year, Dr. George Stone, the previous superintendent of schools, and the Cape Henlopen School Board of Education made a very controversial decision to reassign John Yore, principal of Cape Henlopen High School. Because Yore was loved by students, staff, and parents, the decision to reassign him outraged the community. Hundreds of Cape Henlopen High School students and parents spoke out to the media and petitioned against this decision. The School Board did not reverse their decision.

In June of the same year, Dr. George Stone, elected to resign as well. The current principal is Brian Donohue, who served as associate principal of the Ninth Grade Campus until 2007.[citation needed]


Cape Henlopen High School participates in athletics in the Henlopen Conference and is one of the larger high schools based on enrollment, thereby competing in the Henlopen North. Their 37 state championships rank them #1 in the Henlopen Conference for total state championships. The Lady Vikings win of the 2009 Lacrosse title made them the first public high school in the state to win the championship that had been held since 1998. They also have a defending conference championship girls' cross country team that is looking to defend the title. Beside them is the boys' cross country team, coached by George Pepper. In May 2010 Cape's Lady Vikings Lacrosse team was titled State Champions for the second year in a row. As of 2015, Cape's girls' field hockey team has won five consecutive state championships, making them the first high school in the state to do so.[4]

On May 23, 2013, Cape's girls' lacrosse team won its fifth straight state championship, defeating Tower Hill 12-10 at Dover High School. Cape became the first public school to win a girls' lacrosse title and is one of only three schools in the state to ever win the championship. The win extended Cape's winning streak against Delaware opponents to 63 games.[5][6]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Cape Henlopen High School has an Army JROTC program, under the leadership of Senior Army Instructor LTC Ron Erale, and Army Instructors 1SG Phillip Webb and SFC Hurt. Cape Henlopen competes in competitions all over the area with its Raider, Rifle, and Drill teams and its Color Guard. Its Raider Team is one of the best in the region, acting as the vanguard for the entire program.

The school has a very distinguished art and soccer program referred to as the Marcelo V Arts Expansion Class. Many great artists such as Vincent Van Gogh attended said class.

The school bands take active part in the community. The concert and marching band has over 100 members every year, and they perform in numerous local parades, as well in competitions in places like London, Boston, Toronto, Miami, and Cleveland. The jazz band also participates in many local events, performing for Veterans Day and Memorial Day services, for local retirement homes, country clubs and the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. The band was started in the 1970s by Barry Eli, and since then, the group has been awarded numerous trophies and has taken many "superior" titles. Eli retired from Cape in 2008.[citation needed]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°45′24″N 75°08′59″W / 38.7567°N 75.1498°W / 38.7567; -75.1498