Curtis High School

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Curtis High School
Curtis high.jpg
105 Hamilton Avenue,

Staten Island

New York City

United States
Coordinates40°38′43″N 74°4′54″W / 40.64528°N 74.08167°W / 40.64528; -74.08167Coordinates: 40°38′43″N 74°4′54″W / 40.64528°N 74.08167°W / 40.64528; -74.08167
TypePublic high school
MottoCurtis High School
PrincipalGreg Jaenicke
Number of students2,541
NewspaperCurtis Log
Colors     Maroon
North side

Curtis High School, operated by the New York City Department of Education, is one of seven public high schools located in Staten Island, New York City, New York. It was founded on February 9, 1904, the first high school on Staten Island.


Curtis High School is named after nationally prominent writer and orator George W. Curtis, who lived nearby. The school was the first public building built following the consolidation of Greater New York. It was part of a plan to erect a major high school in each of the outlying boroughs, with Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, Morris High School in the Bronx, and Flushing High School in Queens being the other three. It was designed by the architect C. B. J. Snyder. The cornerstone was laid in 1902, it was completed and opened 1904. The original building of brick and limestone is dominated by a large square turreted tower inspired by English medieval models. The first principal was Columbia graduate Oliver Durfee Clark, who served 1904 to 1906. The second principal (1906–1912) was Harry Freeman Towle, a graduate of Dartmouth College. Additions were made to the building in 1922, 1925 and 1937. John M Avent (Columbia Graduate, author) was principal from 1924 to the late 1940s. Curtis was designated a New York City Landmark on October 12, 1982. The gym and cafeteria wings were added at a later date as additions to the original building's neo-Gothic architecture.


Curtis offers an International Baccalaureate Scholarship Honors program with accelerated curriculum and Advanced Placement courses, and courses include nursing, NJROTC, performing arts, visual arts, business/computer institute, CoOp, human and legal studies, journalism institute and school for international services.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Curtis offers a robotics team, National Honor Society, chess club, Key Club, black and Hispanic awareness clubs, Moot Court, the Curtis Players, jazz band, orchestra, dance, symphonic band, the Curtis Log (newspaper), Crosswinds (yearbook), math team, criminal law and justice mentoring program, peer mediation and conflict resolution programs.


Curtis fields over thirty varsity teams, including a swimming team, as well as golf, bowling, volleyball, soccer, basketball, wrestling baseball/softball, tennis, track/cross country, gymnastics, lacrosse and football teams. In addition, Curtis club teams include boys' varsity and junior varsity, and girls' varsity Ultimate teams. The Curtis High School Field was renamed Bobby Thomson Field in 2007.


Curtis has a total enrollment of about 2,830 and is open to residents of New York City entering either ninth or tenth grade. Enrollment requirements vary depending on which of the ten "houses" the student is going to be enrolled. There are zoned programs where enrollment is based mostly on geography, with Staten Island residents having priority over all other boroughs. Within Staten Island, geographical areas closer to the school have priority over all other areas of Staten Island. Most other programs rely either on the prospective student's grades and city standardized tests or specialized enrollment tests.

The school's population is 38% African American, 31% Hispanic, 22.9% White and 7.5% Asian.[1]

Feeder patterns and admissions[edit]

All New York City students entering high school must apply to schools, as there are no zoning boundaries for high schools in New York City. Only special zoned programs have geographical restrictions whereby certain areas of Staten Island have priority over all of the rest of New York City.

Notable alumni[edit]

Arts and music[edit]


Parental support[edit]

Parents collaborate with the school's administration and its staff through monthly PTA meetings, PTA newsletters, School Leadership Team meetings, Gear-Up, Principal's Consultative Council, Health Fair, HIV AIDS Team, and the football, track, robotics and performing arts parents clubs.

Community support[edit]


  • Liberty Partnership Mentoring Program (CSI)
  • Gear-Up
  • Discovery Institute (CSI)
  • Brooklyn Polytechnic University Center for Youth in Engineering and Science
  • Curtis HS Career Connections
  • Global Ambassadors
  • Corporations:
  • Higher education institutions:
  • Cultural/arts organizations:
    • Snug Harbor
  • Community-based organizations:
    • NYCID
    • Liberty Partnership
    • Foward [sic] P.A.S.S.
  • Hospital outreach:
  • Financial institutions:

Schoolwide awards and recognition[edit]

  • 7-time PSAL Girls' Bowling Championship
  • 13-time PSAL Boys' Cross Country City Championship (1928, 1929, 1930 [nationals], 1931, 1933, 1935, 1938)
  • 7-time PSAL Boys' Football Championship (1998, 1999, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2016, 2017)
  • 3-time PSAL Boys' Golf City Championship
  • 2-time PSAL Girls' Cross Country City Championship
  • 3 time Boys' PSAL Indoor Track City Championships, (first one in 1909 with help of Olympic Silver medal winner Abel Kiviat),1928
  • Boys' PSAL Bowling Championship
  • Girls' PSAL Basketball "A" City Championship (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Girls' PSAL Golf City Championship
  • 2-time Girls' PSAL Lacrosse City Championship (2015, 2016)
  • Boys' PSAL Lacrosse City Championship (2016)
  • Boys' PSAL Basketball "A" City Championship
  • Boys' PSAL Wrestling "A" City Championship
  • 3-time Girls' PSAL Wrestling Championship (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Boys' PSAL Soccer Championship (1915, 1917)
  • Boys' PSAL Baseball Championship (1943, 1961, 1962)
  • Boys' PSAL Tennis Singles Championship (1917)
  • Boys' Lacrosse Semi Finals NYC (1915)


Curtis alumn Jason Defazio was killed on 9/11. He worked on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center at Cantor Fitzgerald.


  1. ^ "Curtis High School". SchoolDigger. 2011.
  2. ^ Margalit Fox (October 4, 2012). "Michael Henry Heim, literary translator, dies at 69". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^

See also[edit]

External links[edit]