Emmaus High School

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Emmaus High School
500 Macungie Avenue
Emmaus, PA 18049
United States
Coordinates 40°32′04″N 75°30′21″W / 40.5345°N 75.5057°W / 40.5345; -75.5057Coordinates: 40°32′04″N 75°30′21″W / 40.5345°N 75.5057°W / 40.5345; -75.5057
Type Public high school
Established 1955
School district East Penn School District
Principal Dr. Katherine Kieres
Faculty 152.0 FTEs[1]
Enrollment 2,645 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 17.4:1[1]
Color(s)      Green
Mascot Hornets

Emmaus High School is a public high school located in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The school serves grades nine through 12 in Pennsylvania's East Penn School District in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. Emmaus High School is located immediately off Cedar Crest Boulevard, at 500 Macungie Avenue in Emmaus, a southwest borough of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Student population[edit]

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,645 students and 152.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 17.4:1. There were 500 students (18.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 109 (4.1% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1] The school serves students from Emmaus and its surrounding townships of Alburtis, Lower Macungie Township, Macungie, Upper Milford Township, Vera Cruz, and Wescosville.

Emmaus High School ranks among the top Lehigh Valley high schools in its percentage of graduating students who pursue post-secondary education. Among its Class of 2007, 79 percent of its graduates entered colleges, universities, or other post-graduate education.[2] The school also maintains a program for academically gifted students, which includes advanced classes and a mentorship program. Noting the academic quality of Emmaus High School, Money magazine named Emmaus one of the nation's "Top 100" places to live in 2007 and 2009.

Two middle schools, Eyer Middle School and Lower Macungie Middle School, both located in Macungie, serve grades six through eight and feed into Emmaus High School.

Seven elementary schools (Alburtis, Wescosville, Lincoln, Jefferson, Macungie, Shoemaker, and Willow Lane) feed into the two middle schools and then to Emmaus High School.


1880s to 1955[edit]

What today is the East Penn School District began in the 1880s as the Emaus School District, using the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of Emmaus until the name of the town and its associated educational facilities were formally changed to the Biblical spelling in 1938. Upon its founding in the 1880s, Emaus School District began offering high school classes, providing education up to tenth grade in one of the rooms of a 4-room school building on East Main Street, in what was then Emaus. The first graduating class on record was the Emaus High School class of 1890, with two graduates. In 1891 the high school grades were moved to the Central Building on Emmaus's Ridge Street.

Emaus High School obtained a home of its own when, in 1915, the high school moved into a brand new building on North Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets in Emaus. While the building was designated the Jefferson Building, yearbooks of the era identify the school as Emaus High School. By this time, the high school was made up of tenth grade (juniors) eleventh grade (middlers) and twelfth grade (seniors). The yearbook of the class of 1916 pictures 18 graduates, evenly divided between boys and girls.

The Jefferson Building was enlarged several times. By 1934 it was considered a state-of-the-art high school, with 16 classrooms, a library, auditorium, gymnasium, woodshop, and home economics room. By this time, Emaus High School had developed many of the activities and athletic teams that continue to this day, with the 1931 yearbook listing a band, chorus, orchestra (55 players), 16 different clubs, and teams for football, basketball (boys and girls) and debating. Emaus High School's main football rival at this time was East Greenville High, which met the Hornets every year on "Turkey Day" (Thanksgiving). Today, East Greenville students attend Upper Perkiomen High School. In the 1930s, the Emaus High School football field was located about a mile away from the high school, at the site of Emmaus's current recreational Fourth Street Field.

The Emaus High School class of 1931 had 45 graduates, who took either the general or the commercial course. One of the bygone features of Emaus High School life on North Street was "open lunch" where students could walk home for lunch, or go across the street to a student-oriented restaurant.

The Emaus School District has been operating since at least 1861. By the 1930s and 1940s, the boroughs of Macungie and Alburtis contracted with the Emaus district to send their high school students to Emaus High School. There were no school buses running, and out-of-borough students took the Reading Railroad passenger service to the since-disbanded Emaus train station.

Emaus High School becomes Emmaus High School[edit]

In 1938, the borough abandoned the Pennsylvania Dutch spelling of its name in favor of the original spelling which had been used from the town's founding in 1759 until 1830. Referenced in the Bible's New Testament, Emmaus is the location in present day Israel where Jesus appeared to travelers hours following His resurrection. East Penn School District and the high school followed suit in adopting the traditional spelling.

With Emmaus High School's population growing rapidly, the Jefferson Building no longer was able to accommodate the needs of the growing school. The boroughs of Emmaus, Macungie, and Alburtis, along with the townships of Lower Macungie and Upper Milford, merged their school districts into the East Penn Union School District (now known as the East Penn School District). This unified district combined their efforts to construct a vastly expanded high school at 500 Macungie Avenue, in Emmaus, the school's current location. It has since been upgraded and renovated several times to accommodate a growing student population.

1955 to current[edit]

In 1955, the first sections of the new Emmaus High School opened. The new building included an auditorium and gymnasium, which far surpassed those of the old building, plus science labs, language labs, and a natatorium (swimming pool). After the high school moved out of the Jefferson Building, that building was briefly used as Emmaus Junior High School, until a seventh and eighth grade wing was added to the new high school building around 1960, making Emmaus High School a six-year high school with a single principal, but separate assistant principals for the senior high and junior high grades. The Emmaus Junior High School building, with its own faculty and administration, was opened on the north side of the high school building in 1965, ten years after the opening of the neighboring Emmaus High School. At that time, Emmaus Junior High School served grades seven through nine. The Jefferson Building, in turn, was designated as one of several Emmaus elementary schools.

By the early 1960s, the number of sports teams at Emmaus High School expanded to include rifle for boys and girls, basketball, field hockey and softball for girls, and football, basketball, wrestling, track and field, cross country, baseball, swimming and golf for boys. A class play was presented annually and, in 1969, Emmaus High School produced its first musical, Bye Bye Birdie.

By 2000, the school's population had grown significantly due to an influx of residents from New Jersey, New York City and Philadelphia, and Emmaus High School expanded again, taking over the junior high building in 1998, adding additional space and using the whole complex to house grades nine through twelve. A second major expansion of the high school was completed in 2005.

The Jefferson Building, the first dedicated home of Emmaus High School, was subsequently decommissioned as a school. In 1999, the Jefferson Building was demolished and replaced by Jefferson Elementary School.

In October 2015, Emmaus High School was placed on lockdown, amidst rumors of potential gun violence.[3][4]

School accomplishments[edit]


Emmaus High School ranks in the top academic tier of Pennsylvania public high schools, based on state testing results. In the 2008 Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSAs), Emmaus High School ranked in the top five percent of all public high schools in the state in writing, in the top 20 percent in reading, and in the top 25 percent in mathematics.[5] In 2007, the mean SAT score for Emmaus High School students was 1580.[6] In 2013, Emmaus High School was named the top academically performing high school in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[7]

The school's academic team has made several appearances at the national level, appearing three consecutive years (2003, 2004, and 2005) in the Panasonic Academic Challenge at Disney World. Emmaus High School placed fifth nationally in the competition in 2003.

Emmaus High School also holds the record for the most wins of any high school in Pennsylvania's Scholastic Scrimmage contest, an advanced academic quiz game televised on Pennsylvania PBS affiliates. Emmaus has won the contest eight times (1981, 1983, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2015) and placed second four times (1986, 1991, 2002, and 2014). Its team also has competed and placed in the national High School Quiz Bowl Championship.[8]


Emmaus High School competes athletically in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) in the District XI division of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, one of the premier high school athletic divisions in the nation. The school fields teams in all of the association's sports. Its primary EPC athletic rivals are Parkland High School in South Whitehall Township and Whitehall High School in Whitehall Township.

Emmaus High School's mascot is the "Green Hornet." Entrances to the school's campus prominently feature green and gold billboards and flags stating "Home of the Hornets," in the school's colors of green and gold. Since 1955, Emmaus has won LVC championships at least once in every one of the conference's sports, and several of its graduates have gone on to success in professional and Olympic-level athletics, including in the NFL and NBA. Among the Emmaus High School Class of 2007, 26 Emmaus High School athletes signed letters of intent for full NCAA athletic scholarships.[9]

Emmaus High School holds the record for the most recorded conference championships in eight conference sports: boys baseball, boys lacrosse, boys soccer, boys swimming, girls field hockey, girls soccer, girls swimming, and golf. The school holds the second most conference championships in all sports, behind only Parkland High School.[10] Emmaus holds the record for the most Pennsylvania state championships in all sports (13 since 2002) among all LVC schools.[11] In 2017, Adidas signed a four-year deal for exclusive sponsorship of Emmaus' athletic teams.[12]


Aaron Gray, an alumnus of the Emmaus High School basketball program, went on to a career in the National Basketball Association, where he played for the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors.

Boys soccer[edit]

Emmaus High School boys soccer has played for the District Championship for four years in a row (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), winning three district titles since 2005.


Emmaus High School's Marine Corps national physical fitness teams have repeatedly been among the nation's best.

In 2006, its boys and girls team placed second in the Pennsylvania state competition. In 2015, its girls fitness team placed first and its boys fitness team placed second in the national high school physical fitness championships.[13]


The Emmaus football team was co-champion of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in 1981. In 2008, Emmaus running back C.J. Billera broke school football records for most all-time touchdowns and career scoring.[14] In 2010, for the first time since the 1981 season, Emmaus won Pennsylvania's Class 4A Eastern Conference Championship in football. During the 2010 season, Emmaus senior tailback Joseph Williams broke three school football records: most yards in a single game (282), most touchdowns in a single game (6) and most points in a single game (36).[15] In 2016, the football team won the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South division championship.[16] The Emmaus High School football field, located on the school campus, has a cannon that fires anytime Emmaus scores a touchdown.[17] Four Emmaus High School football players have gone on to careers in the NFL, including current Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White and San Francisco 49ers running back Joe Williams.

Girls field hockey[edit]

Emmaus High School is known nationally for the success of its girls field hockey team, which is regularly ranked among the nation's best. Emmaus has won the Pennsylvania state championship in girls field hockey eleven times in the program's history, including in four of the last nine years (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2015). As of 2016, Emmaus has won the PIAA District XI girls field hockey championship in 28 consecutive seasons.[18] In 2010, the national sports web site, topofthecircle.com, ranked Emmaus the best girls field hockey team in the nation for the third time in the program's history.[19] The Allentown Morning Call has called the program "an organized, multifaceted machine."[20]

In September 2015, Emmaus High School Coach Sue Butz-Stavin set the national high school record for the most victories when she recorded her 840th victory.[21]


In the 2016-2017 winter sport season, the Emmaus rifle team had an undefeated season, capturing the regular season championship. They also defeated top rival, East Stroudsburg High School South, to win the playoff championship. They were also the Pennsylvania state championship silver medalists (second place) for the season.

Other sports[edit]

Emmaus High School's girls swimming and diving team has proven one of the best in the state, winning the Pennsylvania state championship in six of the last nine years (2000, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009). Its boys swimming and diving team has been consistently one of the top teams in the state, dating back to the 1970s, and has won state championships in both 2006 and 2007 and has won the District 11 AAA championship for the past nine years (2007-2015).

Emmaus High School has also won Pennsylvania state championships in girls soccer (1997), girls softball (2000), and girls cross country (2007, 2008 and 2009).

In 2008, Emmaus High School's boys volleyball team won the LVC championship and advanced to the Pennsylvania state tournament.

In 2012, the Emmaus High School wrestling team took first place in the United States Military Duels held in South Carolina.

Computer programming team[edit]

In May 2017, the Emmaus High School computer programming team won the American Computer Science League Invitational All-Star contest, a global tournament of the best high school-age computer programming teams from around the world held in Thousand Oaks, California. The intermediate team ranked 11th in the competition. This was the first time the senior team had ever won the contest. [22]

Music and the arts[edit]


Twenty-two Emmaus High School choral students were selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 10 Chorus Festival, more than any other high school in the seven District 10 counties. Sixteen Emmaus High School students advanced to the Regional Chorus Festival held at Boyertown High School, also outnumbering all other districts (including double that of rival Boyertown High School). Out of the sixteen, four Emmaus High School students (more than any other high school participating in the festival) went on to participate in the PMEA All-State Conference, held April 2007 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Emmaus High School's spring 2007 production of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida earned the school fourteen Freddy Award nominations and five awards, including "Outstanding Performance By An Orchestra," "Outstanding Light Design," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role," and "Outstanding Scenic Design."[23][24]

Due to the writers strike, NBC launched a short-lived talent contest dubbed Clash of the Choirs in December 2007. After submitting a video recording of "Jingle Bells" for the show's Holiday Challenge, Emmaus' men's a cappella group, known as Fermata Nowhere, landed a brief stint on the show.


Emmaus High School had the top number of students participating in the District 10 Chorus Festival in 2008. Twenty-four Emmaus High School choral students were selected to be part of the 2008 festival, which was held at Brandywine Heights High School in February 2008. Ten of those students qualified for the Region V Chorus Festival in March 2008. Three Emmaus students advanced to the All-State Festival in April 2008.

In spring 2008, Emmaus High School's Drama Department performed Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's Les Misérables. Emmaus received sixteen Freddy Award nominations and four wins, including "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role," "Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role," "Educational Impact Award," and the coveted "Outstanding Overall Production." Also in 2008, three Emmaus High School orchestra and band member were named to the MENC All-Eastern Band and Orchestra.


In 2009, Emmaus High School received the highest number of qualified students in all three District 10 festivals. Twenty-eight Emmaus singers were selected for chorus, while band and orchestra each had ten qualified musicians.[25][26][27] A number of students then qualified for the Regional and All-State festivals.

Emmaus High School's spring 2009 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific earned the school nine nominations, including "Outstanding Overall Production". Emmaus received the Freddy for "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" for the third year in a row.


In March 2010, Emmaus High School performed the complex musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This elaborate production earned Emmaus a total of fourteen Freddy Award nominations including "Outstanding Overall Production" for the sixth consecutive year.


In 2011, thirty-two Emmaus High School choral students were selected by audition to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 10 Chorus Festival, conducted by Amy Allibon and hosted at Easton Area High School. For the fifth consecutive year, Emmaus sent more than any other high school in the seven District 10 counties to the festival. Twenty-two Emmaus High School students then advanced to the Regional Chorus Festival, conducted by Dr. Rodney Caldwell and hosted at Parkland High School. As most schools were only able to send two or three students, Emmaus greatly outnumbered all others participating in the festival (including rival Parkland High School). Out of the twenty-two, seven Emmaus High School students were selected to participate in the PMEA All-State Conference, held April 2011 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The school also performed The Phantom of the Opera for their musical and was nominated for "Outstanding Overall Production".


For the sixth year in a row, Emmaus High School had the most students to qualify out of the 65 participating high schools for the PMEA District 10 Chorus Festival in 2012. Forty-one choral students from Emmaus High School were selected to perform in this group, outnumbering any other school in the festival. The school sending the next highest number of participants is Parkland High School with eighteen singers. Of the over 800 students who auditioned, approximately 27 students were chosen for each of the eight voice parts. They performed Guys and Dolls for their 2012 musical and participated again in the Freddy Awards competition. Zach Petrovich and Mattea Pechter tied with Notre Dame-Green Pond HS for the Best Small Ensemble, and Petrovich also won the Freddy for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor.


In April 2015, the Emmaus High School chorale performed at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Italy.[28]


In March 2017, the Emmaus High School theatre department performed Miss Saigon (school edition)[29]. The musical was nominated for 18 Freddy Awards, winning 7,[30] including Overall Production of a Musical, Performance by a Lead Actress (Julia Bezems as Kim), Stage Crew, Production Number (Morning of the Dragon), Small Ensemble Performance (Julia Bezems, Thomas Riley "Sun & Moon"), Orchestra.[31]

School newspapers[edit]

The Stinger[edit]

Emmaus High School's official student newspaper is The Stinger. The newspaper's name is a reference to the school's mascot, the hornet. The newspaper is produced by a staff of students, who report, photograph and write all of the newspaper's content.

Typically, the newspaper has several sections related to Emmaus High School, including Emmaus High School sports, faculty, coach and student interviews, editorials, local popular culture, and satire and jokes related to school news and events. In most issues, the final page of The Stinger is dedicated to student-drawn comics, which also usually deal with student-related themes.

The Stinger has been known to tackle controversial topics, especially Emmaus High School's long-standing problems with student fights, truancy and widespread recreational drug use.[32]

News from the West Wing[edit]

In addition to The Stinger, from 1999 to 2001, a second, unofficial Emmaus High School newspaper, News from the West Wing, was distributed at the school. It was an independent humor newspaper distributed both at the school and available online.[33] Similar in editorial style to The Onion, the newspaper was founded in 1999 by a small group of Emmaus High School students and was entirely student-run.

The newspaper featured a satirical look at Emmaus High School student life, while routinely poking fun at the school administration. The newspaper was popular and widely read among Emmaus High School students. In 2000, a special issue of the newspaper was selected by the Principal, Dr. Herman Corradetti, to be placed in the high school's cornerstone, upon the completion of the renovated high school. News from the West Wing also was the subject of a 1999 front page Local News article in The Allentown Morning Call.[34]

Satirical news stories in News from the West Wing included a gang war between the school's East and West Wings (the latter of which inspired the publication's name), the East Penn School District Superintendent's decision to purchase a "matter transporter," and a scientific analysis of an Emmaus High School cafeteria food item that the newspaper dubbed the "Taco Boat."

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Emmaus High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "Academics at EHS," Emmaus High School Official Web Site.
  3. ^ "Police continue to probe Emmaus High School lockdown over bullets," by Pamela Lehman, The Morning Call, October 30, 2015, Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  4. ^ "Emmaus High School students on edge in wake of lockdown," by Keleigh Gibbs, WFMZ News, November 1, 2015, Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  5. ^ Emmaus High School, Test Results, at GreatSchools.net
  6. ^ Emmaus High School academics, East Penn School District Web Site.
  7. ^ "Emmaus High School Tops Academic Performance Index of Lehigh County Schools," Emmaus Patch, December 19, 2013.
  8. ^ "Emmaus High team competes in National Quiz Bowl event," The Morning Call, June 5, 2015, Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Emmaus High School Athletic Letters of Intent, Class of 2007, at East Penn School District Official Web Site..
  10. ^ LVIAC Historical Stats. Archived September 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "District Titles," LVIAC.net. Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Emmaus High School, Adidas sign 4-year contract", WFMZ-TV, April 26, 2017, retrieved April 30, 2018.
  13. ^ "Emmaus fitness teams among the best," The Morning Call, June 9, 2015, Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "A Real Workhorse," The Allentown Morning Call, October 24, 2008.
  15. ^ "Emmaus gets some revenge," The Morning Call, November 19, 2010.
  16. ^ "Emmaus stops Trojans on 1-yard line in second overtime to claim EPC South championship," by Keith Groller, The Morning Call, October 28, 2016, retrieved November 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Longman, Jéré (2013-08-03). "An Involuntary Union of Football Rivals for Philadelphia High Schools". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-11-18.  Print: August 4, 2013, page SP1
  18. ^ Emmaus Skews Comparisons of Leagues' Strengths, The Allentown Morning Call, October 26, 2008.
  19. ^ "The Final Top 50," TopoftheCircle.com, December 14, 2010.
  20. ^ "Sportspersons of the Year: Emmaus' Butz-Stavin in a class by herself," The Morning Call, December 31, 2010..
  21. ^ "Butz-Stavin sets field notches national-best 840th field hockey victory," The Morning Call, September 9, 2015, Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  22. ^ Peterson, Margie. "Emmaus High computer team tops in the world". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2017-12-28. 
  23. ^ "Freddy Awards 2007 Winners" at PennLive.com.
  24. ^ Freddy Awards Official Site at State Theatre, Easton, Pennsylvania.
  25. ^ http://www.pmeadistrict10.org/files/0809D10ChorusList.htm "2009 District 10 Chorus Results"
  26. ^ http://www.pmeadistrict10.org/files/0809DistBandMembers.htm "2009 District 10 Band Results"
  27. ^ http://www.pmeadistrict10.org/files/0809DistOrchMembers.htm "2009 District 10 Orchestra Results"
  28. ^ "Emmaus High School chorale performs at Vatican," The Morning Call, April 15, 2015, Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  29. ^ Call, The Morning. "Freddy Awards musicals continue with four shows this week". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2017-12-28. 
  30. ^ Hirsch, Mike. "Ecstatic Emmaus: 'Miss Saigon' takes top Freddy Award". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2017-12-28. 
  31. ^ Call, The Morning. "2017 Freddy Awards winners: Complete list". themorningcall.com. Retrieved 2017-12-28. 
  32. ^ "The high cost of bad behavior: Costs skyrocketing for East Penn, other school districts," The (Allentown) Morning Call, December 15, 2008.
  33. ^ News from the West Wing Official Web Site.
  34. ^ "High Schoolers are Winging it with Paper: Emmaus Students Have Classmates Rolling with Satirical Publication," The (Allentown) Morning Call, December 20, 1999, page B1.
  35. ^ Moser, John J. "Allentown native honored with jazz's most prestigious award", The Morning Call, June 27, 2013. Accessed September 17, 2017. "Jarrett graduated from Emmaus High School in 1963 and studied at Boston's Berklee College of Music."

External links[edit]