Hamden High School

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Hamden High School
Hamden High School.jpg
"To Everyone There Openeth A Way."
Hamden, Connecticut
Type Public
Established 1935
Principal Clydette Messiah
Grades 9-12
Color(s) Green and Gold          
Mascot Green Dragon
Hamden High School
Hamden High School is located in Connecticut
Hamden High School
Location 2040 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°22′03″N 72°55′17″W / 41.3675°N 72.9214°W / 41.3675; -72.9214Coordinates: 41°22′03″N 72°55′17″W / 41.3675°N 72.9214°W / 41.3675; -72.9214
Area 8 acres (3.2 ha)
Built 1935
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP Reference # 94001378[1]
Added to NRHP December 12, 1994

Hamden High School is a four year high school for grades 9 through 12. It is located at 2040 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut. It is part of the Hamden Public School System and is the only public high school within the town of Hamden.

The school was built in 1935 and is still in operation today, although it has gone through numerous renovations. Most recent was the removal of previous additions along with part of the original building, and the addition of 3 additional wings, all of which are attached to the original front wing to form a square. One of its most notable features is a golden cupola atop a clock tower, at the front of the building. Below the clock tower sits a small circular window, with two draping plaster banners on the sides seeming to form the letter 'M,' and giving the building the nickname "the MOM building."

As of the 2008-09 school year, the school had roughly 2,500 students. While most students come from the Hamden Middle School, many others come from private and magnet schools in the surrounding area.


Each assistant principal is in charge of a "house" organized by the students' last names, with the exception of freshmen, who are together in one house led by the same administrator.


Hamden High School's historic main building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 1994.[1]

Hamden High has four main wings: A, B, C, and D. Each is sometimes called by a nickname. A is the "Dixwell Side," B is the "Parkway Side," D is the "Chili's Side," and C is the "Backyard" and is the only side with four accessible floors. The C wing has an auditorium and gym on its first floor and a public pool in its basement. On the second floor is the cafe and school store. The library is located on the first floor of A wing with the Career Center located just above it. The school restaurant is located on the first floor of D wing. In the middle of HHS is a courtyard, which students usually use as a thru-way. A wing is generally used for the social sciences and humanities, B wing for English and science classes, C wing for lecture halls, chemistry, physics, and miscellaneous offices, and D wing for math, foreign languages, and technical studies. The culinary arts program is located in the D wing. The first floors of B and C wings are the headquarters of HHS's art classes, the B wing primarily for visual arts such as ceramics and graphic design, and the C wing for the performing arts: acting, concert band, orchestra, and choir.

Daily schedule[edit]

First period starts at 7:31am, and school ends at 2:00pm. Lunch is held beginning at period 4 and ends after period 8. Each lunch wave is a period long, which makes for 5 lunch periods throughout the school day. Eight periods are held each day. Students are required to take a minimum of 5.5 credits per year. 4 minutes are given to pass between each period. Extracurricular activities are held after the final bell commences at 2:00pm.


Students register for classes depending on their years of experience in that course and the difficulty.

Experience levels are 1, 2, 3, 4, and sometimes 5, with 1 meaning a freshman or first year course, and 4 meaning a senior or fourth year course. A student could possibly get a "5" experience course if they studied that subject at Hamden Middle School and couldn't get it as an AP course (mostly for foreign languages).

A level of difficulty would then be chosen: 5, 7, or 9 (or AP). A "5" course is easiest and is an average/beginner course. A "7" is above average, and a "9" is advanced, the hardest possible class if it can't be given as Advanced Placement credit (AP). A "9" class is equal to an honors class. "9" classes and AP classes are the same, except for AP, in which the student can receive college credit after the Advanced Placement exam. "9" classes and AP classes are given the same weight on the weighted GPA scale.

The two numbers from "year" and "difficulty" are combined to describe a class. For instance, "English 19" is a freshman honors English class (only given to students from HMS in TAG teams during their 8th grade year, with permission from their 8th grade English teachers). "Spanish 55" would be an average level Spanish course for seniors who took Spanish at HMS. "AP Calculus" is advanced placement calculus for students at any grade level who has already completed the math curriculum through "Precalculus 49" (or "Precalculus 47" with teacher approval). An example of a class in which experience levels aren't determined by grade would be "Concert Band 25", which would be the student's second year of Concert Band at Hamden High School (regardless of grade; this person could be a junior) and they are taking it at the most basic level.


Hamden High School is home to a vibrant arts department which includes complete courses in music, theatre and the visual arts. The visual arts department offers classes in painting, drawing, ceramics, photography and creating art with computers. They participate in art shows across the state of Connecticut, and students are often recognized in these art shows. The band and orchestra are under the direction of Aaron Barkon. In 2010, student Justin Ahn (class of 2011) was named to play clarinet with the United States All-American Marching Band, part of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The game was nationally televised on NBC in January 2011.[2] The choral program is under the direction of Richard Hicks.

Hamden Mainstage Ensemble is the school's resident theatre company. The fall plays and spring musicals are normally directed by acting teacher and playwright Mrs. Hollie Michaels. Hamden Mainstage shows are known in the community for their variety and professional standards. The Mainstage strives to present material that is challenging and innovative including a production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle using original folk music, a production of Tartuffe done in verse and musicals including Blood Brothers and Chicago. In 2010, Backstage Ensemble was created. It is a completely student-run branch of Mainstage Ensemble. The first show was "The Last Five Years." In 2011 they presented their sophomore production of Sondheim's "Putting It Together." Most recently, Backstage presented an evening of Chekhov one-act plays. The Mainstage has been a feeder program for Connecticut Free Shakespeare - an Equity summer theatre company where each year multiple students or graduates each year intern in a professional company. Alumni of the Mainstage Ensemble have gone on to careers in professional acting and technical theatre including national tours and Broadway.


Hamden High School competes in the CIAC of Connecticut, within the Southern Connecticut Conference, and class LL. Sports offered are:


  • Badminton (Women)
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross-Country
  • Field-Hockey (Women)
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Swimming (Women)
  • Volleyball (Women)


  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Indoor Track & Field
  • Swimming (Men)


  • Baseball (Men)
  • Golf (Men)
  • Lacrosse
  • Softball (Women)
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field

There is also a competitive dance club and a competitive marching band.

Green Bowl[edit]

Hamden High School maintains a long-standing football rivalry with Notre Dame High School. Hamden's Green Dragons and Notre Dame's Green Knights have met in the "Green Bowl" on Thanksgiving Day for 64 consecutive years.

Boys' hockey[edit]

Hamden High School has a storied boy's ice hockey program. The team has won a combined 17 CIAC sanctioned state championships and a National Championship in 1976. The team is currently coached by Bill Veneris (member of the 76' national championship team), Todd Hall (member of the 89 state championship team, Hartford Wolf Pack), and George Jerolman (member of the 89' state championship team). The team recently claimed its first state title in 20 years during the 2008-2009 season. Hamden then repeated as state champions the following year, 2009-2010, beating Fairfield Prep by a score of 6-5. This was the first time a public school had repeated as division 1 state champions since the 1976 Hamden national championship team. Hamden is consistently competitive year in and year out and has many rivals, the longest standing being its rivalry with West Haven High School, but also Fairfield Prep and Notre Dame High School. Hamden High's most notable former player is 2-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender Jonnathan Quick.

Boys' Track and Field[edit]

The 2010 team won three United States High School National relay titles. During the indoor season, the team won the Nike Indoor National Distance Medley Relay title in Boston, MA. The team ran the seventh fastest time in United States history. During the outdoor season, the team won the New Balance National Distance Medley Relay and 4 x 800 Meter Relay title. The team ran the sixth and twelfth fastest times in the United States in the two events. The times run by the team were national leaders in each of the events. The relay teams were named by Track and Field News as US #1 and all earned All-American status. Senior Chris FitzSimons was named Gatorade track athlete of the year in the state of Connecticut.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]