Harriton High School

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Harriton High School
600 North Ithan Avenue
Rosemont, Pennsylvania 19010
Type High School
Motto "Carpe Diem"[1]
Established 1958[1] (renovated in 2009)
CEEB code 394290
Principal Scott Weinstein
Faculty 82
Enrollment 1227[2]
Campus 50 acres (200,000 m2)
Color(s)              Red, White, and Black
Mascot Ram
Publication The Harriton Banner

Harriton High School is a public secondary school serving portions of Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia's Main Line suburbs.

Harriton is one of two high schools in the Lower Merion School District; the other is Lower Merion High School. Originally, Harriton was the smaller of the high schools, containing approximately 900 students in 9th through 12th grades. After redistricting, the schools are now comparable in size, with Harriton having more than 1,200[2] students. The student teacher ratio at Harriton is 10.6:1.[2]

Harriton is one of fewer than 3% of US public high schools that offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.[3]


In 1697, William Penn sold a 700-acre (2.8 km²) tract of land to Rowland Ellis. Years later, Ellis sold his home to Richard Harrison, who had married a local woman named Hannah Norris. Some of the land holdings of her family were known as "Norriton". Following their marriage the Harrison couple's holdings were renamed "Harriton".

In 1957, a new "campus-style" school was designed by architect Vincent Kling. It was situated on a portion of the plantation grounds belonging to Charles Thomson, son-in-law of Richard and Hannah Harrison, giving Harriton High School its name. Harriton High School opened in 1958.[4]

As of the 2009 school year, a new three-story building has been completed and the "campus-style" school largely demolished to make room for sports fields. The old Harriton High School consisted of five buildings connected by covered walkways otherwise open to the elements, a style unusual for the region that it shared with Welsh Valley Middle School, built at the same time; its buildings surrounded a mostly concrete courtyard nicknamed "the Tombs". The new school's design departs from this style greatly—a modern design that encompasses a simple and effective layout with a focus on natural light and an airy environment.[5]


Harriton High School features a 328,000-square-foot (30,500 m2) building and campus that includes teacher and student parking lots and a synthetic turf multipurpose stadium, with features designed to make Harriton environment-friendly and LEED-certified. The building captures and filters rain water for non-potable use in plumbing systems. The roof, painted a light hue, reflects excess sun energy, helping maintain the building's temperature and obviating the need for excessive use of air conditioning. Harriton further conserves energy through its motion-detecting and intensity-detecting lights; hallways and classrooms automatically shut off lights in the absence of movement and dim lights in the presence of adequate sunlight. The three-floor building surrounds a grassy courtyard. Other notable facilities include a greenhouse, a college-style lecture hall with tiered seating, a music technology laboratory, and a black-box theater.[6][7][8][9]

Performance and ratings[edit]

Harriton's graduation rate is 98.0%[10] and college matriculation rate is 96%. Harriton typically has a high Ivy League matriculation rate, with 36 of 196 (20%) seniors from the class of 2011 attending Ivy League universities. Seniors also attend other highly ranked institutions, with 36% of the class of 2011 attending a top-50 U.S. News and World Report-ranked college or university. The most popular universities among members of the class of 2013 include the Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, Franklin & Marshall College, Columbia University, and Harvard University.[11]

Clubs and activities[edit]

Stock Market Club[edit]

Stock Market Club Logo
Select Stock Market Club members with former US Secretary of the Treasury and President Emeritus of Harvard University Lawrence H. Summers

The Harriton Stock Market Club was founded in 1994 to promote an understanding of economic issues, the financial markets, and publicy traded equities among Harriton's student body. It enhances this comprehension by partaking in a stock market simulation throughout the academic year and traveling on an annual field trip to financial institutions in New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, DC. The Stock Market Club has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. Under the leadership of the current officers, the club now boasts nearly three hundred members, making it the largest club at Harriton High School.

Science Olympiad[edit]

Harriton hosts a successful Science Olympiad chapter. The Team has placed among the top 10 at the Science Olympiad National Tournament for 21 consecutive years, winning three national championships and 16 consecutive state championships in that span.[12][13]

The team has often attributed their success on their excellent community, commitment and strong leadership.[14] Harriton competes in the Southeastern Region for Regionals and Pennsylvania for States.[14] Although they have not run any invitationals in the past, Harriton participates in multiple of invitationals, including Conestoga, Twin Tiers (Athens), Solon, Wright State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cornell, Upenn and Princeton.[14] In the states competition, Harriton held the longest winning streak out of any Pennsylvanian team, athletic or not—placing first place at States for sixteen consecutive years (1997 to 2013). At the National competition, the team won the national title in 1995, 2001 and 2005. Additionally, the team has competed in the national competition from 1994 to present, 22 years. The team focuses on a welcoming mentality that encourages all members to attend competitions regardless if they are competing.

Despite the school being significantly smaller than most competitors, around 1300 students, Science Olympiad at Harriton typically fields around 40 members. Team members often come from and formerly competed for the local middle school, Bala Cynwyd Middle School, although a good portion come from the district's other middle school, Welsh Valley.

Within the state, the team's rivals include, but are not limited to: Penncrest High School, Bayard Rustin High School, Conestoga High School and Strath Haven High School. Nationally, the team's rivals include: Troy High School, Solon High School, Centerville High School, Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Grand Haven High School, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Seven Lakes High School, and Mentor High School.

Team Placements Regionals States Nationals
2018 1 1 3
2017 1 1 2
2016 2 1 2
2015 1 1 8
2014 2 2 3
2013 1 1 2
2012 1 1 6
2011 1 1 8
2010 2 1 8

Harriton Theater Company[edit]

The Harriton Theater Company (HTC) moved in the 2009–10 school year to the brand-new Harriton High School, which has a new full-size theater as well as a smaller, "black box" theater. It has used the smaller theater for productions such as High Fidelity and Our Town.

In the fall of 2009 the company staged the national premiere of High Fidelity, the Musical in four sold-out performances. It performed Our Town as its winter show and the musical Hair the following spring.

Starting with the 2009–2010 season, Harriton also joined the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the Critics and Awards Program, nicknamed the "Cappies". Students select shows to receive awards in categories. HTC received six nominations for Hair (Sound, Lighting, Costumes, Choreography, Featured Actor, Lead Actor), and won the Cappie award for Best Costumes. In the 2010–2011 season, HTC was once again nominated for a number of Cappies, and won for Choreography, and once again for Costumes.

Past shows have included The Who's Tommy (rock musical); Friedrich Duerrenmatt's The Visit (drama); The Bad Seed (drama), Bat Boy: The Musical (the last show in the old Harriton High School); High Fidelity (musical/black box); Our Town (drama/black box); Hair (main stage—new school); The Little Shop of Horrors; and a winter one-act festival consisting of Waiting, Employees Must Wash Hands ... After Murder, Aftermath, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Once on this Island, Chemical Bonding, and Jesus Christ Superstar

Throughout the 2012–2013 year, Harriton performed "The Giver"(Drama/Blackbox), "The Mouse That Roared"(Comedy), and "The Drowsy Chaperone". For the 2013–2014 year, they performed "The Laramie Project"(Drama), "The Lottery" and "The American Dream (play)" (both plays), and "Godspell (musical)".

Leadership positions are held commonly by students in musical direction, choreography, stage crew, costumes/props, and publicity/program.

Academic Decathlon[edit]

Harriton High School features a chapter of the United States Academic Decathlon. The chapter participates in the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Competition. Its most recent results can be found here.

Music at Harriton[edit]

Harriton features a full concert band and orchestra. Harriton also features a performance jazz band. Every fall and spring, Harriton stages a music concert featuring all the ensembles, as well as an occasional string quartet or percussion ensemble. Though it lacks a marching band, Harriton does have its own "RAM Band", which plays at home and away football games.

Every year Harriton musicians audition for positions in the PMEA district band and/or orchestra. Dozens of Harriton students attend the try-out, competing against hundreds of other students. Some succeed, and a few even go on to perform in the regional band/orchestra and all-state band/orchestra.

In addition to these directed groups, Harriton is home to Pitch Please, a student-run a cappella group.

Harriton Banner[edit]

The school newspaper had been called the Harriton Forum or the Harriton Free Forum since the opening of Harriton High School in 1957. In October 2006, it was renamed the Harriton Banner. The newspaper includes News, Opinion, Features, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Spotlight, Humor, Daily Announcements, and Archives sections.[15]

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)[edit]

Harriton High School features a chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America. The chapter has been highly successful in the last few years. Members who advance past the PA Region 20 competition are eligible to compete in the annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Members of FBLA chapters from across the State of Pennsylvania compete at the SLC for the right to compete in the National Leadership Conference (NLC).

Technology Student Association (TSA)[edit]

Harriton TSA has had successes at regional, state, and national competitions, including a TSA national championship in Prepared Presentation in 2010. Harriton TSA members held five of the eight Pennsylvania TSA state officer positions. The four Lower Merion School District TSA chapters, including Harriton's TSA, consistently win more awards than any other school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As TSA itself deals within the realm of STEM learning, it is often compared to the successful Science Olympiad team.[16]

Harriton Student Council (HSC)[edit]

Mr. Harriton 2010, an event by the Student Council

This is the main body of representation for the Harriton student body. HSC holds meetings that are open to any Harriton student. HSC recruits members, who vote on issues at the meetings. Members are divided into six committees: Students' Rights, Events, Communication, Finance, Planning, and Technology. There is a sub-committee under Students' Rights that was established after the district initiated the 1:1 laptop-to-student initiative (the Students' Rights Technology Sub-Committee). Council is the organizing and executing body of the annual "Mr. Harriton" competition, one of the flagship productions at Harriton High School. Mr harriton is a competition between male students engaging in a "beauty pageant" style competition. It is generally a comedic event and it raises money for charity. The Student Council collects revenue from the show through ticket sales and catalog advertising. In 2014, the Student Council raised a record $17,000, all of which went to charity.[17]

Junior State of America (JSA)[edit]

A relatively new club at Harriton, JSA engages its members in political activities, such as debates and keynotes. Its members are interested in politics and government, foreign affairs, the law and education. Its mottoes include "Be the People" and "Make democracy work".

Harriton Service League (HSL)[edit]

The Harriton Service League is Harriton's community service club. The club supplies student volunteers for community events including Fox's Fight, a local basketball-tournament and fundraiser for melanoma research, as well as Harriton's own Open House and other events. In addition, HSL is home to community service events led by students; Jared's Box, one such initiative, is student-run and involves the delivery of toys and other simple products to children at CHOP with terminal cancer.

World Affairs Club[edit]

Harriton's World Affairs Club has earned a spot among the nation's top discursive bodies and consistently sends delegates to regional conferences. The club attends Model United Nations Conferences and discusses international events.

No Place for Hate (NP4H)[edit]

The Harriton No Place for Hate club strives to inform young minds about the dangers of bullying. NP4H consistently runs fundraisers so they are able to run fun, informational assemblies and field days throughout the school year to better apprise the student body.


Harriton's American gridiron football field.

Harriton High School competes the Central League in District 1 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).[18]


Harriton's football team is ranked 486th in the state,[19] and includes a varsity roster of 56 students.


Harriton's girls tennis team held the PIAA State Class AA team Tennis Title for seven consecutive years (from 2004 to 2010).[20]


Former PGA professional Brian Dobak took over as coach in 2013 and began rebuilding the program. Since 2013, Ram Golf has reached the PIAA District Team Championship competition in two of three years, as well as individuals reaching the district competition each year.[citation needed]

Cross Country/Track[edit]

Harriton has a cross country team in the fall, as well as a track team for the winter and the spring.

Ice Hockey[edit]

Harriton features a Boys' Ice Hockey Team. It separated from the joint Lower Merion/Harriton team after the 2009-2010 season.[21]


Harriton's rowing team has sent several boats to the National regatta. In the Spring of 2013, the Women's Varsity 4+ boat won the Scholastic National Championships, as well as made it to the final round of the Women's Henley Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. Both its girls' and boys' teams have won races in the all-city regatta.


They offer both Girls and Boys Varsity Soccer during the fall season.


The Harriton High School swim includes a nationally renowned girls and boys Varsity and Junior Varsity teams.[15] As of 2016, the boys teams have won 3 out of the last 5 state championships and the girls have won 2 out of the last 4.[15] The team practices at Lower Merion High School.

Laptop privacy lawsuit[edit]

In the 2010 WebcamGate case, plaintiffs charged Harriton High School and Lower Merion High School with secretly spying on students by remotely activating webcams embedded in school-issued laptops the students were using at home, and therefore infringed on their privacy rights. The schools admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 webshots and screenshots, including webcam shots of students in their bedrooms.[22][23] In October 2010, the school district agreed to pay $610,000 to settle the Robbins and parallel Hasan lawsuits against it.[24]

On February 11, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs were a Harriton High School student and his parents. Plaintiffs said the student had been confronted by an assistant principal regarding behavior that had occurred in the student's bedroom, based upon an image allegedly taken by the student's webcam. The school district said that a software tracking and security feature it had installed on the students' laptops was only intended to recover stolen laptops, and potentially certain loaner laptops. After the suit was brought, the school district revealed that it had secretly snapped more than 66,000 images.

On February 19, 2010, the School District acknowledged that there had been "no explicit notification [to parents or students] that the laptop[s] contained the security software", and that "[t]his notice should have been given and we regret that was not done."

As the result of emergency proceedings commenced by the plaintiffs seeking a temporary restraining order, on February 20, 2010, District Judge Jan E. DuBois ordered that the School District was prohibited from activating the webcams during the litigation, and further ordered the District to preserve all webcam images, data, files, and storage media related to the allegations. The judge also ordered the district to pay plaintiffs' attorney fees for bringing the action.

The complaint alleged violations by the School District of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, and Pennsylvania common law.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), U.S. Attorney's Office, and Montgomery County District Attorney all initiated criminal investigations of the matter, which they combined and then closed because they did not find evidence "that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent". In addition, a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee held hearings on the issues raised by the schools' secret surveillance, and Senator Arlen Specter introduced draft legislation in the Senate to protect against it in the future. Parents, media, and academicians criticized the schools, and the matter was cited as a cautionary example of how modern technology can be used to infringe on personal privacy.

The district was put on notice in June 2010 of a third parallel suit that a third student intends to bring against the district, for—following "interrogation" of the student—"improper surveillance of the student on his school issued laptop", which included taking over 700 webcam shots.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Harriton". 
  2. ^ a b c "Facts & Stats". LMSD. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ "College Board". Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ Harriton High School History Archived February 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [lmsd.org lmsd.org] Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Facts and Statistics about Harriton High School". Archived from the original on 2011-09-08. 
  7. ^ "KCBA Architects". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Green Council of Lower Merion" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-13. 
  9. ^ Ilgenfritz, Richard. "Students get first look at new Harriton". 
  10. ^ "NICHE". Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ "College Acceptances". Retrieved December 8, 2015. 
  12. ^ "HHS | History". LMSD. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  13. ^ http://scioly.org/wiki/index.php/PA
  14. ^ a b c "Harriton High School - Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki". scioly.org. Retrieved 2016-01-24. 
  15. ^ a b c "The Harriton Banner". 
  16. ^ TSA Students
  17. ^ "Mr. Harriton 2014". 
  18. ^ "Member Schools: H". Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "MaxPreps: Harriton High School Football". 
  20. ^ "Girls Team Tennis Past Champions" (PDF). Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Retrieved 10 January 2016. [permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Lower Merion Ice Hockey Club". 
  22. ^ Doug Stanglin (February 18, 2010). "School district accused of spying on kids via laptop webcams". USA Today. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Initial LANrev System Findings" Archived 2010-06-15 at the Wayback Machine., LMSD Redacted Forensic Analysis, L-3 Services – prepared for Ballard Spahr (LMSD's counsel), May 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  24. ^ "Lower Merion district's laptop saga ends with $610,000 settlement | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/12/2010". Philly.com. October 12, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ "doc" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Interview with Graduate Josh Cooke". LMSD. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°02′28″N 75°19′01″W / 40.041°N 75.317°W / 40.041; -75.317