Harriton High School

Coordinates: 40°02′28″N 75°19′01″W / 40.041°N 75.317°W / 40.041; -75.317
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Harriton High School
Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania
600 North Ithan Avenue


United States
Coordinates40°02′28″N 75°19′01″W / 40.041°N 75.317°W / 40.041; -75.317
TypeHigh School
Motto"Carpe Diem"[1]
CEEB code394290
PrincipalScott Weinstein
Faculty117.65 (on an FTE basis)[2]
Enrollment1,287 (2021–22)[2]
Student to teacher ratio10.94[2]
Campus50 acres (200,000 m2)
Color(s)Red, White, and Black    
PublicationThe Banner

Harriton High School is a public secondary school in Rosemont, Pennsylvania serving portions of Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. The school is located on the Philadelphia Main Line.

Harriton is one of two high schools in the Lower Merion School District; the other is Lower Merion High School.


Harriton High School is 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. Thomson was secretary (1774–1789) of the Continental Congresses as well as the Convention to debate and negotiate the Constitution of the United States.

Charles Thomson (1729-1824), proprietor of Harriton House built in 1740s and on whose lands Harriton High School is sited. Thomson was secretary (1774–1789) of the first and second Continental Congress as well as convention to debate and negotiate the Constitution of the United States. As secretary, Thomson, a Founding Father of the United States, prepared the Journals of the Continental Congress. Thomson is also known for co-designing the Great Seal of the United States and adding its Latin mottoes Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum.

Harriton High School was designed in 1957 by architect Vincent Kling and opened in 1958.[3] Kling's design consisted of five buildings connected by covered walkways otherwise open to the elements, a style unusual for the region (and that it shared with Welsh Valley Middle School, built at the same time). Kling intended to create a modern design that encompassed a simple and effective layout with a focus on natural light and an airy environment. Ironically, Harriton's 1958 campus buildings surrounded a mostly concrete courtyard and was nicknamed "the Tombs" (despite the natural light and air).

By 2009 a new three-story building had replaced Kling's 1958 design, providing more sports and academic facilities to serve the growing student body.[4]

Clubs and activities[edit]

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.[5][6]

Harriton competes in the Southeastern Region for Regionals and Pennsylvania for States.[7] Although they have not run any invitationals in the past, Harriton participates in multiple invitationals, including Conestoga, Twin Tiers (Athens), Solon, Wright State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cornell, UPenn and Princeton.[7] In the states competition, Harriton held the longest winning streak of any Pennsylvanian team—athletic or not—placing first place at State for sixteen consecutive years (1997 to 2013). At the National competition, the team won the national title in 1995, 2001 and 2005.

Team Placements Regionals States Nationals
2021 2 2 16
2019 2 1 3
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

Academic Decathlon[edit]

Harriton High School features a chapter of the United States Academic Decathlon. The chapter participates in the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Competition.[8]

Music at Harriton[edit]

Harriton's music department features a full concert band, orchestra, and performance jazz band. Every fall and spring, Harriton stages a music concert featuring all the ensembles, as well as an occasional string quartet and percussion ensemble. While it does not support 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.

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.[9]

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.

Harriton Student Council (HSC)[edit]

Mr. Harriton 2010, an event by the Student Council

HSC is the main body of representation for the Harriton student body and holds meetings that are open to any Harriton student. 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. The event is held in a comedic spirit and raises money for charity. The Student Council collects revenue through ticket sales and catalog advertising. In 2014, the Student Council raised a record $17,000, all of which went to charity.[10] In December 2018, the name of the event was changed to "Dr. Harriton" to reflect the fact that anyone may participate.[11]


Harriton's football field

Harriton High School competes the Central League in District 1 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA).[12] The schools has tennis, lacrosse, cross country, track and field, ice hockey, rowing, football, soccer, and swimming.

State titles[edit]

  • Girls tennis PIAA Team Tennis Title 2004-2010.[13] After moving up to Class AAA in 2012, girls tennis won the PIAA State Class AAA Team Tennis Titles in 2016, 2017, and 2019.[14]
  • Harriton's girls lacrosse won the PIAA State Championship in 2013[15] and 2019.[16] Harriton's boys lacrosse won Pennsylvania State championships in 1970, 1971, and 1972 and came in second in 1974 and 1975.
  • 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. In 1976, Harriton's Varsity 4+ won the boys Stotesbury Regatta. In 1977, the boys Varsity 4+ won the Boys National Championship on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, NJ.
  • The school has a boys and girls swim team. As of 2016, the boys teams had won 3 out of the last 5 state championships and the girls had won 2 out of the last 4.[9]

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, thus infringing on their privacy rights. The schools admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 webshots and screenshots, including webcam shots of students in their bedrooms.[17][18] In October 2010, the school district agreed to pay $610,000 to settle two lawsuits related to privacy violations.[19]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About Harriton - Lower Merion School District". www.lmsd.org.
  2. ^ a b c "Harriton SHS". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  3. ^ "LmhAlum.org domain is for sale | Buy with Epik.com". lmhalum.org. Archived from the original on February 17, 2007.
  4. ^ "Home - Lower Merion School District".
  5. ^ "HHS | History". LMSD. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania - Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki". scioly.org.
  7. ^ a b "Harriton High School - Science Olympiad Student Center Wiki". scioly.org. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  8. ^ "Regionals/Pennsylvania/Southeastern/2015ASL - AcaDec Scores and Information Center".
  9. ^ a b "The Harriton Banner".
  10. ^ "Mr. Harriton 2014". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  11. ^ Ilgenfritz, Richard. "Update: Lower Merion officials agree to a second name change of Mr. Harrition event". Main Line Media News. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  12. ^ "Member Schools: H". Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  13. ^ "Girls Team Tennis Past Champions" (PDF). Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "Remote Desktop Redirected Printer Doc" (PDF). Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  15. ^ "Historical list of PIAA boys', girls' lacrosse champions - Updated - PhillyLacrosse.com". June 11, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  16. ^ "Harriton pulls away to win girls' Class 3A PIAA state lacrosse championship". June 8, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  17. ^ Doug Stanglin (February 18, 2010). "School district accused of spying on kids via laptop webcams". USA Today. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "doc" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2010.
  21. ^ O'Loughlin, Kathy (June 16, 2010). "Congrats to grads: A look at local commencement traditions". Main Line Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017.
  22. ^ "Interview with Graduate Josh Cooke". LMSD. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2012.

External links[edit]