Hempfield Area High School

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Hempfield Area High School
4345 Route 136, Greensburg, PA 15601 Coordinates: 40°16′53″N 79°36′00″W / 40.281354°N 79.600064°W / 40.281354; -79.600064
Type Public
Established 1956
School district Hempfield Area School District
Principal Kathleen Charlton
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,200
Color(s) Royal Blue and Silver
Athletics WPIAL
Mascot Spartans
Information 724-834-9000

Hempfield Area High School is a high school for students in the Hempfield Township area of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.


The first official move to establish a high school in Hempfield Township occurred June 8, 1898, when the Board of Education recorded a proposal to investigate the possibilities of building a secondary school in the area. From that time until 1956, students attended nearby high schools. On November 17, 1952, the Articles of Agreement of the Hempfield Area Joint Schools were adopted and work began in earnest to establish a high school.

The different needs and abilities of all students were taken into consideration when the building was designed. The building included 39 classrooms, 9 vocational areas, an auditorium that seated 1,242, a gymnasium with a 2,200 seating capacity, cafeteria, band and chorus rooms, and a large modern library. The original building and grounds occupied a 67-acre (270,000 m2) area. The size and capacity of the senior high school were determined by a review of the student population of 1952 and a projected six-year enrollment. The new building accommodated 1,200 pupils. The Board of Education recognized potential growth and included provisions for additions to meet future needs. Finally, the school opened September 5, 1956, with an enrollment of 1,037 students in grades 10, 11, and 12. Currently there are 3,500 enrolled. Although the entire building was not completed, sufficient sections were available to begin the school year.

Construction began on February 10, 1964, of an approximate two million dollar addition to the original senior high building. The addition was complete for student use in September, 1965. The addition increased the capacity of the school to 3,500 students including an addition to the cafeteria and extensive remodeling in the “C” wing. A highlight of the new addition was a 75 by 42-foot (13 m) indoor swimming pool. The main addition housed twenty regular classrooms, a new planetarium, faculty cafeteria, an enlarged area for art classes, and rifle range. A total of seven rooms in the “C” wing that included four biology labs was completed. An additional chemistry-physics laboratory and chemistry classroom were added in the main wing. Administration offices were moved to permit the addition of three classrooms on the first floor.[citation needed]

In October 1978, Hempfield Area High School was once again altered by an addition to the building. New facilities were added to provide additional teaching space at an approximate cost of 1.5 million dollars. A physical fitness room, two instructional classrooms, a laundry area, coaches room, press box, additional space in the locker rooms, and a concession room were added. The new addition was completed in 1980.

At the beginning of the 1988-89 school term, another extensive renovation was begun at the senior high school. Completed for the opening of the 1990-91 school term, this project virtually remodeled the entire interior of the existing structure. All areas of the building including the library, auditorium, science labs, cafeteria and classrooms were remodeled and thirteen classrooms were added. In 2001, additional renovation was done to add two more chemistry labs in the science area, as well as a new resource room and a few additional classrooms.

In 2004, even more renovations took place. The baseball field was removed so that the student parking lot could be moved on campus for safety reasons. It was located across busy Route 136. Also, new bleachers, press box and concession stands were added at Spartan Stadium. Also new athletic fields were added behind the stadium. Finally, a field house with new wrestling facilities, locker rooms and athletic offices was added in the north endzone of Spartan Stadium.

In March 2007, a 15-year-old student was mistakenly jailed for 12 days in a juvenile detention facility for allegedly making a bomb threat over the school district hotline, because school officials had overlooked daylight saving time while evaluating the calling records.[1] The family was later awarded $84,000.[2]


  • Kathleen Charlton (Principal)
  • Steven DeLisle (Assistant Principal)
  • Greg Saraceni (Assistant Principal)
  • David Vezendy (Assistant Principal)


The high school library is part of a district-wide library department that includes libraries in each of the elementary and middle schools with a professional librarian assigned to each library. The high school library opened for use in March 1990, and offers 13,000 square feet (1,200 m2) of space.

There are three computer areas, two containing 30 computers each and one with 20 computers, designed for class instruction and for individual research. All computers have Internet access and CD-ROM capability. Workspace for research is available at each. In addition, there are tables for individual and small groups to study, as well as a leisure area for reading. Shelving areas house the print collection of books, magazines, and newspapers.

The district’s professional education library is maintained in an area adjacent to the main entrance. A conference area is available for teachers, parents, and staff. The periodical and audiovisual room contains back issues of magazines and audiovisual materials and equipment.

An electronic security system is installed at the library exit. All materials must be passed to the attendant before exiting the gate.


The high school library maintains a Web page that is used as a base for all Internet research. Students can use the online library catalog from school or home to access the bibliographic information on all the books and audiovisual materials available in the library, as well as Web Path Express to access safe and educationally sound websites. As a member of the ACCESS PENNSYLVANIA statewide database, the library also provides students with access to over 18,000,000 books from over 600 school, public, and college libraries by way of interlibrary loan.

The library is an information center. Each of the 80 computers in the main room has access to the Internet and to CD-ROM products. Among the databases available to students on the Internet are the ACCESS POWER databases, which include a full-text periodical database, an online encyclopedia, and a photo database. The library also subscribes to additional online databases for students to access reliable information. Each of the computers has access to Microsoft Office, the school’s standard productivity software.

The school requires students to have parental permission to use the Internet. Internet Permission Slips, along with the school district's Acceptable Use Policy, are sent home with ninth grade students. No student may use the Internet without a parental permission slip on file. Further, the Hempfield Area School District’s Acceptable Use Policy, adopted by the Board of School Directors, provides that Internet access includes an Internet filtering service.


During the 1993-94 school year, Hempfield Area School District entered the first phase of a major technological advancement program. All teachers were given access to computers, which enabled them to receive electronic mail; maintain grades; do word processing, database and spreadsheet tasks; and access student software.

Computer labs were upgraded and networked in the business and math departments. Computers were phased into several other departments in individual classrooms or in labs, depending upon the needs of the department.

During the 2015-2016 school year, all of the students of the high school were provided with Chromebooks.


The Hempfield Area School District’s planetarium was added to the high school in 1965 to improve aerospace education throughout the school district. Planetarium projectors include the Spitz Laboratory Model A3 Projector and various supplementary projectors such as the meteor, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, and auroras projection devices. It can show the sky visible from any location on the earth. The planetarium supplements class work in astronomy, earth sciences, and physics. Beyond the normal school day, the planetarium serves varied community groups including the P.T.A., Boy Scouts, and non-public school students with programs of current interest and sky dramas.

Vocational-Technical Services[edit]

HAHS uses the services of Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in New Stanton for the students there who wish to choose a vocational or technical program.

Sports programs[edit]


The Hempfield Area football program consists of three different teams, according to grade level: varsity (grades 9–12), junior varsity (grades 9–12), and freshman (9th grade only). The varsity and junior varsity begin their season in August with football camp, which involves three practices per day. There is also a one-week session held every year to help team members get better acquainted and prepared. All home games are held at the Spartan Stadium. The ninth grade team starts practice prior to the beginning of the school year and competes in a seven-game schedule.

Head coaches[edit]

Hempfield Area Spartan Football Coaches
Name Year(s) Record
Bill Abraham 1956–1971 106–39
Ralph Short 1972–1974 12–12–3
Joe Hamilton 1975 4–4–1
Rich Erdelyi 1976 1–9
Bill Abraham 1977–1982 34–25
Joe Naunchik 1983–1985 15–15
Gene Epley 1986–1990 19–26
Greg Perschetti 1991–1995 24–30
Casey Cavenaugh 1996–2000 21–28
Gary Dongilli 2001–2002 1–19
Bo Ruffner 2003–2004 5–15
Greg Meisner 2005–2011 17–50
Rich Bowen 2012–Present 22–28

Accurate through the end of the 2016 season.


The Hempfield Area Boys' and Girls' Basketball teams participate each year as a member of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League within the PIAA. The teams, both varsity and junior varsity, play approximately twenty-four games a year. The Boys' team went 6-16, tied for second worst record all-time in spartan history.

Cross country[edit]

The Hempfield Area boys' and girls' cross country teams participate each year as a member of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League within the PIAA. The cross country team consists of a varsity (usually the top 7 runners) squad and a junior varsity squad. The teams compete in triple-dual meets, double-dual meets, and invitations. The cross country teams are coached by Jeffrey Mayo and Jared Crossland.


Hempfield is home to the Hempfield Area Spartan Marching Band, directed by Brian Tychinski. The band has between 180 and 300 members yearly. It has performed in Texas, Florida, Colorado, California, New York, Washington DC, Virginia, Kentucky, Hawaii, and many other places. The band has received invitations to perform in Australia, France, England, and China; the band was invited to perform in China for the 2008 Olympics and well as Rome to perform for the Pope in his New Year's parade. The HAHS Marching Band also marched in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade with director Dr. Roderick T. Booker, who retired in 2006.

Hempfield is also the home of the Hempfield High School Jazz Band. This group has performed in Kentucky, California, and all over Pennsylvania. The Hempfield Jazz Band also had the special opportunity to play for President Bill Clinton during his visit to Greensburg, Pennsylvania.


The Hempfield Area Journalism classes and club combine to produce a monthly student newspaper, The Royal, under the supervision of teacher Laurie Adams. Students learn journalistic writing techniques, editing, and page design as well as interview techniques. The paper is distributed to students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of every month.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Teen Accused of Bomb Threat Spends 12 Days in Juvenile Detention After Daylight-Saving Time Snafu" (Fox News / Associated Press, Thursday, April 05, 2007).
  2. ^ "Falsely accused student awarded nearly $84K" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Friday, October 10, 2008 )
  3. ^ Gazarik, Richard (July 2, 2010). "Lawyer bashes Obama officials over Philadelphia voter-intimidation case". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]