Highland Regional High School
|Highland Regional High School|
|450 Erial Road
Blackwood, NJ 08012
|Type||Public high school|
|Vice principals||Thomas Storer (9th Grade)
Jennifer Arcolesse (10th Grade)
Christina Collazo (11th Grade)
Ronald Strauss (12th Grade)
|Enrollment||1,236 (as of 2014-15)|
|Student to teacher ratio||14.3:1|
Columbia Blue and|
|Athletics conference||Tri-County Conference|
|Mascot||Scotty the Tartan|
Highland Regional High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Blackwood, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from Gloucester Township in Camden County, New Jersey, United States. The school is part of the Black Horse Pike Regional School District, which also includes Timber Creek Regional High School and Triton Regional High School (which serves students from Bellmawr and Runnemede). The school is accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,236 students and 86.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.3:1. There were 301 students (24.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 48 (3.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Awards, recognition and rankings
The school was the 254th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 284th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 252nd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 269th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 224th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.
The Highland Regional High School Tartans compete in the Tri-County Conference, which operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) and includes public and parochial high schools located in Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County and Salem County. With 964 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as South Jersey, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 794 to 1,076 students in that grade range.
Highland Regional's most successful athletic program had been the wrestling program, winning numerous state championships until the late 1990s. The team won the South Jersey Group IV state sectional championships in 1981-1985 and 1991-1996, and the South Jersey Group III title in 1987 and 1990. The team was Group IV state champion in 1982-1985, 1991, 1992 and 1994-1996; the program's nine state championships are third-most of any public school in the state.
Ralph E. Ross was the head coach during this period of time and became the winningest high school wrestling coach in South Jersey history with 405 wins, the second most in state history. The program produced one of the greatest wrestlers in New Jersey history, Joe Melchiore. Joe lost only three matches his entire career, all during his freshman year. He was a three-time state champion in high school and a four-time All-American selection in college. He also represented the United States of America in the World Championships where he placed 7th. Both Melchiore and Ross were inducted into the South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990. In the auxiliary gym of the high school, an entire wall is devoted to the team's accomplishments. In 2012 Mike Davidson became the team's head coach and has led the team to 4 straight district titles.
The 1994 boys cross country team went undefeated and were Olympic Conference champions. Additionally, they won the South Jersey Open and the Group IV sectionals on their way to win the Group IV state championship (the only Group IV state title for the boys cross country team). The team's best finish came in the Group IV Sectional meet where Tartan runners came in 1st, 2nd, 7th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 23rd out of a field of approximately 126 runners. The top five averaged 16:06.4 for the 3.1 mile course and scored 39 points to blow out the 2nd place team, Eastern Regional High School, who scored 86. It was the largest victory margin of the meet. In the Group IV state meet, the top five runners finished 3rd, 5th, 20th, 23rd, and 36th to win with 67 points, ahead of the second-place team, Westfield Senior High School, which scored 92.
The boys' track team won the Group II state indoor relay championship in 2014.
Marching and jazz bands
The Highland Regional Marching Band has had success in the Tournament of Bands competitions since the turn of the millennium. The marching band won the Chapter One Championship in 2005, led by band director Chris Tumminia, the first such championship in the band's history. The band successfully defended their Chapter One Championship in 2006, and were the 2002 Atlantic Coast Invitational Champion in Group 1.
The school's pep band performs in numerous parades winning first place at the Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade in 2012 and 2013
The school's indoor color guard was the Tournament Indoor Association Scholastic Novice champions in 2006 and the Scholastic Intermediate A champions in 2007.
The school's indoor drumline was the Tournament Indoor Association Scholastic Open champions in 2001 and the Scholastic A champions in 2005 and 2008.
The school's competitive jazz ensemble placed second in the New Jersey state finals in 1991 and first in the Atlantic Coast Championships in 2013 and 2014.
School prayer case
In 1993, Highland Regional High School students voted to allow a prayer before their graduation ceremony. The school district was quickly sued by a graduating senior with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey over separation of church and state. The case was heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which ruled against the school district in a 9-4 decision.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Elizabeth Petitte - Principal
- Thomas Storer - Vice Principal, Grade 9
- Jennifer Arcolesse - Vice Principal, Grade 10
- Christina Collazo - Vice Principal, Grade 11
- Ronald Strauss - Vice Principal, Grade 12
- Ryan Buchter (born 1987; Class of 2005), 33rd-round draft pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, who debuted for the Braves in 2014 and signed with the Dodgers for the 2015 season.
- Mike Daniels (born 1989; Class of 2007), fourth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Joe Vitt (born 1954; Class of 1972), assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints.
- School data for Highland Regional High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Highland Regional High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 27, 2016.
- District Home: Registration Info, Black Horse Pike Regional School District. Accessed June 21, 2015. "What school will you be attending? All Bellmawr and Runnemede residents attend Triton Regional High School. Gloucester Township residents Click Here to view the District Map."
- Gloucester Township High School Attendance Areas, Black Horse Pike Regional School District. Accessed June 21, 2015.
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 11, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed July 20, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- League Memberships – 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 16, 2016.
- Inductee Biographies, South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame. Accessed May 11, 2015. "The winningest coach in South Jersey history with a 405-56-7 record, Ross is second only to Hunterdon Central's Russ Riegel in state history."
- Skaf, Lian. "No doubting Highland", Courier-Post, March 9, 2004. Accessed August 19, 2007. "The top-seeded Tartans jumped to a 21-11 first-quarter lead en route to an 82-45 win over second-seeded Woodrow Wilson to win the South Jersey Group 3 title."
- Santoliquito, Joe. "Highland gets revenge as it devastates Wilson - Lisa Steele scored 28 points for the Tartans, who", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 9, 2004. Accessed August 19, 2007. "All of that frustration poured out last night, as Steele led the Tartans to a dominating 82-45 victory over Wilson in the South Jersey Group 3 title game at Cherry Hill High School East. It was the first Group 3 title for Highland, which improved to 28-0. Wilson fell to 25-2."
- 2004 Girls Basketball - South, Group III, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 19, 2007.
- 2014 Cross Country state championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 11, 2015.
- History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 17, 2016.
- Tournament of Bands - Chapter One History, Tournament of Bands. Accessed August 23, 2009.
- "ACLU v. Black Horse Regional Board of Education (1995): Supreme Court Decisions on Religious Liberty - Summary by About.com". Retrieved December 16, 2005.
- Administration, Highland Regional High School. Accessed September 15, 2015.
- Sprang, Charlie. "Former Highland Hurler Finds Comfort Zone in Atlanta Braves Organization; Ryan Buchter, a 24-year-old Highland graduate, leads his team in saves.", Gloucester Township Patch, July 8, 2011. Accessed February 15, 2015. "Ryan Buchter, a 24-year-old Highland Regional High School graduate who was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 33rd round in 2005 and traded to the Cubs in 2008, started this season with Tennessee, the Cubs AA farm team in the Southern League."
- Dunne, Tyler. "DT Daniels another athlete up front", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 28, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2012. "Daniels may be a skill-position player at heart. He actually played running back in high school. Daniels rushed for 2,203 yards and 25 touchdowns at Highland Regional (N.J.). On Saturday, he described himself as a power back the team used in short-yardage situations."
- Narducci, Marc. "An NFL Survivor Moves On Again Highland Graduate Joe Vitt Has Coached In The League Since 1979.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 17, 1999. Accessed February 15, 2015. "Joe Vitt says he watched the Super Bowl this year with a little bit of envy. After all, the 1972 Highland graduate could have envisioned himself high up in the press box, calling the defensive signals for the Atlanta Falcons."
- Highland Regional High School official site
- Highland sports news coverage
- Highland Regional High School's 2015–16 School Performance Report from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for Highland Regional High School, National Center for Education Statistics
- Highland Music Webpage