Holmdel High School
|Holmdel High School|
|36 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel, NJ 07733
|Type||Public high school|
|Established||September 1970 (building opened in September 1973)|
|School district||Holmdel Township Public Schools|
|Asst. principals||Giuseppe Calella
|Enrollment||937 (as of 2015-16)|
|Student to teacher ratio||10.6:1|
|Athletics conference||Shore Conference|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
Holmdel High School is a comprehensive community four-year public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades located in Holmdel Township, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, operating as the lone secondary school in the Holmdel Township Public Schools. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1977.
As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 937 students and 88.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.6:1. There were 34 students (3.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 8 (0.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Holmdel High School is known for academic, athletic, and artistic excellence. The school regularly ranks highly in academic competitions. Holmdel sports teams, notably the field hockey team has been New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) State Champions. Holmdel also places several students in the NJMEA All-State music programs every year.
Awards, recognition and rankings
In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 91st out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 19th among all high schools in New Jersey and sixth among the state's non-magnet schools. In Newsweek's annual list of the top public high schools in America for 2015, Holmdel High School ranked at number 41 in the nation, the 13th-highest in New Jersey and the third-ranked of the state's non-selective high schools.
In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 244th in the nation among participating public high schools and 19th among schools in New Jersey. The school was ranked 179th in the nation and 13th in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.
In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 20th in New Jersey and 735th nationwide. In Newsweek's May 22, 2007 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Holmdel High School was listed in 480th place, the ninth-highest ranked school in New Jersey. The school was ranked as the 45th-best public secondary school in New Jersey and the 380th-best in the U.S. in Newsweek magazine's listing of "America's Best High Schools" in 2006., and was ranked 426th in the 2005 rankings.
The school was the 12th-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 13th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 17th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 11th in 2008 out of 316 schools. Schooldigger.com ranked the school 38th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 1 position from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (94.3%) and language arts literacy (97.2%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The chess team competes with other schools in the Shore Chess League of New Jersey (SCLNJ). The chess team won the 2005 New Jersey High School Booster Championship, and in 2006 won the New Jersey High School Varsity Championship.
Holmdel High School is home to Baseball Primetime, a regional cable television show that won the 2005 New York-area National Television High School Award for Excellence in the Sports category.
The high school was constructed at a cost of $8.2 million and a design capacity of 965 students, with a building that featured many large roof spans above open spaces and unusually shaped rooms that added substantially to the cost above those of other facilities constructed at the same time for comparable numbers of students. Ground was broken for the new facility in September 1971 and the first group of 701 students started attending the school two years later, in September 1973.
Holmdel High School is physically connected to the William R. Satz Middle School and is notable for its unusual hexagonal architecture. The oldest part of the building structure is the English/Humanities Hallway, with classroom numbers running in the 100s. The main part was completed in 1973, including the Commons, the 400s, the 500s, the Library, the Gym, the Complex Auditorium, and the TV Studio. The 400s (and 500s on the second floor) are eccentrically designed in a circular fashion, with both ends reaching the Commons. They surround the Library and Conference area. In addition to classrooms, the 400s wing also houses the Humanities Department Office, The Sting newspaper office, and Creation yearbook office.
The Commons is the main meeting area of the school, with lunch, school events, and many after-school activities taking place there. Within the Commons is the Chartwells Lunch Service, where students buy food. The Commons is also a main advertising area for school events, such as club fundraisers, activities, sports events, and annual functions like Powderpuff and Spirit Week. The Complex Auditorium features state-of-the-art sound systems and hosts a multitude of events, ranging from the Holmdel Theater Guild annual productions to Holmdel Board of Education meetings. The large gym hosts basketball games and daily physical education classes. The TV studio hosts classes and TV production after school. The Library consists of several thousand volumes, and also contains nearly 40 desktop computers for student use. In 2000, construction of a new 600s/700s wing was completed, bringing new science facilities to the school. In 2004, construction of a new 800s/900s wing was completed, hosting both language and science classrooms. A new multipurpose gymnasium/cafeteria and the adjacent kitchen were constructed in 2004. However, the gymnasium's length is three feet short of the minimum that is required to host varsity basketball games and the kitchen has never been used because it was constructed without the proper ventilation systems. The Board of the Holmdel was disappointed with the implications of the construction error. States former president Mark Mawerds, "The carelessness that took place has resulted in a space that is not functional. The next rebuild will be done by professionals only."
Because of the open space Holmdel houses, the several dozen acres behind the school contain soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, football, tennis, and track sports areas. The combination football/track field is known as Bob Roggy Field, named after the Holmdel alumnus who set the world javelin record. It was renovated as part of a project that began in 2006, which included the construction of a new six-lane track and a synthetic turf to replace the existing grass field.
On Holmdel High School grounds is the Duncan Smith Theater, named after a Holmdel alumnus, in which Holmdel Theater Company and Holmdel Theater Guild productions are regularly performed.
The students of Holmdel participate in a variety of activities, ranging from sports to academic clubs to artistic organizations on campus. The largest sport is track, and the largest extracurricular club is the Kiwanis Key Club. Other clubs include Best Buddies, Future Business Leaders of America, Creation yearbook, The Sting newspaper, Eco Club, SPCA Club, Transitions, Model U.N, Operation Smile, Heroes and Cool Kids, and C.O.I.N . Holmdel also has a National Honors Society chapter, that thrives yearly.
The Holmdel High School TV Society finished its second season of The Hornet Report, a news show about Holmdel High School and the local community. The show was developed by Athletic Director Randy Westrol, Television Production Teacher David Kaiserman, and students Joe Ponisi, Michael Stanziale, and Monika Marciszewski. The Hornet Report won a 2011 Telly Award. The TV Society also won the 2011 NJM BIANJ Award for its public service announcement, "Don't Press Send Until Your Ride Ends".
The Holmdel Theatre Guild is Holmdel High School's resident theatre production company. Each year, it hosts three major productions, including a fall drama, winter musical, and a one-act play festival in the spring.
The Holmdel mascot is the Hornet. During the American Revolutionary War the British named this area the Hornet's Nest because the sting from the town's fighting patriots meant frequent defeat to the British raiders.
The Student Advisory Board is the main student governing body of the school. It is responsible for approving/denying fundraisers, dealing with club and organization issues, and serving as a liaison between the administration and the student body. The Student Council, on the other hand, deals with issues specific to each grade. The Student Council of the Holmdel High School is a separate entity from the Student Advisory Board. The Student Council consists of class officers, e.g. Freshman President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two S.A.B. representatives.
The band program offered in Holmdel High School has won numerous awards from various festivals and ranked competitions. The band program in Holmdel High School consists of a symphonic band and a jazz ensemble. The jazz band is audition-only and travels to numerous competitions in the tri-state area every year.
The Holmdel High School Hornets compete in the Shore Conference, an athletic conference made up of private and public high schools centered at the Northern Jersey Shore. All schools in this conference are located within Monmouth County and Ocean County, and the league operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 681 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as Central Jersey, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 498 to 756 students in that grade range.
In 1998 and 1999, the boys' basketball team won back-to-back Group II state championships by defeating West Morris Mendham High School both seasons. In 1999 the team defeated Parsippany High School in the quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions by a score of 77-55 before falling to eventual ToC champion Seton Hall Preparatory School by a score of 63-42 in the semifinals.
In 2006, the boys' soccer team won the North II Group III state sectional championship, beating Voorhees High School 4-2, before losing in the Group III state championship game by a score of 3-0 to Ramapo High School.
The boys' tennis team won the Group II state championship in 1983 vs. Tenafly High School, in both 1984 and 2002 vs. Moorestown High School, in 2012 vs. Haddonfield Memorial High School and in 2013 vs. Bernards High School. The team won the 2002 Tournament of Champions vs. Dwight-Englewood School.
The girls' tennis team has won three state group champions, the Group I title in 1978 (vs. Chatham High School), Group II in 1999 and Group III in 2005 (vs. Wall High School). Holmdel won the Tournament of Champions in 2005 over Westfield High School.
In 2010, the boys' soccer team won the NJSIAA Group III state championship, the program's first, with a 2-1 win over Chatham High School. Not only was it the first ever boys' soccer state championship in Holmdel's history, but it was also the first and only Group III championship won by Holmdel in any sport.
Holmdel won the boys' Group II cross country state championships in 1994-95 and 2001, and the girls won the Group II title in 1982-84. The school's Rich Christenson was the individual champion in Group II in 1994. The boys' cross country team also won the Group II state championship in 2011 and 2012.
While attending an off-site pre-season football training camp in the summer of 1989 at Camp Green Lane located in Pennsylvania, senior members of the Holmdel Hornets Football team were alleged to have committed acts of "hazing," forcing underclassmen (mostly sophomores) to remove their clothing and play a game of Twister. The event was videotaped. The Record of November 12, 1989, is quoted as stating that "some coaches reportedly were disciplined." The incident also appeared on an episode of A Current Affair, a news tabloid show on WNYW, Fox Television, in 1989. As a result of the incident, all of the school's 85 football players reportedly were ordered to undergo mental health counseling. In 1991, the sophomores who had been hazed (then seniors) went 9-2 and were the runner up for the Central Jersey Group II state sectional title.
In 1997, Holmdel High School had an additional incident of "hazing" in the news. This time with the soccer team. More than 200 people attended a Board of Education meeting after hazing reports surfaced. Many were angry that someone had complained about hazing. "Soccer is not a sport of the timid," a mother told the board, according to the Asbury Park Press (November 7, 1997).
In November 2004, Todd Lippin, one of the girls' track coaches, pled guilty to having an affair with one of his athletes, having had a sexual relationship with an underage student.
In September 2005, a lawsuit was filed against the Holmdel Board of Education on behalf of a lesbian student claiming that she had been abused and assaulted by fellow students, including an incident where she was pushed down a stairway and injured her ankle.
In Fall 2005, six-year head football coach Joe O'Connor stepped down in protest against the school administration's reinstatement of a player he had dismissed from the team. In a show of support for O'Connor's stand, all nine assistant football coaches resigned as well.
In October 2013, Laurie Cancalosi, who was an openly gay physical education teacher at Holmdel, was awarded $800,000 in a wrongful termination lawsuit that also alleged that the district had created a hostile work environment by librarian William Baronowsky.
- John Burke (born 1971), former professional football player, New England Patriots, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers.
- John Cannon (born 1960), former defensive end who played nine seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Sean Davis (born 1993), professional soccer player for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
- Jodi Kantor (born 1975, class of 1992), reporter for The New York Times and author of The Obamas.
- Michael V. Pomarico (born 1955, class of 1974), six-time Emmy Award Winner who was a member of the school's first graduating class and produced the 2006 documentary Coming Home Again - An Evening With Dr. Richard White about the school's history.
- Bob Roggy (1956–1986, class of 1974), who set the American javelin throw record in the early 1980s, whose javelin is on display in the front entrance hall of Holmdel HS, and after whom the Holmdel HS football field and track is named.
- Lorene Scafaria (born 1978, class of 1995), actress and writer of several screenplays of films including Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- William Loughran, Principal
- Giuseppe Calella, Assistant Principal
- Lisa Marino, Assistant Principal
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- Caizza, Tom. "Holmdel breaks ground on Roggy Field project", Holmdel Independent, February 1, 2006. Accessed July 13, 2011. "The restoration of Bob Roggy Field officially began on Saturday when residents and local dignitaries met to break ground on the $1.5 million project.... The grass turf on Roggy Field, located on the Holmdel High School campus, will be replaced by artificial grass, a process that can take months to complete and requires public and private support."
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- Rappleyea, Warren. "Veteran Holmdel squad captures sectional title: Hornets' season ends in Group III semifinal", The Independent, November 21, 2006. Accessed August 28, 2011. "Along the way Holmdel captured the NJSIAA North 2 Group III sectional title with a 4-2 triumph over Voorhees and gain a berth in the overall Group III tourney."
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- Orlando, Chris. "Holmdel 2, Chatham 1 (High school Boys' Soccer scores and results)", The Star-Ledger, November 22, 2010. Accessed January 10, 2012. "But last night, when the set piece was called upon, it helped produce the Monmouth County school's first state title. Dan Metzger blasted in his second goal of the game with 10:14 remaining in the second half off a free kick to lift Holmdel, No. 20 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a dramatic 2-1 victory over No. 9 Chatham in the championship game of the NJSIAA/The Sports Authority Stores Group 3 tournament before 1,000 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing."
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- Rosenberg, Michelle. "Former track coach faces sentencing: Coach pleads guilty to criminal sexual contact with student", Atlanticville, December 8, 2004. Accessed January 15, 2012. "The former head track and cross country coach at Holmdel High School is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 18, after pleading guilty to having an affair with a student on his team.... The affair took place over a nine-month period of time. The two were said to have had sexual contact at away track meets and at numerous track-related events. The affair may have been consensual, but the girl's age made it a crime."
- "Lesbian's suit alleges school abuse", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 8, 2005.
- "Holmdel H.S. grid coaches all quit: Pop Warner staff will take over", Asbury Park Press, October 27, 2005.
- Anness, Kaitlyn. "Holmdel School District to Pay $800,000 to Former Athletic Director; Superintendent Barbara Duncan was also named in the suit, but the jury did not find Duncan personally liable.", Holmdel-Hazlet Patch October 9, 2013. Accessed August 25, 2015. "Holmdel School District has been ordered by a Monmouth County Court to pay up--to the tune of $800,000--in a discrimination case which stems back to 2005. Laurie A. Cancalosi, a formerly openly gay woman who held the position of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, claimed in her complaint that she wrongfully terminated and the district allowed a hostile work environment which kept her from effectively doing her job."
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- Caiazza, Tom. "Home sweet Holmdel; Saturday event to celebrate the history of Holmdel High School" Archived 2014-12-11 at Archive.is, Independent, May 17, 2006. Accessed December 10, 2014. "Little do most know, but Holmdel High School has an alma mater.... Michael Pomarico, a Holmdel resident and member of that fateful class that included Bob Roggy, the world-class javelin thrower and namesake for the school's football field, has put together an evening of reunion and history, legacy and future building that is meant to provide a link of past to the present."
- USATF Notes; Marion, Monique and Tom Petronoff, USATF, June 8, 2007. "The meet is hosted by Shore Athletic Club in cooperation with Holmdel High School, alma mater of the late Bob Roggy, a former world No. 1 in the javelin."
- Bourbea, Mary Ann. "Holmdel Writer Brings Her Story to Hollywood", The Two River Times, May 25, 2016. Accessed February 5, 2018. "After graduating from Holmdel High School in 1995, Scafaria studied English with a writing concentration and a theater minor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and later transferred to Montclair State University, where she earned her degree."
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- Holmdel High School
- Holmdel High School The Sting Newspaper
- Holmdel Forums
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- School Data for the Holmdel Township Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- DigitalSports Homepage
- Holmdel Hornets Football Alumni Association