Hawken School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from James A. Hawken)
Jump to: navigation, search
Hawken School
212 × 63
Hawken School's logo
12465 County Line Road
Gates Mills, Ohio 44040
United States
Coordinates 41°31′38″N 81°23′11″W / 41.52722°N 81.38639°W / 41.52722; -81.38639Coordinates: 41°31′38″N 81°23′11″W / 41.52722°N 81.38639°W / 41.52722; -81.38639
Type Private, Secular, Coeducational
Motto That the better self shall prevail, and each generation introduce its successor to a higher plane of life.
Religious affiliation(s) Half and half of each
Established 1915
Founder James A. Hawken
CEEB code 361-262
Director Garet Libbey (assistant head of school), Michelle Harris (middle school), Kim Samson, (upper school)
Head of school D. Scott Looney[1]
Grades P3-12
Enrollment 984 (2013-2014)
Average class size 15
Student to teacher ratio 9:1
Color(s) Red and Gray[2]         
Athletics 22 sports
Athletics conference Chagrin Valley Conference[2]
Mascot Hawk
Team name Hawks[2]
Rival University School
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[3]
Newspaper The Affirmative No
Yearbook The Onyx
annual lower-school tuition $5,000-$12,000[4]
annual highschool tuition $19,000-$37,120[4]

Hawken School is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school in Northeast Ohio.

Hawken currently has two main campuses, the Lower and Middle Schools in Lyndhurst and the Upper School in Chester Township, plus a third, an urban campus in University Circle, The Sally & Bob Gries Center for Experiential and Service Learning, which is utilized by all grade levels. Hawken's motto is quoted from John Lancaster Spalding's Education and the Higher Life: "That the better self shall prevail, and each generation introduce its successor to a higher plane of life"; although a sign with the secondary motto, "Fair Play," hangs in every classroom on either campus. A new middle school complex at the Lyndhurst campus was built for the 2006–07 school year. Construction on the Gates Mills campus finished in 2016, marking the opening of Stirn Hall. D. Scott Looney is the current Head of School, having assumed the position on July 1, 2006.[1]


The school's founder and namesake, James A. Hawken, opened his school for boys in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood in 1915.[4] First housed at 1572 Ansel Road, the school later moved to 1588 Ansel Road, shortly before relocating to its current Lyndhurst campus in 1922. Because James Hawken believed in one-on-one education for the boys at his school, the original building on the Lyndhurst campus, now containing part of the middle school, has many rooms designed to seat between eight and ten boys.[5] Later, in 1961, the school added a 325-acre high school campus in Chester Township, housing formerly grades 10 through 12, and now also grade 9. The school became coed in 1975.[4] In the fall of 2006, Lincoln Hall was added on to the Middle School, adding much-needed classroom space. In the fall of 2009, Hawken commenced a tablet computer program for grade 6 which later spread throughout the middle and high schools. The Sally & Bob Gries Center for Experiential and Service Learning (also called The Gries Center), located in University Circle, opened on August 29, 2010. In the summer of 2011, the preschool underwent a renovation. Additionally, due to increased enrollment, the school has renovated the lower school building, adding 5,540 square feet of space into the 2nd and 3rd grade area, as well renovating 8,125 square feet of space. Changes included the addition of a new classroom to the Kindergarten and 1st grades; renovations to the performing arts classrooms as well as the addition of a fourth classroom; relocation and remodeling of a science classroom; restoration of the main lobby and exterior remodeling. The new Hurwitz Hall's construction finished in August 2013.[6] In late 2013, Hawken announced plans for a $24.5m renovation of the Gates Mills campus, Stirn Hall, of which construction would tentatively begin in early 2015. Designed by architectural firm Westlake, Reed, Leskosky, the project would bring the academic complex to 106,000 square feet. This project finished in the fall of 2016, with the grand opening on August 20-21.

Hawken School is an independent, college preparatory day school serving approximately 950 students in preschool through grade 12. Hawken has long-standing rivalries with the three other founding members of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools: Laurel School, Hathaway Brown School, and University School.[citation needed]

Student life[edit]

Students have been divided into two different groups: red and gray in the middle school, and Vikings and Cyclops in the lower school. Once they have advanced to the middle school, Vikings turn into red and Cyclops turn into gray. In 4-6th grade, games such as capture the flag or soccer are played and the winner receives points. All students, 4-8th grades, compete once a year at "field day". This is competed at the Lower School. Every student chooses a sport to compete in, along with an assigned relay. At the Upper school, students are sorted by advisory into four houses: Ansel (derived from the name of the original campus at Ansel Road), Bolton (derived from the name of the lower school campus), Chester (referring to Chesterland, the location of the Upper school), and Mather (referring to the new campus at University Circle). The houses each have their own colors, mascots, and crests, and compete for house points through a variety of different activities. The system was co-developed by Alex Dobay '08 and Meredith Allenick '08, and the winning house receives the Dobay Cup, named after Alex Dobay, who died of cancer in August 2008. The school implemented a new schedule in the fall of 2010. It replaced a float schedule with six 50-minute classes with 4 block classes per day, each 80 minutes in length. In addition, the time of day in which the block occurs changes in a seven day cycle. For example, one day a student would have his/her "A" block class at 8:30 but the next day he/she would have it at 2. Also, for the last 3 weeks before Winter and Summer break students participate in the intensive study of one course for the entire school day. An intensive counts for one semester's credit. The middle school students participate in "insights week", where they join an all day activity of their choice for one week after Winter Break.

Clubs and activities[edit]

The Academic Challenge Team won Academic Challenge Television Finals in 2008 and placed second runner up at the state competition the next year.[citation needed] Most recently, the team placed 2nd as the state runners-up at the annual NAQT state tournament. The 2011-2012 season team was ranked in the top 25 in the United States.[7][8]

The Hawken Speech & Debate Team is a member of the National Forensic League, and has won multiple OHSSL State Championships (most recently in Congressional Debate and Public Forum Debate, both in 2013) as well as qualifiers to the NFL's annual National Tournament.

Hawken's Latin Club functions as a local chapter of both the Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL)[9] and National Junior Classical League (NJCL).[10]

The Hawken School Pep Band is known as one of the loudest bands in the Chagrin Valley Conference. It has been led by Gerace brothers since inception during the 2014 football season.


Before the 2007 football season, the football field was updated and renamed Walton Stadium, in honor of longtime coach Cliff Walton. New turf was installed, and lights were put up. Since then, the Hawks have played their home games under the lights on Friday nights. The Hawks were undefeated 1965, 1985, and 1986. They were division five regional finalists in the 1986 season and state runner up in the 1987 season. Former Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver O.J. McDuffie led the team to the state runner up that year and then continued his career at Penn State. Hawken also has the only turf baseball field in Northeast Ohio. In the 2009 season, Hawken finished 8-2 and defeated Independence in the first round of the playoffs. They finished 9-3 and had multiple all district players and John Wilson was voted to the all-state team. Jeremy Simmons was voted All-State in 2011.[citation needed] The women's soccer team had its best finish in school history in 2013, making it to State Championship for the first time. They were named CVC, district, regional champions, and State Finalists in the 2013 season. In February 2015, the Girls Varsity Swim Team won its 17th straight state title and 25 overall. It was the first state title under head coach Jim Bocci. In the spring of 2015 the Boys Lacrosse team had one of their best runs in team history making it all the way to the state final four, beating arch rival University School to get to that point. In 2014 the school inducted its first class of athletic hall of famers, this group included former NFL player O.J. McDuffie, Olympic gold medal swimmer Melanie Valerio, Hawken legend, and two time NCAA national champion at Penn State Eric Hamilton, multiple time state champion and state record holding swimmer, Alyssa Kiel, legendary swim coach Jerry Holtrey who led the Hawks to 26 state championships in his 45 year career, and long time football coach Cliff Walton who has been at the helm of the Hawks football program since 1978. Hawken has won exponentially more state championships in Swimming than it has combined in any of the other sports as is shown in the break out following this text.

Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships[edit]

  • Girls Golf - 2013
  • Girls Track - 1999, 2000
  • Girls Swimming - 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Boys Swimming - 1988, 1989, 2017
  • Boys Golf - 1977, 1978
  • Boys Soccer – 2000
  • Boys Lacrosse - 2002 (Not OHSAA sponsored)

Performing arts[edit]

The Upper School has an orchestra, a concert band, a theatrical group called the Hawken Players' Society and a Jazz Combo. The Lower and Middle Schools also run string, band, and jazz band classes.

Accreditation and membership[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hawken School. "Meet the Head of School." Hawken School. Accessed January 20, 2012. https://www.hawken.edu/headofschool.
  2. ^ a b c OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association member directory". Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  3. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hawken School. "History." Hawken School. Accessed November 25, 2012. http://www.hawken.edu/history?rc=0.
  5. ^ "Chapel Grappel." Chapel Grapple. Hawken School, Cleveland. 2011. Speech.
  6. ^ Hawken School. "Announcing Hurwitz Hall." Hawken School. Accessed May 10, 2013. https://www.hawken.edu/LYproject.
  7. ^ "NAQT-only Top 25 Rankings". 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Post-Nationals Rankings". 2012. Retrieved July 1, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Executive Board Pre-File Application". OhioJCL.org - June 2007. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. 2010. Archived from the original on June 17, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ "OJCL Constitution". OhioJCL.org - July 2002. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2002. Retrieved August 16, 2010. ... by paying both OJCL annual chapter dues and any annual chapter membership dues required by NJCL. 
  11. ^ A. Marc Gillinov
  • Ellis, William Donohue; Nancy A. Schneider (1990). The Hawken Book (1st ed.). Cleveland: Cobham & Hatherton. ISBN 0-944125-13-1. 

External links[edit]