Hillhouse High School

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James Hillhouse High School
480 Sherman Parkway
New Haven, Connecticut
United States
Coordinates 41°19′19″N 72°56′23″W / 41.3220°N 72.9397°W / 41.3220; -72.9397Coordinates: 41°19′19″N 72°56′23″W / 41.3220°N 72.9397°W / 41.3220; -72.9397
Founded 1859
School district New Haven Public Schools
Principal Glen Worthy
Enrollment 980[1] (2013–14)
Team name Academics

James Hillhouse Comprehensive High School is the oldest public high school in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a part of New Haven Public Schools.


Established in 1859[2] as New Haven High School,[3] Hillhouse High School is New Haven's oldest public high school. Originally located on Orange Street, it adopted its nickname, "The Academics," in acknowledgment of its close association with Yale University.[4]

In 1863, the school was moved to a building at Orange and Wall Streets, which was replaced in 1871 by a new school.[3]

The school is named in honor of James Hillhouse of New Haven, who represented Connecticut in the U.S. Congress in the early years of the United States' existence as a nation, serving as both a Representative and a Senator.[5]

For many years, Hillhouse served not only New Haven but also suburban towns around the city that did not have high schools of their own. Its peak enrollment was nearly 5,000 students, when the school had to conduct double sessions to accommodate the large enrollment.[6]


The school includes grades 9 through 12 and enrolls about 979 students.[7]


Hillhouse became involved in athletic competition as early as 1866, when some boys formed a club to play a sport that is described as having "resembled rugby and soccer." By 1884, students were participating in several sports, including modern football, which had been invented by Walter Camp of New Haven. Team competition in baseball, tennis, ice hockey, indoor polo and yacht racing also had been established around this time. Basketball was introduced around the beginning of the 20th century.[4]

Hillhouse football teams have won 17 state championships, ranking the school third in the state for football championships. The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have a combined total 33 state championships. 24 for the boys and 9 for the girls. The boys’ and girls’ track teams also have more than 25 state championships between them. The Academics also have won state championships in baseball, swimming, ice hockey and tennis.[4]

Floyd Little Athletic Center after a high school basketball game

In 1999, a grant was provided by the Connecticut Association of Schools to construct a fieldhouse for sports. Construction was finished in 2002, and it was named the New Haven Athletic Center, later to become the Floyd Little Athletic Center in 2011.[8] The 115,000-square-foot (10,700 m2) Athletic Center houses events for basketball, indoor track, and tennis. It has a capacity of 3,500 seats.[9]

Boys Basketball State Championships:[10][11][12]

1924, 1926, 1932, 1937, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1955, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1978, 1984, 1986, 1990, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2016, 2017.

Girls Basketball State Championships:

1981, 1982, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011.

Notable alumni[edit]

Among the school's notable alumni are:


  1. ^ "James Hillhouse High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Hillhouse High School website, accessed February 11, 2010
  3. ^ a b Pamela McLoughlin, "Hillhouse celebrates 150th anniversary", New Haven Register, November 20, 2008. Archived February 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c James E. Hillhouse High School Athletic History Archived August 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Hillhouse Athletic Hall of Fame website, accessed February 11, 2010; archived here.
  5. ^ a b c d The 2010 New Haven Magnet School Catalog (New Haven Public Schools), page 31[dead link]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Hillhouse High School Sesquicentennial All-Class Reunion Banquet Saturday, May 16, The Ficklin Media Group, April 30, 2009
  7. ^ James Hillhouse Comprehensive High School, New Haven Public Schools website, accessed February 11, 2010
  8. ^ David Borges, "New Haven renames athletic center for hometown hero and NFL star Floyd Little", New Haven Register, September 15, 2011.
  9. ^ , "New Haven Athletic Center". Archived November 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "CIAC Champions List" (PDF). 
  11. ^ "Hartford Courant Article". 
  12. ^ "Max Prep Playoff Brackets". 
  13. ^ Sam Rubin, Baseball in New Haven, page 59
  14. ^ Alex Pierpaoli , Interview: Bad Chad Dawson goes back to school, Doghouse Boxing website, March 28, 2005
  15. ^ Hillhouse Athletic Hall of Fame: Past Inductees (retrieved February 11, 2010).

External links[edit]