John Dickinson High School

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John Dickinson High School
1801 Milltown Rd.
Wilmington, Delaware
United States
Type Public
Motto Esse quam videri
"To be, rather than to seem"
Established 1959
School district Red Clay Consolidated School District
Principal Byron Murphy
Grades 9–12
Enrollment approx. 780
Color(s) Columbia blue and white
Mascot Ram
Newspaper Patriot
Yearbook Penman

John Dickinson High School is a comprehensive four-year high school located on a 67-acre (270,000 m2) campus near Wilmington, Delaware in New Castle County. Built in the Pike Creek Valley in 1959, the school takes its name from John Dickinson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a colonial American patriot, and a key writer during the American Revolutionary period. One of seven high schools in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, JDHS currently has an enrollment of about 780 students and a staff of about 65.[1]

Higher-level courses[edit]

Students at John Dickinson High School may receive college credit for English, Calculus, Statistics, US Government, U.S. History, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. Honors courses are offered at every level in the core-curriculum; these courses include English, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, U.S. history, economics & government, world history, physical science, biology, chemistry and physics.

John Dickinson High School offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Students in the IB program take a series of high level classes and exams that can lead to earning the diploma that serves as an international admissions credential.


JDHS fields teams in lacrosse (boys'), cross country (boys' and girls'), soccer (boys' and girls'), basketball (boys' and girls'), indoor track (boys' and girls'), swimming (boys' and girls'), tennis (girls'), outdoor track & field (boys' and girls'), volleyball (boys' and girls'), field hockey (girls'), football (boys'), cheerleading (girls'), wrestling (boys'), baseball (boys'), golf (boys'), and softball (girls'). Dickinson competes as a member of Flight "B" of the Blue Hen Conference. Dickinson is respected throughout the state of Delaware as consistently championship caliber in baseball and boys and girls volleyball.[2] The athletic program is run by the Athletic Director, Mr. Andrew Dick. Mr. Dick also serves as the president of the Blue Hen Conference.

Performing arts[edit]

Dickinson High School has an extensive music program. The Instrumental Department includes a marching and concert band. The Choral Department comprises the concert choir and the Dickinson Singers, a Renaissance a cappella group. Productions by the Drama department include a spring musical as well as fall and spring dramatic presentations. The drama department is under the supervision of Elizabeth Allen. Support for JDHS Performing Arts Department activities comes from the Performing Arts Boosters.[3] The JDHS marching band has long been accompanied by a color-guard. The bands and choirs are under the direction of Matthew Jufer.

School history[edit]

The school opened in the autumn of 1959 and its first class graduated in 1962. During the consolidation of New Castle County schools in the mid-1960s, DHS became the only high school in the Stanton School District. In 1978, it was merged into the New Castle County Consolidated School District, then incorporated into the new Red Clay Consolidated School District in 1981.

On January 15, 1995, a substantial portion of the school was damaged by fire, causing it to close for several months. Students and teachers shared the space of nearby rival McKean High School, with McKean students attending classes from six am until noon and Dickinson students in class from noon until six pm.[4] Fears that the graduating class of 1995 would not be able to hold their commencement at JDHS didn't come true, and the ceremony was held that year on the JDHS football field per tradition. Then-US Senator Joe Biden was the speaker.

In 2013, the school set a record for highest Lego tower; 112 feet.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "School Profiles Details". Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ Rams
  3. ^ Performing Arts Boosters (This is a private URL – not accessible to the general public.)
  4. ^ "Across The Usa: News From Every State". USA Today. Gannet News. January 23, 1995. p. 7A. 
  5. ^ Lee, Kevin. "Delaware High School Students Complete World's Tallest LEGO Tower" Inhabitat, 24 August 2013. Accessed: 29 March 2014.
  6. ^ Gerace, Frank (January 25, 2011). "Bear resident is "Next Great Baker"". Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  7. ^ "AKUA PARKER, ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER". Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. Retrieved October 28, 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°43′42″N 75°40′24″W / 39.7284°N 75.6734°W / 39.7284; -75.6734