John F. Kennedy High School (Montgomery County, Maryland)

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John F. Kennedy High School
1901 Randolph Road


United States
TypePublic Secondary
School districtMontgomery County Public Schools
PrincipalMr. Joe Rubens, Jr.
Faculty94 (2013)
Enrollment1,720 (2018)[1]
Color(s)Forest green and vegas gold         [2]
RivalWheaton High School
YearbookThe Legacy
Jfk high school.jpg

John F. Kennedy High School is a public high school located in Montgomery County, Maryland. Part of Montgomery County Public Schools, the school is within the census-designated place of Glenmont ,[3] although it has a Silver Spring mailing address.

Over 1,700 students are enrolled at Kennedy, which is a member of the Downcounty Consortium along with nearby Montgomery Blair, Wheaton, Albert Einstein, and Northwood High Schools. Students from any of those high schools' base areas can apply to attend Kennedy through a lottery process, after students from Kennedy's own base middle schools -- Col. E. Brooke Lee and Argyle -- are offered spots.

The school mascot is the Cavalier.


Opening its doors in 1964,[4] Kennedy High School was originally going to be called "East Wheaton High School," but due to President John F. Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, the school was renamed after him.[5] It initially enrolled students in 7th through 10th grades, but by the fall of 1966 changed to the now-standard 9th through 12th grade format, graduating its first full 12th grade class in the spring of 1967.

Kennedy's early history is that of an experimental school, with open classes, no grades, and no required attendance. The onus was on Kennedy's students to be self-motivated. Kennedy's rare approach to education gained it international attention[citation needed], but ultimately these trends did not become very popular in other schools. Kennedy itself eventually ended these policies as some parents refused to send their children to Kennedy, and demanded the school be shut down.

After the decline of birth rates following the baby boom generation, some schools were forced to close. Kennedy absorbed the student body of Northwood when it was shuttered between 1985 and 2004. Kennedy students used Northwood's building when Kennedy was renovated during the 1996-1997 school year.


Of Kennedy's student body, 26% is African American, 10% is Asian American, 48% is Hispanic, 5% is Non-Hispanic White, 0.3% is Native American, and 2% is of two or more races.[6][7]


Kennedy offers the International Baccalaureate diploma, which about 13% of students take. There are also five academy programs designed to attract students from across the Downcounty Consortium: the Leadership Training Institute (LTI), broadcast journalism, business management, health professions, and Navy Junior ROTC. Kennedy additionally offers over 15 Advanced Placement courses for students to earn college credit -- ranging from Studio Art to World History --[8] which 69% of students take.[9]

On the SAT, the school average is 969, and it usually sends around 89% of its graduating class to two- and four-year colleges and universities.[8] Like all other Montgomery County high schools, at least 75 hours of community service are required for graduation.

In 2014, Newsweek ranked Kennedy as the 15th-best school in Maryland.[10]


Kennedy vs. Blake in 2007

Ken Cudd is the recently retired Athletic Director. He retired after working many years as an English and LTI teacher. Walter Hardy is the new Athletic director.


All tournaments and finals are conducted by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA)[11] --- An incomplete list of a few Championships:

  • Football State Championships:[12]
  • 1977 (Class C; 13-0; Coach Wesley Abrams)
  • 1984 (Class A; 18-15; Coach Brady Straub)
  • Boys' Soccer State Champions
  • 1978 (Class B vs. Oakland Mills; Coach Gene Hostetler)
  • 1989(Class 3A; tied 2-2 vs. Howard {then #1 ranked team in USA Today}; Coach Jeff Schultz)
  • Field Hockey State Champion:
  • 1981 (5-0; Coach Barbara Belt)
  • Boys' Cross Country State Champions:
  • 1974 (Class A; 64; Coach Al Bellman)
  • Girls' Cross Country State Champion:
  • 1983 (Class A; 67; Coach Al Bellman)
  • Cheerleading State Champions:
  • 1999; 2000; 2007
  • Wrestling: 1988 Montgomery County Individual Champion Shawn Dykes (189 lbs)
  • Football Division Champions: 1984; 1990
  • Football Regional Champions: 1984
  • Boys' Soccer Finalist: 1980; 1985
  • Boys' Track & Field Finalist; 1967[13]
  • Field Hockey State Semi-Finalist: 1980; 1982
  • Boys' Soccer Regional Champions: 1979, 1980, 1985, 1987
  • Boys' Soccer Division Champions: 2010
  • Girls' Soccer Division Champions: 1997;2009
  • Boys' Tennis Division Champions: 1980; 1988; 1989; 1999; 2000; 2005; 2017
  • Girls' Tennis Division Champions: 1993; 2002
  • Girls' Cross Country Division Champions: 1983; 1984; 1987; 1988
  • Girls' Cross Country Regional Champions: 1983; 1984
  • Cheerleading County Division Champions: 1999; 2000; 2002; 2008;
  • Cheerleading County Champions: 1999; 2000
  • Girls' Basketball Division Champions: 2006
  • Boys' Basketball Division Champions: 1989; 1997; 2004
  • Boys' Basketball Regional Champions: 1989; 1996; 2004
  • Boys' Swim & Dive Team: Division Champions: 2005; 2007
  • Girls' Swim & Dive Team: Division Champions: 2007
  • Girls' Indoor Track County Champions: 1986; 1989
  • Girls' Indoor Track Regional Champions: 1985; 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989
  • Girls' Track & Field Division Champions: 1983; 1984; 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989;
  • Boys' Indoor Track County Champions: 1986
  • Boys' Indoor Track Regional Champions: 1979
  • Boys' Track & Field Division Champions: 1984; 1988; 1989; 1993; 2002

Kennedy's football team was noted in The Washington Post for a lengthy losing streak in 2005 which had since been broken.[14]

Athletic rivalries[edit]

Kennedy's primary rival is Wheaton High School, due to the schools' close proximity to one another.[15][16]

Other smaller rivalries include those with Albert Einstein High School and for lacrosse Rockville High School.


Kennedy's Football stadium is named in memory of Brady Straub, who coached the 1984 football team to the state championship. The following year, he bravely led the team while battling cancer, succumbing shortly after the end of the season. The field was redone in the spring of 2007 after being condemned by the county for poor conditions.

The gymnasium hallway bears the last name of former Kennedy all-star basketball player and captain Jeremy Herring. Herring, who was the lead scorer for Montgomery County in 2007, was slain along with his brother Justin Herring (also an alumni) in the summer following his graduation.[17][18]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Burrell Ellis, former member of the Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County, Georgia; former Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County
  • Humayun Khan, American soldier[19]
  • Allison Krause, a student at Kent State University, killed by the Ohio Army National Guard at a campus protest


  1. ^ John F. Kennedy High School - #815. MCPS, 2018,
  2. ^ a b "History". John F. Kennedy High School. Montgomery County Public Schools.
  3. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Glenmont CDP, MD" (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Grant, Gerald (August 19, 1964). "Kennedy High Opens This Fall With New Frontier of Teaching". The Washington Post. p. B2.
  5. ^ Tim Clark 2008 JFK Commencement Address Video
  6. ^ "John F. Kennedy High Student Body". Newsweek. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  7. ^ "John F. Kennedy High School - #815" (PDF). MCPS. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "John F. Kennedy HS School Profile (PDF)" (PDF).
  9. ^ "John F. Kennedy High Test Scores". Newsweek. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "John F. Kennedy High". Newsweek. July 13, 2014. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014.
  11. ^ About MPSSAA
  12. ^ Fall Records MPSSAA
  13. ^ Spring Records MPSSAA
  14. ^ Barr, Josh (2005-10-28). "Finding the Good in the Bad- The Washington Post". Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  15. ^ Parcher, Amber. "Fight at Kennedy Football Game". October 7, 2009.
  16. ^ Wehmuelle, John Y. "It's Rivalry Friday". September 22, 2009.
  17. ^ Williams, Preston (2007-08-12). "The Unimaginable Went Wrong- The Washington Post". Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  18. ^ "All-Gazette Basketball:Boys - The Gazette".
  19. ^ "House Joint Resolution No. 780" (PDF). Virginia's Legislative Information System. Richmond, Virginia: Virginia General Assembly. 2005. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°3′56.4″N 77°2′19.7″W / 39.065667°N 77.038806°W / 39.065667; -77.038806