John F. Kennedy High School (Maryland)

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John F. Kennedy High School
Jfk high school.jpg


United States
Coordinates39°03′58″N 77°02′19″W / 39.066208°N 77.038588°W / 39.066208; -77.038588
TypePublic Secondary
Established1964; 59 years ago (1964)
School districtMontgomery County Public Schools
PrincipalJoe L. Rubens, Jr.
Assistant PrincipalsRyan Harrigan,
Jae Hwang,
Keir Lewis,
Kaleisha Wright
Teaching staff135 FTE (2019–2020)[1]
Enrollment1,817 (2019–2020)[1]
Student to teacher ratio10.2:1 (2019–20120)[1]
Campus size29.1 acres (12 ha)[1]
Color(s)    Forest green and vegas gold[2]
RivalWheaton High School
YearbookThe Legacy

John F. Kennedy High School is a public high school located in Glenmont, Maryland.[3]

1,817 students were enrolled at Kennedy during the 2019–2020 school year. Kennedy is a member of the Downcounty Consortium along with nearby Montgomery Blair, Wheaton, Albert Einstein, and Northwood High Schools. Kennedy's feeder schools are Argyle Middle School, Eastern Middle School, A. Mario Loiederman Middle School, Newport Mill Middle School, Parkland Middle School, Sligo Middle School, Odessa Shannon Middle School, Silver Spring International Middle School, and Takoma Park Middle School.[1] 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 Randolph 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,[6] 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, innovative school, with no school bells, broad lesson plans, innovative class subjects, pass-fail grading, an eight-period day with one free period during the day, and optional attendance in some classes. In September 1971, Bruce Sivertsen became the new principal, and Superintendent Homer O. Elseroad instructed Principal Sivertsen to increase structure, end free periods, and mandate the taking of attendance in classes. Two months later, students circulated a petition to allow students to be present in the building when not in class, open unused classrooms for student use, allow student input in the curriculum, biweekly assemblies with the principal to discuss problems, and hiring of teachers by departments. Students said that the principal's changes had changed the nature of the school, from open and friendly to tense.[7][8] In April 1972, the Montgomery County school board voted to adopt a policy that allows innovative methods and programs only with the support of parents and teachers. The policy did not require a formal survey of parents' and teachers' opinions though.[9]

In 1984, about 100 students and parents met with Principal Robert Hacker to complain about an ongoing pattern of racial discrimination at Kennedy. They said that certain staff members would disproportionately discipline black students compared to white students. They criticized racist caricatures of black individuals printed in the school's newspaper. During a basketball game between Kennedy and Northwood High School, Hecker requested police presence due to rumors of fights. When the police chased students with dogs, threw students against walls, and frisked students, Principal Hacker did not object at the time and said the police department was responsible.[10]

In 1985, Northwood High School in Kemp Mill was closed due to declining enrollment, and its students were transferred to Kennedy. When Kennedy's building was renovated between 1997 and 1999, its students attended classes in Northwood's building during those years. In 2004, Northwood reopened to students after student enrollment increased again.


Of Kennedy's student body for the 2019–2020 school year, 25% was African American, 7% was Asian American, 61% was Hispanic, 5% was Non-Hispanic White, less than 5% was Native American, and less than 5% was of two or more races.[1]


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 --[11] which 69% of students take.[12] During the 2019–2020 school year, 28% of its graduating class scored a 3 or better on an Advanced Placement test or 4 or better on an Baccalaureate test.[1] On the SAT, the school average is 897.[1] Around 89% of its graduating class enroll in two- and four-year colleges and universities.[11] Like all other Montgomery County high schools, at least 75 hours of community service are required for graduation.

In 2020, Newsweek ranked Kennedy the 112th-best school in Maryland.[13]


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. Amanda Twele is the new athletic director.

All tournaments and finals are conducted by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA).[14]



  • Boys Division Championships: 1989, 1997, 2004
  • Boys Regional Championships: 1989, 1996, 2004
  • Girls Division Championship: 2006


  • State Championships: 1999, 2000, 2007

Cross Country[edit]

  • Boys State Championship: 1974 (Class A; 64; Coach Al Bellman)
  • Girls State Championship: 1983 (Class A; 67; Coach Al Bellman)
  • Girls Division Championships: 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988
  • Girls Regional Championships: 1983, 1984
  • Girls County Championships: 1999; 2000
  • Girls County Division Championships: 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008

Field Hockey[edit]

  • State Championship: 1981 (5–0; Coach Barbara Belt)
  • State Semifinalist: 1980, 1982


  • State Championships: 1977 (Class C; 13–0; Coach Wesley Abrams), 1984 (Class A; 18–15; Coach Brady Straub)[15]
  • Division Championships: 1984, 1990
  • Regional Championship: 1984

Indoor Track[edit]

  • Boys Regional Championship: 1979
  • Boys County Championship: 1986
  • Girls Regional Championships: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
  • Girls County Championships: 1986, 1989


  • Boys State Championships: 1978 (Class B vs. Oakland Mills; Coach Gene Hostetler), 1989 (Class 3A; tied 2–2 vs. Howard {then #1 ranked team by USA Today}; Coach Jeff Schultz)
  • Boys State Finalist: 1980, 1985
  • Boys Regional Championships: 1979, 1980, 1985, 1987
  • Boys Division Championship: 2010
  • Girls Division Championships: 1997, 2009

Swim and Dive[edit]

  • Boys Division Championships: 2005, 2007
  • Girls Division Championships: 2007


  • Boys Division Champions: 1980, 1988, 1989, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2017
  • Girls Division Championships: 1993, 2002

Track and Field[edit]

  • Girls Division Championships: 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
  • Boys Division Championships: 1984, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2002
  • Boys Finalist: 1967[16]


  • 1988 Montgomery County Individual Champion Shawn Dykes (189 lbs)

Athletic rivalries[edit]

Kennedy's primary rival is Wheaton High School, due to the schools' close proximity to one another.[17][18]

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.[19][20]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "John F. Kennedy High School - #815". Montgomery County Public Schools. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  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. ProQuest 142189254.
  5. ^ Tim Clark 2008 JFK Commencement Address Video
  6. ^ Grant, Gerald (August 19, 1964). "Kennedy High Opens this Fall With New Frontier of Teaching". The Washington Post, via Proquest. p. B2.
  7. ^ Bancroff, Bill (November 20, 1971). "Kennedy High Confrontation". The Washington Post, via Proquest. p. B8.
  8. ^ Bowman, LaBarbara (March 9, 1972) ."Kennedy Pupils Confront Principal Over School Freedoms". The Washington Post, via Proquest. p. B4.
  9. ^ Bowman, LaBarbara (April 25, 1972). "County Links School Plans, Citizens". The Washington Post, via Proquest. p. C2.
  10. ^ Walsh, Elsa (May 11, 1984). "Black Parents, Students Complain of Race Bias at Kennedy High School". The Washington Post, via Proquest. p. C6.
  11. ^ a b "John F. Kennedy HS School Profile (PDF)" (PDF).
  12. ^ "John F. Kennedy High Test Scores". Newsweek. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "John F. Kennedy High". Newsweek. July 13, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "About MPSSAA". Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
  15. ^ "Fall Records MPSSAA" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 21, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  16. ^ "Spring Records MPSSAA" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 1, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  17. ^ Parcher, Amber. "Fight at Kennedy Football Game". October 7, 2009.
  18. ^ Wehmuelle, John Y. "It's Rivalry Friday". September 22, 2009.
  19. ^ Williams, Preston (August 12, 2007). "The Unimaginable Went Wrong- The Washington Post". Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  20. ^ "All-Gazette Basketball:Boys - The Gazette".
  21. ^ Goff, Steven (June 7, 1990). "Stadium, Players Say Diplomats Have Problems with Payments". The Washington Post.
  22. ^ Engel, Margaret (February 10, 2020). "Directing dynamo". Bethesda Magazine.
  23. ^ Hewitt, Brian (October 6, 1989). "Mr. Glenn Will Now Make a Statement : Charger Free Safety Likes to Hit You and Then Tell You All About It". Los Angeles Times.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ Presley, Sue Anne (May 5, 1990). "Md. High School Plants Tree for Slain Graduate". The Washington Post.
  26. ^ a b c Fabrizio, Phil (February 11, 2018). "Hall of Fame Night at John F. Kennedy High School". Montgomery Community Media.
  27. ^ Rea, Stephen (July 1990). "Robert Mugge Faces the Music". Applause (WHYY): 19.
  28. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (July 12, 1993). "Curtis Pride". Sports Illustrated. p. 57.
  29. ^ Fabrizio, Phil (July 30, 2021). "Hall of Fame Night at John F. Kennedy High School". Montgomery Community Media.

External links[edit]

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