Mahwah High School

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Mahwah High School
Mahwah High School Thunderbird.jpg
Mahwah High School is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Mahwah High School
Mahwah High School
Mahwah High School is located in New Jersey
Mahwah High School
Mahwah High School
Mahwah High School is located in the US
Mahwah High School
Mahwah High School
50 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430
United States
Coordinates 41°05′28″N 74°09′24″W / 41.091033°N 74.156778°W / 41.091033; -74.156778Coordinates: 41°05′28″N 74°09′24″W / 41.091033°N 74.156778°W / 41.091033; -74.156778
Type Public high school
Established 1959
School district Mahwah Township Public Schools
Principal John P. Pascale
Asst. principal Linda Bohny
Faculty 92.5 FTEs[1]
Enrollment 918 (as of 2015-16)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 9.9:1[1]
Campus Suburban
Color(s)      Columbia Blue and
Athletics conference Big North Conference
Team name Thunderbirds[2]
Rival Ramsey High School

Mahwah High School (MHS) is a four-year comprehensive public high school serving students from Mahwah, Bergen County, New Jersey, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as the only secondary school of the Mahwah Township Public Schools. The school is accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education and has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1962.[3]

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 918 students and 92.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.9:1. There were 76 students (8.3% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 35 (3.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 69th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology.[4] The school had been ranked 55th in state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 56th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[5] The magazine ranked the school 68th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[6] The school was ranked 46th in the magazine's 2006 rankings.[7] ranked the school 79th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 18 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (90.9%) and language arts literacy (94.8%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[8]

In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 70th in New Jersey and 2,033rd nationwide.[9]

In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 615th in the nation among participating public high schools and 47th among schools in New Jersey.[10]

In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 366th out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked 42nd among all high schools in New Jersey and 25th among the state's non-magnet schools.[11]

In Niches 2017 list of the Best Schools in the Nation, Mahwah High School as the 28th school in New Jersey.


Construction on the $3.25 million campus-style facility began in August 1958, with 13 buildings spread out over 20 acres (8.1 ha) of the 62 acre property to accommodate 600 students from Mahwah and Allendale. Delays in starting the work meant that the initial set of classrooms would not be available until November 1958, with completion of the 1,200-student capacity facility due for February 1959. Before the buildings opened, the district rented space from Ramsey High School, with Allendale and Mahwah students who had already started in the Ramsey district remaining there until graduation. With the opening of the high school, the Mahwah district's elementary schools were changed from K-8 to K-6, with the new high school serving students in grades 7-12.[12]

In May 1963, voters in Allendale and Upper Saddle River approved a referendum to create Northern Highlands Regional High School, with the expenditure of $3.65 million to build a facility on a 40-acre site, with plans to complete the building in time to start classes in September 1965.[13] The Northern Highland school building, completed at a cost of $4 million, was dedicated in February 1966.[14] The first all-Mahwah graduating class was in 1967.

The present school building was constructed in 1984 with three floors on the site of the original school, with an addition completed in "March 2005" (along with the expansion of Ramapo Ridge Middle School), according to a plaque in the new wing.[15]

In Fall 2009, the Freshman Advisory, a full year freshman transition program, was implemented. Freshman Advisory is a required course for all freshman students, and it is taught by upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) and supervised by the high school faculty. The following topics are addressed: study and organizational skills, time management, coping skills, peer pressure, Habits of Mind, and college/post-secondary planning.[16]

Advanced Placement offerings[edit]

Mahwah High School offers 18 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which include AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP Economics (includes one semester of macroeconomics and one semester of microeconomics), AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP French, AP Music Theory, AP Physics, AP Psychology, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP Studio Art, AP Psychology and AP US History. For the 2013-2014 school year, AP United States Government and Politics will be added to the course offerings as an option for students to enroll in. In the 2009-10 school year, 128 students participated in Mahwah High School's AP course offerings, taking a total of 258 examinations that year of which 87% achieved a grade of 3 or higher.[17]


The Mahwah High School Thunderbirds[2] compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[18] With 714 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group II for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 495 to 761 students in that grade range.[19] Prior to the 2010 realignment, Mahwah was one of the member schools of the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League.[20]

Interscholastic sports offered include (those listed with an asterisk, although they are technically two teams that compete and score separately, usually practice and have their events with each other):[2]

  • Fall sports: Cross country (boys)*, Cross country (girls)*, Football (boys), Soccer (boys), Soccer (boys), Soccer (girls), Tennis (girls), Volleyball (girls), Marching Band and Fall Cheerleading.
  • Winter sports: Basketball (boys), Basketball (girls), Bowling (boys)*, Bowling (girls)*, Ice hockey (boys), Track (boys)*, Track (girls)*, Wrestling (boys) and Winter Cheerleading
  • Spring sports: Baseball (boys), Golf (boys)*, Golf (girls)*, Softball (girls), Tennis (boys), Track (boys)*, Track (girls)*, Lacrosse (boys) and Lacrosse (girls)

The football team was awarded the sectional championship by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association in 1960 (as co-champion).[21] Since the playoff system was introduced in 1974, the team has won the NJSIAA North I Group I state sectional championship in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 2015.[22] In 2015, the football team finished with a team record 11 wins, defeating Glen Rock High School by a score of 38-13 in the tournament final at MetLife Stadium to win the North I Group II state sectional title.[23] In 2016, the team won its second consecutive North I, Group II state sectional title with a 35-28 win against Westwood Regional High School in the tournament final, the program's fifth title in the playoff era.[24]

The girls' basketball team won the Group II state title in 1993 vs. Delran High School.[25]

In 2010, the boys lacrosse team defeated Bergen Catholic High School in the BCCA Lacrosse Championship 10-6 to win a county title in only its second year of varsity existence.[26]

The girls' soccer team won the Group I state championship in 1985 (defeating Maple Shade High School in the tournament final) and won the Group II title in 2010 (vs. Arthur L. Johnson High School).[27] In 2010, the girls soccer team, ranked 15th in the state by The Star-Ledger, defeated Arthur L. Johnson High School in the NJSIAA Group II state finals, with a final score of 3-1.[28] The team had made it to the 2009 NJSIAA Group II State Finals, before losing 2-1 in overtime to Haddonfield Memorial High School.[29]

The 2012 baseball team defeated Buena Regional High School by a score of 11-4 to capture the Group II state championship, earning the first baseball state championship in the team's 52 season history.[30][31]

In 2014, the boy's winter track and field team defeated a field of over 20 teams and won the North I Group II state sectional title.[32]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Some of the extra-curricular activities offered at Mahwah High School include Ani-Pals, Art Club, Athletes in Action, Audio-Visual Club, Calliope (literary magazine), Chinese Honor Society, Current Events Club, Environmental Club, Executive Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), French National Honor Society, Gay-Straight Alliance, Junior Classical League, Marching band, Mock trial, Model United Nations, Multi-Cultural Club, National Honor Society, Omni Club, Philosophy Club, Reaching Everyone By Exposing Lies (REBEL), Robotics Club Team 1672 ( Robotics Competition, Science National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Stage Crew, Ski Club, Step Dance, Student Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), Thunderbird (yearbook), Tom-Tom (school paper), Ultimate Frisbee Club, Interact, Wood Tech Club and Young Politicians Club. Additionally, freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior class activities are offered.[33]

Mock Trial[edit]

The Mock Trial Team is one of the most successful public schools in the county, winning four Bergen County titles, in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2014.[34] They also made an appearance in a fourth final, when they lost to Bergen Catholic High School in 2010.


Core members of the school's administration are:[35]

  • Principal - John P. Pascale
  • Vice Principal - Linda A. Bohny

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Mahwah High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Mahwah High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 5, 2015.
  3. ^ Mahwah High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools, nacked up by the Internet Archive as of March 15, 2012. Accessed March 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 10, 2011.
  7. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  8. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed March 1, 2012.
  9. ^ Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Mahwah High School", The Washington Post. Accessed September 11, 2011.
  10. ^ Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.
  11. ^ Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2016", Newsweek. Accessed November 11, 2016.
  12. ^ Staff. "MAHWAH BUILDING A CAMPUS SCHOOL; 13 Buildings of Junior-Senior High Will Occupy Only 20 of Site's 62 Acres", The New York Times, August 3, 1958. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  13. ^ Staff. "2 Jersey Towns Approve New Regional High School", The New York Times, May 26, 1963. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  14. ^ Robbins, William. "Jersey School Is Equipped for Space Age Library Has Glass Walls", The New York Times, March 27, 1966. Accessed August 21, 2011.
  15. ^ Mission and Belief Statement: Profile Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine., Mahwah High School. Accessed July 30, 2008.
  16. ^ Freshman Advisory Curriculum, Mahwah Board of Education approved, February 2009
  17. ^ Profile 2010-2011 Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine., Mahwah High School. Accessed March 7, 2011.
  18. ^ League Memberships – 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  19. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  20. ^ New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed November 20, 2014.
  21. ^ Conrad, JJ; and Iseman, Chris. "NJ HS football championships: How past finalists fared", The Record (Bergen County), November 27, 2016. "Although the state established the current playoff format in 1974, titles have been awarded for decades. Here are the most decorated North Jersey teams playing for a title this weekend, listed by their state championship totals:.... Mahwah (5): 1960 (co-champs), 1978, 1979, 1981, 2015"
  22. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
  23. ^ Lanni, Patrick. "Mahwah ends 34-year title drought with 38-13 win over Glen Rock in North 1, Group 2", NJ Advance Media for, December 4, 2015. Accessed December 5, 2015. "Mahwah entered Friday's NJSIAA/SportsCare Institute North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 final with average margin of victory of 37 points, and they continued that trend here at MetLife Stadium with a 38-13 win over Glen Rock. The win secured Mahwah's third [sic] sectional title in school history and first in coach Jeff Remo's 18-year tenure as the Thunderbirds finished their campaign with a school record 11 wins."
  24. ^ Perez, Braulio. "Mahwah downs Westwood in a thriller to capture N1G2 championship", NJ Advance Media for, December 4, 2016. Accessed December 9, 2016. "On Saturday evening, Mahwah was in a see-saw battle with Westwood, but came out on top 35-28 to capture the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 championship.... This is Mahwah's second-consecutive sectional championship and fifth since 1974."
  25. ^ NJSIAA Group Basketball Past Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 5, 2015.
  26. ^ Staff. "Mahwah 10, Bergen Catholic 6", The Star-Ledger, May 9, 2010. Accessed June 10, 2011. "Mark Glicini scored three goals and assisted on two others and Ryan Magner sank three goals and had one assist to power top-seeded and undefeated Mahwah to the Bergen County Tournament championship on Sunday in Franklin Lakes. Mahwah (15-0) is only in its second varsity season and first with head coach Ernie Yenco."
  27. ^ 2015 Soccer Championships Program, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 26, 2016.
  28. ^ Chapman, Brian. "Mahwah 3, Johnson 1 (High school Girls Soccer scores and results), The Star-Ledger, November 20, 2010. Accessed August 21, 2011. "Truglio, with a little help from classmate Jordyn Davis, scored her second goal of the game with just under four minutes remaining to propel Mahwah, No. 15 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a 3-1 victory over upstart Johnson in the NJSIAA/The Sports Authority Stores Group 2 championship match yesterday at The College of New Jersey in Ewing."
  29. ^ Staff. "Girls Soccer - 2009 NJSIAA Tournament - Group 2, Public Semis/Finals - Round 2 - Game 1 - Girls Soccer ", The Star-Ledger, November 21, 2009. Accessed August 21, 2011. "After the slick forward gathered a rebound of her initial shot, her delicate cross to the far post found an unmarked Johnston, who calmly scored from six yards with just over four minutes elapsed in the first overtime to lift Haddonfield to a 2-1 victory over Mahwah, No. 19 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, yesterday in the NJSIAA/Investors Savings Bank Group 2 final before 600 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing."
  30. ^ Conrad, JJ. "Baseball: Mahwah rallies to first state title in its 52-year history", The Record (Bergen County), June 10, 2012. Accessed June 20, 2012. "Mahwah's magical postseason run culminated Saturday with its first state championship in the program's 52-year history, defeating South Jersey champion Buena, 11-4."
  31. ^ History of the NJSIAA Baseball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 27, 2016.
  32. ^ Kellert, Robert. "North 1 Groups 1 and 2 Recap!", MileSplitNJ, February 2, 2014. Accessed December 5, 2015. "Group 2 Boys / Mahwah - 48 pts / Ramsey - 43 pts / Ridgefield Park - 40 pts"
  33. ^ Mahwah High School 2014-2015 Student Handbook, Mahwah High School. Accessed December 5, 2015.
  34. ^ Boucicaut, Barbara. "Mock trial team keeps eyes on the prize", Mahwah Suburban News, March 3, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2011.
  35. ^ Administrative Team, Mahwah High School. Accessed December 5, 2015.
  36. ^ Curt Blefary biography page, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed July 16, 2010.
  37. ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Curt Blefary, 57, Outfielder And A.L. Rookie of the Year", The New York Times, January 30, 2001. Accessed June 14, 2011. "A native of Brooklyn, Blefary was a high school baseball and football star in Mahwah, N.J., and signed with the Yankees in 1962 for a reported $40,000 out of Wagner College on Staten Island."
  38. ^ Frank Chamberlin player profile, NFL Players Association. Accessed April 11, 2007. "Attended Mahwah High School, where, as a senior, two-way football star he rushed for 900 yards and 14 TDs while logging 114 tackles with 6 forced fumbles … Also as a senior, won state shot put championship."
  39. ^ Ivry, Bob. "LFO, A K A VIPS -- BOY BAND DU JOUR HITS THE ROAD WITH BRITNEY SPEARS", The Record (Bergen County), February 26, 2000. Accessed March 23, 2008. "Brad Fischetti, 1993 graduate of Mahwah High School and one-third of the platinum-selling singing combo LFO, is not too proud to admit that he thinks the teen vixen is 'really cute.'"
  40. ^ Sargeant, Keith. "Kevin Haslam thinks versatility helped him make Jaguars roster", Home News Tribune, September 7, 2010. Accessed January 25, 2011.
  41. ^ Mazzola, Jessica. "Mahwah Musicians Featured on New NOW 45 CDTwo of the members of the band 'Born Cages' are recent Mahwah High School graduates", Mahwah Patch, February 12, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2017. "Born Cages – which features township residents and recent Mahwah High School grads Vlad Holiday on guitar and lead vocals and Amanda Carl on keyboards and vocals – has a song on the new Now 45 CD."
  42. ^ Thunderbird Alumni, Mahwah High School. Accessed August 12, 2017.
  43. ^ Bob Kratch Stats, Accessed March 11, 2018.
  44. ^ Ivry, Bob. "Upstaged By A Lizard -- Mahwah's Maria Pitillo Finds Glory In Godzilla's Giant Shadow", The Record (Bergen County), May 23, 1998. Accessed December 2, 2013. "For Maria Pitillo, competing in the 100 meters for the Mahwah High School track team was good practice for Godzilla. In the role of Audrey, the aspiring TV reporter, she runs an awful lot."
  45. ^ Fox, Ron. "WHERE'S WHAT'S-HIS-NAME?", The Record (Bergen County), December 28, 1991. Accessed June 1, 2013. "Despite his slender build, Randy Reutershan was known as a hardnosed football player. From Mahwah High School to the University of Pittsburgh to the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was an aggressive, punishing hitter."
  46. ^ Chris Wragge profile Archived 2007-05-31 at the Wayback Machine., WCBS-TV. Accessed April 11, 2007. "Born in Hackensack, New Jersey, Wragge attended Mahwah High School in Bergen County."

External links[edit]