Manchester High School (Connecticut)

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Manchester High School
Manchester High School freshman wing sign.jpg
134 East Middle Turnpike
Manchester, Connecticut 06040
United States
Coordinates 41°47′03″N 72°31′07″W / 41.7841°N 72.5186°W / 41.7841; -72.5186Coordinates: 41°47′03″N 72°31′07″W / 41.7841°N 72.5186°W / 41.7841; -72.5186
Type Public high school
Motto Mastering High Standards
Established 1893
School district Manchester Public Schools
Superintendent Matt Geary
Principal Jill Krieger
Faculty 158 (2014)
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,779 (2014)[1]
Color(s) Red, black, white, and gray                 
Team name Indians
Newspaper The Harbinger
Yearbook SOMANHIS or The MHS Yearbook
Media Manchester Television News
MHS Morning Announcements

Manchester High School is a public high school located in Manchester, Connecticut, United States. It serves 1,700 students in the Manchester Public School system.


Manchester High School was founded in 1893 with Fred A. Verplanck serving as the school's first principal. The first graduating class of 1894 had a total of six students.[2] The school was held in the Ninth District School, where Bennet Academy is located today. In 1902, the wealthy Cheney family offered to construct a new high school building to accommodate the students' needs. In 1904, the new South Manchester High School opened on Main Street. The four-story building is in the Colonial Revival architecture style, with columns, cornices, and an arched entrance; these elaborate architectural details were designed by architects Hartwell, Richardson & Driver of Boston.[3] The building included all of the modern amenities of the time. It was dedicated in December 1904. The Town of Manchester purchased the property, and the school, from the Cheney family in 1928, when the school became Manchester High School.

The yearbook, SOMANHIS (South Manchester High School), was founded in 1915. Volume 100 was released in 2015. Volume 101 is set to be released at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

In 1956, a new campus on East Middle Turnpike opened. The graduating class of 1956 was the last class to graduate from the "old" school. The new Manchester High School is much larger than the original building, and was a state-of-the-art facility when it first opened. At the time of the opening of the new high school, Manchester High School was the largest secondary school in New England. In 2015, it is the current campus of Manchester High School. Most of the classrooms, as well as the library and main office, are located in the "quadrangle," a set of four hallways connected to make a square. The cafeteria is next to the Brookfield Street parking lot and has its own entrance and lobby. The gymnasium is next to the cafeteria, and the pool and an additional gym are nearby. Also on the campus are baseball and softball fields, a soccer/football field, and a track.

Manchester High School's Bailey Auditorium in 1988, from East Middle Turnpike.

The school's first renovation took place in the 1980s, with a new wing being added as well as maintenance to keep up with safety regulations. This wing now houses the Bentley Alternative Education School.

In 2007, a major expansion and renovation took place with the purpose of relieving the school's congestion. The main component of the expansion, the Freshman Center (commonly referred to as the freshman wing), extends off one of the quadrangle's hallways and contains classrooms, science labs, computer labs, and a presentation room. The freshman wing is air-conditioned, unlike the rest of the school. Additional parts of the school were renovated, namely the 1100-seat Bailey Auditorium. The renovation brought a new stage, re-upholstered seats, air conditioning, and a new state-of-the-art sound system to Bailey Auditorium. The cafeteria was also expanded during the renovation, as well as the School Store and Student Activities office.[4] The freshman wing and new auditorium and cafeteria opened for the 2007-2008 school year, with a celebratory concert held in the just-renovated Bailey Auditorium.[5] A ribbon-cutting ceremony accompanied the opening of the freshman wing on September 4, 2007.[6]

Education Quality[edit]

Manchester High School offers at least 14 Advanced Placement classes, including AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, AP Chem, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP World History, AP United States History, AP Psychology, AP European History, AP Government, AP Music Theory, AP Literature and Composition, AP Language and Composition, and AP Studio Art. Additionally, students may receive college credit through the University of Connecticut's Early College Experience (ECE) program. Manchester High School is a school that has not met the Acceptable Yearly Progress goals set by the No Child Left Behind Act.[7] This is determined by the results of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test administered statewide to 10th grade students. The most recent data available is from 2011 and indicates that the school graduates a lower percentage of students than the state average, that only 68.3% of students are regarded as proficient at mathematics while 77.5% are regarded as reading at a proficient level.[8][9]

In 1983, Dr. LeRoy Hay was awarded the National Teacher of the Year award.

Manchester High School aerial shot, 2014.


Manchester High School is regarded under the No Child Left Behind Act as having a school poverty percentage of 46% and a school minority percentage of 49.4%. These numbers are based on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test results from 2011 and reflect the 10th grade class evaluated during that testing cycle.[10]


Manchester High School offers soccer, football, cross country, swimming, wrestling, indoor and outdoor track and field, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, golf, tennis, cheerleading and hockey. MHS's main sports rivals are Glastonbury High School, East Hartford High School, South Windsor High School, and East Catholic High School.

Extracurricular Activities[edit]

Manchester High School has a multiple-award-winning music program.[11] In addition to general Band, Orchestra, Chorus, or Chorale, students can choose to audition for higher-level ensembles, which include the Roundtable Singers, Marching Band, Advanced Percussion, and Chamber Orchestra. These four groups, along with the Handbell Choir, compete annually in competitions around the state and country. There is also a jazz band, jazz combo and a string quartet, among other smaller ensembles. Sock 'N Buskin, Manchester High School's oldest club, puts on several plays a year, as well as a musical in the spring.

In addition to an extensive performing arts program, Manchester High School has many clubs and activities, including an award-winning robotics team, several cultural clubs, a Gay-Straight Alliance for Equality (GSAFE), and more. Manchester High School APB (Activities Planning Board), Future Business Leaders of America (Future Business Leaders of America), Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and DECA are groups focused on community and leadership. Other clubs, among others, include the Exploratory Jewelry Club and Papyrus and Quills, a creative writing club.

MHS freshman center entrance in 2014.

Recent Changes[edit]

Since 2012, Manchester High School has gone through major changes in an attempt to improve the school and increase safety.[12]


Starting in 2012, Manchester High School became a "Swipe school," meaning that students have to swipe their ID cards in a machine every morning to track attendance. Swipe cost $47,355 to implement and costs about $6,000 a year to maintain. Its purpose is to reduce the number of students skipping classes. "Classroom teachers will be able to identify students who come to school but do not attend classes," former principal (now superintendent) Matthew Geary said. "Teachers also will know if a student is in the library, nurse's office and other locations equipped with swiping stations." [13] Juniors in good academic standing have the option of late arrival and early release in place of a study hall at the beginning or end of the day. Seniors in good academic standing also have the privilege of late arrival and early release; they also have the privilege of open campus, and can swipe out of the building for lunch, or if they do not have a class.


In 2012, Manchester High School launched a new website, "MHSRedline." MHSRedline was created to be a contemporary, dynamic, and mobile-friendly school website. During the school year, it is updated daily with news and school updates, and MHSRedline Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages have been created to accompany the website.


At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, Manchester High School officially became a "Google school," and every student and staff member received a Google Chromebook.[14] This was made possible by the Nellie Mae Grant, along with other grants. The purpose of the "Chromebooks in the classroom" initiative was to bring students into a 21st-century learning environment. The school has adapted Google Chrome as its main operating system, and the use of Chromebooks has exceeded that of desktops at Manchester High School. All work is stored virtually in the cloud, allowing access through any computer with a modern browser.[15][16]

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Herman Bronkie, Manchester's first Major League baseball player
  • Joe McCluskey, American track and field athlete and Bronze Medalist at the 1932 Summer Olympics
  • Moe Morhardt, former MLB player (Chicago Cubs)
  • Leo Katkaveck, professional basketball and minor league baseball player
  • Bill Masse, retired professional baseball outfielder. Played on the Gold Medal-winning team at the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Dr. Paul J. Turek, physician, surgeon and fertility specialist
  • Walter Lee Jr., Chief of Police for the Connecticut State Capitol Police[17]
  • Will Ripley International Correspondent for CNN Tokyo Bureau.
  • Seth DeValve football tight end for the Cleveland Browns
  • Marc Hirschfeld, Emmy Award Winner, Casting Director
  • Darya Hirschfeld Folsom , Emmy Award Winner, News Anchor KRON-TV, San Francisco
  • Stephen Hirschfeld, founding partner of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP, in San Francisco and CEO of ELA, the world’s largest network of labor and employment lawyers.
  • Dr Steven Girelli, CEO, Klingberg Family Centers
  • Aaron Bayer, Former Deputy Attorney General, State of Connecticut, Head of Education Practice, Wiggin and Dana
  • Eric Gauvin - Graduated in 2001 and is best known for his role on Courtney and KISS in the morning as "Gavin"



  1. ^ US News 2014
  2. ^ "Admiring South Manchester High School, 1151 Main Street". Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Admiring South Manchester High School, 1151 Main Street". Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Manchester High School Freshmen Welcomed to New Building". Journal Inquirer. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Renovated Bailey Auditorium opens at MHS". Journal Inquirer. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Freshman Wing". Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Manchester School District Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Manchester High School Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report Card" (PDF). Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Music Throughout the Halls". Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ "New Leadership At Manchester High School Making Gains". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ Leavenworth, Jesse. "New Attendance Tracking Technology for Manchester High School". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Chromebook Era Begins at MHS". Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Moving Past Poster Projects". Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ "MHS readies notebook computers for students". Journal Inquirer. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  17. ^ Connecticut State Capitol Police

External links[edit]