Morris Knolls High School

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Morris Knolls High School
Knolls entrance.jpg
"Home Of The Golden Eagles"
Morris Knolls High School is located in Morris County, New Jersey
Morris Knolls High School
Morris Knolls High School
Morris Knolls High School is located in New Jersey
Morris Knolls High School
Morris Knolls High School
Morris Knolls High School is located in the US
Morris Knolls High School
Morris Knolls High School
50 Knoll Drive
Rockaway, NJ, Morris 07866
School type Public high school
Opened 1964
Status Open
School district Morris Hills Regional High School District
CEEB code 311321
Principal Ryan MacNaughton
Asst. principals Joseph Cirigliano
Daniel Haug
Erin Morgan
Faculty 142.7 FTEs[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,583 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 11.1:1[1]
Hours in school day 7
Color(s)      Green and
Athletics Varsity
Athletics conference Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Team name Golden Eagles[2]
Rival Randolph, Morris Hills
Average SAT scores 1561
Publication Spectrum
Newspaper Quill
Yearbook Talon
Communities served Rockaway Township, Rockaway and Denville

Morris Knolls High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from Denville and most of Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, operating as one of the two secondary schools of the Morris Hills Regional High School District.[3] The school is located in Denville but has a Rockaway mailing address. The other high school in the district is Morris Hills High School.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,583 students and 142.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1. There were 120 students (7.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 28 (1.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

As a part of the Morris Hills Regional School District's (MHRD) magnet program, Morris Knolls was approved as an International Baccalaureate (IB) world school.[4] The IB Diploma Program at Morris Knolls (MKIB) serves more than 80 students.

Awards and recognition[edit]

The school was the 64th-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.[5] The school had been ranked 79th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 79th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 88th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[7] The school was also ranked 71st in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[8] ranked the school tied for 120th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 34 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (86.4%) and language arts literacy (94.2%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[9]

For the 1996-97 school year, Morris Knolls High School was named a "Star School" by the New Jersey Department of Education, the highest honor that a New Jersey school can achieve.[10]


The Morris Knolls football field and track.

The Morris Knolls High School Golden Eagles[2] participate in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference,[11] which operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[12] With 1,186 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,090 to 2,568 students in that grade range.[13] Prior to the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed in the Iron Hills Conference.[14]

The field hockey team won the North II Group IV state sectional title in 1976 and 1997, the North I Group IV title in 1999, 2000 and 2008, and won the Group IV state championship in 1997.[15]

The football team is known as a strong local program and was undefeated in 2005, winning every game including the New Jersey North I, Group IV state sectional championship.[16] The football team also won state championships in 1994 (North II, Group III), 1995 (North II, Group IV) and 1996 (North II, Group III).[17] The team has been coached for over 40 years by Bill Regan Jr. Morris Knolls has run the Split Back Houston Veer offense for Regan's entire tenure as a head coach. In October 2007 Regan joined his father, Bill Regan Sr., who was a coach at the nearby Delbarton School, as one of four coaches in Morris County history to attain 200 career wins.

In 1999, the football program suffered from a sophomore hazing scandal that was exposed in a several article series in the Daily Record and The Star-Ledger.[18]

In 2005, the Morris Knolls ice hockey team won the Mennen Cup and the Public School state tournament. The team also reached the state semifinals in 1996 losing to Brick Township, and again in 2007, losing to rival Randolph.[19] In 2013-2014, Morris Knolls won another state championship, shutting out Bridgewater-Raritan High School by a score of 3-0 for the Public A state title.

The wrestling team won the North I Group IV state championship in 2006.[20]

Morris Knolls' boys' and girls' lacrosse teams were established in 2006. Both teams played as JV level teams in 2006, and varsity for 2007. In its first established varsity year, the boys team finished with an 8-9 record (including post season games). The boys team made it into the second round of the County Playoff Tournament before losing to local powerhouse, Delbarton School and the state tournament losing to Vernon Township High School in the first round.

Marching band[edit]

The Morris Knolls Marching Band is a competition ensemble that participates in the United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) circuit.

In 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2013, the Morris Knolls Marching Band won the USSBA Group 3 Open state championships. In 2008, the band was recognized as the all-Northeast champion.[21]

Three years later, at the 2006 USSBA National Championships at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, Morris Knolls High School placed fourth in their group and the colorguard was recognized as Best Color Guard National Championship title in Class III.[22]

During the 2007 season, the Morris Knolls Marching Band won the title of state champions in their group of 3 Open at the USSBA NJ state championships. The band also received the caption awards of Best Percussion, Best Colorguard, Best Effect, and Best Visual at this state competition. The same year, at the USSBA National Championships, Morris Knolls placed second in their group, also winning Best Colorguard and Best Percussion. The MKMB percussion was titled Grand National Champions, receiving the highest score out of all percussion ensembles at the competition, which included over 70 bands.

In the 2010 season, the Morris Knolls Marching Band won second place at the USSBA National Championships with a score of 95.838 in Group 2 Open, winning the caption for Best Color Guard.[23]

Student government[edit]

The new school sign: A project sponsored by the Student Government Association in conjunction with the Class of 2008 and the Interact Club.

The Student Government Association (SGA) of Morris Knolls is composed of five elected Senior officers, and six elected representatives from each class. Members of the SGA organize school wide events to promote school spirit, and interact regularly with the Administration regarding school activities and improvements.

Each class has four elected officers; President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. These four officers organize individual class events such as fundraisers, and prom for the Juniors and Seniors.


Core members of the school's administration are:[24]

  • Ryan MacNaughton, Principal
  • Joseph Cirigliano, Assistant Principal - Student Discipline & Facilities
  • Daniel Haug, Assistant Principal -Student Discipline & Activities
  • Erin Morgan, Assistant Principal - Attendance

Notable alumni[edit]

Senior pranks[edit]

Throughout the past twenty years there have been many students who have attempted to pull a Senior prank, some of which that have made local news. In 2002 a few students put three chickens in the school marked one, two, and four. This was done to keep the administration busy looking for the third chicken, but in reality it never existed. In 2007 the senior and junior class started a huge food fight which caused approximately $2,780 in damage to ceiling tiles, tables, and televisions. The class of 2009's prank made the news on News 12 New Jersey and various local newspapers after students placed a dead deer in the senior bathroom with a sign on the carcass which said 'The class of 2009, the last class to make you say Oh!'".[29] In 2010, several seniors from Morris Knolls intended to release farm animals in the school, but were apprehended before classes started and brought up on charges ranging from burglary and conspiracy to animal cruelty.[30]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Morris Knolls High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Morris Knolls High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 15, 2015.
  3. ^ Program of Studies 2017-2018 - About Our School District, Morris Hills Regional District. Accessed January 2, 2017. "MORRIS HILLS HIGH SCHOOL receives students from Wharton, the southernmost portion of Rockaway Township, which includes Rockaway Road to East Blackwell Street, north across Route #46, including Rockaway Gardens, both sides of Swede Mine Road to the boundary, Sunnyhill Road, the upper portion of Daniel Street to the intersection of Robert Street, and the White Meadow Lake portion of Rockaway Township; Rockaway Borough north of Route #46 as well as within the area of Rockaway Road, the Trailer Park behind the Boro Plaza (west of the railroad track) south of Route #46. MORRIS KNOLLS HIGH SCHOOL receives students from Denville, all of Rockaway Township with the exception of White Meadow Lake and the area described above in the southern part of Rockaway Township, Rockaway Borough south of Route #46 with the exception of the area of Rockaway Road and the Trailer Park behind the Boro Plaza (west of the railroad track) south of Route #46."
  4. ^ Morris Knolls High School, International Baccalaureate. Accessed January 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 1, 2011.
  8. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ School Overview; Click on "Rankings" for 2003-11 HSPA results, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  10. ^ New Jersey Department of Education Star School Award recipient detail 1996-97 school year, Morris Knolls High School, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 29, 2006.
  11. ^ School Info, Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference. Accessed May 19, 2011.
  12. ^ League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 30, 2016.
  13. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Home Page, Iron Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive, as of April 24, 2006. Accessed November 20, 2014.
  15. ^ History of the NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 2, 2017.
  16. ^ 2005 Football - North I, Group IV, NJSIAA. Accessed May 9, 2006
  17. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "High school throws flag on hazing by gridders". The Star-Ledger. September 2, 1999. p. 25. When it comes to hazing on the Morris Knolls High School football team, former players and students say the only difference between previous years and the current season is that this time the participants got caught.... Last week, school officials acknowledged that some of the varsity team's younger players had been pelted with mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, dog food and eggs, while others were struck with plastic whiffle ball bats as part of an initiation ritual. The incident, which took place in a Rockaway Township home, involved eight or nine juniors and seniors who were initiating about 15 sophomores, said Robert Woodruff, an attorney representing Golden Eagles head coach Bill Regan Jr.... The Golden Eagles were forced to forfeit their opening game against Morristown, scheduled for Sept. 18.... James McNasby, superintendent of the Morris Hills district, which includes Morris Knolls, said yesterday 15 to 20 students had been disciplined for the hazing incident. 
  19. ^ "Tomensky's five goals help Morris Knolls advance to Public semis". Daily Record. March 10, 2007. 
  20. ^ History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 2, 2017.
  21. ^ The History of Morris Knolls HS 1964 - 2015, Morris Knolls High School. Accessed November 15, 2015. "The band has won the NJ state championship during the 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2013 seasons. The band won an all Northeast Championship during the 2008 season."
  22. ^ USSBA National Championship Titles, United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) press release dated November 14, 2006
  23. ^ NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP 1 AT ANNAPOLIS, MD, United States Scholastic Band Association. Accessed May 19, 2011.
  24. ^ Administration, Morris Knolls High School. Accessed November 15, 2015.
  25. ^ Lange, Randy. "CRUSHING HALT TO JETS CAREER: BROKEN NECK KOS BENFATTI", The Record (Bergen County), April 8, 1997. Accessed August 2, 2007. "Benfatti hides his turmoil well behind a calm demeanor that has been his trademark at Morris Knolls High School, at Penn State, and as a third-round draft pick of the Jets in 1994."
  26. ^ Lou Benfatti, Morris Knolls High School. Accessed August 2, 2007.
  27. ^ Seegers, Sandy. "Enjoying life inside ropes", Daily Record (Morristown), August 27, 2008. Accessed February 1, 2011. ""Soon Fyfe, known as MaryBeth Bentley during her days at Morris Knolls High School, was in the ring."
  28. ^ Cooper, Chet. Laura San Giacomo interview by Chet Cooper, Ability Magazine. Accessed February 1, 2011.
  29. ^ Staff. "Police say senior prank behind dead deer found in Morris Knolls High School bathroom", The Star-Ledger, June 19, 2009. Accessed December 14, 2011.
  30. ^ Lockwood, Jim. "Morris Knolls High School seniors charged for school prank are barred from graduation", The Star-Ledger, June 10, 2010. Accessed June 6, 2016. "Six Morris Knolls High School seniors charged in connection with a prank of breaking into school to let loose rabbits, chickens, roosters and mice have been suspended and are barred from graduation, the school superintendent said."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°53′09″N 74°30′28″W / 40.88595°N 74.507841°W / 40.88595; -74.507841