Pascack Hills High School
|Pascack Hills High School|
|225 West Grand Avenue
Montvale, NJ 07645
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Pascack Valley Regional High School District|
|Asst. principals||Timothy Wieland
Philip Paspalas (Athletic Director)
|Enrollment||845 (as of 2014-15)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.3:1|
|Athletics conference||North Jersey Interscholastic Conference|
Pascack Hills High School (PHHS) is a four-year comprehensive public high school, one of two secondary schools serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as part of the Pascack Valley Regional High School District in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. PHHS serves the residents of both Montvale, where the campus is located, and the neighboring community of Woodcliff Lake. The other high school in the district is Pascack Valley High School, which serves the communities of Hillsdale and River Vale.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 845 students and 68.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.3:1. There were 7 students (0.8% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 7 (0.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Before the $2.9 million facility opened in September 1965, the district received a $12,000 grant from a unit of the Ford Foundation that would allow the school to use IT&T computer systems run by a senior program analyst from that firm that would allow students to select classes on their own, with a system of folding walls that could be adjusted to handle student groups of varying sizes. The school spent its first five decades relatively unchanged in terms of architecture. In 2006, an extra gym was added. Most recently, the new science wing was opened as well as a new entrance building. This school is one of the first locally to provide every student with a laptop, which can be taken home, and be used in school everyday. Every classroom is fitted with a wireless access point (IEEE 802.11 a/g/n), which provides the students with internet. For the 2007-08 school year, the school upgraded all the laptop computers to Apple MacBooks.
Awards, recognition and rankings
Pascack Hills High School was the 7th-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. The school had been ranked 18th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 7th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 12th in 2008 and was ranked 8th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state. The school's peak rating by New Jersey Monthly was in 2001 at 2nd. Schooldigger.com ranked the school 46th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 29 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (93.0%) and language arts literacy (97.0%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 62nd in New Jersey and 1,782nd nationwide. In Newsweek's May 22, 2007 issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Pascack Hills High School was listed in 1194th place, the 40th-highest ranked school in New Jersey.
Pascack Hills High School's athletic facilities include a regulation size track, a turf football field named for long-time principal Bart DiPaola, four tennis courts, a combination softball and baseball field that can be utilized for soccer, and two gymnasiums, which house basketball and volleyball.
Students at Pascack Hills High School are required to take four years of English, three years of mathematics, two years of world language, three years of science, and three years of social studies in order to graduate. In addition, the class of 2014 and beyond must successfully complete a half year of the state-mandated Financial Literacy course. The school offers Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, and ESL courses for their world language program. The AP courses offered to students for the 2010 to 2011 academic year are AP English III, AP English IV, AP US History (divided into the students' sophomore and junior years), AP World History, AP Calculus, AP Computer Science, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Spanish Language, AP French Language, AP Studio Art, and AP Art History. The school also offers an array of Virtual High School courses via an online option. "Virtual schooldays" are part of the plan.
The Pascack Hills Cowboys compete in Colonial Division A of the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC), made up of private and public high schools located in Bergen County, Hudson County and Passaic County, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 637 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 762 students in that grade range.
The school participates as the host school / lead agency in a joint gymnastics program program with Pascack Valley High School, under an agreement that expires at the end of the 2016-17 school year; Pascack Valley is the host school for boys' / girls' swimming and ice hockey.
In 2004, the football team joined the Bergen-Passaic Scholastic League (BPSL), to play against other schools of similar enrollment size. Citing lower enrollment, and the loss of Hillsdale and portions of River Vale to Pascack Valley as a result of redistricting, Pascack Hills left the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League (NBIAL) for football only and played an independent schedule for two seasons, as PHHS was classified by the NJSIAA as a Group I school (the smallest of the four classifications) and all of the other schools in the league were Group II or Group III schools. Prior to the NJSIAA's realignment that took effect in the fall of 2010, Pascack Hills was a member of the NBIAL for most sports. Pascack Hills is the only former NBIAL school in the NJIC, joining Queen of Peace High School and Rutherford High School as the only two schools moved to the NJIC that had not come directly from the Bergen County Scholastic League National / Olympic divisions or from the BPSL.
School colors are brown and white with orange. Sports offered include cheerleading, dance, cross-country, football, boys' and girls' soccer, tennis, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, bowling, ice hockey, swimming, wrestling, Winter Track, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.
In 1979, the football team completed an 11-0 undefeated season and won the Group III state championship, the program's first title, with a 24-14 victory over Hoboken High School in the championship game, played at Giants Stadium. That Hoboken team was coached by Ed Stinson, who would eventually become the Cowboys head coach during the 1980s.
In 2005, under the leadership of Head Coach Brooks Alexander, the football team reached the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons, losing to #3 seed Bogota High School in the first round by a score of 41-7. In his six-year tenure, Alexander has become one of the most successful football coaches in school history and only the second football coach in school history to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs on two separate occasions, the first being Bill Lally in 1978 and 1979. At the end of the 2005 season Alexander was named the All-Suburban Coach of the Year.
In 2006, the football team reached the playoffs for the second year in a row, this time being beaten 9-3 in a close defensive battle against the #4 seeded Hasbrouck Heights High School Aviators. The Cowboys finished 2006 with a 7-3 record. Senior defensive leaders Dan Avento (Monmouth University) and Evan Lampert (Rutgers University) were recruited to Division I schools. The Cowboys clinched their first Conference championship since 1996 by claiming the B.P.S.L. King Division title. Coach Alexander was named both the B.P.S.L. Coach of the Year and the National Football Foundation Coach of the Year.
In 2009, the football team once again reached the playoffs under Coach Alexander. With a regular season record of 7-2 (losses to Hasbrouck Heights High School and Bogota High School), the Cowboys would go and play Ramsey High School (the future 2009 state champions) and lose by a score of 35-6 in the North I, Group II tournament.
In 2010, the Cowboys won the N.J.I.C. Conference Championship. Once again the Cowboys made the State Playoffs. They lost to Ramsey, for the second year in a row, in the first round of the North I Group II state playoffs. The Cowboys finished the season with a win over Glen Rock High School at the return of the Thanksgiving Day Game, finishing the season with a 7-3 record. Once again, Head Coach Brooks Alexander won Coach of the Year honors, the fourth time he has been named Coach of the Year.
Pascack Hills was the number one ranked wrestling team in the United States in 1977, and was selected by The Record as its Team of the Century. Coach Bucky Rehain received numerous awards during his long successful career, including recognition by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in 1984 as its Coach of the Year. The team is coached by David Bucco, a standout wrestler from Paramus High School.
The wrestling team won the North I Group III state sectional title in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1984, and won the North I Group II title in 1999.
In 1999, the Pascack Hills girls' volleyball team achieved their first all-state victory and was also ranked number one in the league. In 2009, the PHHS Volleyball team won the Group I state championship in two games against Science Park High School.
In 2010, the Pascack Hills girls volleyball team was ranked number one in the league and third in the state tournament. Coaches Shawn McDonald and Janet Goodman lead the team to an impressive overall season.
In the 2001-02 season, the Pascack Hills boys' basketball team accumulated their highest win total in school history and posted a 33-5 record. Nolan Leonard became the fourth Hills player to surpass 1,500 career points in a second half comeback victory at home versus Westwood Regional High School. The Cowboys posted an undefeated home record and suffered three losses on neutral courts. The season climaxed with a Group II state sectional championship over a physically larger Manchester Regional High School squad at the Northern Highlands gym. The Cowboys' season ended with a 94-78 loss to Roselle Park High School in the opening round of the Group II State Tournament.
In 2006, the boys' varsity basketball team reached the Final Four of the Bergen County Jamboree, the annual county tournament. It was only the second time in school history that the team reached the semifinals of this tournament which goes back 60 years.
On March 5, 2007, the boys' basketball team won the North I, Group II state championship, edging Westwood Regional High School by 66-65 in overtime, in a game played at River Dell High School. Senior forward Evan Lampert was voted First Team All-County and finished his career with 1,000 points, the 1,000th point was scored in the Group II state championship.
The boys' tennis team won the Group II state championship in 1986 (defeating Moorestown High School in the tournament final) and 2009 (vs. Chatham High School), and won the Group I title in 2005 (vs. Florence Township Memorial High School) and 2006 (vs. Pennsville Memorial High School).
The tennis team won the 2006 Group I state championship, defeating Florence Township Memorial High School 3-2 in the semifinals and Pennsville Memorial High School 4-1 in the finals.
The 2011 team won the North I, Group II state sectional championship 3-2 with a win vs. Mountain Lakes High School.
Both teams are coached by Eric Ganz, who is also the voice of Pascack Hills football.
The 1987 baseball team was the first to secure titles as NBIL League Champions and Bergen County Champions defeating Park Ridge High School 15-1, as part of a 28-5 season in which they captured the North I, Group III sectional title and won the Group III state championship over Cherry Hill High School West by a score of 6-4.
The softball team won the 2007 North I, Group II state sectional championship with a shutout victory over Pascack Valley High School (1-0) in the tournament final. In 1985 the softball team won the North I, Group III state sectional championship with a 3-2 victory over Ramsey High School in the tournament final.
The Pascack Valley Regional Dance Team consists of girls from Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley. There is a JV and Varsity team. The Varsity team has won the NDA national championship in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The coaches are Dena Noon and Val DeSantis. The Dance team currently holds many regional, state, and national titles.
In 2007, the girls soccer team, seeded 11th, won the North I, Group II state sectional championship with a 2-1 overtime win (4-2 on penalty kicks) over top-seeded River Dell Regional High School in the tournament final. The win was the team's first sectional title.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Glenn deMarrais - Principal
- Philip Paspalas - Assistant Principal / Athletic Director
- Timothy Wieland - Assistant Principal
Notable alumni of Pascack Hills High School include:
- Dana Bash (born 1972), CNN White House correspondent.
- Bruce Beresford-Redman, creator of MTV's Pimp My Ride.
- Jon Doscher (born 1971; class of 1989), independent film producer and actor.
- Mary Dunleavy, soprano at the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera.
- Kerri Green (born 1967), from films such as The Goonies and Lucas.
- Richard B. Handler, businessman and CEO of Jefferies Group
- Rick Hurvitz, Executive Producer & Co-Creator, MTV's Pimp My Ride.
- Bill Maher (born 1956), comedian and host of Real Time with Bill Maher, graduated in 1974.
- Zac Moncrief (born 1971), animation director, formerly with Family Guy, currently with Phineas and Ferb.
- Matt Mulhern (born 1960), actor from the movie Biloxi Blues and the television series Major Dad.
- Tom Papa (born 1967), comedian.
- Kieran Scott (born 1974), author of the Privileged and Private series.
- Shaun Weiss (born 1978), actor who played "Goldberg" in The Mighty Ducks film series.
- School data for Pascack Hills High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Pascack Hills High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 31, 2016.
- Pascack Valley Regional High School District 2015 School Report Card District Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 31, 2016. "The district is comprised of two high schools. Pascack Hills High School, which is located in Montvale, receives students from the towns of Montvale and Woodcliff Lake. Pascack Valley High School, located in Hillsdale, enrolls students from Hillsdale and River Vale."
- Staff. "NEWS NOTES: CLASSROOM AND CAMPUS", The New York Times, March 1, 1964. Accessed August 24, 2011.
- Dawkins, Walter. "Free laptops put Pascack Valley High School students in special class.", The Record (Bergen County), May 3, 2005. Accessed April 29, 2008.
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 7, 2012.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2010: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2010, posted August 7, 2010. Accessed August 19, 2010.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 26, 2012.
- Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 8, 2013.
- Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Pascack Hills High School", The Washington Post. Accessed August 21, 2011.
- "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,200 top U.S. schools", Newsweek, May 22, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007.
- Program of Studies 2016-2017, Pascack Valley Regional High School District. Accessed May 31, 2016.
- Albrizio, Lianna. "Pascack Valley districts plan virtual school days in February", Pascack Valley Community Life, December 31, 2015. Accessed May 31, 2016. "In February, both the Pascack Valley Regional High School and Park Ridge school districts are planning virtual days for their students and faculty, an opportunity officials say will continue to help students learn efficiently in an online environment."
- League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed October 3, 2014.
- NJSIAA 2016 - 2018 Co-Operative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 11, 2017.
- League Memberships - 2009-1010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed October 3, 2014.
- Kensik, Edward. "Realignment all set for next September", South Bergenite, November 26, 2009. Accessed November 27, 2014. "The NJIC includes all of the schools from the Bergen Passaic Scholastic League (BPSL) and the Bergen County Scholastic League (BCSL) National and Olympic divisions. Queen of Peace, Rutherford and Pascack Hills were the lone outsiders to be included in the NJIC."
- Pascack Hills High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 27, 2014.
- Staff. "Madison Borough Retains Title", The New York Times, December 2, 1979. Accessed August 24, 2011.
- Waldron, Martin. "The Jokes Don't Matter in Hoboken; Hoboken Undismayed By All the One-Liners About the City Image", The New York Times, December 6, 1979. Accessed August 24, 2011.
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
- 2005 Football - North I, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 21, 2011.
- 2006 Football Tournament - North I, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 21, 2006.
- Signing Day, The Record (Bergen County), February 7, 2007.
- 2009 Football Tournament - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 21, 2011.
- Staff. "Football all-league teams", The Record (Bergen County), December 31, 2010. Accessed March 13, 2012.
- Schutta, Gregory. "Where are they now? Wrestler Tom Husted of Pascack Hills", The Record (Bergen County), September 21, 2010. Accessed August 21, 2011. "He was part of the great Cowboy teams of the mid-'70s, coached by the legendary Bucky Rehain. Fellow State champions Chris and Tim Catalfo also wrestled for the 1977 team that went 14-0 and was named Bergen County team of the century."
- Keenan, Bucky. "Faces In The Crowd", Sports Illustrated, January 14, 1985. Accessed August 21, 2011. "Rehain, 41, wrestling coach at Pascack Hills High, has won 14 district team titles in 18 seasons. He has a streak of 104 dual-meet victories and was chosen as a 1984 Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association."
- History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 13, 2017.
- Vasquez, Andy. "Pascack Hills comes out firing", The Record (Bergen County), November 15, 2009. Accessed August 21, 2011. "Pascack Hills won its first State title since 1999 with a 25-22, 25-20 win over Science Park in the Group 1 final Saturday at William Paterson University."
- Pascack Hills leap for joy, The Record (Bergen County), by Jeff Roberts, March 6, 2007.
- 2007 Boys Basketball - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed March 7, 2007.
- History of Boys' Team Tennis Championship Tournament, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 13, 2017.
- 2006 Boys Team Tennis - Public Group Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 30, 2007.
- 2008 Boys Team Tennis - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 2, 2008.
- History of the NJSIAA Baseball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 13, 2017.
- Staff. "C.H. WEST FALLS IN TITLE GAME, 6-4", The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 14, 1987. Accessed August 24, 2011. "The Lions, winners of 15 of their last 17 games entering yesterday's NJSIAA Group 3 championship game at Princeton University, had scored inspired, one-run victories during the semifinals en route to claiming the South Jersey crown. But facing Pascack Hills (28-5) - a team that looked to be beatable - West was off its game in several areas. The result was a 6-4 defeat..."
- "Feit, Sobel, Evans fuel Pascack H", The Star-Ledger, June 5, 2006. Accessed August 2, 2007. "Josh Feit, Rob Sobel and Nick Evans each drove in a run as Pascack Hills edged Emerson Boro, 3-2, in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 1 tournament championship yesterday in Emerson."
- 2006 Baseball - North I, Group I, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 2, 2007.
- 2007 Softball - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 8, 2007.
- 2007 Girls Soccer - North I, Group II, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 15, 2007.
- Martin, Kimberley A. "Pascack H. stuns No. 1 River Dell", The Record (Bergen County), November 9, 2007. Accessed May 31, 2016. "After playing to a 1-1 tie through overtime, Pascack Hills outscored River Dell, 4-2, in penalty kicks.... Instead, she launched the ball over River Dell goalkeeper Emily Mino's outstretched hands to help 11th-seeded Pascack Hills knock off top-seeded River Dell, 2-1, (4-2 in penalty kicks) Thursday, to win its first girls soccer North 1, Group 2 title."
- Meet your Administrators, Pascack Hills High School. Accessed May 31, 2016.
- 'MEDIA CHILD' ARRIVES, The Record (Bergen County), January 2, 2003. "Dana Bash grew up behind the scenes. And family members say it was just a matter of time before the Pascack Hills High School graduate and newest CNN White House correspondent was in front of them. "
- Meisel, Melissa. "MTV's Tangerine-Flake, Streamline Baby, via New Jersey", The New York Times, June 26, 2005. Accessed August 2, 2007. "MTV's popular (and radical) car makeover show, which is just starting its second full season, was created by two Woodcliff Lake natives who never got over the culture of the high school parking lot. Besides, back in 1989, Bruce Beresford-Redman drove a Cadillac hearse, while his buddy Rick Hurvitz piloted a 1972 lime-green Oldsmobile Delta 88. 'As far as we know, everybody appreciated the irony,' Mr. Beresford-Redman said of his Pascack Hills classmates in a recent e-mail exchange."
- Cavalier, Vincent. Maverick.pdf "First Person - The Maverick; Film Producer Jon Doscher", Pasack Valley, Fall 2007, archived at JonDoscher.com. Accessed November 5, 2014. "How does a guy jump from making home improvements to making movies? Ask Jon Doscher, graduate of Pascack Hills High School's Class of 1989."
- Walkowski, Paul Joseph. "For soprano Mary Dunleavy, her stylish, virtuosic, gleaming, supple, voice has earned her a place among the opera notables of her generation.", OperaOnline.us. Accessed October 15, 2007. "From grade school, on through Pascack Hills High in Montvale New Jersey, to Northwestern's school of music, to the University of Texas in 1988..."
- Joyner, Will. "THE SUBTLE SHADE OF KERRI GREEN", The Record (Bergen County), March 28, 1986. Accessed August 2, 2007. "In the fall of 1984, though, a successful audition for Steven Spielberg's The Goonies allowed Kerri to stop speculating and to steal away from her senior year at Pascack Hills High School. One thing very quickly led to another."
- Rohan, Virginia. "North Jersey-bred and talented too", The Record (Bergen County), June 18, 2007. Accessed June 25, 2007. "Bill Maher: Class of 1974, Pascack Hills High School, Montvale"
- Bill Maher Biography (1956-), The Biography Channel. Accessed March 28, 2007.
- Ivry, Bob. "'TOON BOOM ANIMATES THEIR LIVES", The Record (Bergen County), October 14, 1996. Accessed August 2, 2007. "In his sparse spare time, Moncrief, a 1989 graduate of Pascack Hills High School, created the story of Godfrey & Zeek, two buddies a giraffe and a pig who accidentally flush away their most prized possession, the TV remote control, and retrieve it at the sewage treatment plant."
- James, Michael S. "FINE TEACHING INSTRUMENT PASCACK STUDENTS USE A COMPUTER TO LEARN MUSIC", The Record (Bergen County), October 13, 1992. Accessed November 5, 2014. "The new programs are an important element at Pascack Hills, a highly rated public school that prides itself on its Related Arts Department, according to Principal Bart DiPaola. He proudly points to a number of talented young people who have come out of the school, including Matt Mulhern, an actor on the television show Major Dad."
- Staff. "Tom Papa headlines for sister's benefit", Pascack Valley Community Life, May 26, 2011. Accessed September 7, 2012. "Tom Papa, a Pascack Hills graduate and the host of the TV show The Marriage Ref, which will air its second season in June, is known for his appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, on Comedy Central with his own comedy specials, and appearances on "The New Adventures of Old Christine."
- Kieran Scott, TeenReads.com. Accessed March 25, 2011. "A Jersey-girl through and through, Kieran grew up in Montvale, New Jersey, and attended Pascack Hills High School where she was a cheerleader, singer, actress and occasionally a student."
- Pascack Valley Regional High School District website
- Pascack Hills High School's 2014–15 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Pascack Valley Regional High School District, National Center for Education Statistics