South Side High School (Rockville Centre, New York)

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South Side High School
140 Shepherd Street
Rockville Centre, New York 11570

United States
Type Public
Established 1892
School district Rockville Centre School District
Principal John Murphy
Vice principals Ben Moss, Elizabeth Nisler-Cross, Brett Rosenthal[1]
Faculty 93.7 FTEs[2]
Grades 9 to 12
Enrollment 1,092 (as of 2014-15)[2]
Student to teacher ratio 11.6:1[2]
Color(s) Red and Blue         
Sports Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, Winter Track, Wrestling
Team name Cyclones
Newspaper The Sportsman
Yearbook The Colonnade

South Side High School is the only public high school in the town of Rockville Centre, New York. South Side serves grades 9 through 12 and boasts a variety of academic, extra-curricular and athletic programs, including the International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum in junior and senior years. School district boundaries can be found in Rockville Centre and South Hempstead. Once again in 2008 at #47, South Side is ranked in the top 100 high schools in the nation by Newsweek's The Top of the Class: The complete list of the top 1,300 top U.S. high schools. Year after year, South Side has maintained this distinction, at #44 in 2007, #32 in 2006, #45 in 2005 and #65 in 2003.

The primary address for South Side is 140 Shepherd Street, Rockville Centre, New York 11570. Located further south in Rockville Centre is the "Greenhouse". Established in 1975, the purpose of this off-site school is to provide a different approach to teaching students with academic or personal troubles as well as different scheduling and academic programs. The main building has two floors. The school is currently being run by John Murphy.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,092 students and 93.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.6:1. There were 109 students (10.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 28 (2.6% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

School history[edit]

The school's name reflects its status as the first high school on Long Island's south shore, east of Jamaica. It has retained that name though most of Long Island's incorporated villages have established high schools named for their village.

The Shepherd Street address is the third location for the school, its first site (1892–1923) was on College Place, now the Municipal Building of Rockville Centre. Its second site (1924–1954) on Hillside Avenue is now South Side Middle School. The school has served grades 9-12 since 1982-83, having previously been a 10-12 institution with the freshman attending what was then South Side Junior High School along with the seventh- and eighth-graders. The switch occurred as the district's sixth-graders moved to the Junior High, with that institution becoming the Middle School.

The most prominent architectural characteristic of the current building is the colonnade adorning the entrance on the west side of the building. This feature gives its name to the school's annual yearbook, The Colonnade, but is unusual in that it is not associated with either of the school's grand entrances to the north and the south, which face the parking lots and athletic fields.

Since 1917, South Side has held an annual color war, Red&Blue, where most of the female student population (and a few select males) work day and night for 6 weeks to prepare for a competition of sports, skits, song and dance over three nights. The event has elicited controversy in recent years due to its heavy gender bias and lack of an equivalent for male students.


South Side High School has a rich history of athletics dating back to the 1920s, yet only three teams (Boys Lacrosse, Girls Volleyball, and Girls Soccer) have won state championships. By far the most successful team is the Lady Cyclones Soccer Team. In the past 20 years, the Lady Cyclones have won 17 State Championships including most recently in 2012. The girls dominated their opponents by scoring 63 goals and only allowing 6 in their 18-0-1. This year the girls were ranked #1 in the state and 4 in the nation. At the end of the 2009 season, the varsity girls soccer team was ranked #1 in the nation.

In 2003-2004 the men's basketball teams captured championship gold for the first time since 1998. The team went on to beat all of its Nassau County opponents by double digits.

That season also saw the men's lacrosse program capture the first State Championship in the school's history.


Red&Blue is an annual color war held at South Side High School since 1916. "Red and Blue started when girls weren't allowed to participate in team sports".[3] Title IX has since ensured that girls have had equivalent access to sports and other activities, but the tradition has continued on, with approximately 300 participating each year. In recent years, the event has also raised money to benefit Breast Cancer research and support.[4]

List of Meet Events[edit]

Event First place Second place Tie
Songs 5pts 2pts 4pts
Poster Review 3pts 1pt 2pts
Emblem 3pts 1pt 2pts
Costumes 5pts 2pts 4pts
Prop 5pts 2pts 4pts
Skit 5pts 2pts 4pts
Dances 7pts 3pts 6pts
Tumbling 5pts 2pts 4pts
Concentration Relay 3pts 1pt 2pts
Scooter Relay 3pts 1pt 2pts
Floor Hockey Game 3pts 1pt 2pts
Fireman Relay 3pts 1pt 2pts
Superstar Game 3pts 1pt 2pts
Basketball Relay 3pts 1pt 2pts
Tug of War 3pts 1pt 2pts
Volleyball Game 3pts 1pt 2pts
Organization 5pts 2pts 4pts
Meet Decorum 3pts 1pt 2pts
Attendance 3pts 1pt 2pts
Sportsmanship / Citizenship 10pts 4pts 9pts

Notable alumni[edit]

The following notable people graduated from South Side High School:


  1. ^ "South Side High School". 
  2. ^ a b c d School data for South Side High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  3. ^, "Rockville Centre 'Color Wars' Never End", March 24, 2002
  4. ^, "South Side girls raise money for breast cancer", March 10, 2010
  5. ^ Gussow, Mel. "AT LUNCH WITH: Doris Kearns Goodwin; Foundations of a Lifetime, Found in the Box Scores", The New York Times, November 12, 1997. Accessed December 12, 2007. "In common with Ms. Goodwin, I grew up in Rockville Centre. Her older sister, Jeanne, was a classmate of mine at South Side High School."
  6. ^ Marshall, Angela. "Inventor wins national honor: Villager recognized for contributions to science", Rockville Centre Herald, April 10, 2003. "After graduating from South Side High School, Kamen went to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts for five years, but left without earning a degree."
  7. ^ Amy Schumer Crashes Her Old High School CBS Sunday Morning. 5 July 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°40′02″N 73°37′18″W / 40.667228°N 73.621786°W / 40.667228; -73.621786