Stamford High School (Stamford, Connecticut)
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|Stamford High School|
|Color(s)||Orange and Black|
In 1878 the Stamford Town Committee decided to create a high school for the growing community after deciding there was the lack of sufficient secondary education. They created Stamford High School the following year in a single rented room. Students attending SHS starting in 1874 had one teacher who taught reading, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, history, and philosophy. Drawing, Latin, Greek, physical geography, and geometry were added to the curriculum in 1876.
In 1881 four young women comprised the first graduating class. By 1886 increasing enrollment forced a move into a new four-room building on the site of the former Franklin Elementary School. Ten years later, in 1896, a new high school building was completed on Forest Street. To attend, students were required to pass entrance examinations in five subjects, and out of 40 applicants, only 15 were accepted. SHS gradually relaxed its requirements, and by 1905, entrance examinations were eliminated. The multiplying number of students at SHS once again made a move necessary.
The school moved from the site of the since-demolished Burdick Junior High School to its present location on Strawberry Hill Avenue in 1928. SHS now consists of three buildings which house over 100 regular classrooms along with special rooms for science labs, computer labs and shops for woodworking and automobile-repair classes.
With the start of the new school year in September 2006, a $21 million addition to the building was opened after 18 months of construction. The 62,000-square-foot (5,800 m2) addition has 22 classrooms, five science labs, a computer lab, a multi-purpose room, a gymnasium and locker rooms. The addition also features wireless computer access and a drop-off area for entering students near Strawberry Hill Avenue.
The new addition was part of $59 million in upgrades for the school begun in 1997, including replacing four boilers, new roofs and expanding the school cafeteria by 3,000 square feet (280 m2). Increasing enrollment in the city school system spurred the upgrades, and Westhill High School also received them.
The school's extracurricular activities include mock-trial and debate teams, student liaisons to the Board of Education, multicultural groups, various team sports, chapters of buildOn, the Future Business Leaders of America, National Art Honor Society, and National Honor Society, Strawberry Hill Players theater troupe, String Ensemble, and the Stamford High School Concert Band, whose members are part of the Black Knights Marching Band, Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble.
The Strawberry Hill Players perform two major productions throughout the year: one in the fall (usually a dramatic play), and another in the spring (a mainstage full musical). Additionally, every January SHP produces a series of short, student-directed one-act plays called "Senior Scenes". The goal of the production is to allow the program's graduating seniors to try their hand at directing, under the supervision and guidance of a working director. The Strawberry Hill Players also participate in the annual Connecticut Drama Association Festival, and have won numerous individual and team awards at the competition. In addition to the main program, The Strawberry Hill Players have an improv group that goes by the acronym of SHIP. The group produces a few improv shows a year and draws from the greater pool of membership involved in the more formal theater program.
The school's halls have in recent years been adorned with numerous paintings by students, depicting various figures including the black knight mascot. The school's cafeteria is decorated on one wall by a large mural of the school's facade and scenes of student life, painted in 1997 by members of the Strawberry Hill Players technical crew. Murals from the 1930s also adorn the "small auditorium" in Stamford High, having been uncovered and restored in the 1990s.
Stamford High School offers 24 varsity sports. These include football, boys' and girls' soccer, boys' and girls' cross country, cheerleading, volleyball, girls' swimming, and field hockey in the fall; boys' and girls' basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, boys' and girls' indoor track, cheerleading, and boys' swimming in the winter; and baseball, softball, boys' and girls' tennis, boys' and girls' track, boys' and girls' lacrosse, and golf in the spring.
Each year on December 7, a 9-by-17-foot American flag that flew over the USS Arizona Memorial is to be flown from the flagpole in front of the school as part of a memorial ceremony for Pearl Harbor Day. Everett Hyland, an alumnus of the school who was wounded in the attack, donated the flag in 2007 on condition that it be raised each year on that date. At the first ceremony, in 2007, a small group of veterans attended, some of them speaking to the school's students about the event. "It's one thing to read a book that 2,400 people died," Doug MacLehose, head of the school's history department, told a newspaper reporter. "Talking to someone who was there or can remember is very powerful."
Some graduates of Stamford High School have become well known in the world at large.
- Garry Cobb, former football player for the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions
- Bob Crane, actor, radio personality, musician
- Michael Dante, American award-winning actor of television, films and stage.
- Tony DiPreta, American comic book and comic strip artist.
- Vladimir Ducasse, football player for the New York Jets.
- Fred Dugan, former football player for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
- Devin Gaines, attracted international media attention by earning five bachelor's degrees simultaneously on May 6, 2007, a historic achievement for an African-American.
- Ina Garten, is an American author, host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa, and former White House nuclear policy analyst.
- Jimmy Ienner, music producer of the "Dirty Dancing" album. He worked with John Lennon, Pink Floyd and Donna Summer.
- Stephanie Izard, winner of Season 4 of the Bravo Network show Top Chef
- Alex Joseph, signed to the Green Bay Packers following the conclusion of the 2010 NFL Draft.
- J. Walter Kennedy, former Stamford mayor and first commissioner of the National Basketball Association
- Joseph Lieberman, United States Senator, former vice presidential candidate
- Dan Malloy, the 88th Governor of Connecticut.
- Andrew J. McDonald, former member of the Connecticut State Senate.
- John Raus, soccer player for the Real Maryland Monarchs in the USL Second Division.
- Andy Robustelli, former New York Giants football player
- Johnny Scalzi, Former MLB player (Boston Braves)
- Lois Long, Former journalist for Vanity Fair, Vogue, and The New Yorker
- "School History". Stamford High School. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Gosier, Chris, "New day at Stamford High: School celebrates $21 million addition", The Advocate of Stamford, September 27, 2006, page A13
- Stamford High School - Athletics Information
- Stamford High School - Athletics - Fall Sports
- Stamford High School - Athletics - Winter Sports
- Stamford High School - Athletics - Spring Sports
- Morganteen, Jeff, "Sharing their sacrifice: USS Arizona flag flies above Stamford High", article, The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, December 8, 2007, pp 1, A4, Norwalk edition
- "Craig Bingham bio". databaseFootball. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
-  Stamford High School Web site, Web page titled "Stamford High School Wall of Fame". Retrieved October 11, 2006.
- Altamont Enterprise and Albany County Post, Friday, February 13, 1970, p. 1, "Glittering Stars to Appear on Telethon," ; A&E "Bob Crane Biography" ;"TV Radio Mirror," October 1967, pp. 33, 76-79.; Stamford High School; Stamford Historical Society, Stamford, CT.
- Stamford High School Web site
- Stamford Public School System Web site
- The Stamford High School Alumni Website
- Stamford High School Web pages at Great Schools website
- Stamford High School Round Table Website