Strath Haven High School
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|Strath Haven High School|
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Wallingford-Swarthmore School District|
|Grades||9th - 12th|
|Number of students||1,150|
|Feeder schools||Strath Haven Middle School|
Strath Haven High School is a four-year public high school in Wallingford, Delaware County, Pennsylvania serving the Township of Nether Providence and the Boroughs of Rose Valley, Rutledge, and Swarthmore, as well as the communities of South Media, Garden City, and sections of Morton. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association and was awarded the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the Department of Education in 2002. The student body numbers roughly 1,300.
The school is led by principal Dr. Mary Jo Yannacone, who was promoted from assistant principal in March 2005 when Albert Bichner became the Superintendent of High Schools for the School District of Philadelphia. The school is the product of a merger between the former Swarthmore High School and Nether Providence High School. In 1983, the two schools combined to become Strath Haven, based at the newer Nether Providence campus. The school was named after the Thomas Leiper Estate—called Strath Haven—a Registered Historic Place in Nether Providence. This was in turn named after Strathaven, Scotland where Thomas Leiper was born. It is the sole high school in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. The 1984 graduating class was the charter class of Strath Haven High School.
The Class of 2003 achieved average SAT scores that were significantly higher than state and national averages. The mean SAT verbal score was 563 and the mean SAT math score was 574. More than 94% of the Class of 2005 participated in college admissions testing; the student body produced 15 National Merit Finalists, 3 Semifinalists, and 17 commended students. The football team won state titles in 1999 and 2000 with players such as Mark Jones, a former punt returner for the Tennessee Titans, and Dan Connor, an All-American linebacker for Penn State who went on to be drafted by the Carolina Panthers and spend six seasons in the NFL. They also made title game appearances in 2001 and 2002. The Strath Haven Panthers football team is a member of the Central League, which consists of twelve different teams. Other notable alumni include John Clark WCAU in Philadelphia; Jon Cohen (writer), and screenplay writer of Minority Report.
Partnerships have been established with Delaware County area technical schools to make vocational training available for students. Students enrolled in technical school programs spend one-half day at Strath Haven taking a required core curriculum, and one-half day at the technical high school. Special education programs are available for students with special needs. Strath Haven High School is known in the area for its high-quality assistance for hearing-impaired and students with disabilities.
All students are required to complete four years of study in major subject areas. A wide variety of electives are available to help students meet the course requirements listed below:
Guidance counselors assist in course selection, college and career placement, as well as student support. A full-time psychologist and communications specialist are the core of a Student Assistance Program providing help to students at risk. In addition, Strath Haven maintains a career center for post-secondary advising.
The Five "A's"
Strath Haven operates along the theme of the "Five A's," a phrase used primarily in appearances by administration officials. The "Five A's," according to this system, are academics, arts, athletics, altruism, and activities. The "Five A's" theme was developed by former Principal Al Bichner, during his tenure at Strath Haven. An oft-cited "Five A's" figure is that over 90% of Strath Haven High School students participate in athletics, music, the arts, and a host of extracurricular clubs (statistic based on Class of 2003).
Strath Haven's marching band is known for its size. The band currently has over 450 members. It is the largest marching band in the state of Pennsylvania, over 100 members larger than the Penn State University Marching Blue Band. As of 2010, it was the second largest marching band in the country. It is conducted by the Music Director, Jack Hontz.
On April 2, 2008, Barack Obama held a town hall meeting and Question and Answer session in the Strath Haven High School gymnasium. Later, on November 2, 2008, Senator John McCain held a "Road to Victory Rally" in the school's gymnasium. Senator McCain gave a speech, as did Senator Joe Lieberman, and Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.
Strath Haven High School publishes Jabberwocky a student produced literary magazine. The magazine, which is published once a year, includes artwork, poems, short stories, drawings and photographs.