Vernon Township High School

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Vernon Township High School
Vernon Township High School is located in Sussex County, New Jersey
Vernon Township High School
Vernon Township High School
Vernon Township High School is located in New Jersey
Vernon Township High School
Vernon Township High School
Vernon Township High School is located in the US
Vernon Township High School
Vernon Township High School
1832 Route 565
Vernon, NJ 07462
Type Public high school
Established 1975
Principal Timothy T. Dunnigan
Asst. principals Nancy O. LoPresti
James M. Trusa
Faculty 97.4 FTEs[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,081 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 11.1:1[1]
Color(s)      Navy blue and
Athletics conference Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference
Mascot Vernon Viking
Team name Vikings[2]
Newspaper Viking Voice

Vernon Township High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Vernon Township, in Sussex County, New Jersey, United States. The school opened in 1975 and serves students in ninth through twelfth grades as the lone secondary school of the Vernon Township School District. The school has gone through expansions over the years including a new wing with several classrooms; the gymnasium was doubled in size. In April 2007, renovations were started on the auditorium and outdoor fields.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,081 students and 97.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1. There were 104 students (9.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 55 (5.1% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

Since the 2010–11 year, the school has offered a parent-student portal, which provides parents and students access grades online any time they want. It also shows attendance and where a student stands academically.[3]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

Peggy Stewart was recognized by the New Jersey Department of Education as the New Jersey Teacher of the Year for the 2004-05 school year. Stewart, a history, social studies and enrichment teacher, has been on the faculty of Vernon Township High School since 1991.[4]

The school was the 134th-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 108th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 152nd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 156th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[7] The school was ranked 124th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[8] ranked the school 162nd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 7 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (80.5%) and language arts literacy (94.6%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[9]

In the 2013-14 school year, Vernon Township High School ranked fourth in Sussex County out of nine other public high schools in SAT scores.[10]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The Vernon Township High School Vikings[2] participate in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[11] With 796 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 786 to 1,074 students in that grade range.[12] The school had participated in the Sussex County Interscholastic League until the SCIL was dissolved in 2009.[13]

Since the school has begun participating in league sports throughout the county and state, the Vernon Vikings have received numerous awards and championships.

Two such teams are the boys' and girls' cross country. Coaches James Shenise and Maryellen Moran have been in charge of the teams, winning many sportsmanship awards. In the 2007 season, the boys' team was third in the S.C.I.L. and moved on to rank second in Group IV Sectionals at the Garret Mountain course in West Paterson, New Jersey. In the 1980s, Doug Castellana led the team to a number of SCIL championships. In 2009, coaches Jim Shenise and girl coach took over and in 2010, they led the girls' team to take 3rd at the New Jersey Group IV sectionals. The school's legacy of success in cross country dates from the 1978 season, when the team was undefeated and won the S.C.I.L. championship.

The field hockey team won the North I Group II state sectional championship in 1980, and the North I Group IV title in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1995 and 1996, and the North I/II combined Group IV title in 1993.[14]

The wrestling team won the North I Group IV state sectional championship in 1995 and 2002.[15]

The girls' varsity ski team won the 2009 New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (NJISRA) overall state championship.[16]


The school band program includes a Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Express, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Choir, Clarinet Choir, Saxophone Ensemble and a Flute Choir.[17] The choir program consists of a Symphonic Choir, Meistersingers, Concert Choir Mixed, Concert Choir Women, Close Harmony, Les Chanteuses and Chanticleer.[18] Both have a regular program of performances. VTHS also has an orchestral program, which students can take at CP level if so desired.

Academic Decathlon team[edit]

The Vernon Township High School Academic Decathlon team competes every year in the United States Academic Decathlon.

Robotics Team[edit]

The school's FIRST robotics team started in 2007, and was designated FRC team number "1989". In the 2007 "Rack 'n Roll" season, the Viking Robotics Team finished 24th out of 53 teams in the New York City FRC Regional. On May 12, 2007, the team finished in 2nd place at PARC X, an off-season competition held at the Tunkhannock Area High School.

In the 2008 "Overdrive" season, the Vernon Robotics Team won the FRC NYC Regionals along with FRC teams 41 and 555, and attended the World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.[19]

During the 2009 "Lunacy" season, the team placed 44th out of 66 teams at the NYC Regional, but were 2nd place finalists along with teams 1807 and 56 at Brunswick Eruption 8, an off-season competition held at North Brunswick Township High School on October 31, 2009.[20]

In 2010 game "Breakaway", the team did not win the NYC Regional, but won the PARC XIII off-season competition also at the Tunkhannock Area High School with FRC teams 25 and 341.[21]

The 2011 season, "Logo Motion", was the first time the team was ranked within the highest eight teams at the NYC Regional, thus allowing them to choose partner teams 1279 and 2070 to compete in the elimination rounds, before being defeated in a semi-final match.[22]

Co-curricular activities[edit]

Vernon High School organizes several trips abroad associated with foreign language classes every year. Currently, students can go on trips to Germany, Spain, Italy, and as far as China and Pakistan. On the 2007 excursion to China, students toured Beijing, Xinjiang, and the remote northern regions of Pakistan. The purpose of such trips is to increase the students' awareness and respect of other cultures and their impact on modern society.


In 2006, a multimillion-dollar budget was approved to renovate Vernon Township High School as well as Walnut Ridge and Rolling Hills Elementary Schools. Included were two more tennis courts in addition to the existing four, a renovated auditorium with new sound systems and more seating, replacement of the current six-lane track with a state-of-the art eight-lane track along with artificial turf on the football field, more seating, bathroom facilities, and lighting.[23]


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

  • Timothy T. Dunnigan, Principal
  • Nancy O. LoPresti, Assistant principal
  • James M. Trusa, Assistant principal


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Vernon Township High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Vernon Township High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Home page, Vernon Township High School. Accessed September 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Sussex County Educator Named 2004-05 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, New Jersey Department of Education press release dated October 6, 2004. Accessed March 4, 2008.
  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 September 3, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 26, 2011.
  8. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Accessed March 6, 2012.
  10. ^ Vernon Township High School 2013-14 School Performance Report, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 22, 2015.
  11. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  12. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016 25, 2014.
  13. ^ Home Page, Sussex County Interscholastic League, backed up by the Internet Archive, as of February 4, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  14. ^ History of the NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 22, 2015.
  15. ^ History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 22, 2015.
  16. ^ Staff. "Carroll sparks Ridge to boys' team title; Vernon girls' have Merritt (High school Boys Skiing news)", The Star-Ledger, February 28, 2009. Accessed July 22, 2011. "A high level of competition during the regular season carried over for Vernon's Haley Merritt, as she captured the girls' individual title in 2:15.42 while sparking Vernon to the girls' overall team title. Merritt posted the top times both days of competition, with a first-place 1:08.86 in the Giant Slalom on Thursday and 1:06.56 to capture the Slalom yesterday."
  17. ^ Vernon Township High School Band Program, accessed July 4, 2006.
  18. ^ Township High School Choir Program, accessed July 4, 2006.
  19. ^ 2008 New York City Regional - Match Results, accessed May 5, 2010.
  20. ^ Chief Delphi - Brunswick Eruption 8 Results, accessed May 5, 2010.
  21. ^ PARC XIII, accessed August 26, 2010.
  22. ^ 2011 New York City Regional Rankings, accessed March 14, 2011.
  23. ^ Vernon Township Schools Archived August 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., TM Brennan, General Contractor. Accessed September 3, 2012.
  24. ^ Staff Directory, Vernon Township High School, Accessed December 22, 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°15′01″N 74°29′25″W / 41.250367°N 74.49028°W / 41.250367; -74.49028