Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda, Maryland)
|Walt Whitman High School|
Pride + Determination = Success
|7100 Whittier Boulevard Bethesda, Maryland
|School district||Montgomery County Public Schools|
|Principal||Dr. Alan Goodwin|
|Color(s)||Black, White, and Columbia blue|
|Rivals||Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Winston Churchill High School|
|Newspaper||The Black & White|
|Website||Walt Whitman Home Page|
Walt Whitman High School is a public secondary institution serving roughly the western part of Bethesda—an unincorporated suburban area of Washington, D.C., in Montgomery County, in the U.S. state of Maryland. The school is named in honor of the American poet. It is fed into by Thomas W. Pyle Middle School.
The school opened in the fall of 1962 with 1,418 students. Designed by local architect, Anthony Ferrara, it was built on 17 levels, with a center courtyard and a geodesic dome for its gymnasium until renovation in 1992. A Ford Foundation grant underwrote the design and construction of the dome. In 1981, a 1,176-seat auditorium was added to the school.
Daryl Shaw served as the inaugural principal from 1962 until 1975. Jerome Marco was principal from 1975 until his retirement in 2004. Today, the Principal is Alan Goodwin, who was assistant principal for several years before taking his current post.
Five elementary schools feed Thomas W. Pyle Middle School, which in turn feeds Walt Whitman. The elementary schools are Wood Acres, Bannockburn, Burning Tree, Carderock Springs, and Bradley Hills. The Bethesda area is served by Whitman High School, Walter Johnson High School, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.
The Black & White
|This section does not cite any sources. (September 2013)|
The Black & White is the student-run newspaper. It was established in 1961 and produces nine issues each academic year. The newspaper was inducted into the National Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame in 1991.
Role in popular culture
Walt Whitman High School was the subject of the 2006 best-selling book The Overachievers. The non-fiction work focuses on students who were members of Whitman's class of 2004, 2005 or 2006. From July 20, 2004 to December 9, 2005, Alexandra Robbins followed eight Whitman juniors and seniors through their daily lives.
Helen Thomas was scheduled for June 2010 to be the commencement speaker at graduation. A few weeks before, she was asked to comment about Israel. She replied, "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," and that "they should go home" to Poland, Germany, America and "everywhere else." Thomas issued an apology on her website, but Principal Alan Goodwin said, in an email to Whitman parents, "Graduation celebrations are not the venue for divisiveness." Thomas was replaced as speaker by Bob Schieffer.
Westboro Baptist Church protest
In April 2009, the school was the site for a protest by the Westboro Baptist Church. Seven members of the church traveled to the school to protest the sexual orientation of Walt Whitman, for whom the school was named. The students organized a counter-protest, in which over 500 Whitman students and alumni participated. The protest was covered by national media. Whitman is one of three high schools in Maryland to be protested by the Westboro Baptist Church, the other two being Glen Burnie High School and Meade High School in Anne Arundel County.
Awards/Rankings and Recognition
Walt Whitman is often noted as one of Maryland's best high schools, and is currently[when?] ranked as the #1 high school in the state of Maryland by U.S. News World & Report.
In 2008, Newsweek ranked Whitman at #69 on its "Best High Schools in America" list.
In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked Whitman as the #44 best school nationwide on its list of "America's Best High Schools"
In 2014, Whitman was ranked the best high school in Maryland and #61 nationwide.
In 2015, Whitman remained ranked as the best high school in Maryland and #55 nationwide. 
Students can choose from 16 varsity sports and several other club sports, such as ice hockey, rowing, and ultimate frisbee. The sports that Walt Whitman offers are:
- Soccer Division 4A State Champions (Boys) — '10, '14
- Basketball Division 4A State Champions (Boys) — '06
- Cross Country Maryland State Champions (Girls) — '70, '86, '88, '90, '91, '92, '07, '09, '10,'11
- Golf State Champions — '99,'07
- Rowing State Champions (Girls) — '11, '12
- Rowing Nationals (Girls) — '12, '13
- Soccer State Champions (Girls) — '85, '86, '92, '04, '13, '14
- Soccer State Champions (Boys)
- Swimming and Diving State Champions (Girls) — '12
- Tennis State Champions — '06, '08, '09
- Volleyball State Champions (Girls) — '98
- Wrestling State Champions — '05
- Eric Pierpoint, '69, film and television actor, Alien Nation.
- Steven Rales, '69, entrepreneur and billionaire, Danaher Corporation.
- Gordon Smith, '70, U.S. Senator, Oregon.
- Ken Navarro, '71, jazz guitarist, "Smooth Sensation" and "Love Coloured Soul".
- Lisa Pelikan, '72, actress, Julia and Return to the Blue Lagoon.
- Bob Raba, '73, football player, (tight end, New York Jets, Washington Redskins).
- Mitchell Rales, '74, entrepreneur and billionaire, Danaher Corporation.
- Shelly Burch '76, actress One Life to Live.
- Rodney Alan Greenblat, '78, artist.
- Chris Anderson, '79, editor-in-chief of Wired.
- Kate Seelye, '80, Middle-East reporter for National Public Radio.
- Mark Pryor, '81, U.S. Senator, Arkansas.
- Patrick Byrne, '81, founder, overstock.com.
- Debra Granik, '81, Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Winter's Bone.
- Orde Kittrie, '82, law professor/U.S. State Department official, nuclear nonproliferation expert, author Lawfare: Law as a Weapon of War 
- Mark Halperin, '83, political analyst, ABC News, Time Magazine, author, Game Change.
- Anthony Dilweg, '84, football player, (1988 ACC player of the year, Duke University; quarterback, Green Bay Packers).
- Susan Dynner, '84, movie producer/director, Punk's Not Dead, producer, Brick, After Porn Ends, Free Ride.
- Jeff Tremaine, '85, co-creator, co-writer, and director of MTV series Jackass, its spin-off series Wildboyz and its three subsequent movies, Jackass: The Movie, Jackass: Number Two, and Jackass 3D.
- Michael Eisen, '85, biologist, co-founder of the Public Library of Science
- Spike Jonze, '87, Academy Award Winning writer and director, Her, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Where the Wild Things Are.
- David Dobkin, '87, director, Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Knights, Fred Claus, and The Change-Up.
- Eric Steinberg, '87, actor, The Young and the Restless, Stargate SG-1, and Pretty Little Liars.
- Ryan Kuehl, '90, football player (defensive tackle, New York Giants).
- Dan Shanoff, '91, sports columnist for The Sporting News, formerly of ESPN.
- Giuliana Rancic, '92, celebrity news personality, E! News and co-star of Giuliana and Bill on the Style Network.
- Alexandra Robbins, '94, author, The Overachievers, Pledged, and Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis.
- "The Black & White". theblackandwhite.net. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Kurtz, Howard (June 8, 2010). "Helen Thomas agrees to bow out as commencement speaker at Walt Whitman High". Washington Post. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
- de Vise, Daniel (April 25, 2009). "At Whitman, A Protest Over Poet's Lifestyle". Washington Post.
- "Counter Protest of Westboro Baptist Church at Meade High School". Christiaan Conover. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- "Westboro Protesters Met With Opposition Outside Glen Burnie High". cbslocal.com. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- America's Top Public High Schools
- "Best High Schools Rankings - Top High Schools - US News". usnews.com. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Whitman Named Best Public High School In Maryland | BethesdaNow
- "Walt Whitman High School Vikings Bethesda MD - Home Page". whitmanathletics.org. Retrieved January 21, 2015.