Ward Melville High School

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Ward Melville High School
Excellence in Education
380 Old Town Road
East Setauket, New York, 11733
United States
Coordinates 40°54′59″N 73°04′29″W / 40.9163889°N 73.0747222°W / 40.9163889; -73.0747222Coordinates: 40°54′59″N 73°04′29″W / 40.9163889°N 73.0747222°W / 40.9163889; -73.0747222
Type Public
Established 1968
Locale Suburban
Principal Alan L. Baum
Faculty 140[1]
Grades 10–12
Enrollment 1,848[1]
Student to teacher ratio 13.2[2]
School color(s) Green and Gold
Athletics 22 varsity and junior varsity teams for boys and 21 varsity and junior varsity teams for girls
Mascot Patriot
Information 631-730-4900

Ward Melville High School is a public high school in the Three Village Central School District of Suffolk County, New York on Long Island, serving grades ten through twelve.[3] It is fed by the two junior high schools in the district: Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School and Robert Cushman Murphy Junior High School, and is named after businessman and philanthropist Ward Melville.

Located sixty miles from Manhattan in the Three Village area, Ward Melville High School is situated in East Setauket, New York. The school serves students from East Setauket, South Setauket, Stony Brook, Old Field, Strongs Neck, and Poquott.

As of the 2011–12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,848 students and 140.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 13.2.[2]

The building was originally designed to have 290,700 square feet (27,010 m2) with capacity for 2,000 students,[4] and two new wings were built in 2000 to accommodate the growth of the student body over the years. Each of the three grades currently[when?] has approximately 700 students.

The district provides for numerous clubs and activities after school, including a musical–theater arts program and many sports teams.[3] The school offers 25 different Advanced Placement courses and another 25 college courses that are offered credit through several colleges and universities.

The school has been expanded several times to accommodate the growing number of students attending Ward Melville High School. In 2002, two extra wings were added to the northeastern and southeastern corners of the school. During the 2009–2010 school year, a new weight training facility was completed in the rear of the school while the music rooms were renovated. In the 2010–2011 school year, an additional wing was built to house the science department while the auditorium and the library was refurbished.


Ward Melville High School has been recognized as a School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education and carries this designation on each student's transcript and diploma.[3] It was ranked within the top 500 high schools in America in 2004 by MSNBC Newsweek.[5]

The proximity of Ward Melville to the State University of New York at Stony Brook has encouraged the school to house a very strong science research program. This program annually produces many winners in the Intel Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and other science competitions. In 1998, Ward Melville had the highest number of Science Talent Search finalists in the United States (4 out of 40),[6] and in 2006, it tied for the greatest number of semifinalists (12 out of 300).[7] In 2008, Ward Melville achieved the highest number of Intel Semifinalists in the nation with 13 students. Over the past nine years, 2002–2010, Ward Melville has produced a total of 85 Intel semi-finalists and 11 finalists, the third-most of any secondary school in the United States.

The school is also notable for its lacrosse team, which is perennially ranked nationally—often in the top 10—and in 1999 won the New York State championship. A regional powerhouse, the team has a healthy rivalry with West Islip High School, against whom the Patriots have matched up in 7 of the past 8 county championship games. The Patriots captured another state championship and #1 national ranking in 2013.

Ward Melville also has a baseball team with a growing reputation. Steven Matz (class of 2009) was selected in the 2nd round by the New York Mets. The Patriots won their very first Long Island Championship in the 2013 season. Highlights of said season include an incredible Sportscenter number 2 Top Play catch by Greg Coman, and Lefty Anthony Kay being drafted in a middle round by the New York Mets.

Religious club incident[edit]

Ward Melville has been under scrutiny and faced with legal action for banning the official formation of a charitable faith-based club on two occasions. In 2013, the faith-based club, Students United in Faith (SUIF), was rejected due to its religious nature. After being faced with legal action by the Liberty Institute, the school superintendent investigated and reversed the decision stating that the initial reason for rejection was "inaccurately conveyed".[8]

On October 6, 2014, the school was once again faced with legal action by the Liberty Institute for rejecting SUIF's renewal.[9] The club was supposedly unable to maintain a group number of 20 or more, the purported minimum required by the school, despite allowing clubs with much lower membership. The Equal Access Act of 1984, which is cited as a major point in the clubs renewal, does not respect local club minimums.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of Ward Melville High School include:


  1. ^ a b "Ward Melville Senior High School Overview". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Ward Melville High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 25, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Ward Melville High School Profile". Retrieved April 5, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Ward Melville High School Project Page". Wiedersum Associates, P.P.L.C. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2007. 
  5. ^ "The Complete List of the 1,000 Top U.S. Schools". Newsweek. 2004. p. 5. Retrieved April 5, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Finalists of the 57th Annual Science Talent Search". Society for Science and the Public. 1998. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Official 2006 Semifinalist Book" (PDF). Society for Science and the Public. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2007. 
  8. ^ "CBS; School Reverses Decision on Christian Club" Accessed October 7, 2014
  9. ^ "Liberty Institue" Accessed October 7, 2014
  10. ^ Konig, Susan. "L.I.'s Biggest Export? Try Standup Comedy", The New York Times, November 14, 1999. Accessed October 27, 2007. "Mr. James was born in Mineola, but his family soon moved to Stony Brook, where he graduated from Ward Melville High School."
  11. ^ "COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Booming Success For Losers", The New York Times, August 29, 1994. Accessed October 24, 2007. "It was a great day for the 6-foot, 200-pound kicker from Setauket, L.I., who averaged 60.1 yards (55.0 m) in his nine attempts.... Sauerbrun, a senior, was a soccer player until the ninth grade, when he tried kicking at Ward Melville High School."

External links[edit]