Washington Township High School (New Jersey)
|Washington Township High School|
|519 Hurffville-Crosskeys Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
|Type||Public high school|
|Motto||"Together With Pride"|
|Asst. principals||Steve Cordner (11/12)
Angela Costello (Core)
Kevin Murphy (11/12)
Rich O'Neill (11/12)
Theresa Pietrowski (11/12)
John Saverase (9/10)
Steve Selby (9/10)
|Enrollment||2,380 (as of 2014-15)|
|Student to teacher ratio||12.4:1|
|Athletics conference||Olympic Conference|
Washington Township High School is a four-year public high school located in Washington Township, in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as the lone secondary school of the Washington Township Public School District. It is one of the largest public high schools in South Jersey. The school building itself is just over a quarter of a mile long. It is located at 509, 519, and 529 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,380 students and 191.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.4:1. There were 303 students (12.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 106 (4.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Washington Township High School is the home of the Investors Bank Performing Arts Center, known until 2015 as the TD Bank Arts Centre, which is a 2,500-seat performing arts center located at the center of the school. Most of the school's concerts and events are held there, and many notables have performed in this center, including the Barenaked Ladies, Tony Bennett, Wayne Brady, George Carlin, David Copperfield, Bill Cosby, BB King, Barry Manilow, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Jessica Simpson, Lewis Black, and "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Awards, recognition and rankings
The school was the 149th-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. The school had been ranked 165th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 175th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 149th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 150th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.
Construction on what is now the 11-12 wing of the high school began in 1962. WTHS opened in September 1963, serving grades 6-9 while parts of the building were still under construction. Each successive year, all of the grades incremented by 1 (1964 was 7-10, 1965 was 8-11 and 1966 was 9-12) In 1966 the first High School Class of WTHS graduated. In the early 1970s, the school became overcrowded (a problem that would plague the school on and off through 1998). In the fall of 1968, the 7th grade was sent to the new Birches Elementary School, occupying 1/2 of that facility. For the 1969/70 school year, the 7th grade returned to WTHS which operated an AM and PM session, staggered over 4 lunch periods. The 9th through 12th grades taking the morning session and the 7th and 8th grades, the afternoon. In the 1970-71 school year, the 7th and 8th grades were sent to Wedgewood Middle School and WTHS operated a traditional single session. Starting with the 1971-72 year, the school operated split sessions with grades 10-12 attending from 7:30 AM to noon and grades 7-9 attending 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM. As a result, a two-story addition was opened in September 1976, to the right side of the building, as well as an additional gym and a new library. The school continued to serve students in grade 7-12 until the 1979-1980 school year. As a result of this overcrowding and moving of grades, the Class of 1975 was the youngest class as 7th graders, then again the youngest class as 8th graders, then again the youngest class as 9th graders, and finally, with split sessions, the youngest class in their session, as 10th graders.
In the late 1970s, construction on what would be the township's first middle school began. In September 1980, WTMS opened, serving 7th and 8th graders. Because of its location right next to WTHS (at the time, what is now the location of the Core was just a parking lot), the two schools would often share facilities.
Despite a new rather large school to house 7th and 8th graders, and more room in the high school, the township was exploding in population at the time, and both WTHS and WTMS were overcrowded only a few years after the middle school opened. In the mid-1980s, planning for yet another new middle school was underway. This time, however, because WT's elementary schools also faced overcrowding, the school district went ahead and built two schools, which would enroll grades 6 through 8, thus relieving all the elementary schools in the district from 6th graders (they also were relieved of all kindergarteners, thanks to an addition at Grenloch Terrace Early Childhood Center). In fall of 1989, Chestnut Ridge Middle School and Orchard Valley Middle School opened for grades 6-8. The former WTMS became part of the high school complex, renamed as the 9/10 Building (as it served mostly students in 9th and 10th grade), while the original HS was also renamed as the 11/12 Building.
The transition wasn't smooth, however. Both CRMS and OVMS weren't finished in time for the new school year. As a result, the newly formed WTHS complex started its first month with split sessions. High school students would have class starting early in the day, while all middle school students would have class in the late afternoon/early evening. During this time period, the high school students also had to share their lockers with the temp middle school students.
The 9/10 building has H-Hall, I-POD, J-Hall, K-Pod, and L-Pod. The "Pods" are large hallways with bathrooms in the center. The classrooms are around the pods like a courtyard. There was lockers in the center of the pods but they were removed due to the addition to the core lockers.
I-Pod: Originally called "A-Pod" before the 9/10 building was connected to the 11/12 building. The flooring is Red in the classrooms. The Student Assistance office and speech therapists are located here. K-Pod: Originally called "C-Pod" before the 9/10 building was connected to the 11/12 building. The flooring is Yellow in the classrooms. The math and science department office is here. L-Pod: Originally called "C-Pod" before the 9/10 building was connected to the 11/12 building. The flooring is Green in the classrooms. The 9/10 executive principals office is here.
H-Hall: Originally called "D-Hall" before the 9/10 building was connected to the 11/12 building. The bathrooms, main office, principals offices, restriction room, and wood shops are here. The 9/10 Gym is also here. The old 9/10 cafeteria was converted to the "Auxiliary Gym". The new cafeterias are in the core. J-Hall: Originally called "E-Hall" before the 9/10 building was connected to the 11/12 building. The adaptive gym, orchestra room and nurses office is downstairs. Upstairs are classrooms. The original library was here until the core expansion. The old library was converted to the 9/10 adaptive gym.
Washington Township's population continued to grow, and before the district knew it, they needed to expand the high school yet again. Under a $50 million district wide improvement program, a third building was to be built on the site between the 11/12 and 9/10 buildings. The Core building would physically connect the two existing buildings and would include a 2500-seat auditorium (known as the Investors Bank Performing Arts Center as of 2015, formerly known as Commerce Bank Arts Centre and the TD Bank Arts Centre), administrative and guidance offices, a new Media Center (library), new cafeteria (for 9-10 wing students) and more classrooms. Construction on the core building began in the summer of 1996. Parts of the building opened in 1998, and some classes were moved immediately from both the 11/12 and 9/10 buildings.
The new WTHS
The entire building was completed before the 1998-1999 school year. WTHS was now one building for the first time since the 1988-1989 school year. The three parts of the building were renamed the 11/12 wing, core, and 9/10 wing, and hallways were renamed to integrate the building. Since the new building featured a new library, a united guidance office, and cafeteria for the 9/10 wing, the old libraries and guidance offices in each of the wings as well as the old 9/10 cafeteria were able to be renovated for other uses.
The Washington Township High School Minutemen/Minutemaids compete in the Olympic Conference, which consists of public and private high schools located in Burlington County, Camden County, and Gloucester County, and operates under the aegis of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 1,779 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as South Jersey, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,082 to 1,934 students in that grade range.
The WTHS Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1992 to honor outstanding WTHS athletes as well as residents of the township who have achieved success in athletics.
Athletic accomplishments include:
- The boys' basketball team won the South Jersey Group I state sectional championship in 1969.
- The field hockey team won the South Jersey Group III state sectional championship in 1977.
- The softball team won the Group IV state championship in 1985 (vs. Westfield High School), 2002 (vs. West Milford High School) and 2013 (vs. Watchung Hills Regional High School).
- The football team won the South Jersey Group IV state sectional championships in 1987, 1992 and 1995.
- The boys' wrestling team won the South Jersey Group IV state sectional championship in 1998, 2000 and 2010.
- The girls' track team won the Group IV indoor relay state championship in 1999. The boys team won the Group IV indoor relay title in 2009.
- The golf team won the New Jersey Group IV state championship in 1999.
- The boys' cross country team captured the program's first ever South Jersey Group IV sectional crown in the fall of 2005.
- The baseball team won the 2007 NJSIAA Group IV state championship, defeating Steinert High School 9-3 in the semifinals and Randolph High School 15-7 in the group final.
- In 2007, the boys' soccer team won the South Jersey Group IV state sectional championship with a 1-0 win over Lenape High School in the tournament final.
- The ice hockey team was back-to-back champions of the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League.
- The 07-08 boys' track team had the nation's top time in the 4x800 with a time of 8:06.95.
- The 08-09 boy's outdoor track team won the large high school division in the 4x800 at the Penn Relays.
- The 08-09 girls' varsity lacrosse team won the South Jersey Group IV championship, beating division rivals Cherokee High School 10-9 in the section final to take the program's first state sectional.
- The 10-11 girls varsity lacrosse team went undefeated (8-0) as the Olympic Conference champions and won the South Jersey Group IV Championships, beating division rival Lenape High School by a score of 14-7 in the sectional final.
- The boys' bowling team won the 2010 Group IV state championship and went on to win the Tournament of Champions.
- The 10-11 girls' basketball team won the South Jersey Group IV state sectional title as the 11th seed, knocking off top-seeded division rival Cherry Hill High School East (who entered the game with a 26-1 record) in the sectional final by a 46-43 score. The 11-12 girls' basketball team won the Olympic Conference and the South Jersey Group IV state sectional title, beating Toms River East High School in the sectional final by a score of 55-24, after starting the game on a 23-point run and leading 26-2 at the half. The 12-13 girls' basketball team won the Olympic Conference and their third consecutive South Jersey Group IV state sectional title, beating division rival Williamstown High School in the sectional final by a score of 50-38, sealing the victory with a 20-6 run after Williamstown had pulled ahead by two points in the fourth quarter.
- The girls' bowling team won the Group IV state championship in 2011.
- The Minutemen boys' soccer team won the 2014 and 2015 Group IV state championships, earning their first title in program history with a 1-0 win against Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in 2014 and repeating in 2015 by defeating West Orange High School by a score of 1-0 in the tournament final.
The Washington Township High School Orchestra is under the direction of Judy Pagon. On April 22, 2011, the Orchestra participated and played at Carnegie Hall in the National Invitational Band and Orchestra Festival.
The Washington Township High School Wind Ensemble has been participating at the New Jersey State Gala at Rutgers University.
The Washington Township High School Minutemen Marching Band is a regionally and nationally recognized band. Under the direction of James Beyer, the band grew to over 225 members in 1997, the same year they achieved a 94.40 at the ACC Championships, a school record that still stands today. Later that season they participated in the 1998 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and became the first band to be decorated in 5,000 live flowers and seeds, creating the first ever "Marching Musical Float". Designed by Todd Marcocci, this unique concept and design approach received tremendous support from all major media around the world. The band has also participated in the 1995 and 1997 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, invited to play for Governors Kean and Florio and President Reagan, the 2004 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, the 2005 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, California and the 2008 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. Since its inception in 1973, the band has placed in the top 10 at the Tournament of Bands (TOB) Atlantic Coast Championships 16 times, and was Chapter One Champions for 16 straight years from 1985 to 2000, winning the Group 3 title from 1985 to 1987 and the Group 4 titles the subsequent 13 years.
In recent years the band has undergone many changes, including becoming a separate ensemble (no longer a required part of the concert band program) and a director change, Casey Corigliano in 2003. In 2004, the Minutemen band became the first South Jersey band to compete in a Bands of America (BOA) Regional at Rutgers University, part of the nation's top marching circuit. The show was titled "The Odyssey". The band competes in class IV-A of the United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA). The Minutemen host a home show every year titled Preview of Champions.
In the 2009-10 school year, the Minutemen band was named the 2009 USSBA Northern States Group 3A Champion. This was the band's first championship of any kind since the 16-year Chapter Championship streak was broken in 2001. The band was also named the 2010 Cotton Bowl Music Festival Grand Champion while participating in the Cotton Bowl Classic festivities in Dallas, Texas. By being named grand champion, the band had the honor of playing their show "Journey of Man" during pre-game in front of 78,000 fans. The WTHS Drumline also received first place and won the honor to play their cadence to bring all of the bands onto the field for the mass half time show at the 2010 Cotton Bowl.
Other recent bowl games include the 2012 BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans and the 2013 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Minutemen placed 2nd place in field competition and parade competition. They also received the 2013 Alamo Bowl Spirit Award. This award is presented to the school who best embodies the definition of sportsmanship by positively representing their school and showing an overall enthusiasm for music and performance at the Alamo Bowl.
The Minutemen participated in the 2016 Liberty Bowl. They placed 1st in Class AA in Field Show competition capturing best marching, percussion, effect, and colorguard. They were also named the 2016 Liberty Bowl Grand Champion. They achieved this from getting the highest score in field and parade competitions. Their field show was titled "Into Darkness" featuring the music of Hector Berlioz Symphonie Fantasique.
The current band director is Joseph Sino.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Ann Moore, Interim Executive Principal
- Steve Cordner, Assistant Principal 11-12 Wing
- Angela Costello, Assistant Principal Core
- Kevin Murphy, Assistant Principal / Athletic Director 11-12 Wing
- Rich O'Neill, Assistant Principal 11-12 Wing
- Theresa Pietrowski, Executive Assistant Principal 11-12 Wing
- John Saverase, Assistant Principal 9/10 Wing
- Steve Selby, Assistant Principal 9/10 Wing
- King Kong Bundy (born 1957), former WWF wrestler.
- Ryan D'Imperio (born 1987), fullback drafted by the Minnesota Vikings.
- Linda Fiorentino (born 1958), actress, from Dogma, Men in Black, The Last Seduction.
- School data for Washington Township High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- Washington Township High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 5, 2015.
- Caffrey, Michelle. "Washington Township comes 'together with pride' at Philadelphia Phillies game", Washington Township Times, April 28, 2012. Accessed August 3, 2012.
- Caffrey, Michelle. "N.J. concert venue gets new name, sponsor", NJ.com, July 29, 2015. Accessed November 23, 2015. "The performing arts center at Washington Township High School — which has brought in scores of big acts including Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and the Moscow Ballet over the years — has a new name.The 19,344-square foot facility will now be the Investors Bank Performing Arts Center after the Board of Education accepted an offer from Short Hills-based financial institution for the exclusive naming rights, the district announced Tuesday night.... It took on the name Commerce Bank Arts Centre in 2004 when the naming rights were first up for sale, and then became the TD Bank Arts Centre after Commerce was acquired by TD."
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 17, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- referendum amount:, accessed June 20, 2007.
- League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed October 1, 2014.
- History of the NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 11, 2015.
- History of the NJSIAA Softball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 27, 2017.
- Goldberg, Jeff. NJSIAA Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 29, 2015.
- History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 11, 2015.
- History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 11, 2015.
- Grant, Ed. South Jersey Sectional Cross-Country Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed July 4, 2011.
- 2007 Baseball - Public Semis/Finals, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 13, 2007.
- History of the NJSIAA Baseball Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 27, 2017.
- 2007 Boys Soccer - South, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 14, 2007.
- Staff. "Lacrosse title for Washington Township", The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 28, 2009. Accessed July 4, 2011. "Mulholland saved 14 shots as No. 2-seeded Washington Township defeated No. 4 Cherokee, 10-9, in yesterday's gem of a South Jersey Group 4 championship game. It was the first sectional title for the Minutemaids, who are ranked No. 6 in today's Inquirer South Jersey Super Six lacrosse poll."
- Rimback, Tom. "Moorestown moves on to semis", Burlington County Times, May 27, 2011. Accessed July 4, 2011. "Washington Township 14, Lenape 7: Freshman Rena Carabases scored five goals as the seventh-seeded Indians (9-9) bowed out in the South Group 4 championship."
- History of NJSIAA Boys Bowling Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 11, 2015.
- Campbell, Matt. "Slipper fits for Washington Township's Cinderella Minutemaids", Gloucester County Times, March 9, 2011. Accessed June 20, 2013. "The No. 11 seeded Washington Township High School girls' basketball team stunned top-seeded Cherry Hill East, 46-43, on Tuesday night in their NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV final. The Cougars, who came into the game with a 26-1 record, were heavy favorites against the 15-13 Minutemaids."
- Melchiorre, Chris. "Washington Twp. beats Toms River East for S.J. Group 4 title", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 6, 2012. Accessed June 20, 2013. "The Minutemaids' Super Glue-tight, matchup zone defense completely handcuffed any semblance of a Toms River East offense, propelling Washington Township to its second-consecutive South Jersey Group 4 title in a 55-24 romp in front of a capacity-plus crowd Monday night at Washington Township."
- Callaway, Rob. "Washington Township girls basketball defeats Williamstown en route to third straight SJ Group IV title", NJ.com, March 5, 2013. Accessed June 20, 2013. "But the No. 2 Minutemaids had an answer, outscoring Williamstown 20-6 from that point on to win their third straight title with a 50-38 victory."
- History of NJSIAA Girls Bowling Championships , New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed February 27, 2017.
- Anastasia, Phil. "Washington Twp. boys capture state soccer title", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 25, 2014. Accessed February 7, 2016. "'That was the longest second half I've ever been involved in," Washington Township boys' soccer coach Shane Snyder said after his team's 1-0 victory over Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the Group 4 state championship game."
- 2015 Soccer Championships Program, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed February 27, 2017.
- Anastasia, Phil. "Washington Twp. boys capture state soccer title", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 24, 2015. Accessed February 7, 2016. "All week, Logar kept his badly sprained left ankle elevated and wrapped in ice, and told himself that he would be ready for the Group 4 state championship game.... Washington Township (25-1-1) combined Logar's goal with some sensational defense to beat West Orange (21-2), which was ranked No. 2 in the state by nj.com and had spent part of the season in the top spot."
- Air Force Junior ROTC Programs, Washington Township High School. Accessed June 20, 2013.
- TOB 1997 ACC's Scores. Accessed April 7, 2008.
- Todd Marcocci - President of Under the Sun Productions Inc. Accessed April 7, 2008.
- WTHS Marching Band Affiliation and Participants. Accessed April 7, 2008.
- Tournament of Bands - Chapter One History, Tournament of Bands. Accessed July 5, 2007.
- 2004 BOA Piscataway Regional Prelims Recap. Accessed April 7, 2008.
- WTPS News Release. Accessed April 3, 2009.
- Administration, Washington Township High School. Accessed December 10, 2015.
- Interim Executive Principal Ann Moore, Washington Township High School. Accessed December 10, 2015.
- Beym, Jessica. "Former Professional Wrestling Star to Visit Washington Township to Promote Hoagie Sale", Gloucester County Times, January 28, 2010. Accessed May 22, 2011. "Chris Pallies, a 1974 Washington Township High School graduate better known by his professional wrestling name King Kong Bundy, will return to his roots on Friday. Pallies will visit Orchard Valley Middle School during lunch periods to promote the school's Helping Hands Super Bowl Hoagie Sale."
- Minnick, Kevin. "D'Imperio goes to Vikings", Courier Post, April 25, 2010. Accessed September 24, 2012. "Ryan D'Imperio talked to a few teams leading up to the NFL Draft. The 2006 Washington Township High School graduate also worked out for a few teams."
- Ryan D'Imperio, Minnesota Vikings. Accessed May 22, 2011.
- Staff. "Maintaining a connection is alumni goal", Courier Post, September 12, 2002. Accessed September 24, 2012. "Among Washington Township High School's well-known alumni: Mayor Randee Davidson, actress Linda Fiorentino and WPVI TV-6 news reporter Karen Rogers."
- Biography of Linda Fiorentino, accessed December 16, 2006.
- Official website
- Washington Township Public Schools
- Washington Township High School Minuteman Marching Band
- Washington Township Public Schools's 2014–15 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Washington Township Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- South Jersey Sports: Washington Township HS