Wellesley High School

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Wellesley High School
50 Rice Street


United States
School code222285
PrincipalJamie Chisum
Number of students1540 (2018/2019)
Color(s)Red & Black   
NewspaperThe Bradford
YearbookThe Wellesleyan
WebsiteWellesley High School

Wellesley High School is a public high school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States, educating students on grades 9 through 12. The principal is Jamie Chisum, who took the position in 2014 after the departure of Andrew Keough.[2] As of 2018, the school serves 1540 students. In 2016 it was ranked the 21st best high school in Massachusetts and the 467th best public high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, earning a gold medal.[3]

History and current state[edit]

The old school building of what was then named Gamaliel Bradford High School was originally built as a public works project in 1938 during the Great Depression, designed by Perry Shaw and Hepburn and built by M. Spinelli and Sons Co., Inc. The building has been modified with several additions throughout its existence, most recently with a new fitness center. The 1938 building was replaced in 2012 with a new building in the former parking lot.

Renewal and expansion[edit]

Wellesley High School in 2009 before demolition

Age and maintenance issues have taken their toll on the school structure. The increasing size of the student body as well as the evolving nature of education have challenged the capability of the building to meet the needs of the school community effectively and safely. In September 2005, the exploration of options for a new building or refurbishment was commenced by the town.[4]

In October 2007, a public meeting was held to introduce several options for the expansion of the school, including renovation and extension of the existing building and its demolition and replacement by a completely new structure. The site has been expanded by purchase of three adjacent properties in Seaver Street and transfer of publicly owned land.

On December 10, 2008, town voters approved the project by nearly 2 to 1 (5,026 YES to 2,869 NO), to build a new, state-of-the art high school on the parking lot next to the existing buildings. Site clearance started in August 2009 with the relocation of one house to a nearby site. Construction began March 2010 with an estimated completion date of September 2013. The new facility opened in February 2012, and the school held a gala to say goodbye to the old building, and alumni such as Billy Squier, Jane Curtin, and Biz Stone gave last rites in the school auditorium over a series of weekend concerts and get-together events in 2011.[5]

After much analysis, the existing structure was declared to be a good example of the Art Deco style of architecture; however, it was found by the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) not to be a historically significant example and was demolished in 2011 and 2012. The state authorities held the final say in this ruling, but the A.I.A. review opened the door for the eventual knock-down and the final site plotting. The new structure, which opened to students in February 2012, incorporates some of the design features of the prior building and is limited in its visual impact to blend with the surrounding residential neighborhood. The total cost was estimated to be $130 million with $85 million of that total to be raised from State and Federal matching funds. However, the final project came in under budget at $90 million and opened 18 months ahead of schedule.[6]

Governing bodies[edit]

  • Students: Student Congress
  • Teachers: Faculty Senate
  • Administrative: ATM
  • Legislative: School Council
    • Co-Moderator (Principal), Co-Moderator (Student)
    • For next year School Council has been changed to have eleven members: two teachers, four students, and three parents, a community member, and the Principal.
      • Two student representatives are elected in Student Congress, another is the president of Student Congress, and another is appointed.
  • District Wide: School Committee
  • Representatives to Greater Boston Regional Advisory Council to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Wellesley High School offers many after school clubs that are mostly run by students. Notable clubs include Student Congress, Academic Decathlon, the active Debate Club, Drama Society, the Key Club, Model UN, the Science Olympiad Team, the Math Team, the Climate Action Club, MVP Club and the many other cultural and humanitarian-focused clubs.

The MVP Club is a club that tries to help students of the High School learn the problems of domestic abuse for teenagers. Their goal is to spread the message throughout the high school and to help current victims of domestic abuse.

Drama Society[edit]

The Wellesley High School Drama Society produces four productions every academic year a fall musical, winter show (for non-competitive entry into METG), and two spring productions. There are a variety of opportunities for students as they can either audition to be a cast member or work backstage on the stage crew.

Student Congress[edit]

This club serves as the primary representative of the student body. Open to membership from all grades, Student Congress serves to promote the students' interests and enhance their experiences through communication, dialogue, and policy debate.

Model UN[edit]

The Wellesley High School Model UN club is an after school club formed in 2010.

Academic Decathlon[edit]

Wellesley High School has an Academic Decathlon team. The team consistently makes it to the State Finals and has placed in the top 3 in Massachusetts for the past several seasons. In 2015, the team lost to the Acton-Boxborough High School for the state title.[7]


Raiders vs. Rockets in the 2005 Thanksgiving Day Game at Hunnewell Field in Wellesley

Wellesley High School is a member of the Bay State Conference and the Eastern Massachusetts Division of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).[8] A wide variety of sports are offered at Wellesley High School at the varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen levels.[9] More than 70% of WHS students participate in sports at some point during their time at Wellesley High.

State championships

On November 19, 2016, Wellesley High School boys' cross country team, coached by former Olympian Tim Broe, won the Division I State Championships.[10] On June 10, 2016, the Wellesley High School girls' tennis team won the Division I State Championships[11] In 2013, the Wellesley High School girls' tennis team defeated Notre Dame Academy to win the state championships.[12] In June 2010, the Wellesley High School boys' tennis team defeated St. John's 5–0 to win its first ever Division 1 State Championship.[13] On March 15, 2008, the Wellesley High School girls' varsity basketball team defeated Millbury at the DCU Center in Worcester to win the State Basketball Championship.[14] In 2006, the Wellesley High School girls' ice hockey team won the state championship.[15] In 2006, the Wellesley High School boys' lacrosse team won the Division 2 All State Championship.[16][17][18]

Varsity Sports in Wellesley for the 2014–2015 academic school year are as follows:

  • Fall
    • Football
    • Boys' Soccer
    • Girls' Soccer
    • Field Hockey
    • Boys' Cross Country
    • Girls' Cross Country
    • Girls' Volleyball
    • Girls' Swimming
    • Girls' Diving
    • Boys' Golf
  • Winter
    • Boys' Basketball
    • Girls' Basketball
    • Boys' Indoor Track
    • Girls' Indoor Track
    • Boys' Ice Hockey
    • Girls' Ice Hockey
    • Boys' Swimming
    • Boys' Diving
    • Dance Team
    • Boys' and Girls' Alpine and Nordic Ski Team
    • Wrestling
    • Girls' Gymnastics
  • Spring
    • Softball
    • Baseball
    • Boys' Outdoor Track and Field
    • Girls' Outdoor Track and Field
    • Boys' Tennis
    • Girls' Tennis
    • Boys' Lacrosse
    • Girls' Lacrosse
    • Boys' Volleyball
    • Sailing Team
    • Girls' Golf

Co-curricular offerings[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

Wellesley High School is widely known for their performing arts department, which has reached state and national levels on a consistent basis. Some of the most notable works by the Wellesley High School performing arts department include the Keynote and Rice Street singers involvements with the Boston Pops, as well as the band and orchestra programs.

  • Band
    • 1 o'Clock Jazz Band – Winner of many[specify] different medals at the International Association for Jazz Education.[19]
    • 2 o'Clock Jazz Band – The 2 o'clock Jazz Band was a finalist at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition and Festival in New York City for the second year in a row.[20][21] The group has been accepted as a finalist again in 2009 for the third time. They were also accepted in 2011, their fourth time. They won first place at the 41st Annual Berklee Jazz Festival in 2009, their second consecutive victory there. They won again in 2014. They have won a gold medal at the MAJE state finals for each year since 2002.
    • Concert Band
    • Wind Ensemble – Since the origin of the WHS Wind Ensemble, it has won the gold medal at the MICCA state finals several consecutive years, and has performed at both Mechanics Hall in Worcester and Symphony Hall in Boston.[22]
  • Orchestra (strings)
    • The orchestra won a gold medal at MICCA in 2009 and performed at Symphony Hall in March.
    • The Honors Chamber Orchestra won a gold medal at MICCA for many consecutive years and performed both in Mechanics Hall, Worcester and Symphony Hall, Boston.
  • Choral Program
    • Concert Choir - Wellesley High School's unauditioned
    • Keynote Singers - Select Ensemble of 60 singers which are known for their light classical arrangements. They appeared at the "Boston Pops: Home Alone In Concert" in 2013 and 2018 alongside the Rice Street Singers and the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart.[23][24]
    • Rice Street - Select Ensemble of 21 singers which are known for their jazz arrangements. They have won numerous awards alongside the Keynote Singers at the all state level. They appeared at the "Boston Pops: Home Alone In Concert" in 2013 and 2018 alongside the Keynote Singers and the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart.[23][24]
    • Song Sisters - The all treble choir that specializes in more modern music
    • Brooks Brothers - the TB choir that specializes in fun pop music
  • Drama Program
    • Four levels of acting classes are offered.
    • The Wellesley High School Drama Society has won the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Festival and advanced to New Englands five times in the past ten years. Their most recent win was in 2010 with their production of the self-scripted Blüdpayne VII: A Fistful of Blüdpayne.[25] In 2007, Wellesley won with their production of Dark of the Moon,[26] and in 2006, with the self-scripted Der Waffle Haus, Ergo Leggo My Ego.[27]
  • Technical Theatre
    • Stagecraft and Stagecraft Intensive classes are offered.


The Bradford is the Wellesley High School newspaper. The Journalism class is responsible for publishing new issues. Red Ink is an arts and literary magazine with student submitted poetry, stories, photography, and otherwise. The Green Pages is a digital newsletter, published bimonthly by students, focusing on the "green happenings" of the Wellesley Public Schools.

Associated programs[edit]

Child Lab[edit]

Child Lab is a developmentally appropriate laboratory preschool for 3, 4, and 5 year olds located on the ground floor of Wellesley High School. Since its inception in 1979, the Lab School has enrolled 18 children each year. It is an elective in which high school students enroll to learn about the development of young children and the best ways to approach optimum learning for the children. Child Lab is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about different ages and stages of children as well as to have the children taught by the students who have taken an interest in early childhood development.

Partnership with Wellesley College[edit]

Students at WHS may take classes at Wellesley College without paying tuition, provided that the classes are not offered at WHS.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "2016-17 SAT Performance Statewide Report". September 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Reed, Brad (January 25, 2007). WHS Principal Hired. Wellesley Townsman.
  3. ^ U. S. News & World Report [1]. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  4. ^ http://savewhs.org/townsman1012A.htm
  5. ^ "A gala farewell for old Wellesley High". The Boston Globe.
  6. ^ "Wellesley High School" (PDF). Symmes Main & McKee Associates. Retrieved May 18, 2009.
  7. ^ http://acadecscores.gilslotd.com/wiki/State/Massachusetts/2015 Retrieved on May 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Home - MIAA Home Page
  9. ^ Family Reference Guide – Athletics Department
  10. ^ The Wellesley boys cross country team wins its first ever Division 1 state championship meet - Sports - The Wellesley Townsman - Wellesley, MA
  11. ^ HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS TENNIS: Wellesley stands alone at the top | Boston Herald
  12. ^ "Wellesley High girls' golf team wins state title". June 5, 2013.
  13. ^ Wellesley runs the table - The Boston Globe
  14. ^ Wellesley girls basketball team wins state championship - YouTube
  15. ^ Megliola: Wellesley now a hotbed of high school hockey - Sports - MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA - Framingham, MA
  16. ^ "State/ISL Champions". BostonLax. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
  17. ^ https://bostonlax.net/previous-state-champions/
  18. ^ Boys' lacrosse state championship history - News - telegram.com - Worcester, MA
  19. ^ "WHS jazz bands take home gold and silver". WickedLocal. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2008.
  20. ^ Bowers, Jack (April 5, 2005). "The Mancini Institute: A Beacon of Light". all about jazz. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  21. ^ "Essentially Ellington Winners!". all about jazz. April 22, 2006. Retrieved March 6, 2008.
  22. ^ Scott, Steven. (December 15, 2006) WHS auditorium no longer serving our needs – Wellesley, Massachusetts – The Wellesley Townsman. Wickedlocal.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Home Alone in Concert December 29 & 30 | Boston Symphony Orchestra | bso.org". www.bso.org. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Boston Symphony Orchestra. Boston Pops Holiday programs, 2014, Season 129. Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives. Boston, Mass. : Boston Symphony Orchestra.
  25. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Mhsdg.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  26. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Mhsdg.com. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  27. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Mhsdg.com (April 1, 2006). Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  28. ^ Correspondent, Tim Whelan Jr /Daily News. "The Beat: Wellesley-bred lawyer Alex Spiro a matchup nightmare on the court and in the courtroom". MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA. Retrieved August 16, 2021.

External links[edit]