Westmont Hilltop High School

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Westmont Hilltop High School
WHHS logo.png
Scientia fons Veritatis
"Knowledge is the Source of Truth" (English translation)
200 Fair Oaks Drive, Johnstown, PA 15905
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States
Type Public, secondary
Established 1919
School district District VI
Staff Staff directory
Faculty 38 teachers[1]
Grades 9–12
Number of students 624[1]
Color(s) Red and Gray
Athletics The Hilltoppers & The Lady Hilltoppers
Athletics conference Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference
Mascot The Hilltoppers

Westmont Hilltop High School is the public high school for the Westmont Hilltop School District. The high school is located in Upper Yoder Township, Cambria County in the western suburbs of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The high school serves the populations living in Upper Yoder Township, Westmont Borough, and Southmont Borough, Cambria County.


The high school was founded when Westmont School District merged with Upper Yoder School District to form Westmont-Upper Yoder School District in 1919. The high school became its current entity when Southmont School District merged with Westmont-Upper Yoder School District in 1956, forming Westmont Hilltop School District. The current high school building opened in 1961 and was renovated in 1996.

The high school was originally located on Diamond Blvd, Southmont Borough. The former high school is now Westmont Hilltop Middle School.

Alma Mater[edit]

The Alma Mater of Westmont Hilltop is:

"Dear Alma Mater we sing to you. We glory in your name, your works to view, dear Alma Mater, we sing to you. Dear Alma Mater we sing to you, pledging our loyalty our vows renew. Your name we’ll ever love, your precepts true. Dear Alma Mater, we sing to you. "

The Alma Mater was written by Willard E. Ackley, the supervising principal from 1934 to 1954.


The high school's mascot is the Hilltopper. The school's official colors are red and gray, with white and/or black often appearing in athletics uniforms. Westmont Hilltop High School is a member of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference for most sports. Westmont's rivals include Bishop McCort and Richland.[citation needed] The interlocking "WH" that currently appears on the school's team uniforms and helmets was originally designed by Darren Trebel (Class of '85) in 1982 at the request of Vice Principal Jack Yoder. The design was implemented in time for the school's football team to take part in filming for "All the Right Moves" in Fall, 1983 (see Cultural References below).

There have been many athletic accolades awarded to the school including many Laurel Highlands Conferences Championships and PIAA District 6 Championships. The school has also won the Laurel Highlands All-Sports Trophy multiple times. Many individuals from Westmont Hilltop have won state championships,[citation needed] and a men's swimming relay team won the state championship in 2002.

On four occasions Westmont Hilltop sports teams have advanced to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) or equivalent state championship finals; however, no WHHS team has ever won a state championship. The first team to do so was the 2002 men's soccer team, which was defeated in sudden death double overtime. The second team was the 2003 men's hockey team, which advanced to the state championship, but also lost by one goal. The women's basketball team were state runners-up in 2005 and 2006.

Arts and music[edit]

Westmont Hilltop High School has a strong music program and consistently sends many students to participate in the PMEA District 6 and Region 3 Honors Choruses, Bands, Orchestras, and Jazz Festivals. Westmont Hilltop sends students to the All-State Festivals as well. Similarly, the school has recently sent students to the All-State Jazz Chorus Honors Festival. Many students also participate in a variety of other honors festivals. Westmont Hilltop has also sent representatives to the ACDA All-Eastern Honor Choir, and to the ACDA National Honor Choir.

The Westmont Hilltop Marching band and Indoor Percussion and Guard ensembles currently compete in the Atlantic Coast Championships yearly. The ensembles have won numerous awards and have performed in front of large crowds.[citation needed]

Westmont Hilltop has a rich history of musical theater. The first musical was performed in 1962 and one has been performed every year since. In 2006 Westmont Hilltop's musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying won many accolades from the inaugural Isaac Awards. Westmont Hilltop won the Best Production, Best Musical Number for "Coffee Break," Best Actor, Jeff Howanek, in a Leading Role, and Best Actress, Sarah Sahlaney, in the Leading Role awards. Westmont Hilltop also had nominees for Best Actor in Supporting Role and Best Actress in Supporting Role. In 2007, Westmont Hilltop performed a production of Guys and Dolls Jade Stager was awarded Best Actress in a Leading Role, and also won an award for Best Musical Number. Westmont presented Grease in 2008, and West Side Story in 2009. Westmont Hilltop presented Anything Goes in 2010. In 2011, the program performed Godspell and in 2012, the performance was The Pirates of Penzance for the 50th annual musical. In 2013, the school performed Into the Woods. Broadway, TV and Film actor Jeff Skowron is a graduate and began acting in the Westmont Hilltop musicals.

Academic competition[edit]

Westmont Hilltop's academic teams are two of the most valued and successful teams at the school. The Scholastic quiz team, led by their advisor, John T. Wood III, who is also the high school's premier chemistry teacher, consistently performs well on the local, regional, and state levels. In 2009, Westmont's Scholastic Quiz team won the local championship and then went on to win the Regional championship over Altoona. They competed in the state tournament in April 2009, losing in a close match to the eventual State Champions from Wilson High School, in the semifinal round.

The Forensics team is generally considered the best in the area.[citation needed] The team's coaches are Angela Sloan and Billie Kisko. Westmont has gone on to Regional, State, and National tournaments nearly every year. In 2010, two of Westmont's competitors were regional champions in their categories, and the team won the District Championship. In 2013, the Forensics team won both District and Regional tournaments.

2013 marks the start of the Westmont's FIRST Robotics team.


  1. ^ a b General Information from Education Index

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°19′04″N 78°58′42″W / 40.3177°N 78.9783°W / 40.3177; -78.9783