William L. Dickinson High School

Coordinates: 40°43′48″N 74°03′14″W / 40.73000°N 74.05389°W / 40.73000; -74.05389
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William L. Dickinson High School
2 Palisade Avenue

, ,

United States
TypePublic high school
School districtJersey City Public Schools
NCES School ID340783002780[2]
PrincipalGekson Casillas (acting)[1]
Faculty122.6 FTEs[2]
Enrollment2,046 (as of 2021–22)[2]
Student to teacher ratio16.7:1[2]
Color(s)  Maroon and
Athletics conferenceHudson County Interscholastic League (general)
North Jersey Super Football Conference (football)
Team nameRams[3]
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[4]
Jersey City High School
William L. Dickinson High School is located in Hudson County, New Jersey
William L. Dickinson High School
Location in Hudson County, New Jersey
Coordinates40°43′48″N 74°03′14″W / 40.73000°N 74.05389°W / 40.73000; -74.05389
Area11 acres (4.5 ha)
ArchitectJohn T. Rowland
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference No.82003275[5]
NJRHP No.1514
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 1, 1982
Designated NJRHPDecember 23, 1981
Overlooking lower Jersey City

William L. Dickinson High School is a four-year comprehensive community public high school located in Jersey City, Hudson County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as part of the Jersey City Public Schools. Dickinson occupies a prominent location on Bergen Hill overlooking lower Jersey City and the New York Harbor. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1929.[4]

As of the 2021–22 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,046 students and 122.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 16.7:1. There were 1,268 students (62.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 88 (4.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

The school was the 304th-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.[6] The school had been ranked 302nd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 308th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[7] The magazine ranked the school 295th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[8] The school was ranked 291st in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[9]

In 1999, student Samir Kapadia placed fourth at the Annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his project "Identification and Targeting Multiple Myeloma Cancerous Tumors."[10]

In 2002–03, students Juliet R. Girard and Roshan D. Prabhu won the team competition of the Siemens Westinghouse Competition for "Identification and High Resolution Mapping of Flowering Time Genes in Rice." The duo shared a $100,000 scholarship with their victory.[11]

In 2007, Abdullah Anwar, a student was recognized as a semi-finalist in the 2007 New Jersey Business Idea Competition conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.[12]


Originally named Jersey City High School, the property was purchased in 1904 and the new building opened on September 6, 1906, in an attempt to relieve overcrowding in the city's public schools.[13][14] It was the first public secondary school in the city. When the school opened, it housed a 2,000-seat auditorium that saw extensive public use, and hosted such events as a lecture by Helen Keller and political rallies for United States Presidents Taft, Wilson, and Roosevelt. The original school was expanded with the construction of a second building in 1912 to further industrial skills education. This building contained a foundry, print shop, and vocational classrooms.[15]

In 1913, the school was renamed William L. Dickinson High School for the superintendent who had advocated for creation of the school during his term from 1872 to 1883.[13] The school was expanded again in 1933 with the addition of an annex containing a swimming pool, cafeteria, and gymnasium.[15] That same year, Lincoln High School was opened as the second high school in the district, as part of an effort to provide additional capacity outside of Dickinson.[16]

The rear of the building is the site of a late 1800s-era cannon mount built to protect the Hudson River shoreline from early invaders. Given the location of the cannon and the associated technology of the time, it is doubtful that the cannon would have ever been effective as a defensive emplacement. While the cannon has since been removed, the original mounting was reused as the site of a black-granite monument to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.[citation needed]

In 1946, students went on strike to protest a proposal by the city's board of education to extend the end of the school day from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, with striking students arguing that the longer school day would interfere with their part-time jobs.[17]


The William L. Dickinson High School Rams[3] compete in the Hudson County Interscholastic League, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Hudson County and was established following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[18] With 1,342 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,060 to 5,049 students in that grade range.[19] The football team competes in the Ivy Red division of the North Jersey Super Football Conference, which includes 112 schools competing in 20 divisions, making it the nation's biggest football-only high school sports league.[20][21] The football team is one of the 12 programs assigned to the two Ivy divisions starting in 2020, which are intended to allow weaker programs ineligible for playoff participation to compete primarily against each other.[22] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group V North for football for 2022–2024, which included schools with 1,313 to 5,304 students.[23]

In 1930, Walt Singer (as an end) and his identical twin brother Milton (at running back) led the Dickinson football team to a 9–0 record as it became the second-ever Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association champion.[24]

The Dickinson Rams football team had been led by head coach Rich Glover who had played as a defensive lineman for the New York Giants.

In February 2010, the Jersey City Public Schools cut funding for interscholastic sports and ended the football program at Dickinson.[25] The Dickinson football team was re-established in 2012 after a few years in hiatus; the varsity was scheduled to be back for the 2014 season.

The boys indoor track team was the state public school champion in both 1937 and 1938, and won the Group IV state championship in 1966.[26]

The boys' cross country team won the Group IV state title in 1948 and 1955.[27] The team won the North I Group IV state championship in 1967.[28]

The boys' baseball team won the North I Group IV state sectional championship in 1966, the only time that the team has won a state title in the post-1958 playoff era.[29]

The boys track team won the indoor relay championship in Group IV in 1966 and 1967[30]

The boys' basketball team won the 2000 North I, Group IV sectional title, edging Memorial High School 43–41 in the tournament final.[31]

In 2009, the boys soccer team went on to the state tournament, losing to Ridge High School by a score of 2–0 in the tournament final, finishing with a record of 17–8–0 and marking the first time in Dickinson history that the boys varsity soccer team made it to the state sectional championship.[32]


The school's principal is Gekson Casillas. His core administration team includes four vice principals.[1]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • John C. White (born 1975), the Louisiana state education superintendent since 2012, taught English at Dickinson from 1998 to 2001.[70]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b About Us, William L. Dickinson High School. Accessed May 15, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e School data for William L. Dickinson High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 1, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c William L. Dickinson High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  4. ^ a b William L. Dickinson High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed February 13, 2022.
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  6. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  7. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2012.
  8. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed December 29, 2011.
  9. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  10. ^ "Special Awards presented to Finalistsof the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair", May 6, 1999. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Identification and Targeting of the Multiple Myeloma Cancerous Tumor; Samir Kapadia, 17, William Dickinson High School, Jersey City, New Jersey"
  11. ^ Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. Accessed November 22, 2006.
  12. ^ 2007 New Jersey Business Idea Competition, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Accessed May 6, 2007.
  13. ^ a b Dickinson High School. Accessed January 6, 2007.
  14. ^ Nomination Form for William L. Dickinson High School, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed May 11, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Goodnough, Abby. "Once Upon a Time, When High Schools Were Palaces", The New York Times, October 6, 1996. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Ninety years ago, an enormous Beaux Arts building went up on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. It had Corinthian columns, terrazzo floors and a vestibule lined with English marble. It could have passed for a palace, or at least a palatial estate. But it was neither. It was, in fact, William L. Dickinson High School, the first public secondary school in Jersey City."
  16. ^ Lincoln High School, New Jersey City University. Accessed March 24, 2021. "Lincoln High School was named for the sixteenth president of the United States and opened in 1913. It became the second public high school in Jersey City and was started to accommodate the overcrowded conditions in the City High School (now Dickinson High School)."
  17. ^ Staff. "School Strikers Increase Ranks; 400 of Dickinson High School, Jersey City, Join Others in Protest on Hours", The New York Times, December 18, 1946. Accessed September 15, 2020. "The ranks of striking high school pupils here were enlarged today when 400 pupils of the William L. Dickinson High School left their classes in sympathy with the 1,000 of Henry Snyder High School who walked out yesterday protesting a proposed lengthening of school hours."
  18. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  19. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Cooper, Darren. "Here's what we know about the new Super Football Conference 2020 schedule", The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference (SFC) is a 112-team group, the largest high school football-only conference in America, and is comprised of teams from five different counties."
  21. ^ Cooper, Darren. "NJ football: Super Football Conference revised schedules for 2020 regular season", The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference has 112 teams that will play across 20 divisions."
  22. ^ Cooper, Darren. "Super Football Conference creating 'Ivy Division' for struggling programs", The Record, May 1, 2019. Accessed March 24, 2021. "Seeking to restore participation and enthusiasm to high school football programs that have struggled to compete consistently, the Super Football Conference announced plans to start a 12-team 'Ivy Division' in the 2020 season. Teams that compete in the 'Ivy Division' will play exclusively against each other and won't participate in the NJISAA football playoffs.... Twelve schools from Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Morris counties have applied to compete in the Ivy Division: Bergen Tech, Cliffside Park, Dickinson, Fair Lawn, Ferris, Memorial, Dover, Dwight-Morrow, Fort Lee, Glen Ridge, Marist and Tenafly."
  23. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2022–2024, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 1, 2023.
  24. ^ Hague, Jim. "Moments of Gridiron Greatness The history of football in Jersey City", The Hudson Reporter, October 14, 2007. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Coached by Charlie Witkowski, an All-American performer at Villanova who later became the mayor of Jersey City, the Dickinson football team of 1930 became the second-ever champion of the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, then defeated a highly regarded Passaic team to win what was known as the Tri-County title. The Rams were 9–0 that season and led by lineman Ed Franco, halfback Al Barabas and standout twins Milt and Walt Singer."
  25. ^ Hague, Jim. "Scoreboard: 02-14-2010 The end of an era Jersey City Board of Education pulls the plug on Dickinson football", The Hudson Reporter, February 14, 2010. Accessed December 29, 2011. "The Jersey City Board of Education convened last week to address budgetary problems, and the powers-that-be decided to slice the entire athletic budget in half, cutting 50 percent of the entire budget that was set aside for athletics. Among those cuts included the complete elimination of high school football at Dickinson High School."
  26. ^ NJSIAA Indoor Group Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  27. ^ NJSIAA Boys Cross Country Group State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  28. ^ NJSIAA North I Sectional Cross Country Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  29. ^ NJSIAA Baseball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 1, 2023.
  30. ^ History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 1, 2022.
  31. ^ 2000 Public Sectionals – North I, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 6, 2007.
  32. ^ Staff. "Ridge 2, Dickinson 0", The Star-Ledger, November 13, 2009. Accessed November 30, 2011. "Phil Welsh assisted Jake Hotz seven minutes into the first half and then scored off a feed from Zach Brody two minutes after the break to lead Ridge, No. 14 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, to a 2–0 victory over Dickinson in the NJSIAA/Investors Savings Bank North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 final yesterday in Basking Ridge."
  33. ^ Lin, Jonathan. "Akon stops by his Jersey City home away from home", The Jersey Journal, November 17, 2013. Accessed August 20, 2015. "Akon said Costa helped keep him out of trouble during his rougher days in Jersey City, when he attended Dickinson High School on Palisade Avenue."
  34. ^ Paul Berezney, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed November 22, 2017.
  35. ^ Pete Berezney, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed November 22, 2017.
  36. ^ "Press Release: Bessoir appointed head basketball coach", University of Scranton, dated May 21, 1972. Accessed January 4, 2021. A native of Jersey City, and a graduate of Dickinson High, Bessoir is one of the U. of S. all-time basketball big men."
  37. ^ Thomas Jr., Robert McG. Jr. "Two Giants Were Heroes Far From Playing Field", The New York Times, January 26, 1991. Accessed September 25, 2009. "Blozis, who was born in Garfield, N.J., and was a star athlete at Dickinson High School in Jersey City before going to Georgetown on a track scholarship, was regarded as the strongest player in professional football and had the physique to prove it."
  38. ^ Nate Borden, pro-football-reference. Accessed October 1, 2015.
  39. ^ John Cannella Stats, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed March 14, 2018.
  40. ^ Stevenson, L.L. (January 30, 1951). "Lights of New York". Valley Morning Star. p. 4. Retrieved June 10, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  41. ^ The Story of New Jersey, p. 1986. Published 1945. Accessed July 1, 2019. "Public schools of Jersey City, his birthplace, provided Dominick V. Daniels' early formal education, and he was graduated in 1925 from the William L. Dickinson High School here."
  42. ^ Nelson, Jennifer L. "You, Me, & The Duprees", New Jersey Monthly, January 2008. Accessed June 23, 2008.
  43. ^ Official Congressional Directory, p. 68. United States Government Printing Office, 1921. Accessed May 15, 2023. "Edward Irving Edwards, Democrat, son of the late William W. Edwards (Welsh) and Emma J. Edwards (English), was born December 1, 1863, in that part of Jersey City known as the town of Bergen; educated in Jersey City High School and New York University..."
  44. ^ Fizgerald's Legislative Manual, State of New Jersey, Volume 194, Part 2; Volume 195, Parts 1-2, p. 438. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1971. Accessed July 1, 2019. "Assemblyman Esposito was born in Jersey City, January 22, 1913. He received his education at Public School No. 32, Jersey City; Dickinson High School, Jersey City; Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa."
  45. ^ "Former Mayor Faulkner Dies", The Montclair Times, November 17, 1983. Accessed February 26, 2023, via Newspapers.com. "Mr. Faulkner was born July 19, 1894 in Bucklin, Mo., but his family moved in 1900 to Jersey City. He was graduated from Dickinson High School in Jersey City in 1911 and from New York University, where he received a bachelor of commercial science degree, cum laude."
  46. ^ Via Associated Press. 'Dream Comes True For Flora Tonight", The Free Lance-Star, December 12, 1957. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Many of the basketball fans who helped vote Flora Jersey City's 'Mr. Basketball' in his junior year at William Dickinson High School will be on hand."
  47. ^ "Ed "Devil Doll" Franco". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved July 22, 2007. "Ed Franco came from Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Fordham."
  48. ^ Staff. "James J. Galdieri; Ex-Assemblyman From Hudson County Dies in Home at 47", The New York Times, April 28, 1944. Accessed May 20, 2009.
  49. ^ Mota, Caitlin. "Jersey City high school grad hits the big screen with role in 'Logan'", The Jersey Journal, March 8, 2017. Accessed April 15, 2018. "A potential Oscar still may be a ways off, but the 20-year-old Dickinson High School graduate made his silver screen debut Friday for a role he played in the new X-Men movie Logan, which stars Hugh Jackman."
  50. ^ Statue of Christopher Columbus Journal Square, New Jersey City University. Accessed December 26, 2021. "Designed by sculptor Archimedes Giacomantonio (1905-1988) of Jersey City, the ten-foot bronze statue of Christopher Columbus is mounted on a white marble shaft and was dedicated on October 15, 1950.... The sculptor Giacomantonio attended Dickinson High School."
  51. ^ Gutting, Bob. "FSU Gym Champs, Holder, Ireland, Elected Co-Captains", The Florida Flambeau, November 12, 1954. Accessed July 25, 2019. "Don began his gymnastics career at Dickinson High School in Jersey City, N.J. After graduating in 1946 he entered competition for the famed Swiss Gymnastics Society of Jersey City."
  52. ^ Johnny Kucks, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed July 1, 2019. "Kucks pitched at William L. Dickinson High in Jersey City, where he went 32-9 with five one-hitters."
  53. ^ George McAneny Papers, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal. Accessed July 1, 2019. "George McAneny was a prominent New York City civil servant. Born in 1869 in Greenville, New Jersey, McAneny attended Jersey City High School and began a career in journalism after graduation."
  54. ^ Gomez, John. Legendary Locals of Jersey City, p. 57. Accessed January 13, 2018. "Lillian Morrison Born in 1917, Lillian Morrison grew up in the Jersey City Heights, graduated from Dickinson High School, and worked in the New York Public Library system for over 50 years."
  55. ^ Mary Teresa Norton, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed August 15, 2007.
  56. ^ Staff. "Ralph Peduto", Santa Cruz Sentinel via Legacy.com, May 31, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014. "As a child Ralph was part of a rich and textured life in Jersey City. He attended both Ferris High School and Dickinson High School where in 2000 he was inducted into Dickinson's Hall of Fame for achievement in performing arts."
  57. ^ Staff. "randolph perkins, legislator, dead; Jersey Member of Congress Had Served Since 1920 Recently Renominated. long active in politics Also Prominent as a Lawyer, Had Been an Assemblyman and Mayor of Westfield.", The New York Times, May 26, 1936. Accessed July 1, 2019. "He was educated at the Jersey City High School and in 1893 he was admitted to the New Jersey bar."
  58. ^ Mary Philbrook, 1872–1958. Accessed May 6, 2007. "Mary Philbrook was born in Washington, D. C. in 1872 but her family moved to Jersey City by the time she was six. She attended Public School No. 11 (now Martin Luther King Jr. School) and then Jersey City High School (now Dickinson High School)."
  59. ^ Rivera.htm Freeholder Eliu Rivera – District 4, Hudson County, New Jersey. Accessed September 25, 2009.
  60. ^ Sullivan, Al. "Loss of a Latino icon Eliu Rivera passes away at 74", The Hudson Reporter, October 8, 2017. Accessed July 1, 2019. "He attended local schools, graduated from William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City and continued his education at Rutgers University and Saint Peter’s College."
  61. ^ Foreman, Jonathan. "Slugging It Out Over Girlfight: Studios Hot For B'klyn Teen Tale", New York Post, January 26, 2000. Accessed January 21, 2020. "Born in Texas and raised mostly in New Jersey, but also in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, she dropped out of Dickinson High ('a terrible school!') in Jersey City in the ninth grade, though she was good at English and science and later earned a GED"
  62. ^ "Biography of Eddie August Schneider (1911–1904) written to accompany his papers deposited at the George H. Williams, World War I Aviation Library at the University of Texas at Dallas". Gretchen Hahnen (1902–1986). 1948. Eddie Schneider was born October 20, 1911 on Second Avenue, and 17th Street in New York City. Later his family moved to Red Bank, New Jersey where he attended grade school. From there his family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey and he graduated from Dickinson High School. ...
  63. ^ "A. Simpson, Figure in Hall-Mills Case". The New York Times, July 21, 1953. Accessed September 25, 2009.
  64. ^ Harrigan, Will. "Dickinson, Hudson County's oldest football program, returns", The Jersey Journal, July 22, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014. "The golden generation of Rams football graced the gridiron from 1928 to 1931. Those teams featured the likes of Ed Franco, one of Fordham's famed 'Seven Blocks of Granite,' who played alongside Vince Lombardi, as well as other all-time greats like Al Barabas and twin brothers Milt and Walt Singer. Walt was also a starting center for the New York Giants who later went on to coach Dickinson in the 1940s."
  65. ^ Richardson, William D. "Giants Vanquish Boston Yanks, 31–0; Paschal Leads Ground Attack for 113 Yards With Cuff and Calligaro Aiding Strong Tallies 7 Points Boots 4 Placements and Field Goal – Petrilas Scampers 66 Yards for a Score", The New York Times, November 6, 1944. Accessed July 26, 2012. "The new Giant backfield combination of Joe Sulaitis, former Dickinson High School star; Bill Paschal, Ward Cuff and Len Calligaro worked out fairly well."
  66. ^ Joe Sulaitis, database Football. Accessed October 1, 2007.
  67. ^ Kenneth A. Walsh, The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients. Accessed July 1, 2019. "He graduated from Dickinson High School, Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1933 where he had been an outstanding track athlete."
  68. ^ Alex Weyand, NJSports.com. Accessed July 1, 2019. "Alexander Mathias Weyand was born January 10, 1892 in Jersey City. Muscular, tall and athletic, he did not participate in sports at Dickinson High School in order to focus on his studies."
  69. ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Henry Wittenberg, Champion Wrestler, Dies at 91", The New York Times, March 9, 2010. Accessed May 18, 2015. "Henry Wittenberg was born on Sept. 18, 1918, in Jersey City. While at Dickinson High School he was captain of the chess team and loved to swim but could not make proper turns in the pool."
  70. ^ Meyer, Peter. "The New Superintendent of Schools for New Orleans; Education Next Issue Cover: A conversation with John White", Education Next, Fall 2011. Accessed August 20, 2014. "TFA sent White to Jersey City, to 3,000-student Dickinson High School, overlooking the Holland Tunnel, where he taught English for three years and learned that 'there are a lot of challenges and we shouldn't kid ourselves....'"

External links[edit]