Williamsville East High School

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For schools of a similar name, see East High School (disambiguation).
Williamsville East High School
Williamsville East.jpg
151 Paradise Road
East Amherst, New York
United States
Coordinates 43°00′14″N 78°42′30″W / 43.00399°N 78.70825°W / 43.00399; -78.70825Coordinates: 43°00′14″N 78°42′30″W / 43.00399°N 78.70825°W / 43.00399; -78.70825
Established 1975
School district Williamsville Central School District
Principal Mr. Anthony Scanzuso
Grades 9 - 12
Number of students 1,000
Color(s) Red and Gold
Mascot The Flames
Newspaper The East Side
Yearbook The Spark

Williamsville East High School is one of the three Williamsville high schools located in the Williamsville Central School District in Williamsville, New York. The other two high schools in the district are Williamsville North High School and Williamsville South High School. Of the three, Williamsville East is unique for having open classrooms, being constructed without any interior walls on the upper two floors of the three-story building. For the 2004-2005 school year, 1,048 students enrolled in the school. [1]


Williamsville East has a wide range of Advanced Placement courses in many areas of study. All students are required to take the New York State Regents exams as required by the state for graduation. Williamsville East offers two different New York State certified diplomas: The Regents diploma and the Advanced Regents Diploma. The Advanced Regents diploma has more requirements in the math and sciences than the Regents diploma. Williamsville East has a Foreign Language requirement, which all students must fulfill by passing the regents exam in that language, usually in the end of their sophomore or junior years. Advanced Placement, Honors, and Regents courses are available in English, Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Foreign Language, and Mathematics.

United States Government courses at Williamsville East have a final project which requires a minimum of 10 hours of community service, 10 hours of political service, and attendance at a minimum of one school board and one town board meeting. This project is to be performed over the course of the school year for both Regents-level and AP-level students.

East offers three foreign languages for study; French, Spanish, and Latin. For all languages, the regents exam in that language is usually taken at the end of the junior year, unless in the accelerated track, where the language regents exam is taken at the end of the sophomore year. East offers four years of study in all three languages, as well as an AP course in French Language, Spanish Language, and Latin: Virgil.

Williamsville East offers students an "Independent Study" opportunity to study a subject not offered by the school. "Independent studies" can be done through any department, and in any field, as long as there is a teacher who consents to advise the student. An alternative to independent studies is to take a class at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY UB, or UB for short). This is usually done when the school no longer has a class at the level of study of the student.


Over 40% of the students in the school are involved in the music program.[citation needed]

Williamsville East currently has the following ensembles: a Symphonic Orchestra (audition required for entry), a Philharmonic Orchestra (under the direction of Mr. Wayne Moose), a Wind Ensemble (audition required for entry under the direction of Dr. Stephen Shewan), a Concert Band, a Jazz Ensemble (audition required for entry), a Chorale (audition required for entry), a Mixed Chorus and a Women's Chorus under the direction of Ms. Maureen Reilly. There is also a Jazz Band and a Vocal Jazz group that practice before school on a weekly basis.

The Bands/Chorale and Orchestra alternate yearly trips in the Spring in order to tour and compete nationally, and have won multiple awards for their performances. Most notably, the Williamsville East Jazz Ensemble was a finalist in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Competition in 2007. The winter concert of the Music Department, Winterfest, is known for the diversity of music presented as it includes all the major ensembles plus small ensembles created by East students.

Most recently, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors donated a $70,000 grant to assist the Williamsville Poetry Music Dance Celebration, begun at Williamsville East in 2000 by band director Dr. Stephen Shewan and English teacher Mr. John Kryder [2]

In 2010, the symphonic orchestra was awarded the opportunity to play at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference. They performed Gustav Mahler's Adagietto from his fifth symphony and Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

In 2015, the Chorale was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They joined with other choirs in the performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams "Dona Nobis Pacem" under the direction of Dr. Trey Jacobs.


Traditionally, Williamsville East has excelled in men's and women's tennis, women's swimming, men's and women's soccer, ice hockey, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball. The Men's Ice Hockey team in 2003 won the school's only State Championship to date against Salmon River. The game was won with an overtime goal at the Utica Auditorium in Utica, NY. The baseball coach, Jerry Gasz has over 600 career wins and is one of the most accomplished coaches in the United States of America.

Established in 1990, East's hockey team went on to win their first state championship in 2004 as part of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association League for hockey.[3]

During the 2006 season, the Girls Varsity Soccer Team won the Section VI Class A title, and were ranked as high as 6th nationally.[citation needed] They have won 3 sectional championships and one Far West Regional Championship. The undefeated 2009 team was upset in the Regional playoff game.

On November 6, 1985 the men's gymnastics team set the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Men's Gymnastics Team competition record, scoring 158.4 points. The record stood unbroken for the entirety of New York State high school men's gymnastics history. In 1985 the Williamsville East Men's Gymnastics also set another record, 99 wins and 0 losses. East was one of four schools left in New York with a men's team. Their team finished its 2014 season with a shared sectional title with Williamsville South High School and a 12-0 record[4] before the sport left all high schools in the state.

The Women's Swim Team has been undefeated and Division II Champions for 8 years in a row.

In the 2010-2011 Season, the Williamsville East Flames Varsity Hockey team was the first team in school history to win the Federation League championship at HSBC Arena, beating Kenmore East 2-1. They went on to win a state regional game against Webster Thomas High school, and continued on to the state final four where they advanced to the State championship by beating Pelham in overtime, but lost 6-2 in the State Championship to Cazenovia.

The first ever Williamsville Women's Varsity Ice Hockey team won the 2010-2011 Inaugural Western New York Women's Ice Hockey Federation Championship over OP/Frontier, 6-0.


Williamsville East has a variety of clubs and teams open to students after school. These include traditional highschool extracurriculars, such as a newspaper club, Science Olympiad, drama club and yearbook, but Williamsville East also offers a few unorthodox clubs. One such example is "Shakespeariment," a club dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare.

Williamsville East competed on "It's Academic," a high school quiz show televised locally on WIVB (previously WBEN) Channel 4. The 1985 team won the Western New York championship. Williamsville East also has a locally known Masterminds (also known as Quiz Bowl) team. The Masterminds team has placed very well in the Buffalo area region, and recently won the 2008 State Championships, playing against Fairport High School from Rochester and Guilderland High School from Albany. The East Masterminds team has three-peated the regional championship for the past three years and has gone on to the statewide competition.

Since the production of Guys and Dolls in 2005 with American Idol finalist John Stevens as Sky Masterson, the annual Spring Musical of the Williamsville East Drama Club has been gaining popularity. The musical is performed over a weekend in early February, including four separate shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday matinée, and Saturday evening.

Anti-Muslim bullying incident[edit]

In March, 2016, the school came under fire for a racially charged Islamophobic bullying incident.[5][6]

Famous alumni[edit]

Poet Kazim Ali, class of 1989

Media historian Siva Vaidhyanathan, class of 1984.

Singer John Stevens IV, a finalist on American Idol in Season 3. The high school appeared as part of a short video taped by Fox to include on an episode of the show.

Todd Marchant, NHL hockey player currently with the Anaheim Ducks, graduated from Williamsville East in 1990 before being drafted by the Rangers in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft in the seventh round, 164th

Seth Godin, one of the founders of the community website Squidoo, class of 1978.


External links[edit]