Winston Churchill High School (Potomac, Maryland)
|Winston Churchill High School|
|11300 Gainsborough Rd, Potomac, MD 20854
|School district||Montgomery County Public Schools|
|Principal||Dr. Joan C. Benz|
9th Grade: 551
10th Grade: 531
11th Grade: 510
12th Grade: 545
|Rival||Thomas S. Wootton High School|
|Newspaper||The Churchill Observer|
|Website||Winston Churchill High School's home-page|
The school is named after Sir Winston Churchill, British statesman and politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. Founded in 1964 as Potomac High School, the school's name was changed to "Winston Churchill High School" three years later. Churchill is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. The majority of the students come from Herbert Hoover Middle School (75%) and Cabin John Middle School (25%). The principal, as of the 2016–2017 school year, is Dr. Joan C. Benz.
- 1 School awards and recognition
- 2 Departments and programs
- 3 Misconduct
- 4 Athletics
- 5 Notable alumni
- 6 References
- 7 External links
School awards and recognition
Churchill has been in the top 100 High Schools in the United States for years, climbing to as high as 42 in 2007 and 94 in 2016 . Churchill earned the 2007 Maryland Blue Ribbon Award, and it was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2007 National No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School. In 2012 Churchill was rated the best high school in Maryland, according to U.S. News & World Report. In 2016, the same report ranked Winston Churchill High School 94th in national ranking,2nd in Maryland High Schools and 146th in STEM High Schools with 83.9(out of 100) College Readiness Index.
Departments and programs
The Autism Program provides a program for students with low-functioning autism. In the Autism Program, students learn how to improve their skills at undertaking certain tasks. Students in this program also learn speech.
The school also has a Signature Program, which allows students the opportunity to follow one of several course paths to specialize in a particular career field. The Signature Program comprises three academies: The Academy of Math, Science, & Technology; The Academy of International Studies; and The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts.
The Bridge Program provides a program for adolescents and young adults with learning/emotional disabilities. The program's intention is on fostering academic skill development and altering behaviors that interfere with academic learning. It is supervised by an interdisciplinary team intended to meet the needs of socially vulnerable middle and high school students who may be challenged by problem-solving abstract thinking, organizing and planning, interpreting social cues, establishing relationships with peers, coping with anxiety, changes in routine, and transitioning.
Churchill is well known for its performing arts programs. Many theater productions are put on regularly, including several nights of one-act plays in which many students are able to participate. Theater classes at three levels and a television production class are taught.
Churchill also has an outstanding show choir program. Simply Irresistible is the all-female group, and Showstoppers is the mixed-gender group. Both groups regularly compete within Montgomery County, as well as regional and national competitions. Churchill also hosts its own show choir competition annually, The Mid-Atlantic Show Choir Showcase.
Under choral director Matthew Albright, Churchill has four choral music groups: Voice of a Generation (VOAG), Simply Irresistible, Jazz Ambassadors and Showstoppers.
Voice of a Generation is a non audition group for students who like to sing, and learn about the study of music. Students learn how to sight read and read music, as well as improve their performance skills.
Simply Irresistible is similar to voice of a generation, however it is an all girls show choir ensemble put together through highly selected auditions. Shows off female students with more than average musical ability and interest. Students in this group work with a variety of music including jazz and pop music, but also work with sacred and secular music to practice good vocal technique.
Jazz Ambassadors is an audition co ed ensemble with an focus on developing vocal technique. Most songs are challenging jazz music, but can often be stretched to arrangements of all different kinds of music like pop or classical.
Showstoppers is like simply irresistible an honors show choir group with students selected through auditions and must have previously held positions in a choir at Churchill. This group shows musically challenging music to students with incredible talent and passion. Most of the music is popular, but much like the other groups, any musical style, including sacred and secular works are rehearsed and performed. This group also offers many leadership positions that allow students to get more involved in the Department as a whole.
In 2007, Churchill's fall production of Singin' in the Rain was nominated for 6 Cappies High School Theater Awards, winning Best Orchestra (for the third consecutive year), Best Cameo Actor, and Best Cameo Actress. Only one other school received more awards.
In 2009, Churchill's fall production of Rent: School Edition was nominated for 4 Cappies High School Theater Awards: Best Male Vocalist, Best Female Vocalist, Best Orchestra, and Best Song. Churchill won awards for Best Female Vocalist as well as Best Orchestra.
Past spring musical performances include:
- 2013 – Peter Pan
- 2012 – Legally Blonde
Past fall musical performances include:
- 2010 – Anything Goes
- 2009 – Chicago
- 2008 – Rent (School Edition)
- 2007 – Kiss Me Kate
- 2006 – Singin' in the Rain
- 2005 – West Side Story
- 2004 – Big the Musical
- 2003 – Guys and Dolls
- 2002 – The Music Man
- 2001 – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- 2000 – The Pajama Game
Churchill is well known for its annual Blast from the Past production, in which more than 200 student singers, dancers and musicians perform a variety of popular songs. These songs range from the 1920s to modern day, and they all relate to a selected theme for each school year.
Kristofer Sanz conducts Churchill's bands and orchestras. Former conductor of the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras (MCYO) Philharmonic Orchestra, David Levin, widely considered one of the best music educators in the Washington area, held the position until his departure in 2012.
Many students form their own bands, typically of a rock variety, and the school occasionally facilitates this by sponsoring a battle of the bands or band performance. Sometimes, the school has sponsored day-long concerts to take place on school grounds. For example, The Merritthon, a fundraising event for Leukemia research, occurred annually from 2002 to 2004.
In 2009, the instrumental music program won four awards at the Windy City Classic, including Best Symphonic Band, Best Orchestra, Best Classical Soloist and Best Overall Program. The jazz band received second place in that category. All three groups received a gold rating.
Churchill produces three publications, all of which have won awards: its newspaper, The Churchill Observer; its yearbook, Finest Hours, and its literary magazine, Erehwon. Each publication is accompanied by three levels of instruction in the related publishing topics.
Grade changing scandal
In January 2010, a criminal investigation exposed a grade changing scandal at Churchill. Law enforcement, prosecutors, and school officials examined the actions of many students who used a USB key logger to compromise teachers' passwords and alter the grades of hundreds of students. Three of the eight students identified as agents withdrew from the school, others were expelled.
Vandalism by Walter Johnson High School students
During the 2016–2017 year, on a day with a basketball game between Winston Churchill High School and Walter Johnson High School, Walter Johnson High School students put vulgar graffiti on Winston Churchill High School property. This caused $100,000 in damage.
On November 10, 2016, two students posted a "whites only" sign on a boys' restroom door. The students were identified through video surveillance and the students said that they found the sign outside the school and that they did it to get reactions.
Churchill High School offers the following sports:
|Season||Sport||Number of Championships||Year|
|Fall||Cross country, boys||4||1968, 1975, 1977, 1978|
|Cross country, girls||2||1979, 1991|
|Field hockey||2||1978, 1983|
|Golf||14||1976, 1987, 1988, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015|
|Soccer, boys||7||1980, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2002|
|Winter||Basketball, girls||2||2002, 2003|
|Ice hockey||5||2006, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016|
|Indoor track, boys||2||1976, 2011|
|Swimming and diving, girls||3||2009, 2012, 2015|
|Outdoor track, boys||1||1976|
|Wiffleball||5||1969, 1978, 1980, 2011, 2012|
- Susan C. Lee (class of 1972) – State Senator- Maryland State Senate of Maryland General Assembly
- Samuel L. Stanley (class of 1972) President, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
- Elisa New (class of 1976) - Professor of English at Harvard University
- Brian Holloway (class of 1977) – Professional football player. All Pro. Stanford graduate. 1st round pick.
- Jeffrey Allan Kemp (class of 1977) – NFL
Football player (QB LA Rams, Seattle Seahawks, SF 49ers); son of Jack Kemp
- Deborah Copaken Kogan (class of 1984) - Writer and Photojournalist (Shutterbabe)
- Michael Hardt (class of 1978) – Philosopher
- Seth Hurwitz (class of 1978) - owner 930 Club , owner I.M.P. live music giant.
- Kenny Kramm (class of 1979) - Entrepreneur inventor of "FLAVORx"
- Darren Star (class of 1979) – Television (Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, Sex and the City) creator and producer
- Marti Leimbach (class of 1981) – Novelist
- Bruce Murray (class of 1983) – international soccer player; two-time First Team All American at Clemson; selected to College Team of the Century; member of 1988 Summer Olympics and 1990 FIFA World Cup soccer teams; National Soccer Hall of Fame
- Paul Palmer (class of 1983) – NFL Football player. 1st round pick.
- Lori Alan Denniberg (class of 1984) – Actress/voice actor
- Mike Barrowman (class of 1987) – 1992 Olympic Gold Medal winner, 200 meter breaststroke
- Jimmy Kemp (class of 1989) – CFL Football player
- Rachel Nichols (class of 1991) – ESPN reporter
- Jeff Halpern (class of 1994) – NHL Hockey player-fist NHL player from the Southeast United States
- Robyn Cohen (class of 1994) - Actress
- Dhani Jones (class of 1996) – Professional football player. TV personality The Travel Channel and CNBC
- Ben Feldman (class of 1998) – Actor. Drop Dead Diva , Mad Men
- Samuel Marcus (attended for one semester) – Actor (The People's Couch, Teens React)
- Kelen Coleman (class of 2002) – actress (The Office, The Mindy Project, The Newsroom, The McCarthys)
- Neil Vranis (class of 2008) – Soccer
- Kamie Crawford (class of 2010) – Miss Teen USA 2010
- Shinsaku Uesugi (class of 2010) – Olympic Chess Player (Chess Olympiad)
- Joshua Coyne (class of 2011) – Composer and Musician
- Jerome Dyson (class of 2005) – Professional basketball player
- Mike Sacks (class of 1986) – Magazine Editor/Humor Writer
- Julie Kent (class of 1987) – American Ballet Theatre. Principal dancer for 22 years.
- Taylor Momsen (class of 2011) ((did not graduate)) – Actor (Gossip Girl), Musician (The Pretty Reckless), Model
- Bryan Cogman, (class of 1997) ((did not graduate)) Emmy award-winning Writer, Game of Thrones
- "Parent And Student Handbook 2012–2013" (PDF). Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- "Gold Medal Schools". U.S. News & World Report. November 29, 2007. Archived from the original on December 1, 2007.
- Jacobson, Erica (December 13, 2006). "Two local schools awarded Md. Blue Ribbon designation". Washington Examiner.
- "Winston Churchill HS Named National Blue Ribbon School". October 2, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- "Best High Schools". May 8, 2012. Archived from the original on May 8, 2012.
- "Best High Schools". September 25, 2016.
- Donaghue, Erin (November 4, 2009). "Signature Program faces more hurdles at Churchill". Potomac Gazette.
- Silverman, Speri (March 20, 2010). "School Based Services".
- "WCHS Choral Music Department". www.wchsarts.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Mack, Jean (May 17, 2007). "And the Nominees Are...". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Vaughn, Peggy (June 13, 2007). "Wootton, Churchill students bring home some Cappies". Potomac Gazette.
-  Archived August 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "2009 National Capital Area Nominees".
- Cetron, Ari (June 18, 2003). "Rock for the Cure". Potomac Almanac. Retrieved May 23, 2010
- "MSPA 2003 Publications Contest Results". Maryland-District of Columbia Scholastic Press Association. University of Maryland. 2003. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- "Publication Awards Recognize Best in Area". Maryland-District of Columbia Scholastic Press Association. University of Maryland. Winter 2002. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- "MSPA 2002 Publications Contest Results". Maryland-District of Columbia Scholastic Press Association. University of Maryland. 2002. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Birnbaum, Michael; Morse, Dan; Johnson, Jenna (March 4, 2010). "Criminal investigation opened in grade-changing scandal at Churchill High". The Washington Post. pp. A01. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- Stabley, Matthew (January 31, 2017). "High School Basketball Rivalry Causes $100,000 in Damage By Vandals". NBC4 Washington.
- George, Donna St. (November 30, 2016). "Swastika drawn on restroom wall in Maryland high school". The Washington Post.
- "Fall Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- "Winter Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- "Maryland Scholastic Hockey League Past Champions". Mshl.org. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
- "Spring Record Book" (PDF). Retrieved May 15, 2010.
- Churchill statistics from MCPS
- Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association
- The Churchill Observer