Woodbury Junior-Senior High School

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Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School is located in Gloucester County, New Jersey
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School is located in New Jersey
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School is located in the US
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
25 North Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096
Coordinates 39°50′24″N 75°09′12″W / 39.8399°N 75.1533°W / 39.8399; -75.1533Coordinates: 39°50′24″N 75°09′12″W / 39.8399°N 75.1533°W / 39.8399; -75.1533
School type Public high school
Motto "Excellence Through Tradition and Innovation"
Founded 1902[1]
School district Woodbury Public Schools
Superintendent Robert H. Goldschmidt (Interim)
CEEB code 311635
Principal Dr. Jason Vivadelli
Asst. principals Ellen Grimes(Junior HS)
Dr. Gary Scavette (Senior HS)
Faculty 71.3 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 612
Enrollment 739[1] (as of 2013-14)
Student to teacher ratio 10.4:1[1]
Language English
Hours in school day 6.5
Color(s)      White and
Mascot Bison
Team name Thundering Herd[2]
Rivals Paulsboro HS,
Gateway Regional HS
Newspaper White & Gold
Yearbook Sundial
Communities served Woodbury
Athletic director Grant Shivers
Former names Woodbury Academy (1791–1864)
Woodbury Free School (1864–1908)
William Milligan High School (1908–1911)

Woodbury Junior-Senior High School (WHS) is a comprehensive community middle school and public high school that serves students in sixth through twelfth grades from Woodbury, in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States, as part of the Woodbury Public Schools system. The class of 2003 was the school's 100th graduating class, making Woodbury High School one of the oldest secondary schools in South Jersey and the oldest in its athletic conference.

As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 739 students and 71.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.4:1. There were 402 students (54.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 63 (8.5% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]


Following a devastating fire in 1910 that burned the original high school down, it was rebuilt in 1911 with then-governor and future president, Woodrow Wilson, laying the cornerstone for the new Woodbury High School. The new school building opened in 1912.[3]

Students from National Park, Wenonah, Westville and Woodbury Heights had attended the school until the Gateway Regional High School opened in September 1964.[4]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

In 2004, the school was selected as a NASA Explorer School, one of 50 in the entire country to work hand-in-hand with NASA on improving technology and science education within the school. In 2007, NASA selected Woodbury to experience a 'Weightless Wonder' flight on a C-9 aircraft so that they could test their proposed experiment examining the performance-related effects of reduced gravity on simple robotic designs.[5]

The school was the 187th-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 192nd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 199th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[7] The magazine ranked the school 203rd in 2008 out of 316 schools.[8] The school was ranked 111th in the magazine's September 2006 issue.[9] In 2006, Woodbury was the #1 ranked high school in Gloucester County by New Jersey Monthly and Philadelphia Magazine.[10]


Woodbury High School Thundering Herd[2] compete as the oldest member school in the Colonial Conference, which is composed of small schools whose enrollments generally do not exceed between 850 students for grades 9–12, and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[11] With 307 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2014-15 school year as South Jersey, Group I for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 182 to 473 students in that grade range.[12]

The school participates in cooperative programs for girls' and boys' cross country, boys' and girls' swimming and for wrestling with Gateway Regional High School as the lead agency, under an agreement that expires at the end of the 2016-17 school year.[13]

The boys' tennis team won the 2005 South, Group I state sectional championship with a 3-2 win over Schalick High School.[14] In 2007, the girls' track & field team won the NJSIAA Group I state championship, and the boys' track & field team came in second in the state, losing by 1 point to Metuchen.[15][16] The annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry football game is against Gateway High School.[17]

Sports offered[edit]

Boys – soccer, football, cross country[3], basketball, indoor track, swimming[4], track & field, baseball, wrestling[5]
Girls – soccer, cross country[6], field hockey, cheerleading, basketball, indoor track, swimming[7], track & field, softball

1952–53: Year of Champions[edit]

Woodbury High School had one of the most historic school years for a sports program in United States history in 1952–53. Every single athletic team, boys or girls, either tied for or outright won titles.[8] At no other high school in the country has this type of success ever occurred, before or since. All sports teams combined produced an overall record of 75–13–1 (.842 win percentage) with 10 championships. At the time, Woodbury was classified as a Group III regional high school and was much bigger than its small Group I classification today. The championships won during 1952–53 are:

  • Colonial Conference titles
  • Baseball (14–2–1)
  • Football (8–0)
  • Boys' basketball (16–6)
  • Track (5–2)
  • South Jersey Group III titles
  • Cross Country (7–0)
  • Football
  • West Jersey League championships
  • Field Hockey (7–3)[9]
  • Girls' tennis (8–0)
  • Girls' basketball (10–0)
  • State championships
  • Track – Group III Medley Relay

Academic excellence off the field[edit]

The boys' soccer team has earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's High School Boys Team Academic Award for seven consecutive seasons (2003–04 through 2010–11). To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players. Woodbury is one of only two boys' soccer teams in all of New Jersey to be recognized in each of the past seven years (Sparta High School is the other).[18] For the 2006–07 award, Woodbury was one of only 61 schools in the nation to receive this honor for both its boys' and girls' teams.[19]

Snapping 'the streak'[edit]

A bird's-eye view of the Woodbury High School football stadium.

Woodbury High School is responsible for halting the longest winning streak in New Jersey football history. Longtime rival Paulsboro High School had recorded 63 consecutive wins over the span of six years (1992–1998), but on September 26, 1998, Paulsboro lost to Woodbury, 14–13. The 63 wins still holds as the record to this day.[20][21]


Core members of the school's administration are:[22]

  • Dr. Jason Vivadelli– Principal, Junior/Senior High School
  • Dr. Gary Scavette – Assistant Principal, Senior High School
  • Ellen Grimes – Assistant Principal, Junior High School

Popular culture[edit]

Super Bowl connection[edit]

When former Thundering Herd head football coach Jim Boyd stepped down after the 2000 season, then-assistant coach Zack Valentine was promoted to become the newest head coach. Valentine is a Super Bowl-winning linebacker who played for the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers from 1979–1981 as a member of the "Steel Curtain" defense.[23][24] He began his career in the Woodbury school system in 1995 as a substitute teacher,[24] and then in 1998 became a full-time physical education teacher.[24] Valentine also played for the Philadelphia Eagles briefly before an injury prematurely ended his career. He is still the head football coach.[23][24]

1987 Philadelphia Eagles training camp[edit]

The high school's football stadium was used by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1987 as the home of their training camp.[25] The school district had given permission to the Eagles to utilize their field. All-time NFL greats Seth Joyner and Reggie White were among those on the 1987 roster who practiced at Woodbury High School.[25]

Filming location[edit]

In October 2000, an independent mockumentary movie, Bottomfeeders, filmed scenes in front of the high school's main entrance for a presidential candidate's speech. Local residents and students were used as the rallying crowd who supported the candidate.[26]

Notable people[edit]


Robert Hendrickson (Class of 1918)
Bryant McKinnie (Class of 1996)
Chris Pressley (Class of 2004)

Notable faculty[edit]

School programs[edit]

Extracurricular activities (other than sports) that are offered at Woodbury Junior-Senior High School include, but are not limited to, the Alternative Power Program, Junior & Senior High School Yearbooks, National Honor Society, Theater Club, Video Tape/A.V. Club, White & Gold newsletter, Choir, Orchestra Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Key Club, Interact Club, Bowling Club, Ladybug Club, Math and Science Leagues, Academic Bowl, French Club, Outdoor Club, peer mentoring program, Boys/Girls State, Governor's School, Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and a Student Council.


  • ^a The modern day Woodbury High School was established in 1902 and is usually recognized as that year. However, the precursor schools that evolved into WHS were actually established in 1791.
  • ^b Blue is not an official color; only white and gold are the official colors of Woodbury High School. The color blue is often partnered with gold for the school's athletic teams' uniforms, thus it is often confused to be blue and gold instead of white and gold.
  • ^c Due to small enrollment and the inability to field full teams themselves, the cross country, swimming, and wrestling teams have combined with Gateway Regional High School to form a Woodbury/Gateway athletic partnership.[13]
  • ^d To put the championships into perspective, in the early 1950s there were far fewer sports to participate in at the high school level, and Title IX would not occur for 20 more years.
  • ^e The field hockey team was tied with two other schools as three-way co-champions.
  • ^f Decatur and Lawrence attended the Woodbury Academy, which was built in the 18th century and is the precursor to the present day school.


  1. ^ a b c d School Data for Woodbury Jr-Sr High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Woodbury High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Our History Timeline, Woodbury High School. Accessed June 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Shryock, Bob. "Plans are in the works for Gateway's 50th anniversary", Gloucester County Times, March 22, 2012. Accessed June 8, 2016. "The 50-year milestone is based on Gateway opening in the fall of 2014 [sic] when four sending districts (Woodbury Heights, Westville, National Park and Wenonah) split from Woodbury and sent seventh, eighth and ninth graders to the new school on Egg Harbor Road in Woodbury Heights."
  5. ^ NASA Selects Woodbury School for 'Weightless Wonder' Flight, NASA press release dated February 13, 2007.
  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 September 24, 2012.
  8. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  10. ^ School website, accessed June 19, 2007.
  11. ^ League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 5, 2016.
  12. ^ 2014-2015 Public Schools Group Classification: ShopRite Cup–Basketball–Baseball–Softball for South Jersey, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of July 8, 2014. Accessed October 20, 2014.
  13. ^ a b NJSIAA 2016 - 2018 Co-Operative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  14. ^ "BOYS TENNIS SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS", The Daily Journal (New Jersey), May 25, 2005. Accessed August 2, 2007. "A hungrier, more aggressive Woodbury team won key points early en route to a 3-2 victory over Schalick in the South Jersey Group I boys tennis championship at James Atkinson Park."
  15. ^ NJSIAA Girls Track Group I Results, accessed June 3, 2007. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ NJSIAA Boys Track Group I Results, accessed June 3, 2007. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Shyrock, Bob. "Winning Ways", Gloucester County Times , November 27, 2008 Accessed January 5, 2008. "He'll be on the bench [on Thanksgiving Day] when his alma mater hosts Gateway in a backyard rivalry game."
  18. ^ All-time Boys Team Academic Award Winners - NSCAA.com, accessed March 3, 2010.
  19. ^ 2006-07 High School Boys Team Academic Award - NSCAA.com, accessed December 29, 2007.
  20. ^ A compendium of epic battles over the years - Philly.com. "1998: The Woodbury football team snapped Paulsboro's state-record 63-game winning streak with a surprising 14-13 win on Sept. 26. The game wasn't decided until Paulsboro missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt - it was wide by inches - with four seconds left." Accessed February 17, 2008.
  21. ^ South Jersey's Longest Unbeaten Streaks - courierpostonline.com. Accessed February 17, 2008.
  22. ^ Junior-Senior High School Faculty/Staff, Junior-Senior High School. Accessed December 16, 2016.
  23. ^ a b Cherubini, Ron (2002). "Zack Valentine — Former Pirate and one-time Steeler relishes his ties to East Carolina". Bonesville.net. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  24. ^ a b c d e Shryock, Bob (February 12, 2008). "Impressive Credentials". Gloucester County Times. Newhouse News Service. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  25. ^ a b Philadelphia Eagles at WHS training camp articles. Google.com. Accessed August 7, 2009.
  26. ^ "Bottomfeeders" Filming Locations - IMDB.com, accessed April 4, 2007.
  27. ^ Star Ledger's Top 10 Wrestlers of Each Decade - NJ.com, accessed October 11, 2007.
  28. ^ Ben Franklin's nephew was a 'famous' county resident. Shryock, Bob. February 7, 2010. Accessed May 31, 2010.
  29. ^ "Woodbury HS Baseball Players". baseball-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  30. ^ Negro League Players' Association news, accessed October 11, 2007.
  31. ^ Shryock, Bob (July 5, 2012), "Once a Marine, Always a Marine", Gloucester County Times, pp. A6–A7, retrieved July 6, 2012 
  32. ^ Weller, Bonnie (April 20, 1988). "An Actor Is Back Home In Camden". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Browne, Roscoe Lee (1925–2007)". BlackPast.org. 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  34. ^ The Bruner Firm Products page, accessed October 11, 2007.
  35. ^ Dave Budd player profile, accessed March 15, 2007.
  36. ^ South Jersey Track Hall of Fame. Accessed April 15, 2008.
  37. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductees 2010" (PDF). Woodbury High School. 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  38. ^ Myers, William Starr (2000). Prominent Families of New Jersey. Clearfield Company. p. 7. 
  39. ^ NJ.com: Best Track Girls of the Decades. Accessed April 15, 2008.
  40. ^ Shryock, Bob (March 20, 2011), "She Really Does Toe the Line", Gloucester County Times, pp. D–1 
  41. ^ Year-By-Year List of Inductees, Gloucester County Sports Hall Of Fame. Accessed November 17, 2012.
  42. ^ South Jersey Wrestling Hall of Fame inductees. Accessed 26 February 2010.
  43. ^ Bryant McKinnie player profile, accessed March 15, 2007.
  44. ^ Ostrum, Gus. "Former Olympic Star, New Jersey State Champion Jack Pierce Recalls Days in South Jersey", Courier-Post, March 24, 2009. Accessed November 19, 2016. "A 1980 Woodbury High graduate, Pierce, 46, won a state hurdles championship as a senior and ran for two of South Jersey's finest coaches – Howie Staeger in his first three seasons and then Jim Mohan when he was a senior."
  45. ^ South Jersey track & field HOF paragraph, accessed June 11, 2007. Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  46. ^ Milt Plum statistics, databasefootball.com. Accessed June 11, 2007.
  47. ^ Bengals.com. "Was this the same son that came home at 3 in the morning after mopping floors at Wendy's and woke three hours later to finish off his 4.0 run at Woodbury High School and help keep the family afloat?" Accessed June 5, 2009.
  48. ^ Heath, Jack. "Jack on Jack: A Look at Coaching Legend Jack Pyrah", Runners Gazette. Accessed June 5, 2007. "I first saw Browning when he was a senior at Woodbury High School. He ran in the AAU championships as a high school kid against grown-ups. He was also New Jersey State Champ in the mile. I don't think people realize just how good Browning was. Many of the area high school coaches never even heard of him."
  49. ^ Shyrock, Bob. "Lovable Loser Receives Honor", Gloucester County Times, March 15, 2011. Accessed June 5, 2016. "Szolack, a winner at Woodbury High School (Class of 1968) and at Glassboro State College (1973), played in about 235 of those losses in his one winless season as a General."
  50. ^ Shryock, Bob. "One of Woodbury's finest leaves lasting legacy", Gloucester County Times,July 7, 2009. Accessed June 5, 2006.

External links[edit]