Woodbury Junior-Senior High School
|Woodbury Junior-Senior High School|
|25 North Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096
|School type||Public high school|
|Motto||"Excellence Through Tradition and Innovation"|
|School district||Woodbury Public Schools|
|Superintendent||Robert H. Goldschmidt (Interim)|
|Principal||Dr. Jason Vivadelli|
|Asst. principals||Ellen Grimes(Junior HS)
Dr. Gary Scavette (Senior HS)
|Faculty||71.3 (on FTE basis)|
|Enrollment||739 (as of 2013-14)|
|Student to teacher ratio||10.4:1|
|Hours in school day||6.5|
|Team name||Thundering Herd|
Gateway Regional HS
|Newspaper||White & Gold|
|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 History
- 2 Awards, recognition and rankings
- 3 Athletics
- 4 Administration
- 5 Popular culture
- 6 Notable people
- 7 School programs
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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.
Awards, recognition and rankings
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.
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. 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. The magazine ranked the school 203rd in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 111th in the magazine's September 2006 issue. In 2006, Woodbury was the #1 ranked high school in Gloucester County by New Jersey Monthly and Philadelphia Magazine.
Woodbury High School Thundering Herd 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). 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.
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.
The boys' tennis team won the 2005 South, Group I state sectional championship with a 3-2 win over Schalick High School. 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. The annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry football game is against Gateway High School.
Boys – soccer, football, cross country, basketball, indoor track, swimming, track & field, baseball, wrestling
Girls – soccer, cross country, field hockey, cheerleading, basketball, indoor track, swimming, track & field, softball
1952–53: Year of Champions
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. 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)
- West Jersey League championships
- Field Hockey (7–3)
- Girls' tennis (8–0)
- Girls' basketball (10–0)
- State championships
- Track – Group III Medley Relay
Academic excellence off the field
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). 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.
Snapping 'the streak'
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.
Core members of the school's administration are:
- Dr. Jason Vivadelli– Principal, Junior/Senior High School
- Dr. Gary Scavette – Assistant Principal, Senior High School
- Ellen Grimes – Assistant Principal, Junior High School
Super Bowl connection
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. He began his career in the Woodbury school system in 1995 as a substitute teacher, and then in 1998 became a full-time physical education teacher. Valentine also played for the Philadelphia Eagles briefly before an injury prematurely ended his career. He is still the head football coach.
1987 Philadelphia Eagles training camp
The high school's football stadium was used by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1987 as the home of their training camp. 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.
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.
- Herb Baptiste (Class of 1943), one of The Star-Ledger's top ten best wrestlers in New Jersey during the 1940s; New Jersey's first two-time state wrestling champion.
- George Benjamin Jr. (1919-1944; Class of 1937), a United States Army soldier and a posthumous recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the Philippines campaign of World War II.
- Carroll William "Boardwalk" Brown (1889-1977; Class of 190?), a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics.
- Arthur 'Ted' Browne (Class of 1936), played in the Negro League on the Zulu Cannibal Giants team, sporting his "Zulu" name Lakola.
- Hugh Victor Browne II (Class of 1943), a 2012 recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States; is also the younger brother of Roscoe (below).
- Roscoe Lee Browne (1922-2007; Class of 1942), actor and director, known for his rich voice and dignified bearing; is also the brother of Hugh (above).
- Van Bruner (Class of 1952), world record holder of 65-yard indoor dirt track high hurdles; ran in finals of 1952 Olympic Trials and also in first round of the 1965 Trials.
- Dave Budd (born 1938, Class of 1956), power forward for the New York Knicks who also shared responsibility in guarding Wilt Chamberlain during his 100-point NBA game.
- Richard Caton (Class of 1979), a track star who ran 1:49.7 (800m) as a senior and 4:13.9 (1600m) as a junior.
- Stephen Decatur (1779-1820, Class of 180?), an American naval officer notable for his heroism in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War and in the War of 1812.
- Oscar Fraley (1914-1994, Class of 1934), co-author, with Eliot Ness, of The Untouchables which sold 1.5 million copies.
- Robert C. Hendrickson (1898-1964, Class of 1918), a New Jersey State Senator from 1949 to 1955.
- James Lawrence (1781-1813, Class of 180?), an American naval officer of "Don't give up the ship!" fame.
- Lori Lewis (Class of 1978), one of The Star-Ledger's best New Jersey girl track athletes of the 1960s and 1970s, then a three-time All-American at the University of Florida. She had also qualified for the Olympic relay team but was sidelined due to an injury.
- Mike McBath (born 1946, Class of 1964), defensive end for the Buffalo Bills from 1968–1973, part-owner Orlando Predators.
- Howard M. J. Pendleton Jr. (Class of 1974), New Jersey state wrestling champion in 1974 (170 lbs) and finished varsity wrestling career with a 62–12 record.
- Bryant McKinnie (Class of 1996), an offensive lineman in the National Football League for the Baltimore Ravens.
- Jack Pierce (born 1962; class of 1980), Olympic bronze medalist in the 110 meter high hurdles at the 1992 Olympic Games.
- Milt Plum (born 1935, Class of 1952), quarterback and two-time Pro Bowler for the Cleveland Browns.
- Chris Pressley (born 1986, Class of 2004), fullback for the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Browning Ross (1924-1998, Class of 1943), a two-time Olympian in long-distance running (1948, 1952).
- Al Szolack (Class of 1968), a member of the Washington Generals traveling basketball team, opponents of the Harlem Globetrotters, during the 1974–75 season.
- Joe Colone (1926–2009), former NBA player for the New York Knicks.
- Zack Valentine (born 1957), former NFL player and Super Bowl-winner for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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.
- ^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.
- School Data for Woodbury Jr-Sr High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed June 5, 2016.
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- 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."
- NASA Selects Woodbury School for 'Weightless Wonder' Flight, NASA press release dated February 13, 2007.
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- League Memberships – 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed June 5, 2016.
- 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.
- NJSIAA 2016 - 2018 Co-Operative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 12, 2016.
- "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."
- NJSIAA Girls Track Group I Results, accessed June 3, 2007. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- NJSIAA Boys Track Group I Results, accessed June 3, 2007. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- 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."
- All-time Boys Team Academic Award Winners - NSCAA.com, accessed March 3, 2010.
- 2006-07 High School Boys Team Academic Award - NSCAA.com, accessed December 29, 2007.
- 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.
- South Jersey's Longest Unbeaten Streaks - courierpostonline.com. Accessed February 17, 2008.
- Junior-Senior High School Faculty/Staff, Junior-Senior High School. Accessed December 16, 2016.
- Cherubini, Ron (2002). "Zack Valentine — Former Pirate and one-time Steeler relishes his ties to East Carolina". Bonesville.net. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- Shryock, Bob (February 12, 2008). "Impressive Credentials". Gloucester County Times. Newhouse News Service. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- Philadelphia Eagles at WHS training camp articles. Google.com. Accessed August 7, 2009.
- "Bottomfeeders" Filming Locations - IMDB.com, accessed April 4, 2007.
- Star Ledger's Top 10 Wrestlers of Each Decade - NJ.com, accessed October 11, 2007.
- Ben Franklin's nephew was a 'famous' county resident. Shryock, Bob. February 7, 2010. Accessed May 31, 2010.
- "Woodbury HS Baseball Players". baseball-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
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- Shryock, Bob (July 5, 2012), "Once a Marine, Always a Marine", Gloucester County Times, pp. A6–A7, retrieved July 6, 2012
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- "Hall of Fame Inductees 2010" (PDF). Woodbury High School. 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
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- NJ.com: Best Track Girls of the Decades. Accessed April 15, 2008.
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- 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."
- South Jersey track & field HOF paragraph, accessed June 11, 2007. Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Milt Plum statistics, databasefootball.com. Accessed June 11, 2007.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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."
- Shryock, Bob. "One of Woodbury's finest leaves lasting legacy", Gloucester County Times,July 7, 2009. Accessed June 5, 2006.
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