High School Superlatives
MK's 2nd annual look at the academic, athletic and cultural achievements in our states' great public high schools!
We cheer on some great things about the public high schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania and South Jersey.
PENNSYLVANIA HIGH SCHOOL HEADLINERS
Head of the Class
According to US News & World Report’s 2014 Best High Schools rankings, Masterman has masterfully navigated Philly’s school district difficulties and is once again the state’s top public high school.
Multiplication skills were in order as 14 sets of twins graduated from WTHS this past June. Eight of the pairs proved doubly impressive, landing in the top 10 percent of the senior class.
The PWHS Marching Colonials went undefeated during the fall band competition season, a perfect streak capped off by victory at the Cavalcade of Bands American Conference State Championship.
Members of the buildOn service club, which previously raised more than $90,000 to help reconstruct schools in Haiti, matched that figure in less than six months to build a school in Jokaiya, an impoverished village in Nepal.
Harriton’s pop-up restaurant, the RAM Café, gave students a break from the same ol’ lunch tray with a student-prepared, three-course meal that started with this green salad with roasted red pepper hummus, carrots and toasted pecans.
NAHS teachers sprouted facial hair for the school’s Cancer Awareness Club “Movember” mustache-growing contest, which raised $1,000 for Einstein Medical Center’s Montgomery Cancer Center.
The Life to the Max TV show featured the district’s STEAM programs, including a segment in which Abington Senior students built underwater robots with a 3D printer.
Eleventh-grade honor student Ocean Williams competed in the 2014 Miss Teen of Pennsylvania Scholarship & Recognition pageant, while fellow CHSer Andre Fambro took first place in the Teenage Mr. Universe contest.
Student Amanda Gulla won first place in the animation category at the Greenfield Youth Film Festival for her 50-second film Eleven O’Clock, a Tim Burton-esque spin on the Cinderella story. Another NHS film, Monsters, took third place in the group project.
NPHS students partake in events run by the Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA), a Bucks County organization that helps kids with special needs participate fully in sports. The partnership increases awareness and gains participants for AHA.
Recent BFHS grad Zoe R. Zemmels won an all-expenses-paid trip to Ireland by taking the school’s Irish American History Award at the National History Day competition with a 10-minute play about Bloody Sunday.
The only girl on the QCHS wrestling team, junior Haley Malischewski plans on having a long career in a sport dominated by boys. Local colleges are already showing interest in recruiting her to wrestle.
The Warriors basketball team took the District One Class AA Championship, beating top-ranked Calvary Christian Academy and giving Bristol its first b-ball title in 13 years.
Student Nawaal Amer’s ruminations on how the Melancholy Dane's relationship with his mother Gertrude mirrored events in her own life won the Delaware Shakespeare Co.’s “I Am Hamlet” essay contest.
The PVHS Japan Club hosted 13 exchange students from Japan, who experienced the range of student life in the Delaware Valley.
South Jersey High School Headliners
Head of the Class
According to US News & World Report’s 2014 Best High Schools rankings, HMHS is South Jersey’s highest-ranked public high school, coming in at No. 15 in the state, the area’s only educational institution to land in NJ’s top 20.
Doogie Howser 2.0
Ambitious 17-year-old Natalie Quindlen is on track to earn her doctorate by the age of 21. To fast-track her road to becoming a therapist for kids with autism, she simultaneously takes classes at DHS and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The Courier Post
By focusing on academic rigor, personalized learning, interest-driven internships and training, and the importance of graduating with a diploma, MetEast has been recognized as a Deeper Learning School.
Sound the trumpets once again for the Creative Arts Jazz Band, which took its sixth consecutive first-place prize in its division at the Berklee College of Music High School Festival in Boston.
Glassboro students put their workplace-readiness and customer-service skills to the test this summer, running a pop-up “Seeds to Success” produce stand in front of the school. The fruits and veggies were provided at cost from local farmers’ markets.
Three East robotics teams made an impressive showing, competing in the latter stages at the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, CA, a competition that encourages student interest in STEM subjects.
Shark Tankers have nothing on seniors Connor Gross and Max Haggerty, who paired charitable entrepreneurship with sustainable fashion to win the Burlington County College’s Future Start-Up Star award for Benethreads.
In the Driver's Seat
At 15, Adythia Muralidharan’s not yet old enough to drive. But the quick-thinking KHS student safely navigated his school bus out of a crash with a utility pole when the driver became incapacitated.
In a shirt-off-our-backs initiative, the CHS New Jersey Educators Association collected 100 pairs of jeans for the “Teens for Jeans” service project, which donates pants to kids at local homeless shelters.
Deanna Knobloch, who’s led MHS girls’ LAX team for 22 years, has been called “simply the greatest girls’ lacrosse coach in state history” by the Star-Ledger. She just won the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double-Goal Award for her ongoing impact.
Lights, Camera, Action
Student Sarah McCunney won a $22,000 scholarship for her short film Sorry after entering it in Full Sail University’s Creative Minds contest. The piece depicts the different meanings and interpretations people take from the title word.
Latin is alive at Lenape. Students on its Latin I, Latin II and Accelerated Latin teams placed first, second and third, respectively, among their South Jersey peers at this year’s Certamen quiz competition at Princeton University.
Musician and blindness advocate Rocco Fiorentino graduated in June as a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. The Berklee College of Music freshman maintained an A average while promoting Blindness Awareness Month.
Making a Difference
Cherokee senior Mary Kate Donahue has won the Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge for her illustrated kids’ book If No One Was Different. The picture book touts tolerance and diversity by imagining a world in which everyone is the same.
Don’t change the channel: WTHS students won three “Student Emmys” at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Students Awards in Music Video, PSAs and Cultural Affairs.
Delaware High School Headliners
Head of the Class
Middletown School Districts
According to US News & World Report’s 2014 Best High Schools rankings, Middletown is home to Delaware’s top two best public high schools: The list names Middletown High School as valedictorian and Appoquinimink High School as salutatorian.
CHHS won the large school division in the 26th annual Driver Education Competition at Dover International Speedway, with student Liam Stabner taking first place. The high-profile statewide contest judges newbie drivers on their roadworthiness.
At a time when reports of injured student athletes are up, LHS has been commended for its commitment to providing a safe environment and high level of care for its Bulldogs, earning the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School Award.
As a new participant in the Community Eligibility Provision, a federally funded program that backs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, SSHS now offers breakfast and lunch at no fee to all its students, no forms required for free or reduced meals.
Biggest Community Cheerleaders
The Christina School District requires that all high school students perform volunteer service to graduate, but the kids at NHS go above and beyond, winning the DE Career Association’s Community Service Award for the fifth year straight with 3,497 hours.
DE Gov. Jack Markell and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Mount Pleasant in April to participate in a round table discussion about college and career readiness and the school’s STEM program.
Making It Work!
Tim Gunn would be proud of the eight du Pont students who won fashion-related gold medals at the 2014 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Conference in Dover.
Most Likely to Win a Tony
Cab Calloway kids brought the drama to the Delaware Theatre Company’s 2014 Young Playwrights Festival. Junior Saryu Chennat won with The Diner, while finalist The Coffee Stag was also penned by CC kids.
Student-crafted crayon puppets put bullies in their place in Los Colores, a play written and performed for preschoolers by members of Middletown’s Puppetry in Education Club. The interactive presentation also teaches Spanish words for colors.
Students in Ms. Leonard’s intro to law course got a master class in juris prudence when DE Superior Court Judge M. Jane Brady visited to talk about her experiences on the bench.
Thanks to the innovative STEM methods of teachers Andrew Beadenkopf, Jennifer Mayer and Amy Kohan, CHS was the only high school in Delaware to receive one of 3M Corp.’s annual 3Mgives Ingenuity Grants.
Recent grads Domenic Lutz and Christian Orellana landed in the top five of the AbilityOne Design Challenge by inventing a magnetic hinged device for special needs job trainees who assemble kitchen cabinetry.
Captains of Caring
Members of CRHS’ Technology Student Association built a Viking ship used to symbolize the journey of grief or the Delaware Hospice’s Camp New Hope.
In case of emergency, students from LFHS are prepared. Two school teams recently won the Plan, Respond, Recover: Exploring Natural Disasters contest sponsored by UDel’s geography department.
US Senator Chris Coons visited Glasgow’s JROTC cadets to discuss the work he’s done as chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, to dovetail with the class’ study of that continent.