Middletown High School North, home of the Lions, is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Middletown Township, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as one of the two secondary schools of the Middletown Township Public School District. Other students from Middletown Township attend Middletown High School South. The school also houses a 750-seat theater. Approximately 90% of North students attend college after graduation. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1936.
As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,488 students and 122.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.1:1. There were 191 students (12.8% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 76 (5.1% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
The school was the 136th-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 128th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 159th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 143rd in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 164th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 93rd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 73 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (87.4%) and language arts literacy (96.4%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The Middletown High School North Lions compete in the Shore Conference, an athletic conference made up of private and public high schools centered at the Northern Jersey Shore. All schools in this conference are located within Monmouth County and Ocean County, which operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 1,082 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as Central Jersey, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,082 to 2,349 students in that grade range.
Each year, students, parents, teachers, alumni, and administrators gather for the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Middletown North and Middletown South. The game is one of the most important events of the year for North students, and a pep rally is held before the game. At halftime, the homecoming court comes to the field to greet the fans. Through the 2015 season, South leads the series with a 27-11-1 record, including 14 straight victories in the Thanksgiving matchup.
The football team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1983, 1986 and 1996. Middletown North's football team has been unsuccessful in the past few years, but finished their 2014–15 season with a 7-4 record after losing to state champions and rival Middletown High School South in the second round of the state playoffs; this was Middletown North's first winning season since 2000. Coach Steve Bush, formerly an assistant coach for the Miami Dolphins, looks the continue rebuilding this program over the next few years.
In 2015, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of football in Middletown, alumni of both schools played each other; The Middletown North Lion football alumni defeated the Middletown South alumni 6-3 at The Swamp, to claim the victory in what was the first-ever game of its kind in Middletown.
The field hockey team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1988, and won the North II Group IV title in 2006.
The wrestling team won the Central Jersey Group IV title in 1996.
The girls' soccer team won the 2005 Central, Group IV state sectional championship, edging Brick Memorial High School 2-1 in the tournament final.
The ice hockey team has amassed 86 wins in the last five seasons while reaching the Elite Eight of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Public Ice Hockey Tournament in 2004, 2005, and 2008, and the Frozen Four in 2004 and in 2015 they won the state championship.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the school underwent a massive renovation to update its teaching facilities. During the renovations, much of the school was inhospitable and sealed off. This resulted in the usage of both the upper and lower gymnasiums partitioned off into several classes, without ceilings.
The renovations were completed sometime in 2004. The new building is modern, featuring standard teaching facilities. The tent outside (the Middletown High School North Bubble) has remained, and is used to house sporting events. A 750-seat professional theater was also installed, which features new lighting and sound systems and hosts various professional events, as was a TV production studio, which Broadcasts student produced programs across Middletown and its surrounding boroughs.
For the last six years, the Middletown North Student Council has hosted the annual Megan Biebel Memorial SIDS game to benefit research for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The event has raised over $100,000, and has attracted support from celebrities including singer Jon Bon Jovi. The game puts the Middletown North faculty and students up against New Jersey policemen. In recent years, the SIDS game has also held a pre-game carnival. The half-time show includes a performance by a special all-male cheerleading squad, as well as a raffle. The event is held in honor of Megan Biebel, who died of SIDS in March 2000. However, the event is not scheduled to take place in 2007, with Matt Biebel and his wife saying that they no longer wish to.
2007 will bring the "North Carnival," which will be the traditional SIDS event, but raising money for brain cancer charities.
Middletown North and the Middletown School District received national attention in the fall of 2001 when its teachers, members of the Middletown Township Education Association, went on strike for the second time in three years. The strike disrupted classes for several days, and hundreds of teachers were jailed. After the strike, many members of the union leadership stepped down. There has not been a strike since 2001.
Recently, the school has gained recognition for its Performing Arts Center. The PAC can seat 750 people, and houses a professional lighting and sound system. There is no orchestra pit but a full balcony, housing the sound and light systems, is present. The theater hosts cultural and musical events, as well as various drama productions. Several political figures have appeared there.
Notable events hosted at the MHSN PAC, and open to the public, include:Middletown High School North Battle of the Bands
Middletown North vs. South Battle of the Bands
So, North Thinks it Can Dance
Middletown Film Festival
Rockit for Kids Holiday Concert 2006
Josh Zuckerman, known for his #1 singles Out from Under, Be Real, and Something Inside announced he will perform a Christmas benefit in the MHSN PAC.
For several years Comcast Cable has run the student produced series North in Action, which features student made movies, comedy sketches, music, and news. The series was put on hiatus in 2007, but the program is set to resume for the 2008-2009 school year. The series is filmed in the school's TV production room. Rival Middletown High School South also has a Television program.
New television series are continuously produced within the Middletown High School North TV production center. The studio serves as the main production location for Middletown's Public-access television cable TV station on Comcast channel 20.
In October 2006, the Board of Education of the Middletown School District voted on a random drug testing procedure that would require all students in extracurricular activities or with a parking space at either High School to submit their name to a pool for random selection.
Controversy has recently sparked over the target group for the random drug testing, as many students and faculty believe that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be active with drug and alcohol abuse. However, New Jersey state law prohibits the entirety of the student population be tested, and so the students in after school activities and parking spaces make up a greater majority for the testing pool.
Core members of the school's administration are:Dr. Patricia Vari-Cartier, Principal
John Carmody, Assistant Principal, Supervisor for Guidance
Tyniesha Douglas, Assistant Principal- 11th Grade
Neil Leone, Assistant Principal- 10th Grade
Christopher Reginio, Assistant Principal- 9th Grade
Dr. Steven Trudell, Assistant Principal- 12th Grade