Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Montclair High School (New Jersey)

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Type  Public high school
Faculty  157.6 FTEs
Phone  +1 973-509-4100
Lowest grade  Ninth grade
Principal  James Earle
Grades  9-12
District  Montclair Public Schools
Colors  White, Royal blue
Montclair High School (New Jersey)

School district  Montclair Public Schools
Asst. principals  Jeff Gannon Eileen Gilbert John Jeffries Clifton Thompson Kimberly Westervelt
Address  100 Chestnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042, USA
Motto  Children our future, Diversity our strength

Montclair High School is a comprehensive four-year public high school located in Montclair, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as the lone secondary school of the Montclair Public School District. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.


As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,936 students and 157.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.3:1. There were 300 students (15.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 64 (3.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.


Founded in the late 19th century, MHS quickly outgrew its original location (torn down in the 1930s) on Orange Road, the site of which is now the field of Hillside School. The current "Main Building" was then opened, and it is one of the older public high schools in New Jersey. It initially was only the "Main Building," as it is colloquially referredto, but as time went on and the enrollment grew, the board of education allowed the high school to annex George Inness Junior High School across the street, which is called "the Annex", "Ninth Grade Academy" or the "Freshman Building", in which many of the ninth grade classes take place.


The school holds classes in two buildings on opposite sides of Park Street. The Main Building of the high school is located on the west side of Park Street, and the George Inness Annex / Ninth Grade Academy / Freshman Building is located on the east side of the street. Traffic is stopped eight times a day for five minutes between periods to allow students to cross the street. Many fences and a crosswalk have been installed for the purpose of restricting the students' routes to a 1½ meter path. Gym classes are sometimes held at Woodman Field of Essex Park, two blocks away, otherwise in the school's four gymnasiums.

Montclair High School has an outdoor amphitheatre through which a brook flows, which is where graduation ceremonies are held, weather permitting. This Amphitheater is also the site of pep rallies, concerts, and public movie showings. The brook is Toney's Brook, which also goes through Rand Park, also on the campus.

Students in grades 10-12 at Montclair High school can all leave the campus for lunch and free periods, by an open campus policy. Trucks park at the school and sell food to students, students eat in Rand Park, which is partially on the school's campus, and eat at local restaurants and shops.

Awards, recognition and rankings

The school was the 120th-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 99th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 94th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 85th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 90th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.

Schooldigger.com ranked the school as 201st out of 376 public high schools statewide in its 2010 rankings (a decrease of 56 positions from the 2009 rank) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).

In Newsweek's May 22, 2007, issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Montclair High School was listed in 896th place, the 24th-highest ranked school in New Jersey. The school was listed in 214th place, the eighth-highest-ranked school in New Jersey, in Newsweek's May 8, 2006, issue, listing the Top 1,200 High Schools in The United States.

In 2001, Montclair High School came in 2nd place in the National High School Mock Trial Championships held in Omaha, Nebraska, and was the New Jersey High School Mock Trial Championships in 2006.

Montclair High School's Fed Challenge Team has ranked first in the New York Region eight times, and won the National Fed Challenge Championship in 2001.

In 2005, the Montclair High School FIRST robotics FRC Team 555 won the Arizona Regional in Phoenix, Arizona. They also won second place in the New York City Regional as well as the web design award and the Johnson & Johnson Sportsmanship award. The team then went on to win the Johnson & Johnson Sportsmanship award at the international championship in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2007, the Montclair High School FIRST robotics team won the Denver Regional and the Regional Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award in Denver, Colorado. In 2008, the FIRST team won the New York City Regional and went to the quarter finals at the Championship Event in Atlanta.

In 2007, 2009 and 2016, MHS won the Euro Challenge championship.

In 2009 and 2013, seniors of the Civics and Government Institute at Montclair High placed 2nd in the state at the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition held in Trenton, New Jersey. The 2013 team qualified for the We the People national finals in Washington D.C. but were unable to attend due to budgetary concerns.

In 2009, 2011 and 2012, the members of the Model Congress/Model United Nations Club won "Best Delegation" at the University of Pennsylvania Model Congress Conference.

"Humanities" and "Philosophy and Composition" teacher, Gregory Woodruff, was named, "Humanities Teacher of the Year" by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities in 2010 for teaching highly rigorous classes in classical and contemporary literature and philosophy. He was awarded the weston award in 2011.


The Montclair High School Mounties compete in the Super Essex Conference, which includes public and private high schools in Essex County and operates under the supervision of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 1,464 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,090 to 2,568 students in that grade range. Until the NJSIAA's 2009 realignment, the school had participated in Division B of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, which was made up of high schools located in Bergen County, Essex County and Passaic County, and was separated into three divisions based on NJSIAA size classification. Montlcair's sports programs include rowing, baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, volleyball, softball, track and field, fencing, golf, cross country, field hockey, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, tennis, and bowling.

MHS expanded and refurnished its field house which is located at Woodman Field in Essex Park. The field house houses restrooms, locker rooms and meeting areas for many of the Montclair sports teams, in particular, football. Finished for the 2008–2009 school year at an estimated cost of $5 million, the field house accommodates a new, state-of-the-art weight lifting gym with glass walls looking over Woodman Field, a film screening room for the Montclair Mounties football team, observation rooms looking over Woodman Field, and more. After receiving a pledge from the Furlong family of $3 million towards the project, the Furlong Field House at Montclair High School was constructed, with a ribbon cutting ceremony held in October 2008.

Towards the end of every hockey season, the Montclair Mounties host the "Montclair Cup". This competition is highly anticipated by the players and students. Every year, at Clary Anderson Arena (the Mounties home hockey arena), Montclair High School faces off against in town rival, Montclair Kimberley Academy. The MKA team won the 2011, 2012 and 2013 games, though MHS retains a 14–7 edge in the series overall.

The boys' tennis team won the overall state championship in 1953 vs. William L. Dickinson High School (Jersey City).

The baseball team won the North II Group IV state sectional championship titles in 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1964.

The boys' lacrosse team won the overall state championship in 1974 and 1975 (defeating Boonton High School both years in the tournament final), 1977 and 1978 (vs. Columbia High School both years), 1980 (vs. Columbia), 1984 (vs. Bridgewater-Raritan High School East), 1985 (vs. Westfield High School), 1992 (vs. Ridgewood High School) and 1997 (vs. Mountain Lakes High School), and won the Group IV state championship in 2010 (vs. Bridgewater-Raritan High School). The 10 state titles won by the program are the third-most of any school in the state.

The girls' field hockey team won the North II Group IV state sectional title in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1990, and won the North I Group IV title in 2003, 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The team won the Group IV state championship in 1980 and 1985.

The football team won the North II Group IV state sectional championships in 1983, 1994, 1996, and 2002, and won the North I Group V state title in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In October 2008, a Montclair High School football player, Ryne Dougherty, died as a result of a brain hemorrhage in a football game.

The girls' soccer team won the Group IV state title in 2014, defeating Hunterdon Central Regional High School by a score of 2-1 in the tournament final to capture the program's first state title and finish the season with a 22-1 record.

The rowing team is the top public rowing team in the state and one of the best in the country. The girls' lightweight 4x placed 3rd at nationals in 2016.

Clubs and activities

As of the 2014-15 school year, Montclair High School has 106 clubs. Most meet after school, but a few, like the school's newspaper, have a prerequisite. To participate in these clubs, students must also take a related class during the school day. One of the most prominent clubs at this school is the "Save Darfur Club." This club works to promote awareness about the 2003 genocide and its remaining effects and tension in Darfur (a region of Sudan). The club also raises funds for the Jewish World Watch's Solar Cooker Project, which provides solar cookers to refugee camps in Darfur.

Performing arts

Montclair High School has its own performing arts program, called the School of Visual and Performing Arts (SVPA). The program includes a Dance Company for elite dancers, Technical Theater for those interested in behind-the-scenes work, and other activities. Most performances take place in the theater in Inness Annex, called the "Little Theater." Some significant productions include the Fall Showcase, a musical revue, and a musical, performed in the spring of each school year.

Montclair High School also has both a string orchestra and a winds band. The MHS band marches and performs for football games and has annually served as the pep band for college basketball teams in Madison Square Garden.

Student protests

Students protested New Jersey governor Chris Christie's appearance on school grounds on March 30, 2010, in response to ensuing budget cuts that affected the school. Over 200 students walked out of their classes in protests of the budget cuts in April of the same year.


In March 2014, MHS experienced an outbreak of a stomach virus. The illness spread rapidly, affecting approximately 170 students and staff members one day and over 300 the next, approximately 20 percent of the school's population. A disinfection of the school's two buildings was performed. Two popular nicknames for this illness were "The Plague" and "The Boot."


Core members of the school's administration are:

  • James Earle, Principal
  • Jeff Gannon, Assistant Principal
  • Eileen Gilbert, Assistant Principal
  • John Jeffries, Assistant Principal
  • Clifton Thompson, Assistant Principal
  • Kimberly Westervelt, Assistant Principal
  • Montclair High School has been featured in or used as a filming location for several films, commercials, and television shows including:

  • The original 1950 film version of Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Swimfan
  • Mean Girls
  • Ed – NBC series
  • The Sopranos – HBO series
  • Imaginary Heroes
  • Seven Minutes in Heaven
  • NBA Back to School Commercials – Featuring many famous basketball stars
  • Lymelife (2009) featuring Emma Roberts, Cynthia Nixon and Alec Baldwin.
  • Notable alumni

  • Buzz Aldrin (born 1930), second person to step on the Moon.
  • Albert Anderson (born 1950), guitarist and songwriter who played with Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Wailers Band, Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, Lauryn Hill, Ben Harper, The Centurions, Traffic and UB40.
  • Yael Averbuch (born 1986), soccer player.
  • Me'Lisa Barber (born 1980), sprinter.
  • Clarence Birdseye, founder of the modern frozen food industry.
  • Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. (born 1949), last president of the National League, serving from 1994 until 1999 when the position was eliminated by Major League Baseball.
  • Allen B. DuMont (1901–1965), television pioneer.
  • Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. (1911–2001) and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (1908–2006), son and daughter of Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, and co-authors of Cheaper by the Dozen.
  • Rees Jones (born 1941), golf course architect.
  • Robert Trent Jones Jr. (born 1939, class of 1957), golf course architect.
  • J. Erik Jonsson (1901-1995), businessman, philanthropist, and former mayor of Dallas, Texas
  • Julie Kane (born 1952), Poet Laureate of Louisiana, 2011–2013.
  • Daniel Karcher (born 1964), NPR host and filmmaker, best known as host for WBGO and production of The Blair Witch Project and Family Guy.
  • Nicole Leach (born 1979), actress.
  • Aubrey Lewis (1935–2001, class of 1954), The Star-Ledger's Football Player of the Century who was a football and track star with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
  • Warren Littlefield (born 1952), former President of NBC Entertainment.
  • Anne McCaffrey (1926–2011), author of science fiction and fantasy novels.
  • John McMullen (1918–2005), former owner of the New Jersey Devils and Houston Astros.
  • John Miller, journalist who conducted interview with Osama Bin Laden.
  • Jeff Mills (born 1968), linebacker who played four seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos.
  • Christina Ricci (born 1980), actress.
  • Anwar Robinson (born 1979), American Idol finalist.
  • Adam Schlesinger (born 1967), Bassist for the band Fountains of Wayne.
  • Benjamin Strong Jr. (born 1872), first governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • David Tyree (born 1980), wide receiver who played for the New York Giants.
  • Joe Walsh (born 1947), musician with the Eagles.
  • Ingrid Wells (born 1989), soccer player.
  • Richard Wilbur (born 1921), former United States Poet Laureate, who has won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.
  • Alex Winter (born 1965), actor, best known for his role in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
  • References

    Montclair High School (New Jersey) Wikipedia