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Wellesley High School

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Wellesley High School

Wellesley High School
50 Rice Street
Wellesley, MA, Norfolk, 02482
United States
Type Public
Established 1938
School code 222285
Principal Jamie Chisum
Assistant principals Mrs. Lynne Novogroski
Drew Kelton
Marc Bender
Faculty 108
Grades 9–12
Number of students approx. 1450
Color(s) Red & Black         
Mascot Raider
Average SAT scores 607 verbal
608 math
603 writing
1818 total (2014-2015)[1]
Newspaper The Bradford
Yearbook The Wellesleyan

Wellesley High School is a public high school in the affluent town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, educating grades 9 through 12. Its current principal is Dr. Jamie Chisum, who took the position in 2014 after the departure of Dr. Andrew Keough.[2] Its three assistant principals are Lynne Novogroski, Drew Kelton, and Marc Bender. As of 2014, it has over 1400 students and is one of the most academically challenging public high schools in Massachusetts.[3] In 2014 it was ranked the 4th best high school in Massachusetts and the 164th best public high school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in terms of college readiness, earning a Gold Medal.[4]


  • History and current state 1
  • Renewal and expansion 2
  • Governing bodies 3
  • Extracurricular activities 4
    • Drama Society 4.1
    • Student Congress 4.2
    • Model UN 4.3
    • Academic Decathlon 4.4
    • Sports 4.5
  • Curricular offerings 5
    • Performing arts 5.1
    • Foreign languages 5.2
    • Science and technology 5.3
    • Social studies 5.4
    • English 5.5
    • Mathematics 5.6
    • Guidance 5.7
    • Art 5.8
    • Business 5.9
  • Publications 6
    • The Student Handbook 6.1
    • The Bradford 6.2
    • Red Ink 6.3
    • The Green Pages 6.4
  • Associated programs 7
    • Child Lab 7.1
    • Partnership with Wellesley College 7.2
    • METCO Program 7.3
    • Bridge Program 7.4
  • Notable alumni and Students 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

History and current state

The old school building was originally built as a public works project in 1938 during the Great Depression, designed by Perry Shaw and Hepburn and built by M. Spinelli and Sons Co., Inc. The building has been modified with several additions throughout its existence, most recently with a new fitness center. The 1938 building was replaced in 2012 with a brand new state of the art building in the former parking lot.

Renewal and expansion

Wellesley High School in 2009 before demolition

Age and maintenance issues have taken their toll on the school structure. The increasing size of the student body as well as the evolving nature of education have challenged the capability of the building to meet the needs of the school community effectively and safely. In September 2005, the exploration of options for a new building or refurbishment was commenced by the town.[5]

In October 2007, a public meeting was held to introduce several options for the expansion of the school, including renovation and extension of the existing building and its demolition and replacement by a completely new structure. The site has been expanded by purchase of three adjacent properties in Seaver Street and transfer of publicly owned land.

On December 10, 2008, town voters approved the project, by nearly 2 to 1 (5,026 YES to 2,869 NO), to build a new, state-of-the art high school on the parking lot next to the existing buildings. Site clearance started in August 2009 with the relocation of one house to a nearby site. Construction began March 2010 with an estimated completion date of September 2013. The new facility, actually opened in February 2012, and the school held a gala to say goodbye to the old building and old alumni such as Billy Squire, Jane Curtin and Biz Stone gave last rites in the school auditorium over a series of weekend concerts and get together events in 2011 .[6]

After much analysis, the existing structure, was declared to be a good example of the Art Deco style of Architecture, however was found, by the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.), not to be a historically significant example and it was eventually demolished during 2011 and 2012. The State authorities held the final say in this ruling, but the A.I.A. review opened the door for the eventual knock-down and the final site plotting. The new structure which opened to students in February 2012 incorporates some of the design features of the prior building and is limited in its visual impact to be in scale with the surrounding residential neighborhood. The total cost was estimated to be $130 million with $85 million of that total to be raised from State and Federal matching funds. However, the final project came in under budget at $90 million and opened 18 months ahead of schedule [7]

Governing bodies

  • Students: Student Congress
  • Teachers: Faculty Senate
  • Administrative: ATM
  • Legislative: School Council
    • Co-Moderator (Principal), Co-Moderator (Student)
    • For next year School Council has been changed to have eleven members: two teachers, four students, and three parents, a community member, and the Principal.
      • Two student representatives are elected in Student Congress, another is the president of Student Congress, and another is appointed by Dr. Keough.
  • District Wide: School Committee
  • Representatives to Greater Boston Regional Advisory Council to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Extracurricular activities

Wellesley High School offers many after school clubs that are mostly run by students. Notable clubs include Student Congress, Academic Decathlon, the active Debate Club, Drama Society, the Key Club, Model UN, the Science Olympiad Team, the Math Team, the Green Team, and the many other cultural and humanitarian-focused clubs.

Drama Society

The Wellesley High School Drama Society produces four productions every academic year a fall musical, winter show (for non competitive entry into METG), and two spring productions. There are a variety of opportunities for students as they can either audition to be a cast member, or work backstage on the stage crew.

Student Congress

This club serves as the primary representative of the student body. Open to membership from all grades, Student Congress serves to promote the students' interests and enhance their experiences through communication, dialogue, and policy debate.

Model UN

The Wellesley High School Model UN club is an after school club formed in 2010. The team has attended the BosMUN conference all four years and plans to travel to more conferences in the 2015-16 year.

Academic Decathlon

Wellesley High School has an Academic Decathlon team. The team consistently makes it to the State Finals and has placed in the top 3 in Massachusetts for the past several seasons. In 2015, the team lost to the Acton-Boxborough High School for the state title.[8] The team is coached by Lauren Berenson.


Raiders vs. Rockets in the 2005 Thanksgiving Day Game at Hunnewell Field in Wellesley

Wellesley participates in the Bay State Conference and consistently sends various sports teams to the Eastern Massachusetts playoffs. Over 70% of all WHS students participate in one of the 34 different offered sports at some point during their time at Wellesley High. Altogether, there are 63 varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams at the school.[3]

In 2005–2006, the Wellesley varsity girls ice hockey team won the state championship. The boys lacrosse team made it to three straight state finals between 2004 and 2006, managing to capture the title of state champions in 2006. In 2007 the Wellesley Raiders golf team came in 2nd in the state finals, the golf team then came in 3rd in the state finals in 2010. Then in 2008, the girls varsity basketball team defeated Millbury at the DCU Center in Worcester, bringing home Wellesley High School basketball's first ever State Championship.[9] In 2010, the Wellesley Raiders Tennis team went undefeated (26–0) and captured Wellesley's first ever Division 1 State Championship defeating St. John's 5-0. The girls hockey team lost in the state finals held at TD Bank Garden in March 2014 and March 2015. The boys hockey team also made the state tournament in 2014 abd 2015, The high schools lacrosse, sailing, skiing, diving and golf teams are usually amongst the best in the state.

Varsity Sports in Wellesley for the 2014–2015 academic school year are as follows:

  • Fall
    • Football
    • Boy's Soccer
    • Girl's Soccer
    • Field Hockey
    • Boy's Cross Country
    • Girl's Cross Country
    • Girl's Volleyball
    • Girl's Swimming
    • Girl's Diving
    • Boys Golf
  • Winter
    • Boy's Basketball
    • Girl's Basketball
    • Boy's Indoor Track
    • Girl's Indoor Track
    • Boy's Ice Hockey
    • Girl's Ice Hockey
    • Boy's Swimming
    • Boy's Diving
    • Dance Team
    • Boy's and Girl's Alpine and Nordic Ski Team
    • Wrestling
    • Girl's Gymnastics
  • Spring
    • Softball
    • Baseball
    • Boy's Outdoor Track and Field
    • Girl's Outdoor Track and Field
    • Boy's Tennis
    • Girl's Tennis
    • Boy's Lacrosse
    • Girl's Lacrosse
    • Boy's Volleyball
    • Sailing Team
    • Girl's Golf

Curricular offerings

Performing arts

  • Band
    • 1 o'Clock Jazz Band – Winner of many different medals at the International Association for Jazz Education.[10]
    • 2 o'Clock Jazz Band – The 2 o'clock Jazz Band was a finalist at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition and Festival in New York City for the second year in a row.[11][12] The group has been accepted as a finalist again in 2009 for the third time. They were also accepted in 2011, their fourth time. They won first place at the 41st Annual Berklee Jazz Festival in 2009, their second consecutive victory there. They won again in 2014. They have won a gold medal at the MAJE state finals for each year since 2002.
    • Concert Band
    • Wind Ensemble – Since the origin of the WHS Wind Ensemble, it has won the gold medal at the MICCA state finals several consecutive years, and has performed at both Mechanics Hall in Worcester and Symphony Hall in Boston.[13]
  • Orchestra (strings)
    • The orchestra won a gold medal at MICCA in 2009 and performed at Symphony Hall in March.
    • The Honors Chamber Orchestra won a gold medal at MICCA in 2011 and performed at Mechanics Hall in April.
  • Drama Program
    • Four levels of acting classes are offered under the direction of Stephen Wrobleski.
    • The Wellesley High School Drama Society has won the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Festival and advanced to New Englands five times in the past ten years. Their most recent win was in 2010 with their production of the self-scripted Blüdpayne VII: A Fistful of Blüdpayne.[14] In 2007, Wellesley won with their production of Dark of the Moon,[15] and in 2006, with the self-scripted Der Waffle Haus, Ergo Leggo My Ego.[16]
  • Technical Theatre
    • The Technical Theater program is currently run by Brian McManimon.
    • Stagecraft and Stagecraft Intensive classes are offered.
  • Choral Program

Foreign languages

Regular classes are offered in French, Spanish, German, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese (as of 2015).

The foreign language department regularly engages in exchange programs with students of French- and German-speaking countries. The German program was involved in an exchange with students from Munich, Germany in the 2005–2006 school year.

Science and technology

The science and technology department at Wellesley High School offers a comprehensive program of science education and a selection of electives in technology. The departmental sequence in science consists of physics in ninth grade, chemistry in tenth grade, biology in eleventh grade, and physics and a variety of AP science courses and science electives in twelfth grade.[17] AP courses are offered in chemistry (as a second-year course), biology (as a second-year course), and Physics B.

Electives in technology consist of wood manufacturing and design technology. Robotics is offered by demand. Operating without any school funding, Wellesley Botball team managed to place 1st regionally and Top 10 Internationally in 2009, and third nationally in 2001 [18]

Social studies

The social studies department offers several elective majors, available for junior and senior students. These include Russian History, Theory of Knowledge, East Asian History, Economic Theory, Political Science, and Sociology. The department offers two advanced placement courses: AP Psychology and AP United States History.


The English Department offers a comprehensive program that covers writing, poetry and literature. Students are exposed to a wide range of literature and given a strong background in writing. Opportunities exist to take variouselectives, and the department sponsors a summer reading program where a particular book is read over the summer by the entire school community. The program culminates with a school wide seminar, usually led by the author of the book, or an individual knowledgeable about the book or its subject. During the summer of 2007, students and faculty read 1776 by David McCullough, who came in to speak when the school year began.


Standard mathematics classes include geometry freshman year, algebra sophomore year, analysis or pre-calculus junior year and calculus or statistics senior year (all offered in varying levels). AP Calculus, both AB and BC, and AP Statistics are offered senior year. There is also a separate Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) track through junior year.


The Guidance Department provides a variety of services in three areas: personal/social, career/college, and academic counseling. Counselors spend the majority of their time working directly with students. Through individual counseling and semester-long guidance seminar classes, counselors address the developmental needs of students and provide crisis intervention. Its current director is Ms. Julie Trask.


Along with elective courses leveled by ability in jewelry making, ceramics, film making, photography, digital art, and newly added creative journal making, the school offers a five-credit honors course for serious artists called Drawing and Painting Intensive. The course is taught by artist and teacher Dr. Robert Callahan and, in addition to requiring weekly homework assignments, is counted towards students' GPA. In April 2014 the Art Department will travel to Central Europe with 36 students.


Both entry level accounting, stats and business mathematics classes are offered along with a varied number of business electives including marketing, finance, management, web design and development for business.


Wellesley High School has a number of student and faculty written publications.

The Student Handbook

The WHS Student Handbook is given to all students attending Wellesley High School. Its purpose is to outline all the official rules of the school, such as consequences for behavior and exactly what is not allowed. A student can not be punished for anything not written in the handbook, and punishments must fit the guidelines written in the handbook. Additionally, the handbook has policies and descriptions of the various branches of School Government, such as Student Congress and Faculty Senate. Currently, any changes from to the handbook submitted by a student must go through Student Congress, and must also be voted on and approved by School Council.

The Bradford

The Bradford is the Wellesley High School newspaper. The Journalism class is responsible for publishing new issues. Their website is

Red Ink

Red Ink is an arts and literary magazine with student submitted poetry, stories, and otherwise. It posts content to its website.

The Green Pages

The Green Pages is a digital newsletter, published bimonthly by students, focusing on the "green happenings" of the Wellesley Public Schools.

Associated programs

Child Lab

Child Lab is a developmentally appropriate laboratory preschool for 3, 4, and 5 year olds located on the ground floor of Wellesley High School. Since its inception in 1979, the Lab School has enrolled 18 children each year. It is an elective in which high school students enroll to learn about the development of young children and the best ways to approach optimum learning for the children. Child Lab is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about different ages and stages of children as well as to have the children taught by the students who have taken an interest in early childhood development.

Partnership with Wellesley College

Students at WHS may take classes at Wellesley College without paying tuition, provided that the classes are not offered at WHS.

METCO Program

Wellesley is a member of the METCO Program, which gives inner-city students access to a better education, by busing them in from the City of Boston.

Bridge Program

Students out of school for an extended period of time due to hospitalization are eligible for this support program. It is run by former Magic 106.7 DJ Adam Diliberto and Social Worker Lindsey Slotnick.

Notable alumni and Students


  1. ^
  2. ^ Reed, Brad (January 25, 2007). WHS Principal Hired. Wellesley Townsman.
  3. ^ a b Wellesley High School Profile
  4. ^ U. S. News & World Report [2]. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "A gala farewell for old Wellesley High". The Boston Globe. 
  7. ^ "Wellesley High School" (PDF). Symmes Main & McKee Associates. Retrieved May 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ Retrieved on May 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Wellesley girls basketball wins state title – Wellesley, Massachusetts – The Wellesley Townsman. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "WHS jazz bands take home gold and silver". WickedLocal. March 14, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2008. 
  11. ^ Bowers, Jack (April 5, 2005). "The Mancini Institute: A Beacon of Light". all about jazz. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Essentially Ellington Winners!". all about jazz. April 22, 2006. Retrieved March 6, 2008. 
  13. ^ Scott, Steven. (December 15, 2006) WHS auditorium no longer serving our needs – Wellesley, Massachusetts – The Wellesley Townsman. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  14. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  15. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  16. ^ Massachusetts High School Drama Guild Inc. (April 1, 2006). Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
  17. ^ Wellesley High School Program of Studies 2015–2016
  18. ^ AAAI Hosts the National Botball Tournament!

External links

  • Official Wellesley Public Schools Web Site
  • Official Wellesley High School Website
  • The Bradford, Official School Newspaper
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