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Northern Highlands Regional High School (NHRHS) is a regional public high school and school district in Allendale, Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. The high school serves students in grades 9–12 from Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Saddle River, and Upper Saddle River.
The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "I", the second highest of eight groupings. District Factor Groups organize districts statewide to allow comparison by common socioeconomic characteristics of the local districts. From lowest socioeconomic status to highest, the categories are A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I and J.
Among 264 graduates in 2005, 256 (97%) planned to attend college. Of those attending college, 250 (95%) planned to attend four-year colleges and 6 (2%) to attend two-year colleges.
During the 1986-87 school year, Northern Highlands Regional High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
Maryann Woods-Murphy, a Northern Highlands Regional High School Spanish Teacher, was awarded the state of New Jersey's highest honor given to a teacher: she was named the New Jersey Teacher of the Year. In her year of recognition, she visited the White House and met President Barack Obama as well as the Vice President, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden. http://www.ccsso.org/projects/national_teacher_of_the_year/state_teachers/2010/14031.cfm
The school was the 8th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 316 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2008 cover story on the state's Top Public High Schools. The school was ranked 7th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which included 316 schools across the state.
Core members of the administration for the district and school are:
Northern Highlands has a four-day rotating schedule; days are lettered with A through D. Students are scheduled for eight courses, six of which meet daily. This schedule provides longer segments of time (57 minute periods) to engage in higher-order thinking and performance-based learning. To receive a Northern Highlands Regional High School diploma, all students must pass the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), and earn a minimum of 125 credits including: 4 years of English and a freshman writing course for one semester; 1 year of World History / Cultures; 2 years of United States History; 3 years of Mathematics; 3 years of Science; 2 years of World Languages; 2 years of Career Education & Consumer, Family, and Life Skills, one semester of which is Computer Applications; 2 years of Visual and Performing Arts; and a year of Physical Education and/or Health for each year a student is in attendance at Northern Highlands.
Elective offerings in Visual and Performing Arts include: all art and music classes, Acting I, Actors’ Workshop, Creative Writing I and II, Journalism, TV Production I and II, and Film Studies. Semester courses include: Digital Multimedia and Web Page Design, as well as Mass Communications, Introduction to TV and Film, and Public Speaking. Elective offerings in Family and Life Skills include: Business, Computer classes, Industrial Technology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Music and Fine Arts. Semester courses include Digital Multimedia and Web Page Design which may apply EITHER to Visual and Performing Arts requirements OR Family and Life Skills, and Personal Finance and Investment, Entrepreneurship, Financial Management and Accounting, and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Engineering courses are offered and rapidly growing in popularity.
Presently, there are 37 Honors courses — two of which are Syracuse University Honors Project Advance classes in Forensic Science and Writing Studio I/ Reading Interpretation — and 19 Advanced Placement courses, in AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP United States History, AP European History, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP French Language, AP Spanish Language, AP Latin Literature, AP Macroeconomics, AP Art History, AP Studio Art, AP United States Government and Politics, AP Computer Science and AP Music Theory. AP courses are available to juniors and seniors only. Although very few Highlanders take a study, those students who take two lab sciences must have a study.
The Northern Highlands Regiment, the high school marching band under the direction of Theodora Sotiropoulos, is a top program in the region, having won the New Jersey Division 4A State Championship in 2004. The band often places first or in the top three at local competitions throughout the fall season.
The Northern Highlands Regional High School Highlanders compete in the North Bergen Interscholastic Athletic League, and is categorized by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) in North Jersey 1 Group 3 with schools including Wayne Hills High School and Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. The school has multiple athletic programs including Soccer, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Lacrosse, Softball, Field Hockey, Swimming, Wrestling, Volleyball, Fencing, Tennis, Golf and Track.
Northern Highlands is best known for its football program. Starting in 1965, Coach Fred Conrad took the lead as Northern Highlands Head football coach. After eight years, Conrad led Highlands to its first state final match. The Scotty Dogs ended up with Highlands' first championship win. Five years later, Conrad brought the Scotty Dogs to their second State championship. Three years afterwards The Scotty Dogs would face Indian Hills High School in the state, losing by a missed field goal (the last time Highlands has gone to the division 3 states). In 1982, Conrad turned over the head coaching job to Carl Mortenson, who led the Highlanders for six seasons. Steve Simonetti then took the reins in 1988. For 19 years, Simonetti coached the Highlanders (changed from Northern Highlands Scotty Dogs). By the time Simonetti retired from coaching in early 2006, 46 of his football players had gone to play in the NCAA. Simonetti was replaced by new head coach Christopher Locurto. In his two seasons as head coach, the team's record is 1-14 after a loss in a homecoming game against Mahwah High School by a score of 35-7 on October 19, 2008. Locurto had a 4-6 record in his 3rd season as the head football coach.
The Northern Highlands men's Track and Field program enjoyed a great deal of success past few years as they were crowned league champions from 2002-2006. Furthermore, the men's track team won the coveted League, County and Sectional championships in 2006 led by an incredibly deep distance and field team. The 2006 Track & Field team has produced numerous NCAA athletes. In 2009, Northern Highlands voted the 2006 Mens Track & Field team as the best male team in Highlands history while coming a close 2nd in the best team in history to the 1992 Girls soccer.
The Northern Highlands Ice Hockey Team won the NBIL regular season title and the inaugural NBIL Cup in 2007.
The 2001 girls tennis team won the NJSIAA North I, Group III sectional championship, defeating Ramapo High School, 3-2 in the tournament final. The boys tennis team duplicated the feat that same year, also defeating Ramapo High School by the same three matches to two score in the final.
The 2003 girls tennis team won the NJSIAA North I, Group III sectional championship, defeating Ramapo High School, 3-2 in the tournament final. The 2004 and 2005 teams, repeated the result, winning 4-1 over Ramapo both years.
The girls soccer team won the 2003 sectional championship over Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan by a 2-1 score.
The Northern Highlands' Boys freshman soccer team beat Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan by a score of 2-1 in overtime to win the 2007 Bergen County Freshman Boys Soccer Championships.
The 2008 girls volleyball team won its first state championship by defeating West Morris Central 17-25, 25-22, 25-19. This was the school's first state championship victory since 1993.
The Northern Highlands' field hockey team won the 2008 Bergen County Championship, its first since 2002. They were named The Record's Team of the Year, and the team was ranked #3 in the state. They moved on to be North 1 Group 3 state finalists, but suffered a disappointing 4-1 loss to Wayne Hills. They also won the 2009 Bergen County Championship.
The Northern Highlands Swim Team finished 1st in the NBIAL League Championship.
The Northern Highlands' Girls Fencing team won state sectionals, becoming the number one fencing team in Bergen County. Then, they went on to the State Championships where they were defeated 17-10 by Governor Livingston for first in the state. The Northern Highlands Girls Fencing team is the second best fencing team in New Jersey. Although in the 2009-10 season the Girls team made it back to the States against Governor Livingston were they won. Currently Highlands Girls Varsity Fencing is No. 1 in the State
During the 2009 season, on November 21, 2009, the varsity girls soccer team played against Hopewell in the state finals in The College of New Jersey. The game ended with a tie of 0-0 and it was the first time Northern Highlands girls varsity soccer team has ever won a co-championship since 1992.
The official student newspaper of Northern Highlands Regional High School is called The Highland Fling.
This 20-page paper is published eight times during the school year. Students do all of the work: planning the issues, writing articles, selling advertisements and assisting with the actual printing of the paper. The editors consider any interested students in grades 9-12 who wish to write or take photos for the paper. Students wishing to join the editorial staff first gain experience as contributing staff members and, in the spring, submit an application and writing sample. Outgoing editors select the new editorial staff from among the applicants.
The title refers to a traditional Scottish dance.
The "Fling" has won wide acclaim and numerous awards from the Garden State Scholastic Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the National Scholastic Press Association (co-sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors), among others. Among the recent accolades:
Northern Highlands has over 50 clubs that meet during and after school. They include: Student Council, Newspaper (The Highlands Fling), Freshmen Literary/Art Magazine, Literary Magazine (Loch and Quay), Yearbook (Thistle), Marching Band/Color Guard, Chorus, Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, Highlands Voices (Select Vocal Ensemble), Percussion Ensemble, Fall Drama, Musical Production, Art Club, Book Club, Christian Club, Computer Club, Debate Club, DECA, Engineering Club, Environment Awareness, Fashion Club, Fed Challenge, French Club, Italian Club, Latin Club, Spanish Club Girls Learn International, Human Rights Awareness Club, Judaic Club, Knitting Club, Math League, Mock Trial, Model U.N., Multicultural Awareness Club, National Honor Society, Photography Club, Quiz Bowl, Radio Club, Red Cross, Robotics, S.A.D.D., School Store, Science Club, Science League, Stock Market, and Transition Project.
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