Columbia High School (New Jersey)
Columbia High School is a four-year comprehensive regional public high school in Maplewood, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. It serves students in ninth through twelfth grades, as the lone secondary school of the South Orange-Maplewood School District, which includes Maplewood and South Orange, neighboring communities in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1928; its accreditation expires in December 2023.
|Columbia High School|
17 Parker Avenue
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||South Orange-Maplewood School District|
|NCES School ID||3415330|
|Enrollment||1,974 (as of 2018–19)|
|Student to teacher ratio||14.4:1|
|Athletics conference||Super Essex Conference (general)|
North Jersey Super Football Conference (football)
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
As of the 2018–19 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,974 students and 137.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.4:1. There were 315 students (16.0% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 71 (3.6% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Since the days of the Revolution, a one-room stone schoolhouse had stood on a grassy area known as the Common, located close to the present intersection of South Orange Avenue and Academy Street in Maplewood. In 1814, this building blocked the construction of a new toll highway from Newark to Morristown. The 73 "Proprietors and Associates" of the school met on August 3 of that year and resolved to erect a new school building near the site of the old one, naming seven Trustees to thereafter oversee the education of local children. The resolution reflected "the desire of the meeting that the said school should in the future have the name of Columbian School of South Orange."
The new schoolhouse was a two-story wood structure, topped by a thin steeple and a lofty weather vane. It was completed before the fall term of 1815. The Trustees decided "That the price of tuition in this school be fixed at $1.75 per quarter for spelling, reading and writing; for Arithmetic in addition to the above branches the sum of $0.25 cts and for Grammar or Geography the further sum of twenty-five cents." The cost of firewood was to be "divided equally among the scholars." On May 10, 1816, the Trustees adopted a seal for the school in the form of "a spread eagle standing on a globe with the word Excelsior underneath in Roman Capitals."
In the early years, students at the Columbia School were not separated according to grade. All were subject to the same rules, among them the following adopted by the Trustees on May 2, 1827: "Every scholar must be made to name every silent letter in his spelling when he spells a word with one in and mention every figure which is placed over a letter and be taught to know their uses and for every mistake or omission in such letter or figure shall be considered the same as spelling a word wrong and subject to the same usage.
"Every scholar that spells a word wrong or omits a silent letter or figure shall step in the rear of the class and there stand until the class shall have spelled through, then those that have spelled right are to move up in a solid body and those who are in the rear to move down and take their places at the foot."
For decades, the school was supported by tuition payments. But gradually the State began to assume a share of the financial responsibility. In 1820, a law authorized townships to levy a tax to pay the tuition of poor students. By 1828, townships had the power to tax for general school purposes. The State itself began to contribute money in 1830, and in 1846 every township was required to raise as much money each year for schools as the State itself contributed. The last tuition assessment for residents occurred in 1861, and thereafter the Columbia School was entirely supported by public taxation.
After the Civil War, improvements on the railroad contributed to a decided growth of population in the old Township of South Orange. The general character of the citizenry underwent a significant change and residents known as "commuters" began to emerge in numbers. In 1867, a state law required that Columbia become a graded school. By 1877, the old two-story wooden building erected in 1815 was found to be woefully inadequate for the growing community. One resident complained that "in very cold weather, with stoves at red heat, it is impossible to raise the temperature in the room above 55 degrees, and in such a place are sown the seeds of suffering, disease and death."
The Trustees responded in 1879 by resolving to erect a new brick building, of two stories, to accommodate between 220 and 240 pupils. The new structure was opened in 1880. The final cost of construction was $17,094.49. The building later became the northeast wing of the old South Orange Junior High School, demolished when the present middle school was built.
The separate existence of the high school began in 1885, when the Trustees decided "that in order to increase the efficiency of the Columbia School a new class of a higher grade shall be formed at the commencement of the coming term to be taught by the Principal." Lower grades continued to be housed at Columbia. The Trustees' minutes of May 31, 1888, reflect the principal's request "that a diploma be voted to Miss Etta A. Kilburn" and that, "on motion, a diploma was voted to Miss Kilburn, the first graduate of the high school.
In 1894, the South Orange, Maplewood, and Hilton school districts were consolidated and became the South Orange and Maplewood School District, with borders essentially identical to those which presently exist. The district remained unified even after Maplewood and South Orange became separately incorporated as municipalities, although there was considerable pressure to split as early as 1904.
The close of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th brought significant changes in high school curriculum and school management. The Board of Education had by now replaced the old Board of Trustees. In 1890, "manual training" was offered in school. By 1891, sciences had been added to the course of study. A tradition of excellence was beginning to evolve, and in 1892 two Columbia graduates were admitted to Cornell University. Musical enrichment was added in 1894 with the hiring of a singing teacher from New York City. Early in the 1900s the value of athletics was recognized and encouraged at Columbia by the organization of boys' and girls' teams. The student council was formed in 1912, and The Columbian student newspaper followed in 1915.
There was a reaction to these changes. Complaints arose over so-called "fads and frills"-inessentials said to be leading to the neglect of reading, writing, spelling and arithmetic. New York papers read by local commuters campaigned for a return to the efficiency of the "little old red schoolhouse." But the changes were here to stay.
At the same time, pupil behavior was becoming less inhibited, much to the distress of the adult population. Henry W. Foster, superintendent of the district from 1900 to 1927, described the conditions in 1913: "Long before prohibition was adopted, venturesome boys were surreptitiously now and then bringing liquor to dances to add to the excitement. There was a decided reversion to animalistic excitement. Musical rhythm from the wilds of barbarism stirred the pulse. The dance abandoned the restraint and refinement of waltz and polka; Bunny Hug, Turkey Trot, Fox Trot, and Shimmey began to reign."
The Board of Education reacted by banning all but "polite dances" on school premises. However, the proscribed behavior persisted, and the Board then stopped all school dances. That continued until it became apparent that students were going to outside dances anyway and the efforts at control were abandoned.
World War IEdit
Many students and teachers were enlisted during World War I, which had a significant effect on life at Columbia. Pupils in assembly regularly delivered patriotic "four-minute speeches." Every room in the school had a full complement of war posters.
Epidemics raged during the same period of time. Polio spread around the country in 1916 and, at Columbia, resulted in the deaths of one teacher and several children. In 1918, the global influenza epidemic closed all of the schools in the district for three weeks and one teacher died.
In the early part of the 20th century most of the remaining farms in Maplewood and South Orange were sold and subdivided, leading to the present suburban character of the two communities. The increase in population placed enormous pressure on the schools. In 1900, the total district school population was 792; by 1927, it had risen to 4,960, an increase of 526%.
Post-World War IEdit
The Board of Education initially responded by constructing a sizable addition to the old Columbia School in 1910, which building still housed primary school children as well as high school students. Seth Boyden School and the old Fielding School were erected in 1913 and 1914, respectively. By the fall of 1922 Marshall School was completed. First Street School followed the next spring, and Jefferson School opened in January 1924. Later that year the junior high schools were organized, and both the Tuscan and Montrose buildings were finished.
More was needed. The old Columbia School could no longer safely accommodate the student population. A magnificent new structure was planned. The design process was unique in that the faculty and all members of the staff participated by submitting sketches, drawn to scale, of the facilities necessary to satisfy their needs. In 1926 construction began on the present Columbia High School building. Work was completed in September 1927, in time for the fall term. So well-designed was this building that two years later its floor plan was described and pictured in the Encyclopædia Britannica in an article describing ideal American schools.
During this period of time Columbia gained increasing fame for its academic excellence. Educators generally considered it to be one of the most outstanding high schools in the United States. Much of that reputation was due to Henry W. Foster, superintendent from 1900 to 1927, and John H. Bosshart, principal from 1920 to 1927. Bosshart succeeded Foster as superintendent, and later served as the first head of the New Jersey Department of Education.
American public schools were all significantly impacted by World War II. In the words of Lt. General Brehon Sommervell, then Commanding General, Services of Supply: "The job of the schools in this total war is to educate the nation's manpower for war and for the peace that follows." Columbia High School met the challenge, primarily with curriculum changes designed to prepare boys for service in the military. The science department developed courses in aeronautics. In biology, students studied the effect of flying on the human body. A new modern history course emphasized the "historical background for an understanding of the forces which have caused this global war, of the necessity of destroying that for which our enemies stand and of the magnitude of the international problems which face the world." Even the music department offered a new program "to train pupils in the informal singing that grows out of wartime needs." Columbia had its own Victory Corps with the objective of encouraging pupils "to take some active part in their own community's war effort while they are yet in school.
For many years following its opening in 1927, the high school physical plant was more than sufficient for the needs of its population. Although four classrooms and a shop were added to the structure in 1939, it was not until 1958 that a large addition (now C Wing) was constructed to accommodate a burgeoning student body. By 1964, the dimensions of a new population explosion were perceived, and a special Board of Education committee was formed to investigate the needs of Columbia High School in the 1970s. As a result of this study, it was calculated that further additions would be required. During the 1970–71 school year, B and D Wings were added at a total cost of $5,250,000.
The total high school population was now approaching 2,400. The same committee which concluded that physical additions were needed also recommended a new organizational plan to prevent students from feeling depersonalized in such a large system. What grew out of this was the House Plan, which, in 1970, divided Columbia into four sub-schools (or "houses") of approximately 600 students each. The goal was to provide the intimacy of a small school within a large plant, and each of the houses had, for example, its own student council, intramural athletic teams, and newspapers. All of these were in addition to the traditional school-wide activities.
Student reaction to the Vietnam War was a nationwide phenomenon, and Columbia provided no exception to the pattern. A Student Peace Group was organized at Columbia in 1968, and over 300 students actively participated. Members wore black armbands on April 26 of that year, and a community rally was held the next day with faculty members present. On March 27, 1969, a group of Columbia students were suspended for distributing leaflets in school opposing the Vietnam War, without the approval of the school's administration. The American Civil Liberties Union agreed to defend the students, but the issue became moot as the students were reinstated, though the State Commissioner of Education ruled in June 1969 that the leaflet ban could not be sustained in its original form and that a new policy would need to be implemented by the school board.
Invention of Ultimate FrisbeeEdit
The Vietnam era generally coincided with a time of protest against all things establishment. One manifestation of this was the ascendancy of Ultimate (also known as Ultimate Frisbee), which became popular around the country as an alternative to varsity sports. The game was conceived of by Columbia students in the late 1960s. It is said that the first organized game took place in 1968 between the staff of the school's student newspaper, The Columbian, and the Student Council. An annual CHS Ultimate Alumni game is played in the student parking lot on the night of Thanksgiving. The event has drawn former CHS Ultimate players from as far back as the original 1968 team to return to "The Lot" to play against the current incarnation of the team.
Columbia High School todayEdit
By the late 1970s, student populations around the nation had entered what proved to be a period of extended numerical decline. The Board of Education organized a citizen Educational Task Force, which conducted a District-wide demographic study and ultimately recommended a series of school closings and consolidations. One of the results was the entry of the 9th grade into the high school in 1980. Declining enrollment, as well as cost considerations, led to the discontinuance of the House Plan in 1982.
Columbia High School was the first school in the nation to observe Earth Day, on April 17, 1970. Due to the fact that Columbia was on spring break on April 22, when Earth Day was scheduled for national observance, the presentation was known as Earth Day Minus Five and a specially prepared flag was run up the main flagpole. The all-day observance, which was coordinated by biology teacher Jeffrey Himmelstein, began with Congressman Joseph Minish as the keynote speaker; several noted scientists from the area conducted seminars. Featured was an assembly with films and slide shows that were created by several students and environmentally themed folk songs were sung.
Awards, recognition and rankingEdit
For the 1992–93 school year, Columbia High School received the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence from the United States Department of Education, the highest honor that an American school can achieve.
In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 43rd in New Jersey and 1,358th nationwide. In Newsweek's May 22, 2007, issue, ranking the country's top high schools, Columbia High School was listed in 1192nd place, the 39th-highest ranked school in New Jersey.
The school was the 96th-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 47th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 75th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 89th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was also ranked 79th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school 150th out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 29 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (82.5%) and language arts literacy (94.6%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The Columbia High School Student Council was named an "NJASC Honor School" for the 3rd consecutive year in January 2008. It also won a "Top 10 Projects" award for their event, 'School in Action Night'. They won the same honor the year before for their 'How to Start a Gay-Straight Alliance' presentation.
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While thousands of schools were constructed in the same era with little more than local notice, the opening of the present-day Columbia High School warranted articles in The Architect, Architecture, Architectural Record, American School and University, The Brick Builder, Pencil Points, and The American School Board Journal. Rendered in the Collegiate Gothic style by James O. Betelle of the Newark, New Jersey architectural firm of Guilbert & Betelle, the school served as a standard in design as evidenced by the inclusion of a floor plan in a 1930 Encyclopædia Britannica article, and later design homages such as John Marshall High School (Los Angeles, California). Collegiate Gothic, or Academic Gothic, construction was prevalent among schools and colleges in the 1920s, and was Betelle's preferred building style for both its scholastically historic roots and practical considerations. The 1927 main building still garners recognition, including recognition by Architectural Digest on its 2017 list of the "Most Beautiful Public High School in Every State in America".
Prominent original exterior features include carved limestone detail, numerous false chimneys, steeply pitched slate roofs, and a seven-story clock tower. While it is not known for certain that Columbia High School was inspired by any earlier structures, there is a strong resemblance to Laynon Hall at Queen's University of Belfast. At the very top of the clock tower is a copper pyramidal structure. The entire pyramid structure rotates, and one side opens, serving as an observatory. The observatory is equipped with a large refracting telescope made by John Brashear. That telescope is no longer functional, but there is a more modern Celestron C11 reflecting telescope that is used by students. Two levels below are the E. Howard & Co. Style No. 3 clock works. Alongside the clock is an enormous bronze bell by the Meneely Bell Foundry. Inside the school can be found rooms with fireplaces, hallways with beautiful faience wall tiles by John Scott Award recipient Herman Carl Mueller of Trenton, and mosaic inlaid terrazzo floors in the front hall. The front foyer was recently renovated, removing non-period lighting and mid-century acoustic tile. The restoration included doors that more closely replicated the 1926 originals, a new terrazzo floor, and dramatic lighting of the zodiac-inspired plaster ceiling. Recently, dubious student art dating from as far back as the 1970s was painted over, among other improvements. The auditorium includes a three-manual Ernest M. Skinner Organ. Although it is little used and not completely functional, the organ is one of the few unmodified Skinners in existence and has received an Organ Historical Society citation. Regrettably, on either side of the stage the large plaster grills that hide the organ pipes were water damaged. The original auditorium chandeliers have also been removed. A similar story exists with regard to the swimming pool; while the original vaulted Catalan Guastavino tile ceiling remains, the chandeliers are gone, and a giant arched window is blocked by a later addition.
CHS has had a major addition every 20 to 30 years. In the 1930s, an industrial arts wing brought students the skills needed during the Great Depression. In the 1950s, a large addition, now known as "C-Wing", added classrooms to cope with increasing student numbers as well as a massive gymnasium (bringing the total number of gyms to three). In the early 70s, a projected enrollment boom and the need for new science, fine arts, and industrial arts space created the need for "B" and "D" wings. A new cafeteria, the largest public school library at the time, space for academic advising, a now-gone small movie theater and A/V room and a TV studio were built. With these additions, the earlier 1927 structure is only visible from the front facade and between later additions. In 2005, much of the space previously used for industrial arts such as wood shop and auto shop was transformed into a theatre performance and general use space. In 2009, renovations were completed on the main entryway, reviving original stone and woodwork, but with a conspicuous misspelling of the school's motto, "Excelsior", carved as "Excelcior" into the masonry floor.
In each era of construction, the chosen design was seen as controversial. The D-Wing, the most recent and most obvious addition to the School, boasts a dramatic modernist design typical of the late-1960s and early 1970s. The clash between this new (and already out-of-fashion) style and the original architecture of the A-Wing is especially visible from Parker Avenue.
In 1956 (tied with Cranford High School), 1982 and again in 1990 (tied with Cherry Hill High School East), the school's chess team was the New Jersey high school team champion, winning the Father Casimir J. Finley Trophy.
The FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team 4102, founded in 2011, placed first in the New Jersey FTC state championships during its rookie year in 2011 and again in 2013, qualifying for the FIRST Championship both times and placing as a finalist both years. The team returned to the World Championship in 2017.
Columbia High School has won multiple Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for their musical program. Bethany Pettigrew and Tricia Benn won for Best Director in 2015 for Ragtime and "The Silly Girls" won Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group in 2016 for Beauty and The Beast.
Columbia High School has a series of clubs. The Columbian is a club where students write a newspaper for students and staff of Columbia High School that includes topics from in the school itself, but also includes current events from around the world. The paper was recognized by the American Scholastic Press Association in 2014–2019 with first place in its Scholastic Newspaper Awards.
The Columbia High School Cougars compete in the Super Essex Conference, which is comprised of public and private high schools in Essex County and was established following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). Prior to the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed as part of the Iron Hills Conference, which included public and private high schools in Essex and Union counties. Prior to 1972, the school competed in New Jersey's Big Ten Conference. With 1,514 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,060 to 5,049 students in that grade range. The football team competes in the Freedom White division of the North Jersey Super Football Conference, which includes 112 schools competing in 20 divisions, making it the nation's biggest football-only high school sports league. The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group V North for football for 2018–2020.
The school participates with Bloomfield High School in a joint ice hockey team in which Nutley High School is the host school / lead agency. The co-op program operates under agreements scheduled to expire at the end of the 2023–24 school year.
Ultimate Frisbee was invented at Columbia High School in 1968. The ultimate team has won the state championship 11 times in the tournament's 13-year history. The team has won the championship every year since 2001 giving it a 12-year winning streak. The team has attended the Paideia cup tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, a nationally competitive tournament, every year since its inception in 2006, as well as the Amherst Invitational in Massachusetts. The men's team was recognized in town hall meetings and Board of Education meetings after winning the 2008 High school eastern championship. The women's team has won the state championship every year that it has been contested, beginning in 2007. However, the team is not recognized as a sport by the school and does not receive funding by the district.
The school's fencing team was started in 1982 and was included in the sport section of the yearbook for the first time. Prior to this had existed as a fencing club for a couple of years before.
Trailing by eight points in the final three minutes of the championship game at the Newark Armory, the 1925 boys basketball team came back to win the Class B (since recategorized as Group III) state title with a 24-21 victory against Princeton High School.
The boys swimming team won the Public state championship in 1942, 1949, 1955 and 1956, and won the Division A title in 1960.
The boys spring / outdoor track team won the Group IV state championship in 1948.
The boys cross-country team won the Group IV boys' title in 1960.
The boys' soccer team won the Group IV state championship in 1978 (defeating Brick Township High School in the finals), 1979 (vs. Neptune High School), 1989 (vs. East Brunswick High School) and 1998 (vs. Bridgewater-Raritan High School). The team was coached by Gene Chyzowych, one of the most successful active scholastic soccer coaches in the nation, who had an overall career record of 757 wins in his 50-year coaching career that ended in 2013. The 2007 boys' soccer team won the North II, Group IV state sectional championship with a 1–0 win over Westfield High School in the tournament final. The baseball team won the Greater Newark Tournament in 1978, 1979, 1986 and 1995. The program's four titles are tied for fifth-most in tournament history through 2019. The team won the 1995 Greater Newark Tournament title, defeating Belleville High School 1-0 in the finals.
The girls basketball team won the Group IV state title in 1979 (defeating Atlantic City High School in the tournament final), 1998 (vs. Piscataway High School) and 2001 (vs. Marlboro High School).
The boys' lacrosse team won the overall state championship in 1979 (defeating Montclair High School in the final game of the tournament) and 1982 (vs. West Morris Central High School). The 1979 team finished the season with a 17-0 record after winning the state title against defending-champion Montclair. The 1982 team won the state title with a 10-6 win against Summit in the championship game.
The girls' track and field team won the New Jersey Group IV indoor relay state championship in 1982-1984, 1994, 1996-1998, 2004, 2013 and 2014; the 10 state titles are tied for the most won by any girls track program. The boys' track team placed 5th at the Nike Indoor Nationals in the 4x400 meter relay in 2009, making it the best in history for Columbia boys and breaking a school record. In the 2010 outdoor season, both the girls' and boys' teams went to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, where the girls' team won, making them No. 1 in the country, and the boys placed 6th.
The wrestling team won the North II Group IV state sectional championship in 1989.
The girls spring / outdoor track won the Group IV state championship in 1994-1998 and 2010-2014. The 10 state titles won by the program are ranked third in the state.
The field hockey team won the North II Group IV state sectional title in 1995 and 1996.
The girls fencing team won the state team championship in 1998-2001, 2003-2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2015; the twelve team championships won by the girls fencing team are the most of any school in state history. The team was foil team winner in 2004-2008 and 2015, épée team winner in 2005-2007, and sabre team winner in 2004; the 11 team titles are the most of any school in New Jersey. The girls' team record for the combined 1999–2005 seasons was 94–4. In 2006, the girls' fencing team defeated Bernards High School 19–8 to win the NJSIAA 2006 Girls' team fencing state tournament. In the 2010–11 season, the girls placed third in the team state championships after defeating Governor Livingston High School in the consolation meet.
The boys fencing team won the overall state title in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014; the seven team titles are ranked third in the state. The team was épée team winner in 2004 and 2009, and was the sabre team winner in 2005, 2013, 2014 and 2016. Columbia won the 2007 Boys' Team Fencing state championship with a 16–11 win over Voorhees High School. In the 2008–09 season, the boys' fencing team took home the épée state title. In the 2009–10 season, the boys' team won the Cetrulo Tournament and the NJSIAA/Bollinger District 3 championships, earning them a top seed going into the NJSIAA state championship Tournament. The boys' team won state championships for the first time since 2007 in a 15–12 win over Bernards High School. In 2010-11, the boys won their second consecutive state championship defeating Montclair High School in the final by a 14–13 score. In the 2012 NJSIAA/Bollinger tournament, Columbia lost in the final to second-seeded West Morris Mendham High School by a score of 14–13, ending the school's 49-match winning streak.
Columbia's varsity football team had been notably unsuccessful for several years, winning only two games over a span of five seasons, including three consecutive winless seasons from 2005 to 2007, but broke their 45-game losing streak with a 48–0 victory over Dickinson High School in the last game of the 2008 season.
The 2019 Columbia / Nutley co-op team won the McMullen Cup and the Monsignor Kelly Cup in 2019. The team won the McMullen Cup in 2019 with a 4-2 win against Frisch School in the tournament final at the Richard J. Codey Arena.
In the mid-1970s the school district was sued for teaching Transcendental Meditation and its Science of Creative Intelligence course for credit. The U.S. District Court ruled in the case called, Malnak v. Yogi (1979), that TM was "religious in nature" and that its use in public schools was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which requires "separation of church and state."
In June 2000, writer Tamar Lewin of The New York Times wrote "Growing Up, Growing Apart", a lengthy feature highlighting how an ethnically diverse trio struggled to maintain friendships and cope with teen life at Columbia. The story trailed Aqeelah Mateen, an African-American Muslim, Kelly Regan, an Irish Catholic, and Johanna Perez-Fox, a Puerto Rican Jew; the group quickly became ambassadors for the school, and for their respective ethnic groups. The article wasn't controversial, per se, but directed national attention to the school district and to Columbia specifically.
In 2004, Columbia High School made national headlines when the administration amended a policy regarding religiously themed holiday songs putting more strict guidelines in place. Many people believed the new rules to be too strict. Radio personality Don Imus produced a song on his radio program entitled "Oh, Little Town of Maplewood", mocking the new rules of Columbia High School. The new guidelines were also mentioned on The O'Reilly Factor.
In the school year 2018–2019, 35% of the students were African American and 52% were Caucasian. Within this black-and-white composition are found a variety of ethnic backgrounds including Jamaican, Nigerian, Haitian, African-American, English, French, Jewish, Polish, Italian, and Irish. There has been much discussion regarding the Racial Academic Achievement Gap in the school district, and the tracking is often cited as the most glaring example of a racial disparity.
Columbia High School has also had many student-led walk-outs. In late March 2006 hundreds of students walked out after tensions with the principal regarding censorship issues and racial comments. The students were calling for her resignation. The next year a new acting principal was instated and the following school year she became the official principal. On April 27, 2010, hundreds of students participated in a statewide walkout of high school students protesting the budget cuts put in place by Chris Christie. On January 20, in protest of the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of CHS students participated in a school walk-out and marched to the Maplewood Town Hall building.
In September 2014, instructor Nicole Dufault was indicted on 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault committed against six male students.
In October 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against Columbia High School and the South Orange-Maplewood School District in relation to its academic leveling and disciplinary systems, stating that the overuse of discipline and "zero-tolerance" policy, and implicit racial bias within the level selection system violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Claims were made that the suspension rate for black students was five times higher than that for white students, in a classroom environment in which black students were significantly underrepresented in AP and honors classes. In late February 2018, the non-profit The Black Parents Workshop filed a new suit concerning this same topic — systematic suppression of minority students via their academic opportunities. In July 2020, with the conclusion of a subsequent lawsuit, Columbia and the District more broadly, agreed to enact an integration plan. The plan was designed with input from Temple University Professor Edward Fergus, and implementation will be overseen by retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace, Jr.
The school's principal is Frank Sanchez, whose administrative team includes four assistant principals.
- Paul Auster (born 1947, class of 1965), PEN Literary Award-winning author
- Tom Auth (born 1968, class of 1986), rower who competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 2000 Summer Olympics
- Ahmed Best (born 1973, class of 1991), actor most widely known for playing Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars movie series
- Mark Blum (born 1950, class of 1968), actor
- Zach Braff (born 1975, class of 1993), actor, producer, writer, director; leading actor on the television series Scrubs
- Julie Brill (class of 1972), Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission from 2010 to 2016
- Mark Bryant (born 1965, class of 1984), former NBA basketball player
- Peter S. Connor (1932–1966, class of 1950), Marine posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor
- Matthew Cooper (born 1963, class of 1980), reporter for Time magazine; Political Editor for Time.com
- Orrin Devinsky (born 1957, class of 1974), neurologist; director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
- Joetta Clark Diggs (born 1962, class of 1980), four-time Olympic athlete known as the "queen of American middle-distance running"
- Peter Eisenman (born 1932), architect; one of the earliest practitioners of deconstructivism in American architecture
- Linda Gottlieb (class of 1956), producer of Dirty Dancing
- Lauryn Hill (born 1975, class of 1993), eight-time Grammy Award-winning artist; member of The Fugees
- Helen E. Hoens (born 1954, class of 1972), Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, 2006–2013
- Erna Schneider Hoover (born 1926, class of 1944), mathematician; invented a computerized telephone switching method
- Alberto Ibargüen (class of 1962), publisher; first Hispanic publisher of the Miami Herald; Pulitzer Prize winner for coverage of the Elián González story
- David Javerbaum (class of 1989), 13-time Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, lyricist, and producer; head writer for The Daily Show, writer for The Onion, David Letterman and his own theatrical productions; first runner-up in 1988 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament
- Amalya Lyle Kearse (born 1937, class of 1955), judge; first female African American partner in a Wall Street law firm; first female United States Court of Appeals judge
- Alfred Kinsey (1894–1956, class of 1912), biologist; created the field of study of sexology; subject of the 2004 film Kinsey
- David Masur (born 1962, class of 1980), retired soccer midfielder who played in the Major Indoor Soccer League, American Professional Soccer League and USISL, and is head coach of the St. John's Red Storm men's soccer team.
- Rotimi (born 1988, class of 2006), actor and singer
- Roy Scheider (1932–2008, class of 1950), actor most widely known for his leading roles in Jaws and The French Connection (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award)
- Andrew Shue (born 1967, class of 1985), actor best known for his leading role on the television series Melrose Place; produced and appeared in the 2007 film Gracie
- Elisabeth Shue (born 1963, class of 1981), Academy Award-nominated actress of Leaving Las Vegas, Gracie, The Karate Kid and The Saint
- Robert Sternberg (born 1949, class of 1968), psychologist and researcher in the field of human intelligence; primary figure behind the triarchic theory of intelligence
- Leigh Howard Stevens (born 1953), marimba artist
- SZA (born Solana Imani Row) (born 1990, class of 2008), singer-songwriter
- Robert Verdi (born 1968, class of 1986), television personality
- Judith Viorst (born 1931), poet, children's book author
- Max Weinberg (born 1951, class of 1969), drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; band leader of The Max Weinberg 7 of Late Night with Conan O'Brien
- C. K. Williams (born 1936, class of 1954), Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning poet
- Teresa Wright (1918–2005, class of 1938), Academy Award-winning actress whose films include Mrs. Miniver, Shadow of a Doubt, and The Pride of the Yankees
- Myrth York (born 1946, class of 1964), politician
Other notable alumni not currently in the hall of fame include:
- Mobolaji Akiode (born 1982, class of 1999), former Nigerian women's professional basketball player.
- Amy Arnsten (class of 1972), neuroscientist.
- Dan Baum (1956–2020, class of 1974), journalist and writer
- Joshua Braff (born 1967), novelist.
- Marc Brown (born 1969, class of 1987), basketball coach and retired professional player; head basketball coach at New Jersey City University
- Marques Brownlee (born 1993, class of 2011), video blogger, best known for his technology-based YouTube channel
- Bisa Butler (born c. 1975, class of 1991), fiber artist known for her quilted portraits and designs celebrating black life.
- Mya Byrne (born 1978, class of 1997), transgender singer-songwriter and journalist.
- Patricia Charache (born 1929, class of 1948), physician specializing in infectious disease and microbiology.
- Paul R. Ehrlich (born 1932, class of 1949), entomologist, professor of population studies; author of The Population Bomb
- Roy Eisenhardt (born 1939), lawyer and former president of the Oakland Athletics
- Mike Enoch (born 1977, class of 1995), White Nationalist blogger and podcaster, founder of The Right Stuff Radio
- Bruce Feirstein (born 1956), screenwriter and journalist best known for his screenplays for the James Bond films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough, and his best-selling humor books, including Real Men Don't Eat Quiche
- Donna Fiducia (born 1956, class of 1975), radio DJ and TV news reader
- Christian Fuscarino (born c. 1981), community organizer; LGBT activist; Executive Director of Garden State Equality
- Kai Greene (born 1993), soccer player for Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in the United Soccer League
- Buzzy Hellring (died 1971, class of 1970), key developer of Ultimate; killed in an auto accident his first year at Princeton University
- Andrew Jacobs, journalist for The New York Times; documentary film director and producer
- James Kaplan (born 1951, class of 1969), author of Two Guys from Verona
- Peter W. Kaplan (Born 1954–2013, class of 1972), editor of The New York Observer.
- Joe Kinney (born c. 1968, class of 1984), college baseball coach and former outfielder; head coach of the Lafayette Leopards baseball team
- Frank Langella (born 1938, class of 1955), actor
- David Levin (1948–2017), balloonist; only person to have completed the "triple crown" by winning the World Gas Balloon Championship, the World Hot Air Ballooning Championships and the Gordon Bennett Cup
- Mark Leyner (born 1956), postmodernist author
- Leyla McCalla (born 1985), musician.
- Richard Meier (born 1934, class of 1952), architect whose work includes his design of the Getty Center
- Grace Mirabella (born 1930), former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine; founder of Mirabella magazine
- Ibtihaj Muhammad (born 1985, class of 2003), sabre fencer and member of the United States fencing team at the 2016 Summer Olympics, who was the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab to compete for the U.S. team at the Olympics.
- Yosh Nijman (born 1995), American football offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.
- Ellen Pao (born 1970, class of 1987), former CEO of Reddit
- Ahmad Khan Rahami (born 1988), suspect in the September 2016 New York and New Jersey bombings; later transferred to Edison High School
- Eugene G. Rochow (1909–2002, class of 1927), inorganic chemist who worked on organosilicon chemistry
- Mark Rudd (born 1947, class of 1965), activist who led student war protests at CHS and later at Columbia University; help founded The Weathermen
- Ralph Sazio (1922–2008, class of 1941), former football player, assistant coach, head coach general manager and team president of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats; inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998 as a builder
- Robert Sheckley (1928–2005, class of 1946), Hugo and Nebula-nominated science fiction writer
- Pauline Gibling Schindler (1893–1977), Los Angeles arts figure
- Cortlandt V. R. Schuyler (1900–1993, class of 1918), United States Army four-star general
- Peter Shapiro (born 1952), financial services executive and former politician who was the youngest person ever elected to the New Jersey General Assembly and went on to serve as Essex County Executive.
- Joel Silver (born 1952, class of 1970), producer of films such as Lethal Weapon 4 and The Matrix; invented Ultimate in 1968
- Kiki Smith (born 1954, did not graduate), sculptor
In popular cultureEdit
- Gracie (2007): Columbia, its varsity soccer team, and its marching band were featured in Gracie, a film loosely based on the lives of alumni Elisabeth Shue and Andrew Shue; the film was directed by Elisabeth Shue's husband, Davis Guggenheim, and produced by the Shues (who also acted in it).
- Lauryn Hill, for her 1998 release The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was photographed in the second floor bathroom of the school's "A" wing.
- Garden State (2004): The school is both shown and referenced in this Zach Braff film, which was partly filmed in neighboring South Orange and Millburn.
- School data for Columbia High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
- Columbia High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- Columbia High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed November 18, 2019.
- Foster, Henry W. "The evolution of the school district of South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey, 1814–1927
- Decision by Commissioner of Education re Jeffery Goodman, et. al. v. Board of Education of South Orange-Maplewood, Essex County, New Jersey State Library. Accessed October 23, 2019.
- Waggoner, Walter H. "School Fought on Leaflet Ban", The New York Times, November 5, 1974. Accessed October 23, 2019. "The dispute arose after a number of Columbia High School students were suspended in 1969 for violating a school rule prohibiting leaflets or other written materials that had not been cleared with school authorities, The leaflets opposed the Vietnam war and denounced the 1968 Presidential candidates."
- Gold, Daniel M. "An Accidental Sportsman in Hollywood", The New York Times, February 5, 2006. Accessed November 3, 2007. "And yet, as documented in a new book, Ultimate: The First Four Decades (ultimatehistory.com), that's exactly what happened when Joel Silver introduced a motion to the council at Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., in 1968."
- Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982–1983 through 1999–2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- Mathews, Jay. "The High School Challenge 2011: Columbia High School", The Washington Post. Accessed September 9, 2011.
- "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,200 top U.S. schools" Archived May 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Newsweek, May 22, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007.
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 27, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010–2011[permanent dead link], Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Architectural Styles as Applied to School Buildings
- Waldek, Stefanie. "The Most Beautiful Public High School in Every State in America", Architectural Digest, September 12, 2017. Accessed September 17, 2017. "New Jersey: Columbia High School, Maplewood"
- N. J. High School Team Champions 1956 – Present, New Jersey State Chess Federation. Accessed August 13, 2013
- 2010–2011 FTC World Championship Award Winners, First Tech Challenge.
- 2012–2013 FTC World Championship Awards List, First Tech Challenge.
- Staff. "Columbia H.S.'s 'Beauty and the Beast' Receives Ten Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Nominations and Four Honorable Mentions", TAPinto.net, May 12, 2016. Accessed February 1, 2017. "In 2015, Columbia High School received fourteen Rising Star nominations for Ragtime: School Edition. Tricia Benn and Bethany Pettigrew won for Outstanding Direction."
- Staff. "Columbia H. S.'s 'The Silly Girls' Win 'Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group' at 21st Annual Rising Star Awards ", TAPinto.net, June 8, 2016. Accessed February 1, 2017. "The 'Silly Girls'" from the Columbia High School spring musical production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast won the award for 'Outstanding Featured Ensemble Group' at the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards last night."
- The Columbian Archived December 6, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Columbia High School, July 22, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2017.
- Staff. "The Columbian of CHS Wins National School Journalism Awards", The Village Green of Maplewood & South Orange, November 16, 2015. Accessed February 1, 2017. "The Columbian, the newspaper produced by Columbia High School students and academic advisors, has won the two national awards for high school journalism: First Place in the 2014–2015 Scholastic Newspaper Awards by the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA); and Silver Medalist Rating by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA)"
- League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020–2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed September 30, 2020.
- Home Page, Iron Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of February 2, 2011. Accessed December 3, 2014.
- NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- Cooper, Darren. "Here's what we know about the new Super Football Conference 2020 schedule", The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference (SFC) is a 112-team group, the largest high school football-only conference in America, and is comprised of teams from five different counties."
- Cooper, Darren. "NJ football: Super Football Conference revised schedules for 2020 regular season", The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference has 112 teams that will play across 20 divisions."
- NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- NJSIAA Winter Cooperative Sports Programs, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
- 1980 yearbook (PDF). p. 175. Retrieved February 5, 2018.[permanent dead link]
- 1982 yearbook (PDF). p. 197. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- 1983 yearbook (PDF). p. 206. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 5, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- NJSIAA Boys Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020. Listed as "South Orange"
- "Passaic High Five Wins State Title; Beats Union Hill, 32-25, and Takes New Jersey Honors for Fifth Time in Six Years.", The New York Times, March 22, 1925. Accessed February 1, 2021. "South Orange high captured the Class B Championship after a thrilling struggle with Princeton High School, 24 to 21. Princeton, after trailing 10 to 9 at half-time, took the lead in the third period and ran up a lead of 18 to 12."
- "South Orange Wins The Class B Title; Princeton High Collapses In Final Quarter", The Record, March 23, 1925. Accessed February 1, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Columbia High school, of South Orange, rallied in a sensational manner to vanquish Princeton High in the final round of the Class B tournament at the Newark armory, preliminary to the Passaic-Union Hill tilt, by a score of 24 to 21. With Princeton in the lead by eight points, and but two and a half minutes to go, the South Orangeites took a brace and in the next minute almost closed the gap when Orsi and Lange came through with 'hawkers.'"
- NJSIAA Boys and Girls Team Swimming History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 1, 2020.
- NJSIAA Summary of Group Titles Boys Spring Track, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
- NJSIAA Boys Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- History of Boys Team Tennis Championship Tournament, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- "Ridgewood Bows To Columbia For Group 4 Tennis Crown", The Record, June 1, 1969. Accessed March 7, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Ridgewood came close but not close enough in the New Jersey State A. A. tennis championship Saturday, bowing to Columbia, 2-1. The Maroons, who nipped Teaneck for the Group 4 title a year ago, fell short when its top singles players, Mike Phillip and Charlie Mueller, were defeated. Mueller took Doug Biro of Columbia three sets before bowing, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. The doubles team of Andy Rork and Jim Potdevin gave Ridgewood its lone point. Columbia beat Teaneck to gain the final while Ridgewood ousted Princeton."
- NJSIAA History of Boys Soccer, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- Staff. "Gene Chyzowych, Beloved Columbia High School Coach, Dies at 78", TAP into SOMA, May 11, 2014. Accessed February 1, 2021. "Gene Chyzowych, the Columbia High School boys soccer coach who retired last year after 50 seasons, died on Saturday at the age of 78 after a prolonged illness. Coach Chyzowych notched 757 wins with the CHS soccer team, which ranks second in New Jersey and third in the nation all-time."
- Orlando, Chris. "Non-public teams jostle at the top", The Star-Ledger, November 8, 2007. Accessed November 10, 2007. "Breznitsky, who just completed his 33rd season and led Scotch Plains to its second straight and 13th overall Union County Tournament championship last Saturday, has a career record of 554–127–41, which would place him fourth on the list behind Gene Chyzowych of Columbia (700–175–67), Miller Bugliari of Pingry (694–89–53) and Shawnee's Brian Gibney (616–113–47)."
- High School Boys' Coaching Records: Winningest All-Time Coaches By Victories (Updated 9/8/06) Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- 2007 Boys' Soccer – North II, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 13, 2007.
- "Baseball: The history of the Greater Newark Tournament, with throwback photos", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 13, 2019, updated August 24, 2019. "Essex-Only Era (the tournament has only been open to Essex County schools since 1973)... The Open Era: (prior to 1973, teams from outside the county were eligible for invitation)"
- NJSIAA Girls Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- History of the NJSIAA Boys Lacrosse Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- Miller, Jack. "Columbia Finishes 'Crusade' For Title", Daily Record, June 3, 1979. Accessed January 3, 2020, via Newspapers.com. "'It was more of a culmination of a crusade rather than the end of a perfect dream,' said Columbia lacrosse coach Bob Curcio after the Cougars had finished an undefeated season (17-0) by winning their first NJSIAA state tournament championship at the Boonton High field. Columbia, after netting off to a slow start, came on strong in the latter stages of the first half and cruised to a 10-4 victory over defending state champion Montclair."
- Caulk, Steve. "West Morris Falls In Finals", Daily Record, June 6, 1982. Accessed January 3, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "A pair of floods washed West Morris High School out of the state championship lacrosse game yesterday. But while Columbia celebrated the 10-6 victory, the Highlanders spent a dignified moment in mid-field appreciating their hard-earned No. 2 status."
- History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championship, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- NJSIAA Wrestling Team Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- NJSIAA Summary of Group Titles Girls Spring Track, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 1, 2020.
- NJSIAA History of Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- NJSIAA History of Girls Fencing Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- 2006 Team Fencing – Girls' Team Fencing, accessed October 16, 2006.
- NJSIAA History of Boys Fencing Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- 2007 Fencing Team Tournament – 2007 Boys' Team Fencing, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 31, 2007.
- Staff. "Columbia, North Hunterdon and Ramapo take titles at boys' squad tournament", The Star-Ledger, March 1, 2009. Accessed September 7, 2011. "Columbia won épée, North Hunterdon took foil and Ramapo earned the sabre title at the NJSIAA/Bollinger squad championships yesterday at North Hunterdon in Annandale."
- Karn, Jeff. "NJ Boys' Fencing: Columbia tops Bernards for team title", The Star-Ledger, March 2, 2010. Accessed June 19, 2011. "Kelly and Gibson both capped 3–0 performances with crucial third-round victories as Columbia, No. 1 in The Star-Ledger Top 10, defeated No. 2 Bernards, 15–12, in the NJSIAA/Bollinger team final Tuesday night at Morris Hills in Rockaway."
- Karn, Jeff. "Columbia wins boys' fencing state championship", The Star-Ledger, March 17, 2011. Accessed August 30, 2011. "Epée fencer Devon Good went 3–0 and provided the clinching victory in the 25th bout when Columbia, No. 1 in The Star-Ledger Top 10, downed No. 2 Montclair, 14–13, in a thrilling final of the NJSIAA/Bollinger team championships Wednesday night at Morris Hills in Rockaway."
- Daur, Erik. "Mendham stuns Columbia to win state team championship", The Star-Ledger, February 29, 2012. Accessed March 27, 2012. "Led by a 3–0 showings from Alex Andriatis and Adam Campos Mendham, No. 2 in The Star-Ledger Top 10, defeated top-ranked Columbia, 14–13, in the NJISSA/Bollinger Championships at Morris Hills in Rockaway.... Zimmermann came out on top and Mendham captured their first state title, while stopping Columbia's consecutive dual-meet victory streak at 49."
- Staff. "Columbia 48, Dickinson 0 (High school Football scores & results)", The Star-Ledger, November 15, 2008. Accessed June 19, 2011. "The senior, a three-year starter at running back and defensive back, rushed for three touchdowns and returned an interception for a score when the South Orange-Maplewood team ended the longest active losing streak in New Jersey with a 48–0 victory over Dickinson in a consolation contest yesterday at Underhill Field in Maplewood. Anderson ran 12 times and gained 107 yards for Columbia (1–9), which had lost 45 straight games since it scored a 21–18 victory over East Orange campus on Oct. 2, 2004."
- NJSIAA Ice Hockey State Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- "Nutley/Columbia ice hockey team captures McMullen Cup", Essex News Daily, February 18, 2019. Accessed February 1, 2021. "The latest Essex club to capture a league title on the ice, is Nutley/Columbia, which turned the trick last Saturday evening, Feb. 16, at Codey Arena in West Orange. The co-op team, which is only in its second year of play, topped defending champ, Frisch, 4-2, in the McMullen Cup final."
- Kleiman, Dena. "T.M. Study Barred In Jersey's Schools; Judge Bans T.M. in Jersey Schools", The New York Times, October 21, 1977. Accessed June 19, 2011.
- Lewin, Tamar. "Growing Up, Growing Apart", The New York Times, June 24, 2000. Accessed November 3, 2018.
- O'Reilly, Bill. "Somewhere Jesus is Weeping...", Fox News, December 21, 2004. Accessed December 14, 2016.
- "2018–2019 Enrollment District Reported Data". www.nj.gov. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
- Solomon, Nancy. Racial Achievement Gap Still Plagues Schools, National Public Radio, October 31, 2009. Accessed December 14, 2016.
- Walker, Emily (April 5, 2006). "Students win fight to air banned broadcasts". Student Press Law Center. Archived from the original on August 2, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2020.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- Hu, Winnie. "In New Jersey, a Civics Lesson in the Internet Age", The New York Times, April 27, 2010. Accessed September 7, 2011. "At Columbia High School in Maplewood, that looked like 200 students marching around the building waving signs reading "We are the future" and "We love our teachers." "
- Maynard-Parisi, Carolyn. "Video, Photos: Columbia High Students Walk Out in Protest of Trump Inauguration", The Village Green, January 20, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2017. "Hundreds of Columbia High School students walked out of class and marched to Maplewood Town Hall, where they voiced their opposition to — and fears of — the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump."
- Goldstein, Sasha via New York Daily News. "N.J. teacher had sex with 6 students ages 14, 15: prosecutor", MSN, February 19, 2015. Accessed April 3, 2016. "Among the damning evidence is video of 35-year-old Nicole DuFault – the single mother of two young children – performing oral sex on one of the boys while another victim was nearby, according to prosecutors, who levied 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child against the former Columbia High School teacher."
- "Complaint against the South Orange Maplewood School District under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973", American Civil Liberties Union, October 9, 2014. Accessed October 31, 2015.
- Mazzola, Jessica. "ACLU complaint claims Maplewood school procedures unfair to minority students", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 15, 2014. Accessed November 5, 2015. "According to Walter Fields, a member of the grassroots activist group Black Parents Workshop of Maplewood and South Orange, the high school is about 56 percent black students, but 70 percent of the advanced placement and higher-level classes at the school are filled with white students. Black students are also about five times more likely to be suspended from the school, Fields said."
- The Black Parents Workshop
- Yi, Karen. "N.J. district is segregating black students, suit says", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, February 28, 2018.
- Perez-Fox, Prescott. "N.J. district accused of segregation settles lawsuit, will integrate under eye of federal monitor", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, July 16, 2020.
- Administration, Columbia High School. Accessed July 26, 2020.
- Hall of Fame, Columbia High School. Accessed December 1, 2019.
- Mann, Mary. "Zach Braff Inducted Into Columbia High School Hall of Fame", The Village Green of Maplewood & South Orange, May 29, 2015. Accessed November 12, 2018.
- Two Graduates Inducted Into the CHS Hall of Fame – May 2008[permanent dead link], South Orange-Maplewood School District, June 2, 2008. Accessed July 14, 2008.
- Freeman, Hadley. "American dreams: He may be known as one of New York's coolest chroniclers, but Paul Auster grew up in suburban New Jersey and worked on an oil tanker before achieving literary success. Hadley Freeman meets a modernist with some very traditional views", The Guardian, October 26, 2002. Accessed September 19, 2008. "Education: Columbia High School, New Jersey; 1965–69 Columbia College, New York; '69–70 Columbia University, New York (quit after one year)"
- Strauss, Bob. "Why America loves Zach Braff" Archived March 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles Daily News, September 12, 2006. Accessed May 15, 2007. "But the fact Braff didn't enter the family business might have something to do with growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey N.J., and attending Columbia High School there. The place has produced an extraordinarily large number of show-business luminaries, among them hip-hop queen Lauryn Hill, actors Elisabeth and Andrew Shue, super-producer Joel Silver and even Ahmed Best, the guy who did the voice for detested "Star Wars" character Jar Jar Binks."
- Rowe, John. "PJ Giving It His All", The Record, March 25, 1992. "His first breakthrough was convincing Mark Bryant of Columbia High School in Maplewood to come to the Hall."
- Our Lady of Sorrows February Frenzy Awards Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, accessed May 15, 2007. "Staff Sgt. Peter S. Connor, United States Marine Corps, was born and raised in South Orange. He graduated from Our Lady of Sorrows in 1946, and later graduated from Columbia High School."
- Coscarelli, Kate. "The Re-Education Of Lauryn Hill: Singer enters school's hall of fame", The Star-Ledger, June 11, 1999. Accessed August 6, 2007. "Just after the jazz band quieted down and Hill was introduced to the crowds, a video montage reeled through some of the past inductees, including actors Elizabeth and Andrew Shue and Roy Scheider, journalists Drew Middleton, and movie producer and writer Linda Gottlieb. But the loudest cheers of appreciation came for sexologist Alfred Kinsey, followed closely behind those for Olympic track star Joetta Clark."
- Leach, Melinda Stivers. "Her running outdistanced the arts", The Christian Science Monitor, June 9, 1980. Accessed August 3, 2019. "When Joetta Clark entered Columbia High School here four years ago, she was faced with a monumental decision: to pursue a running career or one equally as promising in either dance or piano.... 'I don't think the athletes should be used as bait. It's said. The government has never supported us, so I don't think we ought to be used,' the articulate South Orange resident said."
- Durbach, Elaine. "S. Orange-born architect Eisenman describes Shoa memorial's birth pangs" Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Jewish News, April 19, 2007. Accessed May 2, 2007. "Looking around at the many familiar faces in the audience, the graduate of Maplewood's Columbia High School said, 'This is a strange occurrence for me, being back home with mishpoche. Not that that was a word that was familiar from my home.'"
- Delo, Cotton. "'Daily Show' Writer Javerbaum Inducted into SOMS Hall of Fame: Maplewood native David Javerbaum graduated from SOMS in '85 and from CHS in '89. ", MaplewoodPatch, September 28, 2009. Accessed August 31, 2011.
- "Liam Neeson On Kinsey", CBS News, December 15, 2004. Accessed May 2, 2007. "1912, Kinsey is valedictorian of his class of 1912, Columbia High School"
- Athletic Hall of Fame Past Inductees, Columbia High School. Accessed February 1, 2021. "David Masur - Class of 1980 – Soccer: Dave led Columbia to the Essex County and State soccer championships in 1979."
- Staff. "7 facts you should know about Nigerian singer signed by 50 Cent" Archived August 7, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Entertainment Today, June 25, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2017. "Rotimi was born in Maplewood, New Jersey to Nigerian parents and attended Columbia High School where he was marked out as a talent both on the school's basketball team and the choir."
- Roy Scheider: A Film Biography p. 119, accessed December 18, 2006.
- Vogel Weiss, Lauren. PAS Hall of Fame: Leigh Howard Stevens Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Percussive Arts Society. Accessed May 15, 2007. "Born in Orange, New Jersey on March 9, 1953, he graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood and was voted 'most likely to succeed' in his class."
- Mann, Mary. "Maplewood Native SZA Is Most Nominated Woman of 2018 Grammys", The Village Green of Maplewood & South Orang, November 29, 2017. Accessed December 3, 2017. "The nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards were announced yesterday and Maplewood native Solana Imani Rowe (Columbia High School Class of '08) scored big — she was nominated in five categories..."
- Desocio, Lois. "Columbia Recognizes 'Fabulous' and Judicial Alumni" Archived October 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, May 27, 2010. Accessed August 31, 2011. "Robert Verdi, Ms. Hoens' fellow 2010 inductee who is a celebrity stylist and television personality, said he felt "out of sorts" over the recognition, considering the judges, doctors and scientists that have come before him."
- via Associated Press. "High school honors drummer", The Lewiston Journal, May 13, 1987. Accessed September 7, 2011.
- Don Hamingson Literary Showcase – A Poetry Reading With Commentary By C.K. Williams, accessed May 15, 2007. "C.K. Williams is the author of numerous books of poetry including The Singing, which won the National Book Award. Join us for this wonderful opportunity to hear this Columbia High School alumnus read his works and talk to us about the creative process. Among his many awards and honors are the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2000, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship."
- Thomas, Bob. "Teresa Wright "Pride of the Yankees" co-star dies" Archived November 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, copy of item from Associated Press, March 8, 2005. Accessed May 15, 2007. "Wright was born in New York City on October 27, 1918, and grew up in Maplewood, N.J., where she showed promise in theatricals at Columbia High School."
- Reel Classics bio of Teresa Wright, accessed December 18, 2006.
- Delo, Cotton. "CHS '99 Grad Starts Foundation for Nigerian Girls Mobolaji Akiode, 27, recently started Hope4GirlsAfrica, a non-profit designed to increase young African women's participation in sports.", South Orange, NJ Patch, February 1, 2010. Accessed February 10, 2020. "'There's never a wrong time to do the right thing,' said Akiode, 27, a 1999 graduate of Columbia High School, where she started playing basketball under Coach Johanna Wright, who bought her her first pair of basketball sneakers and with whom she still speaks constantly."
- Amy Arnsten / Department of Psychology, Yale University. Accessed February 10, 2020. "Dr. Arnsten was raised in Maplewood, N.J. where she attended Columbia High School."
- Mann, Mary Barr (October 26, 2020). "Dan Baum, 64, Columbia High School Class of '74 and Former WSJ & New Yorker Reporter". The Village Green. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
- Joshua Braff, MFA Fiction '97, Saint Mary's College of California. Accessed February 10, 2020. "Joshua Braff grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, and went to Columbia High School."
- Thor, Ira. "NJCU Men’S Basketball Coach Marc Brown To Be Inducted Into Columbia High School Hall Of Fame", New Jersey City University, press release dated April 15, 2009. Accessed November 12, 2018. "New Jersey City University second-year head men's basketball coach Marc Brown will be inducted into his second different Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 7 when the former basketball star is enshrined in the Columbia High School Athletic Hall of Fame as part of that school's fourth annual induction ceremonies."
- Staff. "CHS Grad Marques Brownlee Asks Question at Democratic Debate", The Village Green of South Orange and Maplewood, January 18, 2016. Accessed February 1, 2017. "Columbia High School graduate Marques Brownlee was one of three 'YouTube stars' to ask questions of Democratic debaters Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley on Sunday night."
- "Gallery Exhibit Features Work of CHS Grad Bisa Butler", The Village Green of Maplewood & South Orange, September 12, 2005. Accessed July 30, 2019. "The current exhibit at the Domareki Gallery at Columbia High School features the work of graduate Bisa Butler (Class of ’91), who has returned to her alma mater as an instructor."
- The Mirror 1948[permanent dead link], Columbia High School. Accessed August 3, 2019. "Patricia Connamacher 27 Woodland Road, Maplewood"
- Staff. "Paul R. Erlich", Current Biography yearbook, Volume 31, p. 127. H. W. Wilson Company, 1971. Accessed April 29, 2011.
- Polner, Murray. "Paul R. Erlich", American Jewish Biographies, p. 88. Facts on File, 1982. ISBN 0-87196-462-7. "During his childhood his family moved to Maplewood, New Jersey, where he was graduated from Columbia High School in 1949."
- Angell, Roger. Season Ticket, p. 160. Open Road Media, 2013. ISBN 9781453297834. Accessed November 12, 2018.. "Emil Roy Eisenhardt (the first name is vestigial) grew up in South Orange, New Jersey — a suburb just west of Newark that is so self-concisously tidy and green that it looks like a World's Fair replica of a turn-of-the-century village – in what he describes as 'the middle of the middle class'.... Roy, who has a younger brother and sister, was an extremely energetic member of his class at Columbia High School, in nearby Maplewood, where he belonged to the dramatic club, played bass drum in the band, and held down right field on the baseball team, in spite of inordinate and incurable shortcomings at the plate."
- Staff. "Philly.com: Top Neo-Nazi Shock Jock Grew Up in Maplewood NJ", Village Green of Maplewood and South Orange, October 26, 2017. Accessed July 3, 2019. "According to a report on Philly.com today, neo-Nazi shock jock and white supremacist Mike Enoch grew up in Maplewood NJ and attended Columbia High School."
- Cieply, Michael; and Finke, Nikki. "Spy in L.A. Unsettles `Industry'", Los Angeles Times, January 4, 1989. Accessed August 27, 2012. "Feirstein ("Real Men Don't Eat Quiche") said when informed that four movie producers had privately expressed suspicion that he was contributing and had been a major source for Brady's [Joel Silver] column. The suspicion seems natural: Feirstein is listed on Spy's masthead as a contributing editor, and he has stayed in touch with Silver since the two went to high school in Maplewood, N.J."
- Sokan, Taiwo. "CHS Radio is Reborn" Archived December 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Columbian, February 2011. Accessed August 27, 2012. "CHS has fostered many radio personalities over the years including greats such as legendary National Public Radio (NPR) producers, Jonathan "Smokey" Baer and Donna Fiducia."
- "How guts, grit and gusto helped one of N.J.'s most influential LGBT advocates change the game", Inside Jersey, July 25, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2019. "He moved with his mother to Maplewood, and once he got settled into Columbia High School, change is what he made."
- Kai Greene, Seton Hall Pirates. Accessed November 3, 2018. "Hometown South Orange, N.J. High School Columbia"
- Edwards, Haley Sweetland. "A Homegrown Director who had to tell this Story" Archived June 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, March 27, 2009.
- Worth, Marcia. "Jersey Boys: James Kaplan talks Sinatra and South Orange: James Kaplan recalls a great teacher and an "idyllic" South Orange as he discusses his new biography of Sinatra" Archived March 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, SouthOrangePatch, November 28, 2010. Accessed February 4, 2012. "It takes one Jersey guy to know another. South Orange native James Kaplan has made Hoboken's Frank Sinatra the subject of his newest book, Frank: The Voice. 'I heard the Jersey in his voice as a very familiar sound,' says Kaplan, who moved to South Orange as a young child and attended Montrose School, the brand-new South Orange Junior High School, and Columbia High School."
- Navasky, Victor S.; Cornog, Evan (2012). The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-13136-0.
- Logic, Jack. "Kinney Wants To Add Trophy To Lafayette Baseball History", The Morning Call, September 19, 1999. Accessed November 12, 2018. "Baseball was the only sport played by Kinney until he entered Columbia High School. There he added football to his sports resume as a tight end and a cornerback.... After graduating from CHS in 1984, Kinney entered Lehigh, majoring in economics."
- Venutolo, Anthony. "From heroes to villains, Frank Langella finds the heart in them all", The Star-Ledger, November 29, 2008. Accessed June 14, 2011. "The family moved to South Orange, where Langella graduated from Columbia High School before heading off to Syracuse to study drama."
- Grimes, William. "David Levin, the Only Triple Crown Balloonist, Dies at 68", The New York Times, May 18, 2017. "David Norman Levin was born on June 10, 1948, in Newark.... After graduating from Columbia High School, he enrolled at Boston University, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1971, a law degree in 1975 and a master’s in tax law in 1976."
- Leyner, Mark. My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist, Vintage Books, 1993. ISBN 0-679-74579-3. Accessed June 14, 2011. "I attended Columbia High School, where I wrote a column called 'This Side of Paradise' for the school paper. The column chronicled the parties that my friends and I attended."
- Dwyer, Andrea. "Feature: A Conversation With Cellist And Singer Leyla Mccalla", Afropunk, April 6, 2015. Accessed January 15, 2020. "LM: Well that’s another kind of point of pride for me because Lauryn Hill went to the same high school as I went to, Columbia High School, so everyone in my town sort of claims her, she our homegirl."
- Meier, Richard. Building the Getty, p. 6. University of California Press, 1999. ISBN 0-520-21730-6. Accessed June 14, 2011. "At Columbia High School in my hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey, I took the usual art history and art courses."
- Vickar-Fox, Shira. "Head of the Class", New Jersey Monthly, September 2000. Accessed April 29, 2011. "What do singer Lauryn Hill, sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, actor Roy Scheider, and publisher Grace Mirabella have in common? They're all graduates of Columbia High School in Maplewood."
- Carter, Barry. "N.J. Muslim fencer at the tipping point of Olympic history", The Star-Ledger, February 12, 2016. Accessed August 8, 2016. "Ibtihaj Muhammad of Maplewood qualified for the Olympics and is considered to be the first American Muslim woman to compete in the games wearing a hijab, the scarf that covers her head.... Both got into fencing at Columbia High School in Maplewood and they even coached the team, with big sister as head coach and little sister as the assistant."
- Yosuah Nijman, Virginia Tech Hokies football. Accessed October 25, 2020. "Hometown: Maplewood, N.J.; High School: Columbia"
- Quinn, Sean. "CHS grad loses gender inequity complaint" Archived July 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Essex News Daily, April 12, 2015. Accessed July 7, 2015. "Ellen Pao, CHS Class of 1987, lost her suit claiming that she was not promoted from her position of junior partner to senior partner due to her gender."
- Arkin, William; Johnson, Alex; Siemaszko, Corky; Connor, Tracy; Bailey, Chelsea; and Bratu, Becky. "Ahmad Rahami: What We Know About N.Y., N.J. Bombings Suspect", WNBC-TV, September 19, 2016. Accessed September 21, 2016. "Rahami graduated in 2007 from Edison High School in Edison, N.J., where he'd transferred from Columbia High School in Maplewood."
- Bohning, James J. "Transcript of Interview with Eugene G. Rochow on January 24, 1995", Science History Institute. Accessed February 22, 2018.
- Mirror 1927 Archived February 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Maplewood Public Library. Accessed February 22, 2018. "A mathematician and scientist of renown, His head's full of brains to the top of his crown; Not a bore or a grind, but a darn good fellow, In spite of his bashful mien and quiet hello."
- Durbach, Elaine. "Ex-'60s radical shows kindler, gentler side at his alma mater" Archived January 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Jewish News, April 19, 2007. Accessed February 22, 2018 "But while the former member of the Weather Underground showed a kinder and gentler side at an April 9 gathering at Columbia High School in Maplewood, his alma mater, he still remains wedded to many of the causes that landed him on front pages – and sent him into hiding – in the 1960s and '70s."
- Staff. "Coach Builds New Eleven: No Veteran of '39 First String in '40 Squad", Newark Sunday Call, September 15, 1940. Accessed June 14, 2011. "In fact, there are left only four letter men of the 1939 squad. They are Tony De Luca, captain and quarterback; Ralph Sazio and Allen Tonkin, tackles, and John Mercandante, fullback."
- Richardson, William D. "Colleagues Honor Stanford Mentor; Shaughnessy Named 'Coach of the Year' in Poll Taken by the World-Telegram", The New York Times, December 20, 1940. Accessed June 14, 2011.
- Maxine N. Lurie, Marc Mappen. Encyclopedia of New Jersey, p. 736. Rutgers University Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8135-3325-4
- Jonathan Gathorne-Handy, Sex the Measure of All Things: A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey (Indiana University Press ): 14. ISBN 0-253-33734-8
- "General Cortlandt Van Rensselaer Schuyler" Archived August 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, United States Army General Orders, January 10, 1994. Accessed June 14, 2011. "He attended Columbia High School in South Orange, New Jersey, and in the fall of 1918, after two months of his senior year, he was accepted for the United States Military Academy, entering with the special class starting in November of that year."
- Perlez, Jane. "Man In The News; Democratic Victor In Jersey Prepares: Peter Shapiro To Battle A Popular Incumbent: Political Success From Early Age", The New York Times, June 6, 1985. Accessed January 20, 2020. "At Columbia High School in Maplewood, he led a protest against the Vietnam War and was promptly expelled. The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union came to his rescue, and he was eventually reinstated."
- Tony Smith Sculpture Project, Lennie Pierro Memorial arts Foundation. Accessed August 31, 2011. "Today Kiki Smith, Tony's daughter, is one of the foremost artists of her generation. Her sister, Seton, a photographer, is also well known in the art world. Both grew up in South Orange and attended Columbia High School."
- Kiki & Seton Smith; A Sense of Place, Seton Hall University. Accessed January 19, 2020. "'Seton knew she wanted to be an artist when she was 12, but I had no idea,' Kiki says. 'I went to Columbia High School and just hated it. My parents sent me to Changes, Inc., which was run by the Ethical Culture Society and was more progressive.'"
- Columbia High Soccer Archived November 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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