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Hackensack High School

Hackensack High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Hackensack, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Hackensack Public Schools. Hackensack High School serves students from the Bergen County, New Jersey communities of Hackensack, South Hackensack (80 students in 2011-12), Maywood (250 students) and Rochelle Park (120 students).[3][4]

Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School seal.jpg
Hackensack High School is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School is located in New Jersey
Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School is located in the United States
Hackensack High School
Hackensack High School
First & Beech Streets


United States
Coordinates40°53′06″N 74°03′08″W / 40.88505°N 74.052119°W / 40.88505; -74.052119Coordinates: 40°53′06″N 74°03′08″W / 40.88505°N 74.052119°W / 40.88505; -74.052119
TypePublic high school
Motto"There is no limit to the good a man can do, if he doesn't care who gets the credit."

Seal motto: Scientia Terras Irradiamus (We irradiate the Earth with knowledge.)
School districtHackensack Public Schools
PrincipalJames Montesano
Faculty138.5 FTEs[1]
Enrollment1,806 (as of 2015-16)[1]
Student to teacher ratio13.0:1[1]
Color(s)     Navy Blue and
Athletics25 Teams
Athletics conferenceBig North Conference
Team nameComets[2]
RivalsTeaneck High School
NewspaperThe Voice
YearbookThe Comet
School songOld Hackensack

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,806 students and 138.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.0:1. There were 817 students (45.2% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 157 (8.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]


Awards, recognition and rankingsEdit

The school was the 242nd-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.[5] The school had been ranked 206th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 198th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 184th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[7] The school was ranked 203rd in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[8] ranked the school 266th out of 367 public high schools statewide in its 2009-10 rankings which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy and mathematics components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[9]


Hackensack High School's graduates date from the 1880s, and include Warren Terhune[10] and William J. Snow.[11] The cornerstone for its present location at First and Beech Streets in Hackensack was laid on December 2, 1916. The building was dedicated in 1918. By 1920, twenty-two Bergen County towns sent their students to Hackensack High School. New wings were built in the 50's. The 1966 expansion of Hackensack High School encompassed neighboring Beech Street School and extended a two-story bridge over First Street and in 1967 the Beech Street elementary school became the "east wing" of the high school as it stands today.[12]


The Hackensack High School Comets[2] compete in the Big North Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).[13] With 1,358 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North I, Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,090 to 2,568 students in that grade range.[14] In the 2009-10 school year the school's athletic teams competed in the North Jersey Tri-County Conference, a conference established on an interim basis to facilitate realignment.[15] Hackensack had been a founding member of the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League.[16] Hackensack High and Ridgewood High School were the only founding members of the NNJIL to remain in the league, though Hackensack was the only school to remain continuously in the league.[17] Since the 1912 visit of Halley's Comet, Hackensack's athletic teams have been known as the Comets; the teams were known as the "Colts" before 1912.[citation needed]

On February 6, 1925, the Hackensack Comets boys' basketball team won 39-35 against the Passaic High School, ending that school's 159-game winning streak.[18] The ball commemorating this feat is kept in the trophy case in the gym named for that team's captain, Howard Bollerman Sr. (later principal of Hackensack High School). The boys' basketball team won the Group III state title in 1945 vs. North Plainfield High School and in 1952 vs. Princeton High School.[19]

The boys' bowling team won the overall state championship in 1961, 1965 and 1989.[20]

The field hockey team won the North I Group IV state sectional title in 1980.[21]

The wrestling team won the North I Group IV state sectional title in 1980 and 2013.[22]

The football team won the North I Group IV state sectional championships in 1992-1996, 1999 and 2000.[23] The HHS homecoming football game has been held annually on Thanksgiving Day against rival Teaneck High School since 1931, alternating each year with each school as host.[24] Vince Lombardi was offered $6,000 to coach football at Hackensack High School, but couldn't get out of his contract with St. Cecilia High School in nearby Englewood.[25] Hackensack turned to Tom DellaTorre to coach the football team, he responded by winning 13 championships. DellaTorre later served as the schools athletic director. Upon his retirement in the early 1980s the football field was renamed "Tom DellaTorre Athletic Field".

The boys track team won the Group IV indoor relay championship in 1999.[26]

The school won a share of the 2010 Group IV outdoor track and field title after East Brunswick High School tied Hackensack in the final event, marking the program's first state title since 1971, when they shared a Group IV title after a tie with Henry Snyder High School.[27]

School songEdit

The alma mater of Hackensack High School was written by W. Demarest and B. Pratt of the Class of 1918. It is to the tune of the alma mater of New York University, Palisades (used by permission).


The principal is James Montesano.[28]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Hackensack High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed February 12, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Hackensack High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Tarrazi, Alexis. "Agreement reached between Maywood, Hackensack" Archived 2013-12-13 at the Wayback Machine, Hackensack Chronicle, March 9, 2012. Accessed November 25, 2014. "The Maywood school district has been sending its students to Hackensack High School for decades and currently sends 250 students. The high school also serves about 120 students from Rochelle Park and 80 students from South Hackensack, according to The Record."
  4. ^ Rochelle Park School District 2015 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 26, 2016. "Upon graduation, our students attend Hackensack High School, as part of a long-term sending/receiving relationship or have the option of applying to the Bergen County Academies and Technical Schools or a private school."
  5. ^ Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 1, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed April 3, 2011.
  8. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2009-2010, Accessed December 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Lee, Francis Bazley (1910). Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey. 1. New York, NY: Lewis Historical Publishing. p. 286.
  11. ^ "Memorial, William J. Snow 1890". West Point, NY: West Point Association of Graduates. 1947.
  12. ^ Hackensack High School pictures, accessed August 7, 2006
  13. ^ League & Conference Affiliations 2016-2017, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  14. ^ General Public School Classifications 2015-2016, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, as of December 15, 2015. Accessed December 12, 2016 19, 2014.
  15. ^ League Memberships – 2009-2010, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, backed up by the Internet Archive as of July 24, 2011. Accessed November 19, 2014.
  16. ^ Home Page, Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 9, 2009. Accessed November 25, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c Staff. "Induction Night; New Jersey Sports", The New York Times, April 26, 1974. Accessed June 13, 2011. "The Hackensack High School Sports Hall of Fame will induct nine former graduates tomorrow night, bringing its total to 323 men and women.... Chet Hanulak played football under Jim Tatum at Maryland and then with the Cleveland Browns. The late Stan Pitula pitched for the Cleveland Indians. Probably the best-known member of the Hackensack Hall is a nonathlete - Robert Schmertz, owner of the Boston Celtics, New England Whalers and the New York Stars. He was inducted last year."
  18. ^ Staff. "'Prof' a character, winner", The Record (Bergen County), October 13, 2009. Accessed June 13, 2011. "The streak ended on Feb. 6, 1925, at the Hackensack Armory. The Hackensack High School Comets, behind 6-foot-6 center Howie Bollerman, took down the Wonder Team, 39-35. But the loss was mired in controversy for years. Rumors swirled that Hackensack had slicked up the armory floor with sawdust to slow down the Wonder Team's fast break."
  19. ^ NJSIAA Group Basketball Past Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  20. ^ History of NJSIAA Boys Bowling Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  21. ^ History of the NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  22. ^ History of the NJSIAA Team Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  23. ^ Goldberg, Jeff. N.J.S.I.A.A. Football Playoff Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 19, 2015.
  24. ^ Schutta, Gregory. "Hackensack's Carter Buries Teaneck", The Record (Bergen County), November 29, 1991. Accessed August 11, 2008. "Carter ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns as Hackensack trampled Teaneck, 39-21, in the 60th Thanksgiving football meeting between the Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League Pacific Division rivals."
  25. ^ O'Connor, Ian. "St. Vincent's In Lombardi Image, Packers Have A Prayer", Daily News (New York), January 10, 1996. Accessed June 13, 2011. "St. Cecilia couldn't stash its treasure forever. Hackensack High School called in a $6,000 bid, but Lombardi couldn't bring himself to leave."
  26. ^ History of the NJSIAA Indoor Relay Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed December 9, 2015.
  27. ^ Clark, Ronald P. "First-place tie to Hackensack", The Record (New Jersey), May 30, 2010. Accessed August 23, 2011. "The Hackensack boys shared the State Group 4 title with East Brunswick with 34 points each Saturday. It was Hackensack's second Group 4 title, the other being a share of the title in 1971 with Snyder."
  28. ^ "Related Links". Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  29. ^ Staff. "Award-winning Actor Hector Bustamante Guests on Eye on Entertainment on Time Warner Cable", I-Newswire press release dated June 2, 2010. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Bustamante began his acting career in high school (Hackensack, NJ) but was discouraged after being told by an acting teacher that his thick accent would never allow him to be a professional actor."
  30. ^ Levine, Cecilia. "Look For Hackensack Model In Holiday Target Ad", Hackensack Daily Voice, November 27, 2016. Accessed August 13, 2018. "The face of a Hackensack High School graduate has been circulating in a Target ad this holiday season. Barbie Ferreira's big break came last year in curve campaign for Aerie and Target, and has been focusing on promoting body positivity."
  31. ^ Staff. "Chet Forte, 60, an Innovator in Television Sports", The New York Times, May 19, 1996. Accessed July 12, 2016. "Fulvio Chester Forte Jr. was born Aug. 7, 1935, in Hackensack, N.J., the only child of his sports-loving mother and of a physician. The class president at Hackensack High School, he became an All-American player at Columbia despite being 5-7 and 145 pounds, small even by 1950's standards."
  32. ^ Mike Fratello, Turner Sports. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Fratello graduated from Hackensack High School, Hackensack, N.J., where he was captain of the basketball, baseball and football teams."
  33. ^ Mike Fratello, Accessed November 1, 2007.
  34. ^ "Hackensack appoints city's first African American public defender", Community News, September 20, 2013, backed up by the Internet Archive as of August 8, 2016. Accessed January 30, 2018. "Without realizing it, Navarro Gray made history when he was named the city's public defender — becoming the first African-American to hold this position in Hackensack. Before graduating from Hampton University Cum Laude and Hofstra University School of Law, Gray attended Fairmont Elementary School and Hackensack High School — having graduated from the latter in 1997."
  35. ^ Powell, K. Adam. Border Wars: The First Fifty Years of Atlantic Coast Conference Football, p. 3. Scarecrow Press, 2004. ISBN 9780810848399. Accessed July 12, 2016. "Hanulak's story was an interesting one, for he was not highly pursued during his days at Hackensack High School in New Jersey."
  36. ^ "Morrow, Everett Frederic (1909-1994)", Accessed November 25, 2017. "Everett Frederic Morrow, the son of John Eugene Morrow, a library custodian who became an ordained Methodist minister in 1912 and Mary Ann Hayes, a former farm worker and maid, was born on April 9, 1909 in Hackensack, New Jersey. He graduated from Hackensack High School in 1925, where he not only served on the debate team for three years, but was their president his senior year."
  37. ^ Danny Oquendo, Maryland Terrapins football. Accessed August 13, 2018. "At Hackensack High School: A three-year starter who played wide receiver and safety"
  38. ^ Nellie K. Parker, Nellie K. Parker Elementary School. Accessed November 26, 2017. "Nellie entered Montclair Normal School and received her teaching certificate in 1922 after graduating from Hackensack High School."
  39. ^ Fullerton Jr., Hugh. "Sports Roundup", Reading Eagle, June 3, 1949. Accessed June 13, 2011. "That path you can see leading to Hackensack, N. J., was worn by major league scouts going to watch Stan Pitula pitch for Hackensack High School... Stan just won ten games this season, making it 16 straight for two years, but seven were shutouts and two were no-hitters."
  40. ^ Staff. "Who's Who in the Cast", Playbill, 1981. Accessed August 13, 2018. "Gene Saks (Director) began his theatrical career playing Lord Fancourt Babberley in the Hackensack High School's production of Charlie's Aunt."
  41. ^ Montville, Leigh. "Meet sports' Superfan", The Boston Globe, July 12, 1972. Accessed June 13, 2011. "The last time he played publicly was as 6-foot center for Hackensack High School."
  42. ^ "Memorial, William J. Snow 1890". West Point, NY: West Point Association of Graduates. 1947.
  43. ^ Lee, Francis Bazley. Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey, p. 286. Accessed August 13, 2018. "Warren Jay, eldest child of John Elizabeth (Hall) Terhune, was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, May 3, 1869. He attended the public school at Midland Park and Hackensack high school, and was from the latter in 1885."
  44. ^ >Saks, Kaet. "She'll reap the rewards of continuous activity", The Record (Bergen County), November 14, 1995, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 6, 2016. Accessed August 13, 2018. "Hackensack High School senior Melissa Trainer finds herself with an embarrassment of riches"
  45. ^ Corcoran, David. "Theodore Trautwein, Judge in Landmark Press Case, Dies at 80", The New York Times, September 2, 2000. Accessed June 13, 2011. "Theodore Walter Trautwein was born on March 29, 1920, in Paramus, N.J. He graduated from Hackensack High School, where he was an all-star athlete, won a scholarship at Columbia University and was drafted as a pitcher by the St. Louis Cardinals."
  46. ^ Kane, Paul; Billson, Anne; and Oregan, Marie. Voices in the Dark: Interviews with Horror Writers, Directors and Actors, p. 239. McFarland & Company, 2010. ISBN 0-7864-4634-X. Accessed August 30, 2018. "He went on to star in Just Like in the Movies (1992) and My Family Treasure (1993), before graduating from Hackensack High School in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1999."
  47. ^ Brian Walker, Washington State Cougars football. Accessed August 13, 2018. "Hometown: Englewood, N.J.; High School: Hackensack"
  48. ^ "The Nomination of William B. Widnall to be Chairman of the Commission on Electronic Fund Transfers; October 23, 1975", Rutgers Law School. Accessed November 17, 2017. "Education: Hackensack, New Jersey public school system; Graduated from Hackensack High School, 1922; Graduated from Brown University, PhB 1926; Graduated from New Jersey Law School (Now Rutgers University) LLB 1931."
  49. ^ Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens and State Guide. 2. J.J. Scannell. 1919. p. 648.

External linksEdit