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Needham High School is a public high school in Needham, Massachusetts, educating grades 9 through 12. Mr. Aaron Sicotte is the principal of Needham High School. Its three assistant principals are Ms. Alison Coubrough-Argentieri, Mr. Johnny Cole, and Mr. Keith Ford. As of 2016, the school had 1,644 students and over 201 part-time and full-time instructional staff members, plus support staff employees. Needham High School was awarded a gold medal by U.S. News & World Report for its academic excellence. The school is ranked as the 11th best for Massachusetts and 307th best nationally on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best high schools in 2016.[3]

Needham High School
Needham High School, Needham MA.jpg
609 Webster Street, Needham
United States
Coordinates42°17′14″N 71°13′51″W / 42.28722°N 71.23083°W / 42.28722; -71.23083Coordinates: 42°17′14″N 71°13′51″W / 42.28722°N 71.23083°W / 42.28722; -71.23083
TypePublic secondary
PrincipalAaron Sicotte
Number of students1,685 (2017–18) [1]
Color(s)Navy Blue and Vegas Gold          
RivalsWellesley High School (Wellesley, MA)
NewspaperThe Hilltopper
YearbookThe Advocate


Needham High School is situated on a hill overlooking Memorial Park, and is located at approximately the geographical center of town. The original building was dedicated in 1930. As a result of the town's rapid growth following World War II, additions were opened in 1955 and in 1967. These newer additions were demolished in 2008 due to renovation of the school. The school underwent a $62-million renovation consisting of a new wing which was opened in the fall of 2006 and another smaller wing opened in the fall of 2007. The renovated high school offers laboratory facilities, computer equipment, and Smart Boards throughout the school. The high school underwent another renovation in 2018 that, repaired much of the A-gym, replace non-working HVAC systems, and added another section to the school which provided six additional classrooms and a new main office. This recent renovation costed $13,188,000 and was completed in late December.[4]

Governing bodiesEdit

Each year the four classes hold elections to determine class president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and three class representatives. The collective term for these positions is Student Council, and each class's Student Council is responsible for community and fundraising activities for the class, including bake sales, semi formal dances, and charity donations. Other governing bodies:

  • Teachers: Advisory Board
  • Legislative: School Council
  • District Wide: School Committee

Extracurricular activitiesEdit


Students in Needham participate in athletic activities throughout the school year. Needham High School is a member of the Bay State Conference of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and Needham competes with other towns in the state. The schools colors are gold, navy blue and white.[5] The Needham High School mascot is a rocket, chosen in the 1950s based on Cold War tensions.[6] Prior to that, the school's mascot was a pansy, based on the town flower[citation needed].

Fall sportsEdit

  • Football (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Boys' and Girls' soccer (Varsity, JV, Freshman)

(Girls' Varsity won the 2015 Division 1 State Championship) (Boys' Varsity won 2012 and 2014 division 1 state championship)

  • Field hockey (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Girls' volleyball (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Girls' swimming and diving (Varsity, JV)
  • Cross country (Varsity, JV) (Girls' Varsity were the 2013, 2014, and 2015 state champions)
  • Cheerleading (Varsity, Club)
  • Golf (Varsity)

Winter sportsEdit

  • Boys' and Girls' Hockey (Varsity, JV)
  • Boys' Swimming (Varsity)
  • Boys' and Girls' Indoor Track (Varsity, JV)
  • Ski Team (Varsity, JV)
  • Boys' & Girls' Basketball (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Cheerleading (Varsity, Club)
  • Gymnastics (Varsity, JV)
  • Wrestling (Varsity, JV)
  • Squash (Club)

Spring SportsEdit

  • Lacrosse (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Baseball (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Softball (Varsity, JV, Freshman)
  • Tennis (Varsity, JV)
  • Spring Track
  • Boys' Volleyball (Varsity, JV)
  • Boys' Rugby (Varsity, JV)

Club SportsEdit

The Ultimate Team was founded in 2001. It was ranked 9th in the country in 2004, 7th in 2007, and again 7th in 2010. The team beat Amherst Regional High School March 24, 2007, ending ARHS' 4 year long win streak dating back to April 2003. The State Finals of Needham vs. ARHS in 2007 was named by the Ultimate Players Association as the best State Finals ever played because of an epic collapse by The Rockets. Needham took an early lead and held it throughout the game until reaching 11–8, but preceded to fold to a strong Amherst side which stormed back with a 6–1 run to win 14–12. The team reached the UPA High School Eastern Championships in 2007(T-3), 2009(T-7), 2010 (2nd), and 2011 (T-7). In both 2012 and 2013, the team came in second place at the USAU Northeasterns Championship losing to Amherst 13–2 and then Lexington 8–6. In 2013, the team beat ARHS in the semi-finals of the MA State Championship but lost again to Lexington, 11–9 in a rematch of the USAU Northeasterns Championship. The team is coached by alumni from the 2004 team, Dan Hourigan and Jimmy Foster, but throughout the fall and pre-spring seasons it is largely student run and directed. There is also a B-team which plays locally and Girls' Team formed in the spring of 2009.

The Needham Rugby team was established in 2007 by a group of male and female students interested in forming a rugby club at the high school. For the first year of the program, the club was only able to field a partial girls side, however since then, the program has grown and includes over 40 active members on the boys' roster. The boys' rugby team will be entering their sixth year as a Varsity sport, competing in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). The boys' rugby club participates in the Division 1 Conference against BC High, St. Johns Prep, Bishop Hendricken, Xaverian, and Belmont High School. The girls' team that once folded is now trying to rebuild and establish themselves in the 2015 spring season as a club team. The head coach of the boys' team is Joshua Yankell.

Football and Thanksgiving RivalryEdit

The football team is known as the Rockets. The school continues to participate in the oldest public high school rivalry in the nation, between Needham, Massachusetts and Wellesley. The game is played every Thanksgiving and began its tradition in 1882 when Wellesley player Arthur Judson Oldman challenged the Needham team. The game was played at Wellesley's Morton Field and had little in common with modern football. The rivalry has continued uninterrupted since the event, with Wellesley maintaining the slight edge, 61–59–9. The Thanksgiving game of 2015, played at Fenway Park, resulted in the Rockets winning against the Raiders. The final score was 12–7.[7]

Performing artsEdit

The Dance Team is in its sixth year, and was only recently recognized as a Varsity Sport as opposed to a Club team. The team performs at football and basketball home games during halftime. In 2003 they came in first place at a National Competition in Orlando, Florida, and got to perform their routine before the Outback Bowl in front of 17,000 people. In 2009, the Dance Team won the state title, beating out fellow Bay State Conference rival Braintree.[8] The Dance Team recently took home 1st place in both the 2011 Bay State conference as well as the 2011 State competition, once again beating out fellow rival Braintree.

Other clubs and teamsEdit

The school has over thirty extracurricular clubs and activities including a Speech and Debate Team a Mock Trial Team, Four Square Club and a Dodgeball club. The Four Square Club is the current world record-holder for the longest continuous four square game,[9] while the Dodgeball team has produced winners at local and national tournaments and competition[citation needed]. Needham High School has a robotics club with three FIRST Tech Challenge teams, the HackHers, T-10, and Liquid Oxygen, which frequently reach state competitions. T-10 also attended the Australian invitational competition in 2014, and advanced to super-regional competition in the 2015-2016 season. The school has a math team which participates in GBML(Greater Boston Mathematics League)[10] and other competitions. Needham High School's extracurricular organizations are coordinated by faculty advisors although they have student-elected officials and are largely run by students.

Curricular offeringsEdit

Foreign languagesEdit

Classes are offered in French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin.[11] The foreign language program offers beginning courses in all the languages as well as logical continuation sequences from the middle school language programs. French, Spanish, and Mandarin courses extend from introductory levels to Advanced Placement courses. A program called INDEX, short for independent exploration, allows high-ability and highly motivated students to pursue languages or levels which are not offered.


The science department offers a laboratory-based science curriculum. The departmental sequence in science consists of biology in ninth grade, physics in tenth grade, chemistry in eleventh grade, and Advanced Placement and elective courses in the twelfth grade. AP courses are offered in chemistry, biology, and physics. Science elective courses offered at Needham High School include Environmental Science, 20th Century Physics, Marine Biology, Introduction to Astronomy, and Anatomy and Physiology.[11]

Social studiesEdit

The social studies department requires students to complete a three-year sequence including World History (9th grade), World and American History (10th grade), and an American History course (11th grade). The social studies department also offers a several elective majors, available for junior and senior students. These include Psychology and Sociology, Economics, the World Since 1945, American Legal System, and Chinese Traditions. The department offers three advanced placement courses: AP United States History, AP United States Government, and AP Psychology.[11]


The mathematics department requires students to complete a three-year sequence including Algebra II (9th grade), Geometry (10th grade), and an pre-calculus (11th grade). Alternatively, students can complete the Algebra I (9th grade), Geometry (10th grade), and Algebra II (11th grade) sequence. AP level courses include AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics. In addition, Computer Science courses are offered at the introductory and AP levels. In 2013 an introductory robotics class was added as well.[11]

Fine and performing artsEdit

Along with elective fine arts courses in architectural design, graphic design, ceramics, photography, production printing, the school offers a four-year art sequence. Additionally, the school offers several courses in the performing arts, such as Orchestra and Chorus. Certain music courses at Needham High Schools, such as Concert Chorale and Jazz Ensemble require an audition and have practices and rehearsals after school; additionally, there is an after-school chorus course for students who are not able to take chorus during the day. The Fine and Performing Arts department offers two Advanced Placement courses: AP Music Theory and AP Studio Art. Certain courses (particularly the second, third, and fourth-year courses) in the art sequence, as well as the AP Music Theory course, are weighted into a student's GPA. As a graduation requirement, Needham High School requires that students complete the equivalent of two full year art courses.[11]

Community classroomEdit

As a graduation requirement, students must earn two community classroom credits. Students may earn one credit by either completing thirty hours of community service or alternatively by at least twelve hours of work per week for one semester during the school year. Community service opportunities include volunteer service as well as internships. Only one credit may be earned through work experience.

Associated ProgramsEdit

METCO ProgramEdit

Needham is a member of the METCO Program, which allows Boston students to attend the school.

Notable alumni and teachersEdit

Distinguished Career Award[13]Edit

The George A. Dennett Distinguished Career Award has been established to recognize former Needham High School students who have gone on to distinguished careers in their chosen fields. By making a significant contribution to society, these alumni bring honor to their school and community, and serve as inspirations and role models to the students of Needham. The Distinguished Career Awards were first presented in 1990, and the ceremony has become a revered fall tradition for the junior class and members of the Needham community. Each October, Needham High School celebrates graduates who have made a difference in the world.

  • 2017
    • Margaret Farrell – class of 1992 –
    • Andy Husbands – class of 1987 – Chef, Restaurateur, Author and Television Personality
    • Lisa Tanzer – class of 1985 – President, The Life is Good Company
  • 2016
    • Jessica Minahan – Class of 1993 – Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Author, and Special Educator
    • Katie Callahan Rahhal – Class of 1998 – Co-founder, Public Relations Director, and Game Designer, Phoenix Online Studios
    • Karl Ravech – Class of 1983 –Television Sports Anchor/Play by Play ESPN
  • 2015
    • Kimberly Bookman – Class of 1994 –Television Reporter WHDH TV/7 News
    • Amy Brooks – Class of 1986 – On-air Radio Personality and Voice Talent WBOS Radio 92.9 FM
    • Paul Cropper – Class of 1985 – Director of Sales, Cisco Systems
  • 2014
    • Sarah Saltzberg – Class of 1994 – Writer/Actress/Producer and Owner of Bohemia Realty Group
    • Michael Sullivan – Class of 1984 – International Attorney & Human Rights Lecturer Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
    • Suzanne Wilcox – Class of 1969 – Former Principal of Eliot Elementary School Needham Public Schools
  • 2013
    • Brenda Gael McSweeney – Class of 1961 – Faculty and Scholar, Boston & Brandeis Universities
    • Kunal Shah – Class of 2000 – Group Manager of Rentals, Zillow
    • George A. Dennett – Honorary
  • 2012
    • Nancy Anderson – Class of 1988 – Singer & Actress
    • Mark Becker – Class of 1987 – Documentary Filmmaker, Meteor Films
    • Jeffrey S. Sallet – Class of 1988 – Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston, Certified Financial Forensics, CPA (professional bootlicker, accessory to millions of counts of murder and torture)
    • Francis Nizzari (Posthumous Award) – Class of 1957
  • 2011
    • Robert D. Whalen, Jr. – Class of 1975 – Head Baseball Coach, Dartmouth College
    • Suzanne Shusterman-Winneg – Class of 1985 – Pediatric Oncologist, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
    • Richard W. Davis – Class of 1961 – Former CEO and current Board Chair, Provider Insurance Group, Inc.
    • Dr. Lee Allen (Posthumous Award) – Class of 1955
  • 2010
    • William E. Tilburg – Class of 1965 – Community Service Activist, President; Global Travel Advisors
    • Tom Pugh – Class of 1973 – CoFounder, Co-Executive Director, Plugged -In; Engineer WGBH Boston
    • Sandra Rizkallah – Class of 1981 – Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director, Plugged -In
    • Mark Wolfe – Class of 1980 – Film & Television Producer; Partner in Burton/Wolfe Entertainment
  • 2009
    • Steven Gross – Class of 1985 – Founder and Chief Playmaker of Project Joy
    • Leslie Woodies – Class of 1970 – Director, Choreographer, Master Teacher
    • Lisabeth Scott – Class of 1976 – Singer, Songwriter, Composer, Producer
  • 2008
    • Anne Collins – Class of 1979 – Associate General Counsel, Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    • Thomas Lambert – Class of 1973 – Founder NHS Dance Team Coach, Manufacturer's Representative, Community Service
    • Carol Hasenfus Stento – Class of 1976 – Chief of Police, Holliston, Massachusetts
  • 2007
    • Rev. Denise H. Brown – Class of 1977 – Clergy and Specialized Ministry
    • James G Healy – Class of 1977 – Attorney at Law, Needham Selectman
    • Sunita L. Pandya Williams – Class of 1983 – NASA Astronaut and Naval Aviator
  • 2006
    • John F. Akers – Class of 1952 – CEO and chairman of the Board, IBM (retired)
    • Michael Aronson – Class of 1981 – Pulitzer Prize winner, Editorial Board, New York Daily News
    • Albert and John Jacobs – Class of 1986 – Co-founders, Life is good, Inc.
  • 2005
    • Paul F. Buckley Jr. – Class of 1979 – Fire Chief, Town of Needham
    • Karen Carleton – Class of 1976 – Research Associate Professor in Zoology, University of New Hampshire
    • John P. O’Leary – Class of 1980 – Commissioner, Mass. Division of Unemployment Assistance
  • 2004
    • Charles D. Baker – Class of 1975 – President and C.E.O., Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc.
    • Martha Miceli Healy – Class of 1976 – Early Childhood/Preschool Special Education Teacher
    • Jeffrey C. Taylor – Class of 1978 – Entrepreneur, C.E.O.,
    • Katharine Lee Bates (Posthumous Award) – Class of 1874
  • 2003
    • Kimberly Hinden – Class of 1983 – Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Massachusetts
    • Lt. Colonel Paul O’Leary – Class of 1978 – Battelion Commander United States Marine Corps
    • Michael Brian Tannenbaum – Class of 1987 – Asst. General Manager, New York Jets Director of Personnel
  • 2002
    • Kevin Gottlieb – Class of 1960 – Professor – Public Administration
    • William M. Harris – Class of 1968 – Chief Operating Officer
    • Paul W. Robey III – Class of 1964 – Executive Vice-President
  • 2001
    • Penelope Schneider Calf – Class of 1964 – Language Teacher, Field Hockey Coach
    • Robert A. DiPoli – Class of 1967 – Chief, Needham Fire Department
    • Alan K. Stern – Class of 1982 – Pediatrician, Vice Chairman of Board of Health
  • 2000
    • John Breda – Class of 1972 – Professional Musician, Performing Artist, Physician
    • Steven B. Larsen – Class of 1977 – Insurance Commissioner State of Maryland
    • Robert “Cap” Raeder – Class of 1972 – Professional Hockey Player, Scout, Hockey Coach
  • 1999
    • Vincent Fantegrossi – Class of 1969 – Athlete, Entrepreneur
    • Andrea Morgan Matthews – Class of 1974 – Performing Artist, Teacher
    • George Twigg, III – Class of 1950 – Marketing Representative, Community Service Activist
  • 1998
    • Elizabeth Lamb de la Vega – Class of 1969 – Assistant United States Attorney
    • James Lehr Kennedy – Class of 1966 – Entrepreneur, Economist, Innovator, Educator
    • Philip Vincent Robey – Class of 1964 – Manufacturer's Representative, Community Service and Activist
    • David A. Barrett (Posthumous Award) – Class of 1945
  • 1997
    • William L. Healy – Class of 1970 – Orthopedic Surgeon
    • Mary Catherine Mazzio – Class of 1979 – Attorney, Olympic Rower, & Filmmaker
    • George F. Skinner – Class of 1946 – Educator, Realtor, Major, USAF (Ret.)
  • 1996
    • Bryan E. Carlson – Class of 1963 – President, Mount Ida College
    • Colin B. Gracey – Class of 1953 – Chaplin, Northeastern University
    • Susan Glover Gracey – Class of 1952 – Teacher & Court Reporter
    • Alan L. Meltzer – Class of 1969 – Founder & Owner, Meltzer & Associates
    • Laurie Ann Newman (Posthumous Award) – Class of 1971
  • 1995
    • Samuel R. Cohn – Class of 1972 – Associate Professor of Sociology
    • George L. Kline – Class of 1938 – Educator and Writer
    • Carol Wallace Orr – Class of 1951 – Book Publisher
  • 1994
    • Cheryl Jacques – Class of 1980 – Massachusetts State Senator
    • Stephanie Kalin – Class of 1937 – Director, Needham Community Council
    • Richard Wainwright – Class of 1954 – Educator and Publisher
  • 1993
    • Leonard W. Cronkhite, Jr., M.D. – Class of 1937- Physician, Consultant, Research Foundation Executive
    • Kent W. Jarrell – Class of 1969 – National Correspondent, WUSA – TV
    • Patricia Saumsiegle Rabe – Class of 1969 – Senior Producer, Random House, Inc.
  • 1992
    • Gary M. Gillis – Class of 1973 – Sportscaster, WHDH – TV 7
    • Donald Mackenzie – Class of 1954 – President, CEO, Chair, NYNEX Info. Resources, Inc.
    • Michael D. O’Neal – Class of 1978 – President, CEO, Fathers Inc.
    • Dana W. Brown (Posthumous Award) – Class of 1944
  • 1991
    • Gwen Grabowski Krivi – Class of 1968 – Senior Fellow, Monsanto Co.
    • Ralph E. Leader – Class of 1939 – Major General, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Business Executive
    • Richard E. Wylie – Class of 1959 – President, Endicott College
  • 1990
    • Frank H. Dodge – Class of 1955 – Founder & President, Frank Dodge Associates, Inc.
    • James S. Gracey – Class of 1945 – Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.)
    • Brian J Kelley – Class of 1974 – Major, U.S. Air Force


  1. ^ "Member Details – NEASC: Commission on Public Secondary Schools". New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "2017–18 SAT Performance Statewide Report". September 20, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Needham High School: Best High Schools". U.S. News & World Report, L.P. 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  4. ^ 12
  5. ^ "Pay to Play – Globe West Updates". The New York Times Company. July 14, 2006. Retrieved May 24, 2007.
  6. ^ "Needham High School has a new mascot – Wicked Local Needham". November 10, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Pearson, Keith (November 26, 2015). "Needham 12, Wellesley 7: Raiders stood up by Rockets at Fenway". The MetroWest Daily News. Gatehouse Media, Inc. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "Needham High School Dance Team wins state title – Needham, Massachusetts – Needham Times". Wicked Local. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Four Square Club raises fund for charity". Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "GBML".
  11. ^ a b c d e "Needham High School Program of Studies". Needham Public Schools. 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2007.
  12. ^ Hazlett, Alexandra (July 6, 2010). "Jessica Simpson dating former San Francisco 49ers tight end Eric Johnson". Daily News. New York.
  13. ^ "George Dennett Needham High School Distinguished Career Award". Needham High School Distinguished Career Award.

Needham High School October 2017 STM (1) October 2, 2017.

External linksEdit