North Hills High School

North Hills High School is a suburban high school located in Ross Township, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh. It serves students in grades 9-12 in the North Hills School District. The school's mascot is the Indian and its official colors are red and white.

North Hills High School
Logo of North Hills Senior High School.png
53 Rochester Road


Coordinates40°31′34″N 80°01′33″W / 40.526081°N 80.025769°W / 40.526081; -80.025769Coordinates: 40°31′34″N 80°01′33″W / 40.526081°N 80.025769°W / 40.526081; -80.025769
MottoPride, Tradition, Excellence.
School districtNorth Hills School District
Enrollment1,388 (2016-17)[1]

Academic AchievementEdit

North Hills High School consistently scores in the top 20% of Pennsylvania Public High Schools with its PSSA scores.[2]

  • 2015-2016 121st out of 674
  • 2014-2015 121st out of 674
  • 2013-2014 200th out of 674
  • 2012-2013 129th out of 674
  • 2011-2012 131st out of 674
  • 2010-2011 91st out of 674

Notable alumniEdit

Music ProgramsEdit

Both the Marching Band and Symphony Band have a long history and are very well respected, being one of only a very few high school bands to participate in the inauguration ceremony of President George W. Bush. Warren S. Mercer, Jr., North Hills High Band Director for 31 years until 1992, elevated the North Hills High School Symphony Band to national prominence. Mr. Mercer has received numerous awards to include being elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in March 1972 and is the recipient of a citation of excellence from the National Band Association. The band's excellence continued through director David Matthews (1992 - 2011) and under current director Leonard Lavelle (2012–present)

The NHHS Symphony Band has a long and proud tradition, beginning in the 1950s with James Caruso, Warren Mercer, David Matthews, and currently Len Lavelle. The Symphony Band has earned a reputation of excellence, consistently receiving superior ratings at state and national festivals. The Symphony Band has also maintained the longest-running series of commissioned works of any high school band in the United States, beginning in 1965 with Philip Catelinet's Fantasy Mother Hubbard. Other commissioned works for the Symphony Band have been written by Mr. Don Gillis, Mr. Edward Madden, Mr. Robert Jager, Mr. Jerry Bilik, Mr. Rex Mitchell, Mr. Vaclav Nelhybel, Dr. Paul Whear, Mr. Norman Dello Joio, and Dr. Joseph Willcox Jenkins. Guest conductors through the years have included, Dr. William Revelli, Dr. Richard Strange, Dr.James Neilson, Dr. James Dunlop (PSU), Mr. Vaclav Nelhybel and in March 1973, Arthur Fiedler, Director of the Boston Pops Orchestra. ( References: MENC Music Educators National Conference January 19–22, 1973, Boston North Hills Symphony Band Bio Sheet, and.[3])

The NHHS Symphony Band was awarded the first Sudler Flag of Honor by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation in 1983. The NHHS Symphony Band has won the highest honors in its section at the Carnegie Awards Festival sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University. It has performed at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Convention 1965, 1971, 1995, 1998, 2014, and 2016; the Mid-West National Band Clinic, Chicago, Illinois, 1966, 1970, 1983, and 1987; the Mid-East Instrumental Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1967; the Music Educators National Convention in 1973, 1997, 2015 and 2017. In more recent years, the band played at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Popular cultureEdit

The movie Warrior (2011 film), starring Tom Hardy, was filmed on location at North Hills High School.[4]


The North Hills Indians football team is now involved in WPIAL Class AAAAA (5-A) football. The largest statewide classification is (6-A).[5]

Team National Championships

Football: 1987 USA Today National Champions (prior to PA state playoff creation)[6]

Team State Championships

Football: 1993 victory over Central Bucks West 15-14 (AAAA).


  1. ^ "North Hills SHS". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  2. ^ EL. "Schooldigger". Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ EL. "Warrior". IMDB. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  5. ^ EL. "High School Standings". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  6. ^ EL. "Meet the past Super 25 football..." USA Today. Retrieved 18 January 2017.