Northwood High School (Montgomery County, Maryland)

Northwood High School (Northwood) is located in Silver Spring and is one of five high schools that are part of Montgomery Downcounty Consortium. Northwood offers a number of academies for students as well as a variety of sports and clubs. In 2018, Northwood's six academies include Montgomery Middle College (MC2); Music, Theater and Dance; Politics, Advocacy and Law; Technological and Environmental System Sciences; Humanities, Arts and Media; and Finance, Accounting, Marketing and Education.

Northwood High School
919 University Boulevard, West


United States
Coordinates39°2′6″N 77°1′25″W / 39.03500°N 77.02361°W / 39.03500; -77.02361Coordinates: 39°2′6″N 77°1′25″W / 39.03500°N 77.02361°W / 39.03500; -77.02361
TypePublic secondary
Opened1956; 64 years ago (1956)
Closed1985; re-opened 2004; 16 years ago (2004)
School districtMontgomery County Public Schools
PrincipalMildred Charley-Greene
Teaching staff123.60 (FTE) (2016–17)[1]
Enrollment1,651 (2016–17)[1]
Student to teacher ratio13.36:1 (2016–17)[1]
Color(s)     Red
RivalMontgomery Blair High School
NewspaperRed and Black

Northwood originally opened its doors in 1956. The school was closed after 29 years in 1985 due to changing demographics in the area. As the need for additional space for high school students grew in later years, the Montgomery County Public School System re-opened Northwood in 2004.

The principal is Mildred Charley-Greene. She was appointed principal to Northwood in 2013 and was named 2019 Principal of the Year by the Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals.[2]

Northwood High School is located in unincorporated Montgomery County, Maryland, and is part of Montgomery County Public Schools. It is in the Kemp Mill census-designated place,[3] and it has a Silver Spring postal address.


In order to relieve overcrowding in local schools adjacent to major federal installations or defense projects, President Eisenhower signed Title 45 Public Law 81-874 "ASSISTANCE FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION" with $1,500,000 contributed to Montgomery County.[4][5] It was decided to build a new high school along 30 Acres on Old Bladensburg Road (later known as University Blvd) in Silver Spring with planned opening in fall 1956. The 2 story brick, tile, and glass rambler cost $1,955,143, with a student population of 1425. At its dedication Arthur S. Adams, president of the American Council on Education, described the school as a "Magnificent Building" to a crowd of 1000 visitors.[6] The Northwood area grew prior to construction. The new school became a combination junior / senior high school named Northwood Junior Senior High School with new principal Edward (Ted) A. Bartlett. Principal Bartlett was Harvard educated, a World War II veteran, and the former basketball coach from Winchester High School in Winchester MA.[7] At the start of school September 1956, there was no working bell system, no mirrors in the wash rooms, no lockers, no cafeteria. They used whistles to mark start-stop of class periods.[8] On February 1, 1960 Harold R. Packard replaced Bartlett. Eugene R. Smoley became Principal in 1972. In 1977 Principal Bobby J. Mullis replaced Smoley, and retired at the 1985 closing.[9][10]


The closing of Northwood High School was discussed and voted on 3 times by the Montgomery County School Board starting in 1981 and finally ordered closed in a contested decision[11] that aimed to alleviate the concentration of minorities enrolling at Montgomery Blair High School.[12] A non profit group NORTHWOOD COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY INC was established to fight the closure.[13] After the closing, school trophies were given to students, and alumni. The varsity uniforms were sold to students for $1. The Northwood Indian headdress was donated to Wheaton Library for display.[14] From 1987 to 2004, Northwood was used to hold students from other high schools during renovations. The school was re-opened in 2004 due to increasing population. During its original run, the school's mascot was the Indians. A September 2001 vote by the Board of Education banned ethnic and race-based team mascots at county schools. Students in the first class and Alumni from the 1958 first graduating class chose the Gladiators as the new mascot.[15]


Prior to the reopening the funds saved by the Northwood Community Solidarity for 20 years, $8,500, was donated to Northwood in memory of the late Bobby Mullis.[10] 2008 was the first year since the school reopened in which there were all four classes. The school has approximately 1,400 students. This size has moved it from a division 2A school in Maryland High School athletics, to a division 3A school for the 2009-10 school year.[16]

Bomb threatEdit

On the morning of Tuesday, April 29, 2014, Northwood High School and Northwest High School in Germantown, Maryland were evacuated after a bomb threat. The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) received information about the threat at 9:30 a.m. (EDT) and searched the schools, finding no bombs, and deeming them to be safe at 10:51 a.m. (EDT).[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]


In 2018, Northwood students participated in 45 teams across 18 sports for the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Students played on both varsity and junior varsity levels and hosted girl, boy, and co-ed teams. Sports included baseball, basketball, bocce, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, pom pom, racquetball, side cheer, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, and wrestling.

Prior history: The school's sports program is only in their second season of having varsity teams. The varsity football squad earned a record of 5-5 and the varsity basketball team reached the regional playoffs. The boys soccer team has won the 3A/2A division championship for two consecutive years (2008, 2009). The boys Cross country running team has won the Montgomery County Public Schools division IV championship two consecutive years (2008, 2009). The boys cross-country team qualified to run in the state championships out of the 3A West region in 2009. In 2009 the girls Cross-Country team won the Montgomery County Public Schools division IV championship. In 2008 Northwood had three division 2A state champions in indoor track and one champion and runner-up in outdoor track. The varsity cheerleading squad placed second in their division in the December 2008 Montgomery County Public Schools competition. The varsity cheerleading squad placed first in their division and won spirit award in the November 2009 Montgomery County Public Schools competition

Prior to closing in 1985 Northwood had a number of division, county, regional, and state championships in a variety of sports. Don Greenberg was an all county member of the football and baseball teams during the 1973 and 1974 seasons which are often referred to as the "glory years" of Northwood athletics.

School facilitiesEdit

The schools location is at the north-east corner of University Boulevard West and Arcola Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. The school's architect, William N. Denton Jr., designed a classic H-shaped construction.[25] The original school opened with 55 classrooms, 11 administrative offices, a large gym, and 108 seat library and cafeteria seating 456.[6] Before the end of the first year, plans were made to add an additional 14 new classrooms.[6] Northwood has a recently remodeled multipurpose stadium where their football, soccer, track and lacrosse teams play, named after former Northwood Technology Education, (mostly Electronics) teacher David Kaplan who became an activist lobbying to keep the school open in 1985.[26] The athletic area of Northwood also includes two baseball fields, a track, and a concessions area to the left of the main stands of Kaplan Stadium. The school has a Media Center that mainly serves as a library. There is also a band room, alternate music room, a full wellness center, and a film room that is the location of Northwood's television and radio station, WNHS.


During the early 1970s, WNHS was a low-power AM radio station, used for broadcasting home football games. WNHS became the television and radio station at Northwood high school.[27] Unique throughout the county to Northwood High School, WNHS performs a live news show broadcast to students and faculty for the first twenty minutes of every school day. The program also covers sporting and school-wide events, such as graduation and prom. Shortly after reopening, the program entered and won awards in video competitions.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Search for Public Schools - Northwood High School (240048001366)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "Mildred Charley-Greene from Northwood High School: 2019 High School Principal of the Year". Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ 2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Kemp Mill CDP, MD" (Archive). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Emery, Fred J. (1976). The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America. US Government: The Office of the Federal Registrar National Archives and Records Service GSA. p. 208.
  5. ^ "U.S. Earmarks $6 For Nearby School Needs". The Washington Post. May 5, 1955.
  6. ^ a b c "School, Just Dedicated, Is Outgrown: 14-Room Addition Is Contemplated for New Northwood High". The Washington Post and Time Hearld. February 25, 1957.
  7. ^ Jones, Gene B. (June 9, 1957). "Coach-Turned-Principal Leads Burgeoning Northwood High". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ zibart, Eve (June 17, 1985). "Alumni Remember a Place That Was Ordinary and Great: 'Everybody Knew Everybody Else' at Northwood". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ "Mr. Bobby Mullis". The Augusta Chronicle. December 31, 1998.
  10. ^ a b Uy, Erin (May 26, 2004). "Northwood High will reopen with decades-old donation". The Gazette. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  11. ^ Mcllallaster, Elizabeth (April 27, 1985). "Problem Seen In Northwood High Closing: Problem Seen in Closing of Northwood High". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ Spolar, Chris (February 27, 1985). "School Board Urged To Save Northwood: Crowd Protests Closing Angry Crowd Asks Board to Save Northwood". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ Spolare, Chris (March 6, 1985). "Northwood Backers Vow Fight: Will Appeal Closing". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Girard, Keith F. (June 17, 1985). "Other County High Schools Prepare to Absorb Students: School Closing Will Have Wide County Impact". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Purtill, Corinne (6 August 2003). "Re-creating Northwood High School's student spirit". Gazette Newspaper.
  16. ^ "School Zone". The Carrol County Times. January 30, 2013.
  17. ^ Dempsey, E. Lancellotti (April 29, 2014). "Update of Today's Events". Northwest High School. Montgomery County Public Schools. Retrieved April 29, 2014. Good afternoon, this is Lance Dempsey, principal of Northwest High School, with an update for parents about today’s incident. At 10:51 am, the police cleared Northwest High School for re-entry after investigating a threat made against the school. I want to commend our students and staff for following our evacuation protocols and procedures. Based on the information we had from police this morning, we took appropriate action to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. The police are continuing to investigate who made this threat against the school. If you have any information please contact the police directly. We are now resuming our instructional day today and will have counselors and staff on hand to speak to any students who are concerned or upset. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
  18. ^ CBS: DC (April 29, 2014). "Two High Schools Evacuated For Bomb Threats In Montgomery County". CBS Local Media. CBS Radio, Inc. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  19. ^ Morse, Dan (April 29, 2014). "Evacuations ended at two Montgomery schools". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings, LLC. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  20. ^ Powers, Lindsay A.; Scully, Sarah (April 29, 2014). "Northwest, Northwood students allowed back in buildings following two bomb threats: No bombs found in search of Northwest, Northwood high schools". The Gazette. Post Community Media, LLC. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  21. ^ NBC Washington (April 29, 2014). "Students Let Back Into Two Montgomery County High Schools After Bomb Threats". NBC Washington. NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  22. ^ WUSA 9 (April 29, 2014). "Bomb threats cleared at 2 Mont. Co high schools". WUSA 9. Gannett. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  23. ^ WTOP (April 29, 2014). "Montgomery County high schools evacuated". WTOP. WTOP. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  24. ^ WTTG (April 29, 2014). "2 Montgomery Co. schools evacuated after bomb threats". MyFoxDC. Fox Television Stations, Inc. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  25. ^ "Montgomery Finishes 4 Buildings". The Washington Post and Times Herald. August 26, 1956.
  26. ^ Kaplan, David. "Northwood class of 1976 web site". David Kaplan. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  27. ^ "Live from Northwood, it's WNHS". Live from Northwood, it’s WNHS. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  28. ^ Dalsheim, Hannah (September 23, 2019). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Other Montgomery County Natives Nominated for Emmys". Montgomery Community Media.
  29. ^ Simms, Brandy L. (December 18, 2014). "Northwood needs coach". Montgomery County Sentinel.
  30. ^ Kurtz, Howard (March 28, 1999). "Out There". The Washington Post. p. F1.
  31. ^ "Annie Leibovitz Career Timeline". American Masters. WNET. January 3, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 1964: Attends Northwood High School in Silver Spring, Maryland
  32. ^ Beckett, Nellie (October 3, 2008). "The outlaw George Pelecanos". Silver Chips – via
  33. ^ Yasui, Todd Allan (April 9, 1990). "Blasts from Her Past". The Washington Post. p. C7.

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