Orange High School (New Jersey)

Orange High School is a three-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in tenth through twelfth grades from Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Orange Board of Education. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1928.[4]

Orange High School
400 Lincoln Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°45′56″N 74°14′21″W / 40.76556°N 74.23917°W / 40.76556; -74.23917Coordinates: 40°45′56″N 74°14′21″W / 40.76556°N 74.23917°W / 40.76556; -74.23917
TypePublic high school
School districtOrange Board of Education
NCES School ID3412270[2]
PrincipalJason Belton[1]
Faculty91.6 FTEs[2]
Enrollment912 (as of 2018–19)[2]
Student to teacher ratio10.0:1[2]
Color(s)  Orange and
Athletics conferenceSuper Essex Conference (general)
North Jersey Super Football Conference (football)
Team nameTornadoes[3]
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[4]

As of the 2018–19 school year, the school had an enrollment of 912 students and 91.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.0:1. There were 488 students (53.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 42 (4.6% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

Awards, recognition and rankingsEdit

The school was the 305th-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 232nd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 315th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.[6] The magazine ranked the school 308th in 2008 out of 316 schools.[7] The school was ranked 276th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.[8]


The current building housing Orange High School is the fourth site used for the school, in three different parts of the city. The first, dedicated on September 13, 1869, was located next to the First Church of Orange (Presbyterian). The second site was located at Main and Cleveland Streets. The third is now being used as Orange Middle School. The fourth, and current site, was dedicated on October 7, 1973, after opening to students on September 5 of that year.


The Orange High School Tornadoes[3] 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).[9] Prior to the 2010 realignment, the school had been in the Skyline Division of the Northern Hills Conference, an athletic conference that included schools in Essex, Morris and Passaic counties.[10] With 941 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 761 to 1,058 students in that grade range.[11] 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.[12][13] The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group IV North for football for 2018–2020.[14] The school colors are orange and black.[3]

The boys' basketball team won the Group IV state championship in 1948 (vs. Atlantic City High School), in Group III in 1968 (vs. Emerson High School) and 1994 (vs. Camden High School), in Group II in 1977 (vs. Pleasantville High School), 1979 (vs. Pleasantville) and 1988 (vs. Delran High School), and in Group I in 1974 (vs. Burlington Township High School) and 1976 (vs. Glassboro High School); the eight state titles are tied for third-most among public school programs.[15] The team won the Group IV title in 1948 with a 47-31 win against Atlantic City in the championship game after starting the game with a 14-0 run.[16] The 1968 team finished the season with a record of 27-0 after winning the Group III state title with a 64-56 win against Emerson in the championship game played in front of a crowd of nearly 7,000 at Atlantic City's Convention Hall.[17] The 1976 team held off a late rally from Glassboro to win the Group I title by a score of 82-77 and finish the season with a record of 25-7.[18] The 1977 team finished the season with a 26-3 record after winning the Group II title by defeating Pleasantville by a score of 76-65 in the championship game.[19] The 1994 team held off a late charge to win the Group III title with a 65-63 win against Camden in the playoff finals[20] and moved on to capture the Tournament of Champions to finish the season with a 25-3 record, winning by a score of 73-62 over sixth-seeded Glassboro High School in the quarterfinals, against number-two seed Bergen Catholic High School by 88-57 in the semis and won vs. top-seeded Paterson Catholic High School in the championship game by 64-56, giving the Tornadoes a No. 1 ranking in NJ, and national rank of No. 11 in USA Today.[21][22] The team was coached by alumnus Al Thompson.


Orange High School is home to the Mighty Marching Tornadoes marching band and award-winning elite choir, Voices in Harmony, in addition to local musical rap group by the name of the SoundBox Banditz who were noticed for writing a song about an Orange High School teacher who had been laid off due to New Jersey's educational budget cuts in 2010.[23]


The school's principal is Jason Belton. His administration team includes four assistant principals.[1]

Notable alumniEdit

Notable facultyEdit

  • Heinie Benkert (1901-1972), football player and coach; he taught history and coached football at Orange High School until 1971.[35]


  1. ^ a b Administration, Orange High School. Accessed October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e School data for Orange High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Orange High School, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Orange High School, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed August 30, 2020.
  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 August 27, 2012.
  7. ^ Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed March 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  10. ^ Home Page, Northern Hills Conference, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 9, 2009. Accessed November 23, 2014.
  11. ^ NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ 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."
  14. ^ NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
  15. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  16. ^ "Orange Snags Group 4 Title; Defeats Atlantic City; Weehawken Beaten", The Record, March 22, 1948. Accessed January 28, 2021, via "Orange High School walked off with the Group Four title in the 30th annual N. J. S. I. A. A. tournament Saturday night by crushing Atlantic City 47-31 at the Elizabeth Armory. Orange took a 14-0 lead and was never headed."
  17. ^ Ruskie, Mark. "St Peter's '5', Orange Champs", The Morning Call, March 30, 1968. Accessed February 20, 2021, via "Emerson of Union City's bid to become Hudson County's 43rd NJSIAA basketball champion fell short last night as the Bulldog title express was derailed by unbeaten Orange, 64-56, before 6,913 at Convention Hall. In annexing their first Group 3 diadem, the Hoddy Mahon-coached Tornadoes reeled off their 27th win in a row."
  18. ^ "Plainfield ends Neptune streak", The Record, March 21, 1976. Accessed February 1, 2021, via "Orange raced to a 50-34 half-time lead and held on to beat Glassboro, 82-77, for the Group 1 championship....The Tornadoes, who played Group 4 opponents in the Big 10 Conference most of the regular season, finished 25-7 in relegating Glassboro to runner-up status for me second straight year. Orange has won the Group 1 title twice ln the last three years."
  19. ^ McLaughlin, Marty. "Orange Completes the Cycle, Captures Group 2 Crown", New York Daily News, March 20, 1977. Accessed January 3, 2021, via "We finally completed the cycle," said Orange coach Cliff Blake, after his team racked up an impressive 76-65 win over Pleasantville to win the Group 2 state championship at Princeton. The Tornadoes (26-3) would have never made it without the outstanding play of 6-2 senior guard Bob Butler who pumped in a game high 31 points with some fine outside shooting."
  20. ^ Kurland, Bob; and Schwartz, Paul. "Greer's 32 pace Middle over Hillside", The Record, March 14, 1994. Accessed January 20, 2021, via "Orange blew a 12-point second-half lead, but rallied to win the Group 3 boys State championship Sunday with a 65-63 victory over Camden. Trailing 43-31 midway through the third quarter, Camden switched to a man-to-man defense midway through the third quarter and got back in the game."
  21. ^ Narducci, Marc. "Orange Drops Paterson Catholic To Win Tournament Of Champions The Tornadoes Prevailed, 64-55. The State Group 3 Champions Went Home With The Overall Title.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 21, 1994. Accessed August 30, 2011. "The Tornadoes became the first team not seeded first or second to win the Tournament of Champions boys' title, defeating top-seeded Paterson Catholic, 64-55, yesterday at Princeton University. Orange finished 25-3, losing all three games to Clifford Scott, a team the Tornadoes also beat once this season. Paterson Catholic, which hadn't lost to a New Jersey team all season, finished 26-3."
  22. ^ NJSIAA Boys Basketball Tournament Of Champions History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
  23. ^ Bondy, Halley. "Students record tribute to Orange teacher being laid off", The Star-Ledger, May 13, 2009. Accessed August 30, 2011.
  24. ^ Giants Select Penn State DT Jay Alford in Third Round, New York Giants, April 28, 2007. Accessed May 1, 2007.
  25. ^ Cory Boyd profile Archived November 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, South Carolina Gamecocks. Accessed October 30, 2007.
  26. ^ Pete D'Alonzo, Accessed March 28, 2015.
  27. ^ Zedalis, Joe. "After time away from game, football head coach comes home to lead TCNJ", NJ Advance Media for, August 3, 2013, updated March 30, 2019. Accessed December 16, 2019. "Wayne Dickens wrestled with the traffic in the all-too-frequent construction zones on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Wednesday night then survived a night on a sciatica-irritating dormitory mattress in his first full day on The College of New Jersey campus Thursday.... The 62-year-old graduate of Orange High School and Rutgers College had an office, his new, full-time assistant coach was evaluating players on videotape and he had accidentally discovered the Starbucks just north of the school on Route 31."
  28. ^ Wilson, James Grant; and Fiske, John. "Hartford, Edward Vassallo", Appleton's cyclopædia of American biography, Volume 8, p. 493 ff. D. Appleton and company, 1918. Accessed November 13, 2017. "Hartford Edward Vassallo, engineer and inventor, b. in Orange N. J., May 28, 1870, son of George Huntington and Josephine (Ludlum) Hartford.... acquirement of an education in the Orange high school, Seton Academy, and Stevens Institute claimed the attention of Edward V. Hartford until he reached the age of nineteen, when, owing to poor health, he abandoned his studies and entered upon his business career in the office of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company."
  29. ^ Beatrice Alice Hicks, 1919-1979, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Accessed December 18, 2007. "After graduating from Orange High School in 1935, she enrolled in Newark College of Engineering, later renamed the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)."
  30. ^ Steverson, Bryan. Cal Irvin, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed August 29, 2021. "Calvin Irvin was the graduation speaker in 1942 for his senior class at Orange High in Orange, New Jersey. During his high school years, Cal had won the highest award for excellence in scholarship and athletics."
  31. ^ Courier staff. "Newark to Count on Rookie Outfielder", The Pittsburgh Courier, April 15, 1939. p. 17. Accessed August 1, 2021.
  32. ^ "Obit for Carolyn Marie Plaskett Barrow", Episcopal Diocese of Newark via, August 20, 2002. Accessed July 23, 2018. "Born Jan. 31, 1917 and raised in Orange, Carolyn Marie Plaskett was the daughter of the late Rev. Dr. George M. Plaskett, who was originally from Frederiksted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and Mrs. Carrie Davenport Plaskett of Orange.... Growing up in the Church of the Epiphany, Mrs. Barrow attended and was graduated from Orange High School in 1934."
  33. ^ Ragozzino, Joe. "Orange HS alum Jamar Summers playing for the Birmingham Iron of the new AAF", Essex News Daily, February 22, 2019. Accessed August 30, 2020. "Jamar Summers, an Orange High School graduate, is a member of the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football, which began its debut season early this month."
  34. ^ Johnson, Claude. "'Pimp' and 'Lyss': The Immortal Young Brothers", Black Fives Foundation, November 20, 2015. Accessed August 29, 2021. "William Pennington Young, sometimes known as 'Pimp' to his friends, and his older brother Ulysses S. Young, known simply as 'Lyss' to his pals, were an unstoppable sibling pair of African American basketball stars that played during the 1910s and early 1920s.... Lyss and William attended nearby Orange High School, where they starred in football, basketball, and baseball."
  35. ^ Staff. "Heinie Benkert, 71, Played Halfback for Giants in 20's", The New York Times, July 17, 1972. Accessed January 17, 2018. "From professional football, Mr. Benkert went into teaching history at Orange High School, also coaching the football team. He retired in 1971."

External linksEdit