|Middletown High School North|
63 Tindall Road
|Type||Public high school|
|Authority||Middletown Township Public School District|
|NCES School ID||341011003976|
|Enrollment||1,426 (as of 2019–20)|
|Student to teacher ratio||13.6:1|
|Color(s)|| Orange and|
|Athletics conference||Shore Conference|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Newspaper||The Lion's Roar|
Middletown High School North, home of the Lions, is a four-year comprehensive public high school located in Middletown Township, in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as one of the two secondary schools of the Middletown Township Public School District. Other students from Middletown Township attend Middletown High School South. The school also houses a 750-seat theater. Approximately 90% of North students attend college after graduation. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools since 1936.
As of the 2019–20 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,426 students and 105.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.6:1. There were 198 students (13.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 45 (3.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Originally known as Leonardo High School, the school was known as Middletown Township High School before the Middletown South opened.
Awards, recognition and rankings
The school was the 136th-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. The school had been ranked 128th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 159th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 143rd in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 164th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state. Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 93rd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 73 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (87.4%) and language arts literacy (96.4%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
The Middletown High School North Lions compete in Division B North of the Shore Conference, an athletic conference comprised of public and private high schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties along the Jersey Shore. The conference operates under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 1,032 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. The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group IV South for football for 2018–2020.
Each year, students, parents, teachers, alumni, and administrators gather for the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Middletown North and Middletown South. The game is one of the most important events of the year for North students, and a pep rally is held before the game. At halftime, the homecoming court comes to the field to greet the fans. Through the 2015 season, South leads the series with a 27-11-1 record, including 14 consecutive victories in the Thanksgiving matchup.
The football team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1983, 1986 and 1996. The 1983 team finished the season with a record of 11-0 after winning the Central Jersey Group IV sectional title on an 88-yard kickoff return to start the second half to defeat Hunterdon Central Regional High School by a score of 6–0 in the playoff finals. The 1996 team beat J. P. Stevens High School by a score of 27–12 to win the Central Jersey Group IV championship game and end the season 7-2-1. The team won the Central Jersey Group IV title in 1996 with a 33–8 win in the championship game played at Giants Stadium against the previously undefeated Hillsborough High School team led by future NFL player Shawn Mayer. Middletown North's football team finished their 2014–15 season with a 7–4 record after losing to state champions and rival Middletown High School South in the second round of the state playoffs; this was Middletown North's first winning season since 2000. Coach Steve Bush was an assistant coach for the Miami Dolphins. In 2015, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of football in Middletown, alumni of both schools played each other; The Middletown North Lion football alumni defeated the Middletown South alumni 6–3 at The Swamp, to claim the victory in what was the first-ever game of its kind in Middletown. NJ.com listed the rivalry between Middletown North and South as 11th best in their 2017 list "Ranking the 31 fiercest rivalries in N.J. HS football". Middletown South holds the overall lead with a head-to-head record of 29-12-1 through the 2017 season, which includes 16 consecutive wins by South from 2001 to 2016.
The field hockey team won the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional title in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1988, and won the North II Group IV title in 2006.
The wrestling team won the Central Jersey Group IV title in 1996.
The ice hockey team amassed 86 wins in five seasons while reaching the Elite Eight of the NJSIAA Public Ice Hockey Tournament in 2004, 2005, and 2008, and the Frozen Four in 2004. The ice hockey team won the Public B state championship in 2015. The team won the Dowd Cup in 2002, 2004 and 2007 and won the Handchen Cup in 2016.
The boys cross country running team won the Group III state championship in 2013.
The ice hockey team won the Public B state championship in 2015. The team won the Dowd Cup in 2002, 2204 and 2007, and won the Handchen Cup in 2016.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the school underwent a massive renovation to update its teaching facilities. During the renovations, much of the school was inhospitable and sealed off. This resulted in the usage of both the upper and lower gymnasiums partitioned off into several classes, without ceilings.
The renovations were completed sometime in 2004. The new building features standard teaching facilities. The tent outside (the Middletown High School North Bubble) has remained, and is used to house sporting events. A 750-seat professional theater was also installed, which features new lighting and sound systems and hosts various professional events, as was a TV production studio, which broadcasts student produced programs across Middletown and its surrounding boroughs.
For the last six years, the Middletown North Student Council has hosted the annual Megan Biebel Memorial SIDS game to benefit research for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The event has raised over $100,000, and has attracted support from celebrities including singer Jon Bon Jovi. The game puts the Middletown North faculty and students up against New Jersey policemen. In recent years, the SIDS game has also held a pre-game carnival. The half-time show includes a performance by a special all-male cheerleading squad, as well as a raffle. The event is held in honor of Megan Biebel, who died of SIDS in March 2000. However, the event is not scheduled to take place in 2007, with Matt Biebel and his wife saying that they no longer wish to.
2007 will bring the "North Carnival," which will be the traditional SIDS event, but raising money for brain cancer charities.
Middletown North and the Middletown School District received national attention in the fall of 2001 when its teachers, members of the Middletown Township Education Association, went on strike for the second time in three years. The strike disrupted classes for several days, and hundreds of teachers were jailed. After the strike, many members of the union leadership stepped down. There has not been a strike since 2001.
Performing Arts Center
Recently, the school has gained recognition for its Performing Arts Center. The PAC can seat 750 people, and houses a professional lighting and sound system. There is no orchestra pit but a full balcony, housing the sound and light systems, is present. The theater hosts cultural and musical events, as well as various drama productions. Several political figures have appeared there.
Notable events hosted at the MHSN PAC, and open to the public, include:
- Middletown High School North Battle of the Bands
- Middletown North vs. South Battle of the Bands
- So, North Thinks it Can Dance
- North Idol
- Middletown Film Festival
- Rockit for Kids Holiday Concert 2006
For several years Comcast Cable has run the student produced series North in Action, which features student made movies, comedy sketches, music, and news. The series was put on hiatus in 2007, but the program is set to resume for the 2008–2009 school year. The series is filmed in the school's TV production room. Rival Middletown High School South also has a Television program.
New television series are continuously produced within the Middletown High School North TV production center. The studio serves as the main production location for Middletown's Public-access television cable TV station on Comcast channel 20.
Random drug testing
In October 2006, the Board of Education of the Middletown School District voted on a random drug testing procedure that would require all students in extracurricular activities or with a parking space at either High School to submit their name to a pool for random selection.
Controversy has recently sparked over the target group for the random drug testing, as many students and faculty believe that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be active with drug and alcohol abuse. However, New Jersey state law prohibits the entirety of the student population be tested, and so the students in after school activities and parking spaces make up a greater majority for the testing pool.
The school's principal is Dr. Patricia Vari-Cartier, who is joined by four assistant principals.
- Shilique Calhoun (born 1992, class of 2011), defensive end for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League.
- Dean Ehehalt (born 1964), head coach of the Monmouth Hawks baseball team.
- Tom Hanson (1907-1985, class of 1927), football halfback in the National Football League, mainly for the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he caught the first touchdown in franchise history.
- Ed Jones (born 1952, class of 1970), former defensive back for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League from 1976 to 1984, who won five Grey Cups for the Eskimos and was a CFL All-Star from 1979 to 1981.
- Steven Van Zandt (born 1950, class of 1968), musician and actor, best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band,
- Claudia Vázquez (born 1990), footballer who has played as forward and midfielder for the Puerto Rico women's national football team.
- Administration, Middletown High School North. Accessed November 9, 2019.
- School data for Middletown High School North, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2021.
- Shore Conference Realignment for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, Shore Conference. Accessed November 15, 2020.
- Middletown High School North, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- Middletown High School North, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed April 12, 2020.
- Edelson, Stephen. "100 years of football, countless memories: Middletown's century of gridiron greatness", Asbury Park Press, September 10, 2019. Accessed October 17, 2020. "Since those humble beginnings on the Athletic Grounds in Asbury Park along Deal Lake, on the site of the current football stadium, you could argue that Middletown has been the greatest football town at the Jersey Shore over the past century when you consider the achievements of Leonardo, which became Middletown Township High School, now Middletown North, and Middletown South."
- Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
- Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed August 29, 2012.
- Staff. "2010 Top High Schools", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2010. Accessed February 20, 2011.
- "Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: By Rank", New Jersey Monthly, September 2008, posted August 7, 2008. Accessed August 19, 2008.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011[permanent dead link], Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 2, 2012.
- Member Schools, Shore Conference. Accessed November 15, 2020.
- League & Conference Officers/Affiliated Schools 2020-2021, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- NJSIAA General Public School Classifications 2019–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- NJSIAA Football Public School Classifications 2018–2020, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, finalized August 2019. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- Zedalis, Joe. "Football: Middletown South, Middletown North alumni ready to renew old rivalry", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, August 13, 2015. "Middletown North versus Middletown South is one of the most heated Thanksgiving Day rivalries in the Shore Conference. Saturday, 7 p.m., at South's sunken treasure known affectionately as 'The Swamp,' former Lions and Eagles meet in the first Middletown North-Middletown South alumni game.... The alumni game, promoted by OT Football, figures into the celebration of 100 years of football in Middletown."
- NJSIAA Football History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- "Passaic (11-0) Tops North Bergen, 24-13", The New York Times, December 4, 1983. Accessed December 24, 2020. "Kurtis Reed, a junior halfback, took the second-half kickoff 88 yards into the end zone to hand 11-0 Middletown North a 6-0 victory over Hunterdon Central of Flemington in the Central Jersey, Group 4 championship game in Middletown."
- Thompson, John. "Middletown North's rise tied to Sheehan's passing", Asbury Park Press, December 14, 1986. Accessed January 20, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "When the Middletown North football team upset J P. Stevens, 27-12, for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Central Jersey Group IV state title, a potent passing game was responsible.... It was on defensive that Sheehan played his best ball.... His leadership in the secondary helped the team to a 7-2-1 record."
- Jordan, Bob. "Lions snapped the wishbone", Asbury Park Press, December 9, 1996. Accessed December 1, 2020, via Newspapers.com. "Middletown North won a state sectional football championship last night, and perhaps the only way the Lions could have reached greater prosperity in the 1996 season would be if they had seen more wishbone offenses. The wishbone that allowed Hillsborough to bring an undefeated record into the Central Jersey Group IV title game was shut down rather handily in Middletown North's 33-8 rout at Giants Stadium."
- Stypulkoski, Matt. "Ranking the 31 fiercest rivalries in N.J. HS football", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 27, 2017, updated May 15, 2019. Accessed December 1, 2020. "12-Middletown North vs. Middletown South: The two rivals are located only 5.1 miles apart, but until last season the football rivalry has been one-sided. Chad Glenn's 326-yard passing performance led North to a 24-6 win, snapping South's 16-game winning streak against the Lions.... All-time series: Middletown South leads, 29-12-1"
- History of NJSIAA Field Hockey Championships, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- NJSIAA Wrestling Team Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- 2004 NJSIAA Ice Hockey Tournament Brackets, New Jersey high school hockey. Accessed July 31, 2008.
- 2005 NJSIAA Ice Hockey Tournament Brackets, New Jersey high school hockey. Accessed July 31, 2008.
- 2008 NJSIAA Ice Hockey Tournament Brackets, New Jersey high school hockey. Accessed July 31, 2008.
- NJSIAA Ice Hockey State Championship History, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed November 20, 2020.
- 2005 Girls Soccer - Central, Group IV, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed May 30, 2007.
- NJSIAA Boys Cross Country State Group Champions, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed October 20, 2020.
- Jensen, Noma (Winter 1948). "A Survey of Segregation Practices in the New Jersey School System". The Journal of Negro Education. Journal of Negro Education. 17 (1): 84–88. JSTOR 2966093. - CITED: p. 87.
- Middletown school board OKs random drug testing: Some say plan would deter use, Asbury Park Press, October 24, 2006.
- "Shilique Calhoun goes to Oakland Raiders in third round". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- Fennell, Ryan. "Middletown North Honors Coaching Legend Rich Veth", The Two River Times, April 13, 2012. Accessed August 28, 2019. "'Coach Veth was a great role model for his players,' said Dean Ehehalt, head baseball coach at Monmouth University and former All-State player for the Lions in 1982."
- Edelson, Stephen. "The legend of Swede Hanson, among the Shore's greatest", Asbury Park Press, April 9, 2015. Accessed July 26, 2018. "It all started innocently enough in the late 1980s when they began brainstorming a Lions Hall of Fame for Middletown North High School, the former Leonardo High School.... Growing up in Navesink, the oldest Hanson brother, Joseph, played on the first official Leonardo football team in 1919. Swede, who had a twin brother, Henry, began playing high school sports in 1922, when he was just in seventh grade."
- "Harris, Jones named to CFL All-Star Team", Asbury Park Press, January 16, 1980. Accessed July 26, 2018. "Dickie Harris of Point Pleasant Beach and Ed Jones of Middletown Township both were named to the 1979 Canadian Football League All-Star team yesterday.... This is the first CFL All-Star selection for Jones, a 1970 graduate of Middletown Township High School, and a 1974 graduate of Rutgers University where he gained All-East honors."
- Heyboer, Kelly. "Steven Van Zandt to Rutgers grads: 'Embrace your Jersey roots'", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 18, 2017. Accessed September 30, 2018. "The actor and musician is a 1968 graduate of Middletown High School in Monmouth County, but never earned a college degree."
- Claudia Vazquez, Monmouth Hawks. Accessed April 12, 2020. "High School: Middletown North; Hometown: Belford, N.J."
- Middletown High School North website
- Middletown Township School District website
- Middletown Township Public School District's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Middletown Township Public School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- DigitalSports Middletown North Homepage