Ithaca High School (Ithaca, New York)

Ithaca High School (Ithaca, New York)

Infobox high school

image_caption =
imagesize = 150px
name= Ithaca High School
motto =
established = 1875
type = Public
endowment =
staff = 160
faculty = 130
Head teacher =
schoolmaster =
superintendent/principal = Joseph M. Wilson, J.D.
assistant superintendents =
enrollment = 1600
students = grades 9-12
city = Ithaca
state = New York
country = United States
coordinates = coord|42.4553|-76.4980|type:edu_region:US-NY|display=title,inline
free_label =
free =
colors = Red and Gold
mascot = Little Red Bear
district = Ithaca City School District
affiliations =
information =
website =
footnotes =
:"For other schools by this name, see Ithaca High School"

Ithaca High School (IHS) is a public high school in Ithaca, New York. It is part of the Ithaca City School District, and has an enrollment of approximately 1,675. Joseph M. Wilson has been principal since 2004.__TOC__


Ithaca High School has historically had a reputation for strong academics. While today the school faces various problems, many common to most high schools, by most objective measures Ithaca High School students still score well above state and national averages. The mean SAT score in 2003 was 1169, compared to 1026 nationally. Typically, about 70% of students matriculate at four-year colleges and 20% at two-year colleges following graduation. The school traditionally sends a very large number of graduates to nearby Cornell University; from 2000 to 2004, an average of 37.6 students per class (slightly less than ten percent) matriculated at Cornell immediately following graduation. [ [ IHS Admission Decisions by Decile, 2000-2004] , Ithaca High School Guidance Office. A total of 188 students from the classes of 2000 through 2004 were offered immediate acceptance at Cornell.]

Eighteen advanced placement courses are offered: []
*Environmental Science
*Physics (B & C)
*Calculus (AB & BC)
*Computer Science AB (to be downgraded to A when College Board cuts AB)
*English Language
*English Literature
*Spanish Language
*French Language
*German Language
*Human Geography
*U.S. History
*Studio ArtThere are 140 professional staff members, including about 120 classroom teachers, and over 85% of the faculty has a Master's degree or higher. The school is also part of the Southern Tier Athletic Conference (STAC).

Since 1960, Ithaca High School has been located at 1401 North Cayuga Street in the north end of Ithaca, near Stewart Park and Cayuga Lake. Designed by the architecture firm Perkins and Will ["The Tattler", 7 October 1960] , it is a California-style campus, with 11 mostly-interconnected buildings spread across a fairly wide area. Some have praised the campus as being architecturally innovative, while others have criticized it as inefficient and inappropriate to Ithaca's climate (notably as students routinely travel outdoors between classes, out of necessity or for a more direct route). The campus includes the Frank R. Bliss Gymnasium, the 840-seat Claude L. Kulp Auditorium, and York Lecture Hall. Most of the Ithaca City School District's administrative offices and the Board of Education building are located on the same campus. The offices of the ICSD employee unions are also nearby.

Currently, additions are planned that will double the size of Kulp Auditorium, adding separate rehearsal, practice, and office spaces for the orchestra, choir, and band, as well as create a large fitness center and competition gymnasium [] .

The building is one of the few schools that use deep lake water cooling from Lake Cayuga for air conditioning.


Ithaca High School was founded in 1875 as the successor to the Ithaca Academy, a private school that had operated since the 1820s. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the school had a significant side business as a tuition-charging college preparatory school; then-Cornell University President Jacob Gould Schurman called it "one of the finest in the Northeast." [cite news
last = Alexander
first = Andrew
title = Ithaca's Boynton Was a Model Educator
pages = 3B
publisher = Ithaca Journal
date = 2006-09-09
] A new building for the high school on the site of the former academy was built in 1885; that building burned on February 14, 1912. Renowned architect William Henry Miller, who designed many buildings at Cornell, designed the new building, which the high school occupied from 1915 to 1960. That building was later used as DeWitt Junior High school for a number of years and then saved from demolition by local architect William Downing. Downing converted the building into an eclectic collection of shops, offices, studios, apartments, and restaurants known as the Dewitt Mall. The nationally renowned Moosewood Restaurant is also in the mall.

Notable alumni

The following is an incomplete list of notable Ithaca High School alumni:
*Dustin Brown, hockey player, rightwinger for Los Angeles Kings
*Stephen Carter '72, author and Yale Law School professor
*Caryn Davies '00, Olympic rower
*Arthur Dean '16, chief international negotiator for President Dwight Eisenhower [cite news
last = Krebs
first = Albin
title = Arthur H. Dean, Envoy to Korea Talks, Dies at 89
publisher = New York Times
date = 1987-12-01
*Daniel Mark Fogel '65, President of the University of Vermont
*Mia Korf '83, actress ("The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd", "One Life to Live")
*Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo, musician, Gym Class Heroes
*Daniel R. Mackesey, National Lacrosse Hall of Fame member
*Mary McDonnell, actress ("Battlestar Galactica", "Dances with Wolves")
*Hugh Troy, noted practical joker
*Paul Wolfowitz '61, Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001–2005), World Bank President (2005–2007)


IHS has in recent years had very high administrator turnover; since 1990, ten principals have passed through IHS. Between 1988 and 2007, no principal stayed on the job for longer than three years since. [cite news
last = Claiborne
first = Margaret
title = Ithaca High loses another principal
pages = 1A
publisher = Ithaca Journal
date = 2000-02-10
] . In February 2008, principal Joseph M. Wilson was granted tenure in return for agreeing to resign at the end of the 2008–2009 school year [cite news
last = Sanders
first = Topher
title = Outgoing IHS principal still focused on goals; Wilson to be given tenure this year in exchange for resignation in June '09
publisher = Ithaca Journal
date = 2008-02-28
] . Wilson had been the subject of considerable controversy in his time at IHS. In 2005 he was sued in federal court for the alleged censorship of the school newspaper, The Tattler, a case which remains in court. In December 2007, over 200 Ithaca residents signed a petition calling for him to be fired [cite news
last = Sanders
first = Topher
title = Petition calls for Principal Joe Wilson's ouster
url = | publisher = Ithaca Journal
date = 2007-12-12
] after what they believed was Wilson's mishandling of a series of racially-charged incidents in the school [cite news
last = Staba
first = David
title = Tension Tied to Race Percolates in Ithaca
url= | publisher = New York Times
date = 2007-10-23
] .

* D.O Barto, 1890-1892
* Frank David Boynton, 1893-1912
* Frank R. Bliss, c. 1930-1962
* Dr. John Graves, 1963-1973
* John Caren, 1979-1988
* Les Graves, 1989
* Randy Ehrenberg, 1990
* George Kiley, 1991-1993
* Kathryn Hellweg, 1994-1996
* Kevin Mack (interim), 1996-1997
* Susan B. Strauss, 1997-2000
* Ismael Villafañe, 2000-2003
* Charles LaBarbera (interim), 2003-2004
* Joseph M. Wilson, J.D., 2004-present


*Founded in 1892, the Ithaca High School school newspaper, the "Tattler", is one of the oldest high school student newspapers in the country. At times in its history (in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as more recently beginning in 2005) it has been involved in controversy over claims of unconstitutional school censorship. Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Carter both wrote for the paper during their time at Ithaca High School.
*From 1955 until 1967, the Ithaca High School Band under the direction of Frank Battisti received national recognition for its musicianship and innovation. During this time, the band commissioned 24 new compositions (many by Pulitzer Prize winners and some now important wind ensemble pieces), performed at locations such as the Eastman School of Music, the New York World’s Fair, and Rockefeller Center, and played with many guest soloists and conductors including Benny Goodman and Doc Severinsen. A book, "One Band that Took a Chance" by Brian Norcross, was later published about the IHS band of this era.
*Ithaca High School has won five New York State Class A Boys’ Ice Hockey championships (1984, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2007), as well as three Upstate New York Girls' Hockey League championships (2001, 2002, 2003). Learn More About The 1994 Ithaca High School N.Y.S. Ice Hockey Champions at .
*Two Ithaca High School math teachers received the prestigious Edyth May Sliffe Award, given annually to about 25 math teachers nationally: David Bock (twice, in 1990 [ [ 1990 Edyth May Sliffe Awards for High School] ] and 1993 [ [ 1993 Edyth May Sliffe Awards for High School] ] ), and Roselyn Teukolsky (in 1991 [ [ 1990 Edyth May Sliffe Awards for High School] ] ).
*The Ithaca High School Orchestra, currently directed by George Myers, is one of the oldest in the country. Established in 1904, it recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with a celebration and concert that included a newly commissioned work entitled Enlightened City by composer Robert Paterson, which was initially titled Bright Horizons by the orchestra students themselves.
*The Ithaca High School FIRST Robotics Team, Code Red Robotics (Team 639), notably sponsored by Borg Warner Morse TEC and Cornell University, has won first place in several regional competitions including the 2004 Canadian Regional and the 2005 Finger Lakes Regional as well as the GM Industrial Design Award (2002, 2004, 2005 Canadian Regional).
*The Ithaca High School Boys' Lacrosse Program has established itself as a Section IV, Class A powerhouse, winning five straight sectional championships from 2000–2005 and often finding itself in the State and National Rankings.
*The Ithaca High School Boys' Track and Field Program went undefeated in dual meets for eight years until 2005, when defeated by 70-71 by Vestal High School. The program turns out state competitors regularly in both Cross Country and Track and Field. In 2005, it produced two state and Federation Champions, Drew Hilker in the Pentathlon and Peter Thompson in the Pole Vault.
*IHS athletic teams compete as the "Little Red," in counterpoint to the "Big Red" of nearby Cornell University.

ee also

*List of high schools in New York

References and further reading

* Terzian, Sevan G. "The Emergence of a Comprehensive High School: Ithaca High School in Ithaca, New York, 1875-1941." Doctoral thesis, Indiana University, 2003
* Terzian, Sevan G. "The Elusive Goal of School Spirit in the Comprehensive High School: A Case History, 1916-1941." "The High School Journal", October/November 2004:42-51
* Terzian, Sevan G. "The Founding of IHS." Serialized in The "Tattler", 2004-2005
* Terzian, Sevan G., & Beadie, N. "'Let the People Remember It': Academies and the Rise of Public High Schools, 1865-1890." In N. Beadie & K. Tolley (Eds.), "Chartered Schools: Two Hundred Years of Independent Academies in the United States, 1727-1925", pp. 251-283. New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2002.

External links

* [ Official Ithaca High School website]
* [ Alumni & Friends of Ithaca High School]
* [ "The Tattler"] , online site for the school newspaper
* [ Ithaca High School Boys' Varsity Hockey]
* [ Current principal, Joe Wilson's web site]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ithaca, New York — This article is about the City of Ithaca and the region. For the legally distinct town which itself is a part of the Ithaca metropolitan area, see Ithaca (town), New York. For other places or objects named Ithaca, see Ithaca (disambiguation).… …   Wikipedia

  • List of high schools in New York — For schools located in New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond counties), refer to List of high schools in New York City. This is a list of high schools in the state of New York. Albany County Academy of the Holy Names, Albany …   Wikipedia

  • Clinton House (Ithaca, New York) — Clinton House U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Ithaca High School — may refer to several high schools in the United States:*Ithaca High School (Ithaca, New York) in Ithaca, New York *Ithaca High School (Michigan) in Ithaca, Michigan *Ithaca High School (Richland Center, Wisconsin) in Richland Center, Wisconsin …   Wikipedia

  • New York metropolitan area — New York Newark Bridgeport New York New Jersey Connecticut Pennsylvania Combined Statistical Area (CSA)   Tri State Area   …   Wikipedia

  • New York — New Yorker. 1. Also called New York State. a state in the NE United States. 17,557,288; 49,576 sq. mi. (128,400 sq. km). Cap.: Albany. Abbr.: NY (for use with zip code), N.Y. 2. Also called New York City. a seaport in SE New York at the mouth of… …   Universalium

  • New York State Capitol — The New York State Capitol viewed from the southwest General information Architectural style Romanesque Revival architecture and Neo Renaissance …   Wikipedia

  • New York Magic — Full name New York Magic Nickname(s) The Magic Founded 2003 Ground …   Wikipedia

  • New York Republican State Committee — New York State Republican Committee Chairman Edward F. Cox Senate leader Dean Skelos Assembly leader Brian Kolb Headquarters 315 State Street …   Wikipedia

  • New York Nemesis — Founded 2007 League Independent Women s Football League Team history WPFL (pl …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.