Amity Regional High School
Amity High School is a regional public high school located in Woodbridge, Connecticut, USA. It provides high school education (grades 9-12) for the children in the towns of Woodbridge, Orange, and Bethany (which together form Regional District #5 for the purpose of secondary education). The name Amity is derived from both the colonial history of Woodbridge as well as the "friendship" demonstrated among the three founding towns in arranging for a communal educational program.
|Amity Regional High School|
25 Newton Rd
|Motto||Amity High School teaches all students to think critically and creatively and to develop their potential through a diverse program of courses and activities that help them mature into productive and responsible citizens.|
|School district||Regional District #5|
|Color(s)||Black and Gold|
|Website||Amity Regional High School|
Amity High School was named a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education in 1982, the first year of the program, and was recognized with the same distinction again in 2014. Amity Junior High School in Orange also received the award in 1982, while Amity Junior High School in Bethany received it in 1983. In 2014, Newsweek magazine ranked Amity 112th among public high schools nationally, higher than any other high school in the state.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, the school district spent $17,091 per pupil, as compared to the state average of $16,249. Approximately 51% were residents of Orange, 29% were residents of Woodbridge and 20% were residents of Bethany. About 87.3% of the students were white, 7.9% were Asian-American, 2.6% were Hispanic, 2.0% were African-American and 0.2% were American Indian. There were approximately 122 teachers and 1,636 students, for an average student-teacher ratio of 13.4:1, although the actual ratio varies by course and teacher contract. Approximately 75% of the members of the Class of 2015 took the SAT, averaging 610 in math, 640 in reading, and 640 in writing, well above the state and national averages. About 90% of the class went on to a four-year college or university, while an additional 5% went on to two-year colleges or technical schools or nursing schools. The remaining 5% either joined the workforce or the military.
Until 2005, only sophomores through seniors attended Amity High School, while freshmen attended either the junior high school in Orange (for residents of Orange) or the junior high school in Bethany (for residents of Bethany and Woodbridge). Seventh and eighth graders also attended the junior high schools. In 2005, the ninth graders began to attend Amity High School and the junior high schools were renamed Amity Middle School.
The high school building was rebuilt in the early 1990s, although the auditorium and gymnasium were not replaced. Subsequent to the construction, some staff and students experienced problems caused by mold and poor ventilation. The auditorium was closed in 2003 and then demolished and replaced in 2007.
In March 2002, an investigation reported that a budget deficit of $2.8 million was caused by financial mismanagement. The residents of the three towns demonstrated their unhappiness by rejecting seventeen proposed budgets during the 2002-3 fiscal year.
In April 2010, Sue Cantin, a former secretary in the school district office, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of embezzling $107,512 in student activity funds. She was expected to repay the whole sum by April 2012.
The boys' cross country team won the CIAC Class LL championship in 2005 and 2010, and the CIAC Class L championship in 2008. The girls' cross country team won the CIAC Class L championship in 1988 and 1989. The boys' indoor track team won the CIAC Class LL championship in 2004 and 2005 and the CIAC Class L championship in 2009. The boys' outdoor track team won the CIAC Class LL championship in 2000 and 2010 and the Class L championship in 2009.
In 2006 the Amity girls' soccer team tied the Class LL state championship with Trumbull High School, after the game went into double overtime and ended with a score of 0-0. In the S.C.C. they beat Mercy High School 1-0 in double overtime. 2006 was also the first year they won the S.C.C. championship, Class LL state title and had an undefeated regular season. Amity girls' soccer was ranked #1 in Connecticut, #2 in New England and #9 nationally at the end of the 2006 season.
In 2010, the Amity Rugby club started competition in the Connecticut Rugby Union with other clubs from Greenwich, Darien, Stamford, Westport, Fairfield, Fairfield Prep, Cheshire, Madison, New London, Southington, Simsbury and West Hartford. They ceased to exist in 2016. The Amity Ultimate Frisbee team was founded in 2006. The team won the Connecticut state championship in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
At the beginning of the 2007-2008 year, Amity started its first competitive marching band, known as the Amity High School Spartan Marching Band. Under the direction of Phil Dolan, Amity held its first competitive show in early October 2007. Its 2007 show contained music from the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl while its 2008 show contained music from the Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba. The Amity Marching Band, while new to the competitive nature of marching band, often came close to the scores of bands who have competed for decades. In addition, they won first place at both of their season's final competitions. In the 2009-2010 season, the Amity Marching Band went on hiatus, while a new staged performance called Music In Motion was put into a trial production. Two shows were held on October 23 and 24, 2009. This new stage production contained a variety of the Amity Band concepts, including marching, jazz, drumline, colorguard and dance. The show included music from The Phantom of the Opera, the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and the theme music from television show The Simpsons. In addition, several band members put together an imitation of the dance group Stomp, using push brooms and garbage pails to create a chorus of percussion. As of 2010 following 2009's success, Music and Motion permanently replaced the marching band. For the 2010 show, Amity put on a performance including multiple numbers from the show which inspired the program, Blast! such as "Malagueña", "Boléro", and Gee, Officer Krupke! (from West Side Story). In addition, numbers such as "Chameleon" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" exclusively featured other sections such as colorguard and jazz band, respectively.
Other musical groups include the concert band, wind ensemble, strings and choir. They practice individually and perform together for holiday and spring concerts as well as a POPS concert, held annually since 1969.
In 2007 the Amity Board of Education created a fully funded theater department with classes in acting, technical theater and dance. A new auditorium opened that year with the play The Laramie Project. In the Spring 2008 semester the theater department performed the musical Grease. Later in 2008, the department performed the play The Boys Next Door, for which it won the Moss Hart Award for Best High School Production by the New England Theater Conference. In Spring 2009, Amity was the first high school in the state to perform the controversial musical Rent: School Edition. Many parents and students in the Amity community had mixed feelings on the production as it depicts homosexuality, drug use and AIDS. On December 12, 2009, the department performed the play And Then They Came for Me. The play is about two Jewish refugee families and their connection to Anne Frank. The production received Honorable Mention in the Moss Hart Awards from the New England Theater Conference. The department performed the musical Les Misérables in Spring 2010, for which it won four awards at the 2010 Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards. In December 2010, the theater department performed the play Bang, Bang, You're Dead, and in Spring 2011, the musical Chicago. For that production, Amity received 12 nominations at the 2011 Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards, but only took home one. In 2014, the theater department showed In the Heights. In 2018, the theater department produced The Addams Family for which it was nominated for 8 awards at the 1st annual Stephen Sondheim Awards at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT, winning the award for Best Musical.
In December 2018, the theater program performed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, featuring an actual Black Labrador. That show and the program's April 2019 musical, Catch Me If You Can, both received positive reviews.
In 2006, Amity Regional High School saw a new addition to its extracurricular activities: the academic challenge team. The team is best known for participating in the Connecticut version of The Challenge, a quizbowl-type game show courtesy of Cablevision's News 12 Networks. Since then, the unique group has become increasingly popular, with many students tuning in to watch their classmates compete on television. In May 2009, Amity made it to the state quarterfinals of The Challenge for the first time in school history, but lost to the eventual Connecticut champion, Greens Farms Academy of Westport.
- William Atherton, actor, notable for role of Richard Thornburg in Die Hard and Walter Peck in Ghostbusters
- Chris Antonetti, vice president of baseball operations for the Cleveland Indians
- John J. DeGioia, the first lay president of Georgetown University
- Kristen Marie Griest, one of the first two female U.S. Army Rangers
- Darren M. Haynes, SportsCenter anchor at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut
- Michelle LaFrance, Miss Connecticut USA 2003 winner and Miss USA 2003 delegate
- Derek Mitchell, United States Ambassador to Burma
- Martha S. Pope, formerly Sergeant at Arms (the first woman in that position) and Secretary of the United States Senate. Currently a trustee of Hofstra University
- David L. Rabinowitz, research scientist at Yale University and co-discoverer of several centaurs (icy asteroids in orbit between Jupiter and Nepture)
- Jonathan Rothberg, founder and former chairman of 454 Life Sciences and inventor of a technique for sequencing the human genome
- David Sachar, MD, former Battalion Surgeon, 82nd Airborne Division; Gastroenterologist, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC
- Jody Savin, screenwriter and producer of films such as Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School and Bottle Shock
- Alan Schlesinger, Connecticut Republican candidate for Senate
- Howard Sherman, executive director of American Theatre Wing
- Mike Vespoli, founder and chief executive officer of Vespoli USA, Inc., a boat manufacturer in New Haven, Conn., that makes shells for rowing teams and individual rowers
- "Amity Regional High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- "America's Top Schools 2014". Newsweek magazine. Newsweek LLC. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- Turmelle, Luther. "Amity, Daniel Hand, Haddam-Killingworth, Cheshire make Newsweek's top 500 high schools list". New Haven Register. Digital First Media. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Public Secondary Schools, Report of the Visiting Committee, Amity Regional High School Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Strategic School Profile 2006-07, Regional School District 05
- DiCostanzo, Denise, "Why Johnny Can't Breathe Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine", Connecticut Magazine, May 2003
- Richard Weizel (March 31, 2002). "Parents Are Worried As District Struggles". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- Hamilton, Robert, "Coming Soon: School Budget Battle No. 11", The New York Times, January 18, 2004
- "Ex-Amity secretary avoids jail in $107G theft". New Haven Register. Journal Register Company. April 17, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- "CIAC Football Team State Champions STATE CHAMPIONS" (PDF). Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- CIAC Girls Volleyball Team State Champions
- "CIAC Boys Tennis Team State Champions" (PDF). Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "CIAC Softball Champions". Archived from the original on 25 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
- CIAC Tournament Bracket 2006 Class LL Baseball
- CIAC Tournament Bracket 2007 Class LL Baseball
- "CIAC Tournament Bracket, 2013 Class LL Baseball". CIAC. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "CIAC Tournament Bracket, 2014 Class LL Baseball". CIAC. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- CIAC Girls Indoor Track Team State Champions
- CIAC Boys Cross Country Team and Individual State Champions
- CIAC Girls Cross Country Team and Individual State Champions
- CIAC Boys Indoor Track Team State Champions
- CIAC Boys Outdoor Track Team State Champions
- Fuller, Jim, "Scoreless tie gives Amity share of title", New Haven Register, November 20, 2006
- 2008 Division II Ice Hockey
- 2010 Division II Ice Hockey
- Archived 2013-11-26 at the Wayback Machine Moss Hart Memorial Award
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2010-04-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Amity Regional Hs To Compete Against Staples HS In First Round Of Cablevision’s "The Challenge"
- The Challenge 2009-10 Standings Archived 2009-07-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Amity Hall of Honor 2007 Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Cleveland Indians Front Office
- Amity Hall of Honor 2006 Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- McLoughlin, Pamela, "State pageant winner’s beauty more than skin deep", New Haven Register, February 7, 2003
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-03-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Doherty, Donna, "Family affair: Area native and her writing-partner husband toasting success of their new movie Archived February 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine", New Haven Register, August 24, 2008
- The Richmond Democrat: Meet Alan Schlesinger Archived 2006-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
- Amity Hall of Honor 2009 Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Robinson, Ruth, "Made in New Haven; Racing in Barcelona", "The New York Times", July 5, 1992