Harriton High School
|Harriton High School|
600 North Ithan Avenue
|Student to teacher ratio||10.77|
|Campus||50 acres (200,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Red, White, and Black|
In 1957, a new "campus-style" school was designed by architect Vincent Kling. It was situated on a portion of the plantation grounds belonging to Charles Thomson, son-in-law of Richard and Hannah Harrison, giving Harriton High School its name. Harriton High School opened in 1958.
As of the 2009 school year, a new three-story building has been completed and the "campus-style" school largely demolished to make room for sports fields. The old Harriton High School consisted of five buildings connected by covered walkways otherwise open to the elements, a style unusual for the region that it shared with Welsh Valley Middle School, built at the same time; its buildings surrounded a mostly concrete courtyard nicknamed "the Tombs". The new school's design departs from this style greatly—a modern design that encompasses a simple and effective layout with a focus on natural light and an airy environment.
Clubs and activities
Harriton hosts a successful Science Olympiad chapter. The Team has placed among the top 10 at the Science Olympiad National Tournament for 21 consecutive years, winning three national championships and 16 consecutive state championships in that span.
Harriton competes in the Southeastern Region for Regionals and Pennsylvania for States. Although they have not run any invitationals in the past, Harriton participates in multiple of invitationals, including Conestoga, Twin Tiers (Athens), Solon, Wright State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cornell, Upenn and Princeton. In the states competition, Harriton held the longest winning streak out of any Pennsylvanian team, athletic or not—placing first place at States for sixteen consecutive years (1997 to 2013). At the National competition, the team won the national title in 1995, 2001 and 2005. Additionally, the team has competed in the national competition from 1994 to present, 22 years.
Music at Harriton
Harriton features a full concert band and orchestra. Harriton also features a performance jazz band. Every fall and spring, Harriton stages a music concert featuring all the ensembles, as well as an occasional string quartet or percussion ensemble. Though it lacks a marching band, Harriton does have its own "RAM Band", which plays at home and away football games.
Every year Harriton musicians audition for positions in the PMEA district band and/or orchestra.
In addition to these directed groups, Harriton is home to Pitch Please, a student-run a cappella group.
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
Harriton High School features a chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America. The chapter has been highly successful in the last few years. Members who advance past the PA Region 20 competition are eligible to compete in the annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Members of FBLA chapters from across the State of Pennsylvania compete at the SLC for the right to compete in the National Leadership Conference (NLC).
Technology Student Association (TSA)
Harriton TSA has had successes at regional, state, and national competitions, including a TSA national championship in Prepared Presentation in 2010. Harriton TSA members held five of the eight Pennsylvania TSA state officer positions. The four Lower Merion School District TSA chapters, including Harriton's TSA, consistently win more awards than any other school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As TSA itself deals within the realm of STEM learning, it is often compared to the successful Science Olympiad team.
Harriton Student Council (HSC)
This is the main body of representation for the Harriton student body. HSC holds meetings that are open to any Harriton student. HSC recruits members, who vote on issues at the meetings. Members are divided into six committees: Students' Rights, Events, Communication, Finance, Planning, and Technology. There is a sub-committee under Students' Rights that was established after the district initiated the 1:1 laptop-to-student initiative (the Students' Rights Technology Sub-Committee). Council is the organizing and executing body of the annual "Mr. Harriton" competition, one of the flagship productions at Harriton High School. Mr harriton is a competition between male students engaging in a "beauty pageant" style competition. It is generally a comedic event and it raises money for charity. The Student Council collects revenue from the show through ticket sales and catalog advertising. In 2014, the Student Council raised a record $17,000, all of which went to charity. In December 2018, the name of the event was changed to "Dr. Harriton" to reflect the fact that anyone may participate.
Harriton's girls tennis team held the PIAA State Class AA Team Tennis Title for seven consecutive years from 2004 to 2010. After moving up to Class AAA in 2012, girls tennis won the PIAA State Class AAA Team Tennis Title in 2016.
Since 2013, Ram Golf has reached the PIAA District Team Championship competition in two of three years, as well as individuals reaching the district competition each year.
Harriton has a cross country team in the fall, as well as a track team for the winter and the spring.
Harriton's rowing team has sent several boats to the National regatta. In the Spring of 2013, the Women's Varsity 4+ boat won the Scholastic National Championships, as well as made it to the final round of the Women's Henley Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. Both its girls' and boys' teams have won races in the all-city regatta.
They offer both Girls and Boys Varsity Soccer during the fall season.
Laptop privacy lawsuit
In the 2010 WebcamGate case, plaintiffs charged Harriton High School and Lower Merion High School with secretly spying on students by remotely activating webcams embedded in school-issued laptops the students were using at home, and therefore infringed on their privacy rights. The schools admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 webshots and screenshots, including webcam shots of students in their bedrooms. In October 2010, the school district agreed to pay $610,000 to settle the Robbins and parallel Hasan lawsuits against it.
On February 11, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs were a Harriton High School student and his parents. Plaintiffs said the student had been confronted by an assistant principal regarding behavior that had occurred in the student's bedroom, based upon an image allegedly taken by the student's webcam. The school district said that a software tracking and security feature it had installed on the students' laptops was only intended to recover stolen laptops, and potentially certain loaner laptops. After the suit was brought, the school district revealed that it had secretly snapped more than 66,000 images.
On February 19, 2010, the School District acknowledged that there had been "no explicit notification [to parents or students] that the laptop[s] contained the security software", and that "[t]his notice should have been given and we regret that was not done."
As the result of emergency proceedings commenced by the plaintiffs seeking a temporary restraining order, on February 20, 2010, District Judge Jan E. DuBois ordered that the School District was prohibited from activating the webcams during the litigation, and further ordered the District to preserve all webcam images, data, files, and storage media related to the allegations. The judge also ordered the district to pay plaintiffs' attorney fees for bringing the action.
The complaint alleged violations by the School District of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, and Pennsylvania common law.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), U.S. Attorney's Office, and Montgomery County District Attorney all initiated criminal investigations of the matter, which they combined and then closed because they did not find evidence "that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that anyone involved had criminal intent". In addition, a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee held hearings on the issues raised by the schools' secret surveillance, and Senator Arlen Specter introduced draft legislation in the Senate to protect against it in the future. Parents, media, and academicians criticized the schools, and the matter was cited as a cautionary example of how modern technology can be used to infringe on personal privacy.
The district was put on notice in June 2010 of a third parallel suit that a third student intends to bring against the district, for—following "interrogation" of the student—"improper surveillance of the student on his school issued laptop", which included taking over 700 webcam shots.
- Lynda Resnick (1960) – President/CEO Roll International Corporation (POM Wonderful, Fiji Water, Teleflora).
- Andy Hertzfeld (1971) – Personal computing pioneer, member of the original Apple Macintosh design team.
- Susan Kare (1971) – Graphic designer and originator of icons and typefaces for Apple Computer.
- Lawrence Summers (1972) – former president of Harvard University, former U. S. Secretary of the Treasury, and former director of the National Economic Council. (Summers returned to Harriton in 2009 to speak at the school's 50th commencement, and in 2015 to speak in the auditorium for the Stock Market Club.)
- Arn Tellem (1972) – Sports agent named "One of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports Business".
- David Crane (1975) – Emmy Award-winning TV writer/producer/director, creator of Friends.
- Adena Halpern (1987) – Author, The Ten Best Days of My Life (2008, Plume), 29 (2010, Touchstone), and Pinch Me (2011, Touchstone)
- John Wozniak (1988) – guitarist/singer Marcy Playground
- Katie Wright (1990) – actress, Melrose Place.
- Lou D'Angeli (1991) – performer & writer for Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment & currently working for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas overseeing all marketing and PR.
- Josh Cooke (1998) – actor, notably Dexter, I Love You Man, and Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Wendell Holland (2002) - Winner of Survivor: Ghost Island
- Eugene Bright (2003) – American football player
- Callahan Bright (2005) – American football player
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