Shelton High School (Connecticut)

Shelton High School (SHS) is a public high school in Shelton, Connecticut, in eastern Fairfield County. It has an enrollment of approximately 1700 in grades 9 through 12.

Shelton High School
120 Meadow Street

School districtShelton Public Schools
HeadmasterDr. Beth Smith
Number of students1,481 (2016-17)[1]
NewspaperGael Winds
Magnet SchoolNo
Charter SchoolNo
Year-round scheduleNo
WebsiteShelton High School website


The first four SHS graduates received their diplomas on June 26, 1889. In 1894, the First School Society became the Town School Committee, with Walter D. Hood as the first school superintendent.[2]

Extracurricular activities

Gael Winds

The school newspaper is called the Gael Winds. The paper has had issues with censorship.[3]


Shelton High School's sports programs include football, baseball, boys' volleyball, swimming, ice hockey, girls' and boys' indoor and outdoor track and field, boys and girls lacrosse, and girls' cheerleading programs. The school is part of the Housatonic Division of the Southern Connecticut Conference.[4]

The Shelton Gaels high school football team won the state championship in 1988, 1995, 2000, and 2003.

The Shelton Gaels high school boys' volleyball team won the state championship in 2004 and 2005, with a 46-0 record. The team won the Southern Connecticut Conference title in 2015 and 2017.

The Shelton Gaels Varsity Cheerleading squad won the state championship in the 2000-2001 season.

The Shelton boys' cross country team won its first division championship, and the SCC championship in 2007, making its first trip to the New England championships. In 2008, it placed second in the CIAC State Open Championships, and fourth in the New England Championships.

2011 Prom

The Shelton High School headmaster banned a senior and two friends from attending the senior prom because[5] the students had taped a message of 12-inch high cardboard letters above the school's entrance inviting Tate's classmate, Sonali Rodrigues, to go to the dance with him.[5] In addition to giving the students in-school suspensions for what she described as a safety issue, the headmaster described the act as trespassing and banned them from the dance.[5]

The ban became the subject of protests on Facebook and was reported on national media.[6][7] but also international[8][9]

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti[5] and Shelton High School alumnus NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky[10] questioned the appropriateness of the punishment. Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy sided with the student, saying, "While it seems that there are rules that were broken, in this case, it doesn’t seem as though the punishment fits the crime."[9] The punishment prompted state lawmakers Jason Perillo (R-Shelton) and Sean Williams (R-Waterbury) to introduce an amendment to a pending bill that, with an exception for vandalism and violence, would require schools to offer parents an alternative to banning students from school-related activities as means of punishment.[11]

On May 12, the headmaster announced that she stood behind her decision, citing long-standing policy.[12] Protests at the school continued the next day, with students being sent home saying they'd been told they were "inciting a riot and breach of peace".[13] On May 14, the headmaster held a press conference[14] reversing the decision, saying that "the level of distraction created by this incident" had "affected the culture of Shelton High School" and that "international notoriety" had forced her to reverse herself.[15]

Construction, 2007
Spring, 2009 SHS Stadium

Notable alumni


  1. "Shelton High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  2. "SHS History".
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Southern Connecticut Conference". Housatonic Division.
  5. Miller, Joshua Rhett (May 11, 2011). "Mayor: Punishment Doesn't Fit Crime in Case of Connecticut Teen Barred From Prom". Fox News.
  6. "Creative Prom Invite Gets Student Suspended", NPR
  7. A story about this incident, featuring reporter Ben Sosenko, was aired nationially on NBC News
  8. "You WON'T go to the ball: Teen banned from prom after posting giant invite on school's walls". Daily Mail. London. May 12, 2011.
  9. Gendreau, LeAnne (2011). "James Tate Take Prom Plea to Today Show". Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  10. NFL QB Joins Huddle of Support for No-Prom Teen May 12, 2011 8:28 PM EDT
  11. "NFL Quarterback Backs Teen Barred From Prom, but School Stands Firm on Decision". Fox News. May 12, 2011.
  13. Tate serves suspension as fellow students attempt sit-in Anne M. Amato, Staff Writer Updated 11:16 p.m., Friday, May 13, 2011
  14. press video of press conference

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