Holyoke High School

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Holyoke High School
HPS HHS new.svg
500 Beech Street


Coordinates42°12′00″N 72°37′27″W / 42.20000°N 72.62417°W / 42.20000; -72.62417Coordinates: 42°12′00″N 72°37′27″W / 42.20000°N 72.62417°W / 42.20000; -72.62417
Open enrollment[1]
School districtHolyoke Public Schools
PrincipalDana Brown
ReceiverSteven Zrike
Number of students1,332 (2017-18)[3]
Color(s)Purple & White          
SAT average510 verbal
505 math
1015 total (2017-2018)[4]
Holyoke High School, main campus.JPG
Holyoke High School, north campus

Holyoke High School is a public high school in western Massachusetts, that serves the City of Holyoke. Since 2015, the school, along with the district, has been in state receivership and through a series of changes in practices, such as innovative restorative justice disciplinary programs, has seen marked improvement in student retention and graduation rates.[5] In the 2017-2018 school year Holyoke High received higher combined SAT scores than the average for schools in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.[6]


Holyoke High School is located in Holyoke just off of Interstate 391. Currently, there are approximately 1300 students enrolled in the school in both divisions. The school colors are purple and white. The school song is "Hail, Holyoke", which was written by the high school's first band director Fred Grady in 1937 and dedicated to Dr. Howard Conant, a longtime principal who served the school for 35 years.[7][8]

Following two years of development, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the high school offers a redeveloped curriculum focused on four academies that upperclassmen will choose to participate in, these include academies in:

  • Community and Global Studies
  • Technology, Engineering and Design
  • Performing and Media Arts
  • Medical and Life Sciences

Academy coursework will build upon the general education curriculum of math, science, and language studies with additional unique course offerings as well as internships and job shadowing opportunities in the field of a student’s choice.[9]

Juniors and seniors may also complete coursework at area colleges through the Dual College Enrollment program, including but not limited to Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, Westfield State University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[10]


The G.P.B. Alderman-designed high school, used from 1898 to 1964 when the present building opened

Established in 1852 by the city, the school's first principal was Stephen Holman, a polymath engineer, lawyer, linguist, and educator who went on to found the Holyoke Machine Company and Deane Steam Pump Works, purchased the Holyoke Paper Company, and was credited as the first to introduce modern cost accounting into the paper industry.[2][11][12]

From 1872 to 1881, Holyoke High School was one of about a dozen New England schools which received students from the Chinese Educational Mission.[13] Upon returning overseas some of these students would go on to serve important roles in Qing dynasty China including, but not limited to, Shung Kih Ting,[a] class of 1880, who would eventually serve as acting deputy commissioner of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service,[14] and Chow Wan Tang[a] who graduated in 1881 and revisited Holyoke in 1908 as general manager of the Imperial Chinese Telegraph Administration.[15]

During a visit to Holyoke in 1916, former President and future Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft gave a lecture at the high school on the institution of the US presidency.[16] In 1969 the school was bestowed with the National Bellamy Award, presented annually to one school in the United States. Begun in 1942 by Margarette Miller, and named for Francis Bellamy, writer of the original pledge of allegiance, the award is given to a school each year which embodies the ideals of which the pledge aspires.[17] Although the award is annually presented by an independent organization, in recognition of the school's award, Holyoke High received an official citation from President Richard Nixon, on May 13, 1969.[18]


The high school's mascot, the Holyoke Knights

The Holyoke High School has sports open to students for every season.[19]

Spring sports[edit]

  • Baseball - Boys Freshman / Boys Junior Varsity / Boys Varsity
  • Softball - Girls Freshman / Girls Junior Varsity / Girls Varsity
  • Tennis - Boys and Girls
  • Track - Boys and Girls
  • Volleyball - Boys Junior Varsity / Boys Varsity

Falls sports[edit]

  • Cheerleading - Girls Junior Varsity / Girls Varsity
  • Cross Country - Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Field Hockey - Junior Varsity / Varsity
  • Football - Boys Freshman / Boys Junior Varsity / Boys Varsity
  • Golf - Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Soccer - Boys and Girls Junior Varsity / Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Volleyball - Girls Freshman / Girls Junior Varsity / Girls Varsity

Winter sports[edit]

  • Basketball - Boys and Girls Freshman / Boys and Girls Junior Varsity / and Girls Boys Varsity
  • Cheerleading - Girls Junior Varsity / Girls Varsity
  • Ice Hockey - Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Indoor Track - Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Skiing - Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Swimming - Boys and Girls Varsity
  • Wrestling - Boys Varsity

Clubs and activities[edit]

  • Anime Club
  • Poetry Society
  • Book Club
  • Art Club
  • The Herald (school newspaper)
  • Band (Concert, Jazz, & Marching)
  • Bilingual Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Business and Educational Technology Club
  • Operation Close-Up
  • Choir (Bell, Concert, & Madrigal)
  • SCORE Peer Mediators
  • Color Guard
  • Spanish Club
  • Connections
  • Student Council/Government
  • Debate Team
  • Upward Bound
  • Drama Club
  • French Club
  • Yearbook
  • Photography Club
  • Gay & Straight Alliance
  • Musical
  • As Schools Match Wits


There is currently one school newspaper at Holyoke High School, The Holyoke Herald, which is produced by its students in the school's journalism classes. Students also air a weekly program on the local Public-access television cable TV channel titled HPS 12. Published once a year is the literary and creative arts magazine, "The Knight Writer." In addition to these publications is the yearbook which also publishes a blog on its website.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b These names are romanizations of the Chinese language made by city educators and writers, predating pinyin.


  1. ^ "School Choice Receiving District Status" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2017-07-29. Retrieved 2017-04-10.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b Harper, Wyatt E. (1973). The Story of Holyoke. Centennial Committee of the City of Holyoke. pp. 94–95. OCLC 8060402.
  3. ^ "Holyoke High (01370505)". Massachusetts Dept. of Education. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "2017-18 SAT Performance Statewide Report". September 20, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  5. ^ Plaisance, Mike. "During 2nd year of state receivership, 'Notable improvement' cited in Holyoke's graduation, drop out rates". The Republican. Springfield, Mass.
  6. ^ 2016-17 SAT Performance Statewide Report
  7. ^ "High School Players to Give Symphony". Springfield Republican. Springfield, Mass. May 14, 1937. p. 10.
  8. ^ Sears, Jacqueline (2015). Legendary Locals of Holyoke. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781439650783.
  9. ^ Plaisance, Mike (June 10, 2018). "400 students participate in 1st academy signing day as Holyoke redesigns high school". The Republican. Springfield, Mass. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018.
  10. ^ Rigali, Anna. "Dual College Enrollment". Holyoke Public Schools.
  11. ^ "Death of Stephen Holman". The Protectionist. XXIV (7): 426. November 1912.
  12. ^ "Stephen Holman, F. Am. Soc. C. E." Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers. 76: 2262. 1913.
  13. ^ "Chinese Educational Mission at MIT". China Comes to MIT. MIT Libraries. 2017. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Shung Kih Ting". Class of 1884, Harvard College; Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Report of the Secretary. VII. June 1909. Immediately on arrival at Springfield, Massachusetts, he and his chum, Wong Liang Tun, went to Holyoke, Massachusetts under the charge of Mrs. H. S. Dickerman. Under the careful direction and instruction of that most worthy lady he was able, in the autumn of 1876, to enter the Holyoke High School, where he completed the four years' course without missing a school day, and graduated third in his class...In January, 1908, he received his present appointment (acting assistant statistical secretary), acting deputy commissioner of customs...
  15. ^ "Of High Degree; Distinguished Chinese Here, Chow Wan Tang Visits Holyoke After 27 Years Absence". Holyoke Transcript-Telegram. Holyoke, Mass. July 14, 1908. Two of China's most brilliant and distinguished officials are spending this week in Holyoke as guests in the Kagwin home in Elmwood. They are Chow Wang Tang who is general manager of the Chinese Telephone and Telegraph company and Mr Yun also an official of the same...Mr Wan Tang graduated from the Holyoke high school and left Holyoke 27 years ago...They are now on their way home and leave Holyoke Friday morninf [sic] for San Francisco whence they will sail for China
  16. ^ "Taft 'Out in the Woods' on Presidential Situation; Speaks at Reception at Hotel Nonotuck—Not in Favor of Conscription". Springfield Republican. Springfield, Mass. March 30, 1916. p. 12. Former President William H. Taft paid Holyoke a visit yesterday and was given a warm welcome by Holyoke people. In the afternoon an informal public reception was given him at the Hotel Nonotuck, a large number of people taking the opportunity of meeting him. Later he gave a lecture on 'The presidency' at the high school.
    • "Why People Like Him". Sioux City Journal. Sioux City, Iowa. April 6, 1916. p. 8. The personality of the man and the breadth and good temper of his speeches pleases democrats quite as much as the republicans—so it was in Holyoke Wednesday evening with those who saw Mr. Taft at the high school auditorium and in the Holyoke club. Especially appreciated was Mr. Taft's remark that Mr. Roosevelt 'places the presidents of the United States in two classes, one of the Lincoln class and the other the Buchanan'– and added, 'he puts himself in the Lincoln class and me in the Buchanan.' This was said with the utmost good nature and it was fact.
  17. ^ Madison, Samantha (October 19, 2018). "'Pledge of Allegiance:' From Rome to D.C." Times Telegram. Herkimer, N.Y. Archived from the original on October 19, 2018.
  18. ^ The Annual, Published by the Class of 1969. Holyoke, Mass.: Holyoke High School. 1969. p. 7.
  19. ^ "Holyoke High School Athletics". Holyoke Public Schools. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  20. ^ Pennington, Estill Curtis; Severens, Martha R (2015). Scenic Impressions: Southern Interpretations from The Johnson Collection. University of South Carolina Press. p. 198. ISBN 9781611177176.
  21. ^ Kelly, Ray (2011-01-26). "Polka great Larry Chesky dead at 77". Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  22. ^ Christman, Kelly (September 18, 1985). "Holyoke native Larry Chesky named to Polka Hall of Fame". Springfield Union. Springfield, Mass. p. 5. After his graduation from Holyoke High School, Chesky attended Hart School of Music
  23. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (February 16, 2011). "Raymond D'Addario, Photographer of Nazis, Dies at 90". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 4, 2019.
  24. ^ "Kenny Gamble". College Hall of Fame. National Football Foundation. 2019.
  25. ^ "Al Grenert". Peach Basket Society. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  26. ^ "Al Grenert". Pro Basketball Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  27. ^ Dobbs, G. Michael (2014). Fifteen MInutes With... : 40 Years of Interviews. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-593-93592-4. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  28. ^ Daniel P. Schrage; Robert Scott. "History of Rotorcraft Education and Research at Georgia Tech" (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  29. ^ Barnes Warnock McCormick; Conrad F. Newberry; Eric Jumper (2004). Aerospace Engineering Education During The First Century of Flight. AIAA. pp. 271–283. ISBN 1563477106.
  30. ^ Schwartz, Alan, "The Story Behind the Ring," The New York Times, 2009.4.20
  31. ^ Newell, Homer E. Jr. Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science (NASA SP-4211), NASA, Washington, DC, 1980

External links[edit]