John Philip Sousa Junior High School (Bronx)


Coordinates: 40°53′09″N 73°50′26″W / 40.88583°N 73.84056°W / 40.88583; -73.84056

John Philip Sousa Junior High School (also known as JHS 142, MS 142 and John Philip Sousa Middle School) was a middle school located on Baychester Avenue, across the street from Cardinal Spellman High School, in the Edenwald section of the Bronx in New York City, adjacent to Seton Falls Park. The school was named after John Philip Sousa and opened in 1958 or 1959. The school celebrated its golden jubilee in December 2008.[1][2] After the school's closing in 2015, JHS 142's building became an educational campus.

John Philip Sousa Junior High School
3750 Baychester Avenue


United States
School districtNew York City Geographical District 11
School number142
Teaching staff13
Grades6-8 (formerly 7-9)

Academic standardsEdit

The school had the city's only Korean language class.[3]


The school opened in either 1958[4] or 1959[5] at a cost of $3.6 million.[4] Early in 1960, student Gail Bartley received a letter from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev after she asked him to contribute something to the school's yearbook for its inaugural graduating class.[5] Khrushchev was the only world leader to have replied to students (U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower never replied) after they started a letter-writing campaign asking for a written contribution to be included in the first yearbook at the school.[6] The contribution, which was delivered in person by a Soviet diplomatic officer based in New York, was rejected by the New York City Department of Education for unknown reasons.[7]

By 1961, there were allegations that the school building had serious defects. Cinder blocks had broken apart and fallen across the auditorium in 1960, though no one was injured.[8] One engineer said that when the building opened, it had 1,200 defects.[4] The defects were investigated by the Bronx County District Attorney.[9]

In October 2010, it was announced that the school was on the New York City Department of Education's shortlist of schools potentially targeted for closing. It was one of five schools in the Bronx to be on the list, and the only middle school in the borough scheduled to be closed due to poor academic performance.[10] Plans were to split the school into two smaller middle schools, Middle School 529 and Middle School 532.[11] On 26 April 2012, the city's Board of Election voted to close the school after the last graduating class graduates in June 2012.[12] On May 11, 2012, the city announced that school would be reopened in the Fall 2012 as the North Bronx Academy, bringing to an end Sousa's 54-year-old history.[13] However, on June 29, 2012, a ruling by a legal arbitrator announced that all 24 schools slated to close under the city's "Turn Around" program had to remain open. The ruling halted a central element of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plans for closing and reopening the affected schools, saying its method for overhauling the staff at those institutions violated existing labor contracts.[14] The school finally closed in June 2015 and its building was reused for an educational campus.[15]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ NYC schools website
  2. ^ Back in the Bronx: Bronx Reunions Archived 2009-06-10 at the Wayback Machine from
  3. ^ Bronx Pupils Strive To Speak Korean from the New York Sun
  4. ^ a b c Buder, Leonard (1961-06-22). "School Aides Say Building Faults Endanger Pupils; Defective Locks and Warped Doors Trapped Some in Rooms, Inquiry Hears". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-16.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b Feron, James (1960-03-22). "Khrushchev Writes to P.S. 142; Yearbook Letters to Leaders Evoke but One Reply Soviet Premier Says He Hopes Pupils Won't See War". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-16.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Kruschev has American Pen Pal from Google News Archive 22 March 1960
  7. ^ "Bronx Students Reject Note from Khrushchev". The New York Times. 1960-06-28. p. 4. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  8. ^ Buder, Leonard (1961-06-06). "New City Schools Found Defective; State Is Said to Uncover 'More Shocking' Neglect Than in Old Buildings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-16.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Buder, Leonard (1961-08-23). "City School Panel Will Meet Monday". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-16.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Otterman, Sharon (October 28, 2010). "City Considering 47 Schools For Closing". The New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2020..
  11. ^ The Proposed Co-location of Two New Schools, 11X529 and 11X532, with M.S. 142 John Philip Sousa (11X142) in Building X142 from
  12. ^ Panel votes to close 24 failing schools from ABC News 27 April 2012
  13. ^ City Renames Schools Marked for Closure Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine from 'http://'' 11 May 2012
  14. ^ Mediator Halts City’s Plan to Overhaul 24 Schools from The New York Times 29 June 2012
  15. ^ "M.S. 142 John Philip Sousa - District 11". InsideSchools. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  16. ^ Bronx Basketball's Weekend of Giving Back from News 12 Networks 27 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d John Philip Sousa MS 142: Notable Alumni Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine,
  18. ^ 5 Things To Know About Love & Hip Hop Star Dreamdoll from 14 November 2017
  19. ^ Bassist Andy González, Who Brought Bounce To Latin Dance And Jazz, Dies At 69 from NPR April 10, 2020
  20. ^ ‘’Jerry Gonzalez, Latin Jazz Visionary dies after House Fire from NPR 1 October 2018

External linksEdit

  • Official website
  • New York City Board of Education: MS 142 John Philip Sousa
  • School Improvement Scenario website
  • Alumni Group on Facebook