As of the 2020–21 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,837 students and 141.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.0:1. There were 428 students (23.3% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 98 (5.3% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
MHS receives students from Frelinghuysen Middle School, Morris Plains Borough School, and several public and private middle schools.
Morristown High School was opened on December 13, 1869 on Maple Avenue, four years after Morristown had seceded from Morris Township. It accepted students from both the town and the township. The first graduates were the class of 1874, consisting of eight students, five girls and three boys.
Morristown High School played its first football game on September 28, 1901, against Port Oram (now Wharton) high school.
The cornerstone of the current MHS building was laid on September 9, 1916. Classes at the current building began on September 4, 1918.
In May 1974, the Harding Township School District was given permission by the State Commissioner of Education to end their sending / receiving relationship with the Morris School District and begin sending their students to Madison High School starting with the 1975–76 school year, ruling that the withdrawal of the mostly white students from Harding Township would not "cause a disproportionate change in the racial composition of Morristown High School".
On May 4, 1974, Morristown High School had race riots, which started at a carnival on Madison Street.
In 2005, Linda D. Murphy, an assistant principal at Morristown High School, was promoted to principal of Morristown High School, becoming the first Morristown High School graduate (Class of 1972) to fill the position.
In 2009, year-round rotating block schedule replaced the semester-based block scheduling.
In 2013, A/B block scheduling replaced the year-round rotating block schedule.
In 2018, Homeroom was abolished in exchange for a later starting time.
Awards, recognition and rankingsEdit
The school was the 116th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 339 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2014 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", using a new ranking methodology. The school had been ranked 75th in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 66th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 78th in 2008 out of 316 schools.
In the 2011 "Ranking America's High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 69th in New Jersey and 2,029th nationwide.
Morristown High School provides 285 courses (including Honors and AP) to its students. Out of the 285 courses, 28 are offered as AP courses and range from AP Calculus BC to AP Music Theory. College Prep level courses are also offered to students as a step down from Honors level courses. AP tests along with SAT and ACT exams are conducted onsite.
Morristown High School also offers "STEM Academy," an enrichment program for students in grades 9-12. STEM Academy offers pathways in Biomedicine, Engineering, Architecture, Environmental Sustainability, Research Science, Computer Science, Mathematics and General STEM.
The Morristown High School Colonials participate in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, an athletic conference comprised of high schools located in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties, operating under the auspices of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Prior to the NJSIAA's 2010 realignment, the school had competed as part of the Iron Hills Conference, which included schools in Essex, Morris and Union counties. With 1,394 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2019–20 school year as Group IV for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 1,060 to 5,049 students in that grade range. The football team competes in the Freedom Blue division of the North Jersey Super Football Conference, which includes 112 schools competing in 20 divisions, making it the nation's biggest football-only high school sports league. The school was classified by the NJSIAA as Group V North for football for 2018–2020.
The boys track team won the Group III spring track state championship in 1959.
The boys cross country running team won the Group IV state championship in 1967 and 1985, and won the Group III title in 1996 and 1997.
The boys track team won the indoor track public state championship in Group IV in 1969.
The football team won the North II Group IV state sectional championship in 1974, North II Group III title in 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2010. The 1974 team finished the season with a 10-0 record after winning the first North II Group IV sectional title of the playoff era with a 30-10 victory against Bloomfield High School at the championship game played indoors in front of a crowd of 4,500 at Atlantic City Convention Hall. The 1993 team finished the season with a 9-1-1 record after winning the North II Group III title with a 25-0 victory against Morris Knolls High School in the championship game. The 1998 team won the North II Group III sectional championship by a score of 37-14 over Westfield High School, to finish the season 11-0.
The boys' track team won the Group IV indoor relay state championship in 1987 and 1988, and won the Group III title in 2010.
The field hockey team won the North II Group IV state sectional championship in 1987, 1989 and 1991, won the North I Group IV title in 2002 and 2016-2018, and won the North I Group III title in 2005 and 2006.
The girls cross country team won the Group III state championship in 1997 and 2011.
The boys fencing team was the épée team winner in 2005. The program's nine individual state champions is tied for third-most in the state.
The ice hockey team won the Public B championship in 2014 and won the Public A title in 2016. The team won the Public B state championship in 2014, beating Ramsey High School by a score of 1–0 in the tournament final, with the game-winning goal scored with less than a minute left in the game to break a scoreless tie and earn Morristown the program's first championship. In 2016, the team won their second title, this time in the Public A division, against Randolph High School by a final score of 2–0.
The school has two certified athletic trainers providing sports medicine coverage to all levels of athletics across all three seasons.
The school's principal is Mark Manning. His core administration team includes four assistant principals.
William Flynn (c. 1896-1958), football coach who was head coach at Morristown from 1934 until his death.
Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918), poet and author; taught at Morristown High School, 1908-1909
Charlie Weis (born 1956), former head football coach at the University of Notre Dame; assistant football coach and English teacher, 1980-1985 He was also the school's fencing coach for the 1984–85 season.
^ abcdArts Clubs, Morristown High School. Accessed March 13, 2022.
^Morristown High School 2016-17 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed February 16, 2018. "Comprised of 1,810 ethnically diverse students speaking more than 20 different languages, the educational program serves the students entrusted to the school by its communities: Morristown, Morris Township and Morris Plains."
^Morris Plains Borough School 2015 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed May 30, 2016. "Borough School continues its collaboration with the Morris School District,strengthening and supporting the send-receive relationship between the two districts. As Borough students graduate from eighth grade and enroll in Morristown High School, it is important for them to have all of the same opportunities to connect with curriculum requirements that their high school classmates had as students in the Morris School District."
^About Us, Morristown High School. Accessed March 13, 2022. "Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the NJ Department of Education, MHS stands out among peer high schools for its programs in STEM, film and broadcasting, music, and theatre."
^"Commissioner Reverses Plan for Morris Schools", The New York Times, May 2, 1974. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Contending that it would not significantly 'cause a disproportionate change in the racial composition of Morristown High School,' the state's Acting Commissioner of Education, Edward W. Kilpatrick today allowed Harding Township to send its high school students to. Madison High School rather than to Morristown after June 1975.... In 1971, during the time the regionalization of the Morris districts was pending before the Commissioner, Harding Township, an affluent semirural town of three‐acre‐minimum residential zones, petitioned the county superintendent to allow sending of high school pupils to the smaller Madison High School with a much smaller black population. Subsequently, Harding began to send its ninth graders to Madison despite objections from Morristown."
^Staff. "Morristown High School Closed After Racial Fight", The New York Times, May 7, 1974. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Morristown High School has about 400 black students, most of them from Morristown. Most of the high school student from Morris Township, Morris Plain: and Harding Township are white. Morristown and Morris Township were forced to merge their school systems two years ago to advance racial integration. Last week Harding Township was given permission by the State Education Commissioner to withdraw its students from Morristown High and send them to Madison High."
^NJ.com, Vinessa Erminio | NJ Advance Media for (May 1, 2009). "Incidents bring cops to Morristown High Tonight's programs canceled". nj. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
^Staff. "Top Schools Alphabetical List 2014", New Jersey Monthly, September 2, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2014.
^Staff. "The Top New Jersey High Schools: Alphabetical", New Jersey Monthly, August 16, 2012. Accessed December 2, 2012.
^Home Page, Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference. Accessed August 27, 2020. "The Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference prides itself on being one of New Jersey's premier high school conferences and is comprised of 39 high schools located in Northwest New Jersey."
^Cooper, Darren. "Here's what we know about the new Super Football Conference 2020 schedule", The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference (SFC) is a 112-team group, the largest high school football-only conference in America, and is comprised of teams from five different counties."
^Cooper, Darren. "NJ football: Super Football Conference revised schedules for 2020 regular season", The Record, July 23, 2020. Accessed March 22, 2021. "The Super Football Conference has 112 teams that will play across 20 divisions."
^"Football Crown To Bergenfield", The New York Times, December 8, 1974. Accessed December 28, 2020. "Morristown also was sparked by a runner, Sonny Holt, who picked up 253 yards as his school rolled past Bloomfield, 30-10, for honors in North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4, in Atlantic City's Convention Hall."
^Denman, Elliott. "Holt Earns Fame Claim", Asbury Park Press, December 8, 1974. Accessed December 28, 2020, via Newspapers.com. "The line of scouts grew longer and the roar of his rooter reached new heights in yesterday's 30-10 Morristown High School triumph over Bloomfield for the NJSIAA's North Jersey, Section II, Group IV championship before 4,500 witnesses at Convention Hall.... 'We're number one' of course shrieked the Morristown entourage after it was over and the Colonials became the third team to earn an Atlantic City playoff triumph and finish a 10-0 season."
^Breeman, Dan. "Colonials end title drought", Daily Record, December 5, 1993. Accessed January 24, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "If Sebelle never plays another football game, he'll never forget his final one, a 25-0 win over Morris Knolls as Morristown captured the North Jersey Section 2, Group III title.... Morristown, 9-1-1, totally dominated on both sides of the ball yesterday, as Belle rushed for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just seven carries and Alston gained 112 yards on 21 carries."
^Glickson, Grant. "High School Football; Second Straight Title for Morristown", The New York Times, December 6, 1998. Accessed June 25, 2008. "First, the Morristown Colonials (11-0) defeated Westfield (9-3) by 37-14 in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 final.... The Colonials, now 7-0 in playoff action, claimed their first two state titles in 1974 and 1993.
^Hachey, Chris. "Ice hockey: Morristown wins first state title in program history", The Star-Ledger, March 9, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2014. "Begley scored the game-winning goal off assists from Cam Szary and Jakob DeFares with 33.8 seconds left in the third period to lift Morristown, No. 20 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, over No. 5 Ramsey, 1-0, to win the NJSIAA/New Jersey Devils Public B tournament title at the Prudential Center last night in Newark. The championship is the first in Morristown's history on its third straight trip to the finals."
^Coughlin, Kevin. "MHS wins second hockey title, with 2-0 win against Randolph", MorristownGreen.com, March 7, 2016. Accessed April 4, 2016.
^Gurnis, Mike. "Morristown ice hockey claims second state title in three years with 2-0 win over Randolph in Public A final", NJ Advance Media, March 7, 2016. Accessed April 4, 2016. "The disappointment of last season was erased on Monday, when top-seeded Morristown, No. 8 in the NJ.com Top 20, brought home its second state title in three seasons with a 2-0 win over second-seeded and No. 15 Randolph in the NJSIAA/Devils Public A final at Prudential Center."
^Administrative Team, Morristown High School. Accessed January 27, 2022.
^Coughlin, Kevin. "Morristown High grad Scott Blumstein wins $8M poker prize", Morristown Green, July 23, 2017. Accessed June 30, 2019. "Morristown High School graduate Scott Blumstein ('10) has eight million new reasons to be glad he pursued poker as his profession."
^James, George. "In Person; The New Jersey Chronicles", The New York Times, May 10, 1998. Accessed June 30, 2019. "When John was 5, the family moved to Brookside, near Morristown. After graduating from Morristown High School in 1932, he attended a free junior college, and later was able to save enough money to transfer to Drew University."
^Lambert, Jim. "Morristown High grad Christina Epps is the No. 1 triple jumper in the U.S.", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, April 21, 2015. Accessed July 9, 2016. "It should come as no surprise that an athlete that hails from Morris County is the current No. 1 women's triple jumper in the United States. But you may be surprised to find out that it's Christina Epps, a 2009 graduate of Morristown High School."
^Staff. "Living a Dream; Ex-St. John's defender signs with Red Bulls" Archived December 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Big Apple Soccer, December 5, 2011. Accessed July 18, 2012. "Lade attended Morristown High School and was a three-time first team All-Conference, All-State and All-County selection."
^La Gorce, Tammy. "Riding Out the Pandemic with Fran Lebowitz The Morristown native talks quarantining in Manhattan, reading nonstop on her sofa, and “getting kicked out of New Jersey.'", New Jersey Monthly, November 9, 2020. Accessed January 10, 2021. "[Q] Kicked out, meaning your high school experience? What happened there? [A] I was suspended from Morristown High School specifically for sneaking out of pep rallies."
^Bob McCann, Basketball-Reference. Accessed June 30, 2019. "High School: Morristown in Morristown, New Jersey"
^Bangiola, Paul M. "An interview with Craigslist founder: Morristown native Craig Newmark", Morristown Green, September 15, 2008. Accessed July 18, 2012. "MorristownGreen.com was able to land an up close and personal interview with Craig Newmark, the founder of "Craigslist," who is a native of Morristown and a Morristown High School alumnus. (class of 1971)."
^Seman, Rob. "Morristown bans rides on the sidewalks", Daily Record, September 13, 2006. Accessed March 18, 2013. "Councilman John Cryan said that Morristown High School alumnus and professional skateboarder Tim O'Connor has pledged his support for a skateboard park."
^via Associated Press. "John Panelli, standout at Morristown High, Notre Dame and NFL, dies at 85", NJ.com, March 4, 2012. Accessed March 15, 2018. "Ex-Notre Dame running back and NFL player John Panelli, a standout fullback at Morristown High School in the 1940s, has died.... Panelli, an All-State selection at Morristown High and a nominee of The Star-Ledger’s New Jersey High School All-Century team, went on to play fullback and linebacker for Notre Dame’s 1946 and 1947 national championship teams, averaging 7.5 yards a carry his senior year."
^Bonasera, Paul. "Quinn coaching winners on the field and off in Morris Twp.", Daily Record, December 10, 2008. Accessed February 27, 2013. "Dan, the youngest of six children, was captain of the Morristown High School football team."
^ abStaff. "Morris History Includes Rich, Famous", Daily Record, June 23, 2002. Accessed September 11, 2011. "Gene Shalit film critic on NBCTV's Today show got his start writing a humor column called 'The Korn Krib' for the Morristown High School newspaper."
^Kuty, Brendan. "Gallery of Honor", Daily Record, December 19, 2007. Accessed July 18, 2012. "Rick Sofield is no stranger to the spotlight. But in front of a small crowd in the Morristown High School gymnasium, the former major league baseball player had a tough time maintaining his composure. Sofield, who graduated in 1975, was selected first team all-state by the Associated Press in football and baseball in his senior season and rejected a football scholarship to the University of Michigan to play professional baseball."
^1975 Baseball Draft Results - Round #1, The Baseball Cube. Accessed December 31, 2006.
^"The Top 10 Porn Stars From New Jersey", WCHR-FM, November 1, 2016. Accessed November 9, 2017. "Lexington Steele - The first three-time AVN Male Performer of the Year, Lex was born in NJ and went to Morristown High School."
^Tran, Kim. "Morristown Natives Enter High School Wall of Fame; One was also inducted into the MHS Teachers' Corner.", Morristown Patch, May 4, 2013. Accessed July 28, 2014. "MHS Wall of Fame Inductees:... William Treanor, Class of '75—ascribed the virtue of Ambition (presented by Sophomore Camille Bourland)"
^Greer, William R. "Charles Voegeli; Episcopal Bishop", The New York Times, March 5, 1984. Accessed October 20, 2020. "He was born in Hawthorne, N.J., and graduated from Morristown (N.J.) High School in 1922."
^Sullivan, Joseph F. "Politics: Wiley's Campaign For The Nomination Focuses On 'Drift'", The New York Times, March 24, 1985. Accessed June 30, 2019. "Mr. Wiley was born in Morristown on June 21, 1929, and graduated from Morristown High School."
^Staff. "How to Build a Winner; New Jersey Sports", The New York Times, November 19, 1974. Accessed October 19, 2020. "It took sometime and much hard work, but John Chironna seems to have met the challenge he envisioned when he became head football coach at Morristown High eight years ago. Chironna had spent 10 years as a successful head coach at the University of Rhode Island, but was taking over with younger athletes at a school that had won only one game in two seasons."
^Staff. "William K. Flynn", The New York Times, October 10, 1958. Accessed June 30, 2019. "William K. Flynn of 185 Speedwell Avenue, football coach at Morristown High School since 1934, died last night in Morristown Memorial Hospital."
^Thamel, Pete. "Weis Made His Luck on Way to the Irish", The New York Times, December 19, 2004. Accessed September 16, 2008. "After graduating in 1978, Weis decided to become a coach and teacher. He returned to New Jersey and taught at Boonton High School, then at nearby Morristown High, where he found his first football mentor, Morristown Coach John Chironna."