Orange High School (New Jersey)

Orange High School (New Jersey)

Orange High School is a three-year comprehensive public high school that serves students in tenth through twelfth grades from Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Orange Board of Education. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1928.

As of the 2017-18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 960 students and 85.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.2:1. There were 487 students (50.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 31 (3.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.

Awards, recognition and rankings

The school was the 305th-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 232nd in the state of 328 schools in 2012, after being ranked 315th in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school 308th in 2008 out of 316 schools. The school was ranked 276th in the magazine's September 2006 issue, which surveyed 316 schools across the state.


The current building housing Orange High School is the fourth site used for the school, in three different parts of the city. The first, dedicated on September 13, 1869, was located next to the First Church of Orange (Presbyterian). The second site was located at Main and Cleveland Streets. The third is now being used as Orange Middle School. The fourth, and current site, was dedicated on October 7, 1973, after opening to students on September 5 of that year.


The Orange High School Tornadoes compete in the Super Essex Conference, following a reorganization of sports leagues in Northern New Jersey by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA). With 875 students in grades 10-12, the school was classified by the NJSIAA for the 2015-16 school year as North II, Group III for most athletic competition purposes, which included schools with an enrollment of 778 to 1,062 students in that grade range. Prior to the 2010 realignment, the school had been in the Skyline Division of the Northern Hills Conference, an athletic conference that had consisted of private and public high schools located in Essex, Morris and Passaic County counties. The school colors are orange and black.

The boys' basketball team won the Group IV state championship in 1948 (vs. Atlantic City High School), in Group III in 1968 (vs. Emerson High School) and 1994 (vs. Camden High School), in Group II in 1977 and 1979 (vs. Pleasantville High School in both years) and 1988 (vs. Delran High School), and in Group I in 1974 (vs. Burlington Township High School) in 1976 (vs. Glassboro High School); the eight state titles are tied for third-most among public school programs. In 1994, the boys' basketball team captured their first Tournament of Champions trophy by defeating Paterson Catholic High School, giving the Tornadoes a No. 1 ranking in NJ, and national rank of No. 11 in USA Today. The team was coached by alumnus Al Thompson.


Orange High School is home to the Mighty Marching Tornadoes marching band and award-winning elite choir, Voices in Harmony, in addition to local musical rap group by the name of the SoundBox Banditz who were noticed for writing a song about an Orange High School teacher who had been laid off due to New Jersey's educational budget cuts in 2010.


The school's principal is Jason Belton. His administration team includes four assistant principals.

Notable alumni

  • Jay Alford (born 1983), former defensive tackle for the New York Giants drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2007 NFL Draft (81st overall).
  • Cory Boyd (born 1985), running back for the Edmonton Eskimos.
  • Pete D'Alonzo (1929–2001), fullback who played in the NFL for the Detroit Lions.
  • Wayne Dickens, former American football player and coach who was head football coach at Kentucky State University from 2009 to 2012 and The College of New Jersey from 2013 to 2015.
  • Edward V. Hartford (1870-1922), founder and President of the Hartford Suspension Company who perfected the automobile shock absorber.
  • Beatrice Hicks (1919–1979, class of 1935), founder of the Society of Women Engineers in 1950.
  • Carolyn Plaskett (1917-2001, class of 1934), American-born illustrator, international scholar and former first lady of Barbados.

Notable faculty

  • Heinie Benkert (1901-1972), football player and coach; he taught history and coached football at Orange High School until 1971.


External links

  • School website
  • Orange Board of Education
  • Orange Board of Education's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
  • School Data for the Orange Board of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
  • Orange Arts

Orange High School (New Jersey)

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