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Newton South High School

Newton South High School
Aerial Photograph of Newton South High School taken on December 30, 2014 from a Cessna 172
140 Brandeis Road


United States
Coordinates42°18′51.73″N 71°11′11.36″W / 42.3143694°N 71.1864889°W / 42.3143694; -71.1864889
MottoBona mens omnibus patet
(A good mind is open to all things)
Established1960; 59 years ago (1960)
School districtNewton Public Schools
CEEB code221548
PrincipalJoel Stembridge[1]
Teaching staff153.5 (2018–19)[2]
Enrollment1,911 (2018–19)[3]
Student to teacher ratio12.4∶1 (2018–19)[2]
Campus size33.477 acres (135,480 m2)
Color(s)     Blue
NewspaperThe Lion's Roar, Denebola
Last updated: May 11, 2019; 6 months ago (2019-05-11)

Newton South High School is one of two public high schools in the city of Newton, Massachusetts, the other being Newton North.

Layout and organization

Newton South places all students into one of four houses, Goldrick, Wheeler, Cutler, and Goodwin, in which they remain for the duration of high school. Unlike many other schools, houses at Newton South are only for administrative and attendance purposes. They have no effect on the courses or activities of students, except for students' homerooms. Classes are split into 7 blocks, A–G, which are spread over the week.[4]

The school consists of multiple buildings divided into 9 separate administrative groups, in addition to the auditorium and student center.[5] Connections between buildings are fully enclosed, creating the impression the campus is one giant building. Buildings 1 and 2 form an L shaped connection to the main campus body from the southwest corner. They are Goldrick, which also houses a separate preschool department, and Wheeler respectively. In the middle of the southern edge lies the Science building, also known as building 3. It contains the two central corridors to the central and northern campus buildings. In the southeast corner is the S shaped Cutler building (4). Cutler is closely joined with building 5, which contains an indoor field house and associated wellness classrooms. In between the south and central parts of campus lay two open-air parks, while the connection between Cutler and Goodwin (building 6, northeast corner) is the only non enclosed connection between two buildings on campus. The center buildings (number 7) houses the cafeteria and library. The small building 8 used for administration lies next to the northern entrance to campus. Lastly, the northwest corner contains the Van Seasholes Auditorium which is connected to the arts wing (building 9).[5]

Academics and student body

As of 2017, the school enrolls about 1,850 students. About 60% of them participate in Advanced Placement exams.[6]

The Massachusetts Department of Education rated Newton South as performing at the 88th percentile of state high schools for the 2013 year.[7]

Newton South's mean SAT score for the 2013 senior class was 1849, the fourth-highest mean score in Massachusetts.[8] The 2012 four-year graduation rate was 97%.[7]


The Newton-Beijing Jingshan School Exchange Program is the oldest exchange of public secondary school students between the United States and the People's Republic of China. The city of Newton hosts Chinese students and teachers for four months each fall and sends students and teachers to Beijing each spring. It has become a tradition for the Jingshan students to give an entertaining presentation on their culture to the school shortly before returning to their country.

Newton has also had a long-standing relationship with its sister city of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Every February, a small group of Newton South students go to Nicaragua to live with local families and perform community service.


Newton South competes in the DCL (Dual County League), which includes Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Bedford High School, Boston Latin School, Concord-Carlisle High School, Wayland High School, Westford Academy, Weston High School, Waltham High School, and South's principal rival, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.

Fall sports

  • Football (B)
  • Soccer (B+G)
  • Cross Country (B+G)
  • Volleyball (G)
  • Golf (Co-Ed)
  • Field Hockey (Co-Ed)
  • Cheerleading (Co-Ed)

Winter sports

  • Basketball (B+G)
  • Gymnastics (B+G)
  • Nordic Skiing (B+G)
  • Alpine Skiing (B+G)
  • Indoor Track and Field (B+G)
  • Wrestling (B+G)
  • Hockey (B+G)
  • Swimming and Diving (B+G)
  • Cheerleading (Co-Ed)

Spring sports

  • Lacrosse (B+G)
  • Baseball (B)
  • Softball (G)
  • Volleyball (B)
  • Track and Field (B+G)
  • Tennis (B+G)
  • Rugby (B+G)

Awards and recognition

Newton South was named Massachusetts's top athletic program by Sports Illustrated in 2009.[9]


Newton South's print publications used to be Denebola,[10] the school's official paper, and The Lion's Roar, a student-run paper. Jack Dvorak, an Indiana University professor who studies high school journalism, said, "I don't know of any school other than [South] that has two papers at least in part supported by the school. That really is rare, if not unique".[11]

During the 2011–2012 school year, Newton South's journalism program underwent a major revamping. The Lion's Roar remained unchanged. Denebola, was dissolved, and reborn as the website, "".[10] In addition, a newsmagazine, Leo, was established.

The two publications are consistently ranked among the best in the region; Denebola has been noted as one of the best scholastic online publications in the nation, while The Lion's Roar has been noted as one of the best scholastic papers in the nation.

In 2004, The Lion's Roar won the Pacemaker Award at the National Scholastic Press Association's annual conference.[citation needed] In 2007, both editors-in-chief of The Lion's Roar finished first and second, respectively, in the 2007 JEA Massachusetts Journalist of the Year Award.[citation needed] In November 2007, The Lion's Roar placed 10th in the nation for "Best of Show" in Philadelphia at the National Scholastic Press Association's annual convention.[citation needed] All five of The Lion's Roar write-off participants placed in their respective categories, earning the highest and second highest distinctions. One of the editors-in-chief was also published in "The Best Teen Writing of 2007" for a story she wrote about a teacher battling cancer. She also received a Gold Award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.[citation needed]

In November 2008, at the NSPA/JEA National Convention in St. Louis, The Lion's Roar moved up four slots to sixth place in the "Best of Show" category. One of the editors-in-chief also placed second in the "Story of the Year" category for sports writing for a piece on concussions in high school sports. In the write-off competitions, the Roar fared well for the second straight year, as six students placed: one with a Superior rating, one with an Excellent rating, and four with honorable Mentions in their respective categories.[citation needed]

In 2009, The Lions Roar was once again nominated for the Pacemaker Award, and received a finalist position. In November 2011, The Lion's Roar won 5th place in the Best in Show competition at the NSPA/JEA National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[citation needed]

The Lion's Roar has continued to receive regional and national awards. In 2012, The Lion's Roar won the MSPA General excellence prize and in the same year was nominated as a finalist for NSPA's 2012 Pacemaker award.[citation needed] In 2013, The Lion's Roar placed sixth in the "Best of Show" category for the November NSPA/JEA National Convention in Boston.

After Denebola transitioned in early 2012, it placed 2nd in the "Best of Show" category for the November NSPA/JEA National Convention in San Antonio. In 2013, Denebola won the Pacemaker award at the National Scholastic Press Association's annual spring conference.[12] Denebola also won the Massachusetts Press Association's Award for General Excellence in Online Journalism at Suffolk University, and placed 3rd in the "Best of Show" category for the November NSPA/JEA National Convention in Boston in 2013.

Denebola was ranked as one of the best papers in New England during its print existence. In the spring of 2007, 2008, and 2010, Denebola won first place at the annual New England Scholastic Press Association conference. In 2009, Denebola won second place at this annual conference. In 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 Denebola also won the Massachusetts Press Association's Award for General Excellence at Suffolk University, a title for the best high school newspaper in Massachusetts.[citation needed]

In its December 2007 issue, Denebola reported on five hidden security cameras found at the school.[13] According to the article, students, parents, faculty, and administrators were unaware of the cameras, three of which were disguised as smoke detectors. The article was highlighted in the local newspaper, The Boston Globe,[14] and reports appeared on local TV channels WCVB, WHDH, and WBZ.[citation needed]

Public attention

The school gained notoriety in 2002 for its "Senior Scavenger Hunt",[15] a student-organized contest that featured theft, vandalism, illegal drug use, and various sexual acts committed by the graduating seniors in exchange for points.[16]

On February 8, 2007, the Newton South STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition chapter organized a Darfur Benefit Concert with the well known band, State Radio, raising over $23,000 for Save the Children and the Genocide Intervention Network.[17]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Staff Directory". Newton South High School. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Teacher Data (2018-19) - Newton South High (02070510)". Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Enrollment Data (2018-19) - Newton South High (02070510)". Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "School Information". Newton South High School. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "School Information". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  6. ^ "Newton South High School Overview". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "2013 Massachusetts School Report Card Overview NEWTON SOUTH HIGH (02070510)". Massachusetts Department of Education. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  8. ^ "Map: SAT scores by Massachusetts high school". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  9. ^ "Top athletics program in each state and the District of Columbia". Sports Illustrated. July 6, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "NSHS Denebola - Denebola is a school news paper run by the students of Newton South, reporting news in the community and in the school". Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  11. ^ []. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "2013 Online Pacemaker Winners". National Scholastic Press Association. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Jason Kuo and Nathan Yeo (December 2007). "Secret cameras installed". Denebola. Retrieved December 14, 2010.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  14. ^ Drake, John C. (December 27, 2007). "Newton school newspaper gets the scoop on hidden cameras". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  15. ^ Time Waster. "Lewd, Crude High School Scavenger Hunt". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  16. ^ "Lewd, Crude High School Scavenger Hunt". The Smoking Gun. December 11, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  17. ^ Christopher, By (February 13, 2007). "Darfur Benefit Concert Multimedia Sound Slide Show - Newton, Massachusetts - Newton TAB". Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  18. ^ Springer, Shira (October 2, 2015). "Newton native becomes seller to the stars". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on October 4, 2015.
  19. ^ "The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2007". Retrieved December 14, 2010.

External links