John F. Kennedy High School (Montgomery County, Maryland)

John F. Kennedy High School (Montgomery County, Maryland)

John F. Kennedy High School is a public high school located in unincorporated Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The school is a part of Montgomery County Public Schools.

Over 1,550 students are enrolled at Kennedy. Since the 2004-2005 school year Kennedy has been part of the Down County Consortium, which includes Montgomery Blair, Wheaton, Einstein, and Northwood High Schools. Kennedy's mascot is the Cavalier.

Kennedy has several Middle Schools which feed into it as it is part of a consortium although there are two middle schools assigned specifically to Kennedy; Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School, and Argyle Middle School.


Opening its doors in 1964, The school was originally going to be called "East Wheaton High school" but due to President John F. Kennedy's unfortunate assassination in November 1963 the school took his name as its namesake.

Kennedy's early history is that of an experimental school, with open classes, no grades, and no required attendance. The onus was on Kennedy's students to be self-motivated. Kennedy's rare approach to education gained international attention, but ultimately these trends did not become very popular in other schools. Kennedy itself ceased to use this format as many parents refused to send their children to Kennedy.

After the baby boom generation, many schools were forced to close. Kennedy absorbed the student bodies of both Northwood High School and Robert E. Peary High School. Their feeder schools were absorbed by Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School.

The Kennedy building was renovated in the 1997-98 school year. During that time, Kennedy's students attended classes at the then defunct Northwood High School. In 2004 Northwood was reopened, absorbing parts of Kennedy's student body through a new choice process.

tudent diversity

Kennedy is 41.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 11.5% Asian, 31.1% Hispanic, and 15.8% White. Kennedy is one of the most diverse schools in Montgomery County and because of this, Kennedy has been the subject of several articles in the Washington Post.Fact|date=April 2008


Kennedy has four academies: The Leadership Training Institute (LTI), Tri-M (Academy of Sports Medicine, Management, and Medical Careers), Cambridge, and Mediacom. Students are required to be a member of one of these four academies to attend Kennedy. LTI is in its 10th year, Tri-M was inducted along with the class of 06, and Cambridge and Mediacom both came along with the class of 08. Although, starting in the 2008-2009 school year, the Cambridge academy will become and IB program. Kennedy also has an NJROTC program. Kennedy High School offers over 15 Advanced Placement courses, ranging from Studio Art to World History.cite web|url= |title=John F. Kennedy HS School Profile (PDF)] The school also performed SAT (477 verbal, 493 math, 969 total) and requires 75 hours of community service for graduation.cite web|url= |title=John F. Kennedy HS at a Glance (PDF)]

The school sent 89% of its 2005 graduating class to two- and four-year universities.

In 2006, John F. Kennedy High School was listed in the "Newsweek Magazine"'s top 1200 High Schools in the U.S., as the 443rd highest-rated school in the country. [cite news|url=
title=Newsweek names MCPS high schools among best in nation|publisher=The Bulletin |date=May 2006, Pg. 1 & 3

=Academy Programs=

New Academy programs such as 'The College Institute' have brought students into a more productive environment.

College Institute

Kennedy is one of few schools in Montgomery County who offer College Institute. The program is possible through a partnership with Montgomery College who provide Professors to teach courses throughout the week.Students gain college skills and earn college credits by taking college courses during the regular school day. The College Institute extends opportunities beyond AP level and students can earn up to 30 college credits within the confines of their high school. These credits may be applied towards a Montgomery College degree and/or be applied to any receiving school.

MediaCom: Multimedia & Telecommunications

The Multimedia and Telecommunications Academy, through a rigorous program of study, provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages in a variety of formats—from print to the internet and beyond. The Academy seeks to develop life-long learners who have an understanding of the role media plays in society, as well as the essential skills of inquiry, self-expression, and critical thinking.


The Cambridge program is a small learning community that prepares highly motivated students to be competitive at the university level. The Cambridge curriculum has a global perspective which aims to encourage the skills of independent research and investigation, the use of initiative and creativity, and the application of skills and knowledge through essay-based examinations. The pathways are designed to accommodate the individual learner and provide the flexibility necessary for students to pursue their personal areas of interest.

International Baccalaureate

After the 2011 Graduating Class the Cambridge Program will phase out to become an IB program.

The International Baccalaureate Academy is a small learning community that provides highly motivated students an opportunity to pursue a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum based on a global perspective. The academy, within its nurturing environment, offers an internationally recognized course of study that is designed to prepare students for the university experience. Students are encouraged to participate in the Pre-IB courses beginning in Grade 9. The IB Diploma Program begins in Grade 11.

Tri-M: Medical Careers, Sports Medicine and Sports Management

Students will participate in a wide variety of academically rigorous sports medicine opportunities that will prepare them for college or career. To complete the program, students will earn at least four (4) credits in academyapproved courses and will complete a senior project, college coursework, and/or participate in an internship. Students will also be expected to meet the academy service hours requirement each year.

Leadership Training Institute (LTI)

The Leadership Training Institute (LTI) is a program designed to prepare students for successful decision making in their scholastic and professional careers. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary curricula, leadership training, group decision making, problem solving, higher-level thinking skills, community service, and role modeling. Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland and the University of Richmond lend their support to LTI.

Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC)

John F. Kennedy High School offers a unique program as an elective course,Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC). This course of instruction is available all four years of high school. The mission of NJROTC is “to instill in students the value of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.”The curriculum is divided into academic studies and leadership development. Academics introduce the historical, scientific, and technical aspects specific to each service. Leadership development concentrates on cadet corps activities, drill and ceremonies, improving study habits and time management skills, developing effective communication skills, and learning sound problem-solving techniques.

Commissioned in 2001, Kennedy's NJROTC has been led by several individuals.

Senior Naval Science Instructor:

2001-2007 Captain Kenneth Trass (Ret. US Navy)

2007-Present LCDR Leonard Greig (ret. US Coast Guard)

Naval Science Instructor:

2001-2004 Gunnery Sergeant Gregory Bowman (ret. US Marines)

2004-2005 First Sergeant Russell Stewart (ret. US Marines)

2005-Present Master Chief Petty Officer Tommy Brady (ret. US Navy)

Commanding Officers, Executive Officers & Drill Commanders :

Unit Achievements

"AREA FIVE" (Regional MD,DE,VA, Championship)

In 2003, the Kennedy Drill Team placed first in armed and unarmed standard, defeating schools whose programs had existed for a significantly longer time. Kennedy Drill Team had defied the odds to become recognized as a Drill powerhouse in a relatively short period of time.Fact|date=April 2008

Kennedy's NJROTC Unit has received the "Unit Achievement" award three times; 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2007-2008


Kennedy's main rival is Wheaton High School which is located down Randolph Road. The Rivalry is fueled by the schools close proximity to one another. The Wheaton-Kennedy Rivalry is one of the oldest rivalries in Montgomery County.

Other smaller rivalries include those with Albert Einstein High School and for Lacrosse; Rockville High School (Maryland)



Kennedy High School is home to a number of sports teams:

Fall sports

* Cross Country
* Field Hockey
* Football
* Golf
* Soccer
* Tennis
* Volleyball
* Cheerleading

Winter sports

* Basketball
* Swimming and diving
* Indoor track
* Wrestling

Spring sports

* Baseball
* Tennis
* Lacrosse
* Track and field
* Softball
* Volleyball [ [ Montgomery County Public Schools, MD - Kennedy HS - Athletics ] ]

Notable achievements

The football team was noted in "The Washington Post" for a lengthy losing streak in 2005 which had since been broken.cite web|url= |title=Finding the Good in the Bad- The Washington Post]

Reemergence of Football

In the 2006 fall season the Kennedy football team came in with a 25 game losing streak. With a new head coach, former arena league and NFL receiver Gunnard Twyner, and the emergence of star athlete Melvin Harris the Cavaliers broke their losing streak by winning their first game of the season against Albert Einstein High School. The Cavaliers exceeded expectations by winning 10 games and making the playoffs. During the season they were beaten badly by perennial powerhouse Seneca Valley, who were led by a slew of big time division-1 talent. Kennedy entered the playoffs matched up against Seneca Valley, and the Cavaliers, led by Brown University bound linebacker Chimso Okoji, Receivers Abreon Scott and Jhonny Lopez, Defensive End Delano Fergueson, Tight End Clarence Claiborne, Lineman Jeff Hernandez, And all-met QB Melvin Harris, Kennedy managed to avenge their 49-7 loss from earlier in the season by beating the state powerhouse Seneca Valley Screamin' Eagles 19-7, the teams first playoff win since 1992. This was a monumental upset and possibly one of the biggest in Maryland State High School Playoff History. Making the season even more invaluable was the stellar play of Melvin Harris. Harris, a former pee-wee football legend for pop-warner national powerhouse White Oak in Silver Spring Maryland, had a difficult upbringing. He never knew his father and his mother died of AIDS. He was ineligble to play football for his freshman, and sophomore season, but he got his GPA up to a 3.0 and became the Cavs starting QB as a junior. He was also named to the All-Met team, a very prestigous honor in the D.C area. Many all-met players have gone on to have NFL careers. After the shocking upset of Seneca Valley, the team entered the second round of the playoffs against Urbana High School, but came up short. Individual statistics for the players were as follows. Star quarterback Melvin Harris ended the season with 2,275 yards passing and 29 touchdowns. Also Abreon Scott, led the county with 59 receptions, and Chimso Okoji emerged as a clutch tight end and one of the best defensive players in the county.


When the graduating class of 2008 arrived at Kennedy H.S. in 2004, it was easy to recognize that this would be one of the best athletic group of student-athletes the school would ever have. Though not easily noticable, improvements were taking place little by little in all of Kennedy's sports seasons. Not many records improved, but much respect was gained. The 2005 baseball season for the Cavs concluded in the ending of a 5-year losing streak, with a come-from-behind win against Albert Einstein H.S. Jack Chizik, coach at the time, and the team would have something to be proud of and build on. The following year, some experienced sophomores who played on the varsity team the year before returned to the field once again, looking to keep improving and make Kennedy's varsity baseball program a well respected one. And so they did, finishing the season with a 2-14 record, and losing some close games to tough teams not to mention an 8-3 win against powerhouse Paint Branch H.S. A big role was played by new coach and former Southern University MVP Mike Maroto, who came from Atlanta, Georgia, after having coached a team that constantly made the state championships. Maroto had a rough transition to make, but in his first year, a huge improvement showed. In 2007, the team was mainly made up of '07 and '08. The players formed close bonds and, yet again, doubled their win total from the year before, to a record of 4-12. Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable improvement came in the 2008 baseball season. With many position players missing due to graduation in 2007, the Cavs felt they were not in a good position. Nevertheless, Coach Maroto stayed positive and led an offseason workout program in which prominent role players improved not only physically, but mentally, and skillfully. After dropping the first game, the Cavs came back to win the next four in a row. Due to the efforts and hard work of the team, and coaches (Maroto and Watts), the Cavs finished the season with an 8-8 record. Prominent role players included senior catcher Tony Staffa, Senior shortstop Elio Peraza, Senior pitcher/first baseman Michael Sullivan, and Senior center fielder Noah Walker. The Cavs had their best season in decades, along with Staffa making the County All-Star team.


An incomplete list of a few Championships

* Football State Championships: 1977 and 1984
* Girls Soccer Division Champions: 1997
* Cheerleading State Champions: 1999; 2000; 2007
* Girls Basketball Division Champions: 2006
* Swim & Dive Team: Division Champions: 2005; 2007


Kennedy's Football stadium is named in memory of Brady Straub, who coached the 1984 football team to the state championship. The following year, he bravely led the team while battling cancer, succumbing shortly after the end of the season. The field was redone in the spring of 2007 after being condemned by the county for poor conditions.

Notable alumni

* Allison Krause, (Class of 1969) one of the students who died protesting at the Kent State massacre.

* David Silverman (Class of 1975), animator of the show The Simpsons. Supervising director of The Simpsons Movie.

* Curtis Pride (Class of 1986), First team Parade Magazine All-American soccer player. Fifth deaf player in Major League Baseball history, playing for the Expos, Tigers, Red Sox, Braves, Yankees and Angels (1993 - 2006).

* Vencie Glenn (Class of 1982), He played ten seasons from 1986-1995 for the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. He had 35 career interceptions. He had one of the longest returns for a touchdown (103 yds) in NFL history.

* Mark Robinson (Class of 1980), He played seven seasons from 1984-1990 for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

* Erik McMillan (Class of 1983), He played six seasons from 1988-1993, playing for the Jets for five of those seasons, and the Eagles, Browns & Chiefs the last. He recovered 2 fumbles for touchdowns in a season, tying an NFL record. He is a 2-time pro-bowler

* William Joppy, He attended 9th & 10th grade at Kennedy from 1984-1986. He has held the WBA middleweight title on two occasions.


External links

* [ John F. Kennedy High School]

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