North Andover High School

North Andover High School
North Andover High School
430 Osgood Street,
North Andover, MA 01845

Type Public
Principal Dr. Carla Scuzzarella
Enrollment 1371
Color(s) Scarlet Red, Black & White               
Information (978)794-1711

North Andover High School is a public secondary school located in the town of North Andover, Massachusetts, United States. The school is a part of the North Andover Public School System. The school is relatively new (construction finished in February 2004), and serves grades 9-12. As of the school year 2005-2006, North Andover High enrolls 1,366 students. The school's mascot is the Scarlet Knight.



North entrance concept art.

North Andover High is relatively new, close to the newest high school in the area (the city of Lawrence built a new high school that was completed in 2007). The school serves not only the students and faculty but also the town; it is the headquarters for North Andover Cam, the local Public-access television cable TV channel along with serving as the community's only polling station. The new high school has a gymnasium, indoor track, weight room with brand new Nautilus workout machines, TV station, band and choral chambers, a large (800 seat) auditorium and a cafeteria. Other features include a language lab and five computer labs; two with PC's and three with Apple computers. Most classrooms are outfitted with TV's and SMART boards to assist with learning. Additionally, the 5,000 seat, state-of-the-art football stadium hosts many state tournament games along with North Andover games.


North Andover High offers courses in the major disciplines: Mathematics, Science, History and English, as well as four foreign languages (Spanish, German, Chinese and French). Art, music and physical education programs are also offered, although budget shortfalls have resulted in substantial cuts [1] to every area of learning (with art, music and physical education hit the hardest). In addition, many electives have also been cut, beginning with Industrial Arts classes and slowly moving into the main academic areas. This has led to a limited number of course choices for students.

NAHS (as it is referred to by most students) offers the basic AP courses (English Literature, English Language, European History, U.S. History, Spanish, German, French, Calculus AB, Physics (Mechanical), Chemistry, Biology and Statistics).[2]

On the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) NAHS students are in the top half of the state, with over 95% pass rate on the English and Mathematics sections.[3][4]


The community of North Andover is sandwiched in between the rural towns of northern Essex County (Boxford, Middleton, Topsfield, West Newbury and Georgetown) and the small cities of the Merrimack Valley and Middlesex County (Haverhill, Lawrence, Andover, Lowell, Chelmsford) and so could justifiably be in one of two athletic conferences, the Merrimack Valley Conference (MVC) or the [Cape Ann League] (CAL). North Andover chooses to compete in the Cape Ann League which has mostly smaller (Division 3 and 4) schools as opposed to the MVC, which houses some of the state's athletic powerhouses (Central Catholic, Andover, Lawrence among others.) Because of total enrollment, NAHS is qualified in Division 2 by the MIAA (Mass. Interscholastic Athletic Association) and plays many games against non-league opponents with similar school size.

One sport NAHS can be considered a powerhouse in is wrestling, where from 2004-2006 the wrestling team won 77 consecutive dual meets and won the Division 2 States in 2005 and 2006. This is the second longest dual meet streak only to the record of 106 held by the 79-80 wrestling teams. The wrestling team's continued success is directly related to the strong history involved with the program, a top-tier youth program and the fact that North Andover has only had two head wrestling coaches. Howard Crozier (whom the field house is named after) and Dave Castricone. Crozier is a North Andover athletic pioneer while Castricone is 3rd in the Nation in wins all time. Castricone is also New England's leader in wins. The wrestling team also holds more league titles then all the other athletic programs at NAHS. Another NAHS powerhouse is the high school basketball team, which currently has the longest streak for consecutive state tournament appearances in the state of Massachusetts.[citation needed] The last time the school failed to make the basketball state tournament was in the early 60s.[citation needed] The basketball team reached the Division 2 North Finals in 2007 for the first time in 20 years. Lacrosse commands a great following and is the premier spring sport, with the team usually going deep into the playoffs. Soccer is widely played in-town and has a strong youth league. Football has shown signs of improvement during the past few years led by head coach John Rafferty. The team reached the division 2A playoffs in 2005 for the first time since 1996. During the 2005-2006 season, North Andover teams won league championships and/or qualified for the state tournament in football, men's cross country, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, field hockey, men's ice hockey,men's basketball, coed swimming, wrestling, men's lacrosse, softball, men's and women's outdoor track and men's and women's tennis. NAHS was awarded the prestigious Dalton Award in 2005 for the school with the best overall record in MIAA Division 3, the next season the school was bumped up to Division 2 where it continues to excel. In 2009, the Scarlet Knights once again earned the prestigious Dalton Award, this time for MIAA Division 2.

The school's main league rival is nearby Masconomet Regional High School (the 'Chieftains') and the competition between the two schools is intense. Historically North Andover had always considered neighboring Andover (the 'Warriors') its official rival; however major differences in enrollment between the two schools made the rivalry a rather one-sided affair. For the sake of tradition NAHS still plays Andover in football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer and a few other sports.


While the North Andover football team, the Scarlet Knights, has a history of excellence the 2005 and 2006 seasons were three notable seasons that will remain in history.

The 2005 season started with a bang because of the Knights first victory against its long-time rival, the Andover Golden Warriors, in a 20-14 win at Andover.[5] This huge victory was followed up by ten more wins to lead to North Andover finishing 11-0, sending North Andover to the Division 2A semi-finals against Duxbury. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights Duxbury came out a little more prepared for the game and defeated the Scarlet Knights on their way to winning the State Championship.

With all the high expectations steaming from the 2005 11-1 team it was a disappointment when North Andover lost their first three games of the 2006 season. After its third straight loss against the Ipswitch Tigars a 20-0, the first time the Scarlet Knights had been shutout since 1998,[6] North Andover realized something had to change, and after a week of tough practices they took a turn for the better with a 42-40 win over North Reading at North Reading.[7] This win was followed up with wins against Triton Regional(14-9), Lynnfield(47-7), Pentucket Regional(35-31), and Newburyport(21-14). This five game winning streak was ended in a tough game against Wilmington ending in a 21-28 loss at Joe Walsh Stadium in North Andover. After the setback against Wilmington the Knights put in a tough week of practice which was rewarded by a 41-0 win against Lawrence, another division team. This win against Lawrence gave North Andover the confidence it needed to earn a victory on Thanksgiving Day against its league rival Masconoment(20-6) The 2006 season was led by tri-captains Running Back Andrew Foote, Tight-end/ Linebacker Conor Tierney, and Center/Defensive Tackle Matthew Weisman.


Despite the recent budget cuts, NAHS has a strong artistic community, with both the Drama Guild and the music department playing parts in the daily life of the school. The NAHS Drama Guild performs three major performances every year, including one Shakespearean, one musical, and one One-Act performance. In January 2007, the school hosted its first ever One-Act festival, in which three One-Act productions were performed, a tradition that as of right now is continuing. The Shakespearean production is put up in the fall with the aid of the Lenox based company: Shakespeare & Company. The students also perform in Shakespeare & Company's Fall Festival of Shakespeare: a non-competitive, lively celebration with 10 schools. North Andover is the easternmost school of the ten. The One Act performances are typically student directed plays. The guild is supported financially by a parent's organization. The Pep Band also plays at many school functions, including home basketball games and the Special Olympics. The school also boasts an award winning music program. The chorus has been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall in April 2011 due to their gold medal rating at their competition in Philadelphia, PA. The band highlights at every single home football game and also perform at many competitions.

The large student body leaves room for a great number of diverse clubs to spring from the student population, everything from academic teams (Math, Science or Model United Nations) to intramural sports (Ping Pong, Environmental Club and Ultimate Frisbee, are popular) to multicultural clubs (Spanish, German, and a Gay-Straight Alliance)and dance club which performs in the annual pep-rally. The Johnson Chapter of the National Honor Society coordinates volunteer work from among the school's top ranked juniors and seniors.

Budget Cuts

North Andover is a burgeoning town with five elementary schools, a middle school and a high school all competing for parts of the school budget, and this has led to shortfalls in the budget over the last few years as enrollment has ballooned along with the population of the town. This has caused somewhat of a political divide within the school community and the greater town population.

While school officials tried to create a balanced budget, it became apparent sometime in 2004/2005 that cuts would soon have to be made. The arts programs were among the first major changes made in the budget, and this caused a stir among parents and students who participated in the drama and music programs. While the programs were not completely cut, opponents of the cuts complained that there weren’t enough art and music faculty to serve the entire student body and that expensive user fees would have to be instituted to pay for band and drama performances. They contended that an effective education includes art and music. Proponents of the cuts argue that both band and drama are extra-curricular activities and thus the user fees are justified (it should be noted athletes also pay user fees) and that core subjects such as English and Mathematics are required fields of study for aspiring college students and need to be given priority.

Another side-effect of the budget cuts was the reduction of the regular school day from a rotating seven-period schedule to a set six-period a day schedule. Because of the schedule change, study periods were no longer offered, causing students to be placed in classes that they had not signed up for.

A small debate occurred in 2006 over the athletic fees, which are set as a flat fee for all athletes regardless of how many sports a student plays or the cost of those sports to the school (for example, a student who does one seasons of track and field uses much less of the Athletic Departments resources than a student who plays football, hockey and lacrosse. Both students, however, pay the same amount of money). A new policy was instituted that adjusts fees based on the number of seasons a student chooses to participate in athletics.

The town of North Andover has a population of almost 30,000, many of whom do not have students in the school system. It is also a traditionally conservative town and most citizens are opposed to tax hikes, even to support the school budget[citation needed]. At a 2006 town meeting, voters approved by an overwhelming margin an “unbalanced” school budget of over 33 million dollars, requiring the town to somehow find enough money to pay for the budget by the end of the year. A number of solutions have been proposed, including increased development of building sites and trash fees. The school came dangerously close to being shut down due to almost failing the accreditation process.


Coordinates: 42°42′3″N 71°6′59″W / 42.70083°N 71.11639°W / 42.70083; -71.11639

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