Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School

Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School

Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School is a high school in Rockville, Maryland. Its namesake is Thomas Sprigg Wootton, the founder of Montgomery County. The school was founded in 1970 and is part of the Montgomery County Public Schools system. The majority of the students come from Robert Frost Middle School or Cabin John Middle School. The principal since July 2003 is Dr. Michael Doran.


In 2005, Wootton was named the 17th best high school in the United States by Newsweek. The only school from Montgomery County to beat it was Richard Montgomery High School, which placed 11th. The rankings have come into question however because of the controversial method used to evaluate schools. "Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2004 divided by the number of graduating seniors." This method completely disregards the scores on the test, i.e., the school ranked number one could have the lowest scores on tests in the country as long as that school takes the most tests.ref|MSNBC,ref|bestschoolsIn addition to the usual selection of classes, Wootton also offers two signature programs: the Humanities and Arts Program, and the STARS Program.The Humanities and Arts Program (or "H&A") students typically have an affinity for some or all of the following: Social Studies, English, Foreign Language, and Fine Arts. Humanities students are enrolled in separate classes in the subjects of English and Social Studies for their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. These classes count for the same credits and cover the same materials as their regular counterparts, but allow for more creativity and intellectual discussion in the classroom. Five additional credits are added to the MCPS graduation requisites, but that is only part of the program's requirements. The other requirements are the off-campus experience and the "Senior Independent Project". The off-campus experience encourages Humanities students to step outside their comfort zone and learn outside the classroom. The off-campus requirement can be fulfilled by a trip studying abroad, attending a pre-college program on a university/ college campus, or an internship working in a humanities or arts subject. The final requirement is the "Senior Independent Project"- more commonly known as the "SIP"- is the focus of the Humanities Program from Junior year onward. The SIP may take two possible forms; that of the Extended Essay or Creative Project. The Extended Essay is an argumentative research paper of 18-20 pages; The Creative Project involves a shorter argumentative or expository essay of 8-10 pages and a creative project. The SIP was introduced to the program a year after the Humanities Program was formed in 2001; and has been a defining part of the senior-year experience for six years. Humanities students have traditionally been closely involved in Wootton's musical and theatrical productions.The Wootton class of 2009 is the largest class ever to graduate the school, with 664 students (62 of which are currently enrolled in the program).The class of 2010 contains 629 students, 75 of which are enrolled in the program.The class of 2011 contains 600 students, 85 of which are enrolled in the program.The class of 2012 contains 588 students, 85 of which are enrolled in the program.Students participating in the STARS ("Science, Technology, And Research Scholars) Program choose to focus on one of the following during their high school years: Global Science, Computer Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or Molecular Biology. With the change of leadership in the STARS program in 2008, several major changes were made in the program's requirements. A "Capstone Project", similar to but less intensive than the Humanities SIP, became a requirement with the class of 2011.

Wootton students are described as ambitious, intelligent, and diverse. The average student's schedule contains mostly Honors/AP courses.

Extracurricular activities


*On April 28, 2007, Wootton won first place ref|chemathon for the second-year-team at the University of Maryland's 23nd Annual [ Chemathon] . Twenty-four high schools from Maryland, Virginia, and DC participated. This is the third year in a row Wootton has placed first in the Level II division. The first-year-team placed 8th in this event.
*In March 2006, the Wootton Model United Nations Club attended the Johns Hopkins Model United Nations Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The club members acted as delegates representing Ukraine and Iceland on various UN Committees.
*On February 26, 2005 and on February 25, 2006, the Wootton Science Bowl team won the Maryland/Delaware Regional Science Bowl.
*At the National Science Bowl on April 30 through May 2, 2005, the Wootton Science Bowl team won fifth place out of sixty-three schools nationwide, all of which had won their respective regional eventref|sciencebowl.
*On February 25, 2006, a team of eight Wootton students placed fourth in the B division of the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament.
*In March 2005, the Wootton Programming Team got third place out of the thirty-two schools competing in the University of Maryland Computer Science Competitionref|scibowl2. In October 2005, the programming team earned second place at the Hood College Competition, and in March 2006, the team placed fifth at the University of Maryland Computer Science Competition, winning $400.
*The Wootton High School Debate Team placed fourth in the 2005-2006 regional tournament.
*The Wootton High School Cancer Awareness Club raises awareness of the deadly disease in the school's community. They were recently invited to WHIT Washington FM 99.5 to talk about their club with show host Julian.
*The Wootton TV / Film Club submitted a film to the Montgomery County Schools Media Festival held on April 28, 2006 at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. The film, titled "The S.G.A.", was directed by Eric Fleischman, a member of the TV / Film Club of 2006, and starred English teacher Mr. Lightsey and Wootton Principal Dr. Doran. The film won second place in the live action video category. Blake High School claimed first place in that category.
*The Foundation Chicos Por Atyra raised over $600 for impoverished children in Paraguay.
*A team, Steven Zhang (attending Cornell)and Christine Sun (attending Rice), from Wootton's Research, Design, and Experimentation Club won first place at the Montgomery Science Fair, exploring the validity of hormesis.
*Wootton's Equestrian Club was ranked second in Maryland as of November 11, 2007.

Performing Arts

Wootton is known throughout Maryland for its theater department, once described by Principal Michael Doran as "the closest thing to Broadway for miles around." In 2003, their production of "Les Miserables" was lauded by critics and leads in that show went on to attend music or theater programs at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Tisch @ NYU, the Penn State School of Music, and Musical Theatre at Emerson College among others. Other difficult shows they have recently tackled with great critical success include "Seussical," "Flowers for Algernon," "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "On the Town," and both the male and female versions of "The Odd Couple." In recent years, Wootton has staged "Revenge of the Space Pandas," "Children of Eden," "Sweeney Todd," "Honk!," "Macbeth Did It," and "My Favorite Year." Wootton's December 2005 production of Jason Robert Brown's "Songs for a New World" was selected to be the full-length featured show at the Maryland State High School Theaterfest on February 11, 2005. [ [ Songs for a New World ] ] The productions scheduled for fall of 2008 include the musical "Grease" (the revised student version) and the play "Horror High". The musical "Beauty and the Beast" is planned for this spring. [] [] [] [] []


Cross Country

The girls' cross country team has been consistently strong over the years, making it to the state championship every season from 2000-2007, except 2001 and 2006. In 2007, the girls team placed seventh at states. The boys' cross country team made it to the state championship during the 2000 season for the first time since winning the state championship in 1978; they made it again during the 2002 season. In 2003, the boys' cross country team finished fourth at the state championship meet.

Track & Field

The previous coach, Mr. Bosnik, ended his coaching career in 2005 after coaching the Patriots for four years. New coach Matt Duckery, originally from the Bronx, New York was hired, but left his position just before regionals in the indoor 2006-2007 season. He brought a large number of new coaches to the team, including Chris Whigam and Kellie Redmond, the current head coach of the track and cross country teams. Last season, the girls went undefeated in their division. The Patriots ended the season with twelve student athletes heading to states. The 2008 girls' indoor track team won the county championship and placed third at the 2008 indoor state championship.


Druing the 2007-2008 school year, the WHS Colorguard rose from their silence with many great shows. They performed in two competitions On February 8th and March 9th, placing 4th in both competitions. They also perform at home football games, homecoming, and various pep rallies throughout the school year.

Other Sports

The girls varsity volleyball team made it to the state finals, but lost to Broadneck High School, three games to two. Their strong showing was the first time Wootton had been to states since winning from 1983-1989.

In 2007, the field hockey team won the 4A west region title against Walt Whitman High School with a score of 3-1. The team was lead by juniors Amanda Rebello, Amy Eaton, Casey Beach, and Rachel Baron, Gazette 2007 Honorable Mention and 2007 Lead Scorer.

The boys' varsity lacrosse team won the regional final against Winston Churchill High School 8-7 in 2006. The team also made a great showing in the state final, losing to Severna Park High School 13-7. This match which is the greatest showing a Montgomery County team has had against an Anne Arundel County team. The following year, they made it to the state finals. They beat Dulaney High School in the semifinals, only to lose to Severna Park High School yet again.

The boys varsity basketball team won state championships in 1978, 1979, and 1983, and lost in the 1985 state finals.

The volleyball team made the finals in 1982 and won state titles every year from 1983 to 1989.

The golf team made the finals in 1982 and was state champions in 1983, 1996, and 1997.

The 1989 football team became Maryland state runner-ups in 1990.

The Wootton swim and dive team had a spectacular season; the boys went undefeated and the girls earned only one tie. The swim team will be moving to division one next year.

The Patriots wrestling team finished the 2006-2007 season with a 27-2 record and won the division championship.

In 1996, the baseball team won the 4A Maryland State Championship.

In 1998, the girls' varsity soccer team won the 4A Maryland State Championship. They were also 4A state semifinalists in 1999 and 2000. In 2004, the boys' varsity soccer team reached the semi-finals of their regional playoff series. The 2005 team finished first in their division and were ranked as high as sixth by The Washington Post and fourth by The Examiner. They lost to Quince Orchard High School in the second round of the playoffs.

In 2007, the pom (dance) squad won a triple threat first place (squad, captain, and spirit) at the Liberty Bell Competition hosted by Magruder High School.

In 2008, Wootton's tennis team soared high in the sky as they rocked the season with the team going 13-1.

Wootton also has tennis, ice hockey, cheerleading, and softball teams, as well as a number of intramural club sports.


During the past few years, the school has seen a large increase in the student population with no increase of parking space. This has created a large shortage of parking spaces for students. Parking spaces were originally given only to seniors, sports team captains, internship holding students, handicapped students, and a limited number of juniors. In 2002, a "seniors only" parking rule was initiated to combat the shortage of spaces present on campus. Seniors were still not guaranteed a parking space. Discounts and other incentives were given to those who carpooled or shared rides with others. Parking for juniors was limited to those who are handicapped or are participating in an internship. As a reaction to this policy, many underclassmen began parking their vehicles at the Rockshire Shopping Center or on Greenplace Terrace, a neighborhood street near Wootton. Security guards now patrol these areas heavily to prevent noise and traffic congestion. Underclassmen who park their cars at Rockshire Shopping Center will often be towed. During August of 2006, Montgomery County Public Schools and Rockshire Association would not allow Wootton to continue using their parking lot until insurance contracts were fulfilled. As of September 2006, parking was once again allowed for permit holders.


Notable recent events

In 2001 the band Of A Revolution (O.A.R.), which includes four alumni, performed at the James A. Coles Field before they reached the Billboard charts.ref|oar

Also in 2001, President George W. Bush visited Wootton and spoke with the senior class about a Veterans Day program. ref|whvisit

In early 2005, the Wootton cheerleading squad was caught in a scandal when pictures of cheerleaders in uniform in provocative poses made their way to pornographic sites. The story made the national media, including "The Washington Post". ref|cheerscandal

The Graduation ceremony for the class of 2005 featured a speech from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. For the graduation of the class of 2006, former Congresswoman Connie Morella was the speaker.

In April 2008, the bands Gym Class Heroes and Pat McGee Band performed in a "Rock the Vote" concert. The concert's goal was to generate political activism throughout the school.

Former English Teacher and Yearbook advisor Theresa Duarte was arrested on August 26th, 2008 for alleged drug charges.

During the summer of 2008 and part of the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, Wootton rebuilt brand new football field stands. They now are able fit the rapidly growing number of students at Wootton. No longer will students have to sit on the track during pep rallies.

Notable alumni

*Four of the members of the American rock group Of A Revolution or O.A.R. (Richard On, Benj Gershman, Marc Roberge, and Chris Culos) before attending Ohio State University.
*The radio DJ Flounder, talk show personality on Elliot in the Morning / Flounder's Mash Ups on DC101.
*Richard Scanlan, Tony-nominated lyricist of the Broadway Musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie", class of 1977.
*Zac Cohen, competitor on the reality game show "Fear Factor" and first place winner. ref|fearfactor
*Scratch DJ Kid Koala (Eric San), class of 1992.
*Actor Thomas Jane of "The Punisher."ref|wow
*Steve Coll, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and former managing editor of The Washington Post, class of 1976.
*Tom Friend, writer for ESPN.
*Dominique Paul, author of "The Possibility of Fireflies" and director of the namesake production.


# Science Bowl#Results of the National Competition
# [ Best High Schools in America]

External links

* [ Wootton High School website]
* [ "Common Sense"] , the Wootton High School newspaper
* [ Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School aerial] at Microsoft Terraserver
* []
* []

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