Freedom High School (Pennsylvania)

Freedom High School (Pennsylvania)

Infobox school | name = Freedom High School
established= 1967
principal= Michael LaPorta
staff= 157
mascot= Patriot
type= Public
location= Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA
enrollment= 2,230
campus= Suburban
colors= Black and Gold
website= http://www-fhs.beth.k12.pa.us/|

Freedom High School is a public high school, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, in the United States. Freedom is one of two public high schools in the Bethlehem Area School District. It is located at 3149 Chester Avenue, Bethlehem Township.

The total student population is over 2,000 students. Its main rival is Bethlehem's other public high school, Liberty High School. Another rival is Bethlehem Catholic High School which is also in Bethlehem.

The mascot of Freedom High School is the Patriot. School colors are black and gold.

The principal for the 2008-2009 school year is Michael LaPorta. Assistant principals vary according to grades. The school also has a number of guidance counselors whose purpose is to provide psychological support to students and to also schedule the students' classes.

Academics and Scholastic Achievement

Freedom's "Scholastic Scrimmage" team has turned in several first and second place finishes in the Lehigh Valley region. The team placed first in 1980 and 1989 and second in 1981 (losing to Emmaus High School) and 2005 (losing to Allentown Central Catholic High School). In 2007, Freedom went undefeated in the Lehigh Valley Conference regular season, losing to Liberty High School in the East Division championship. The team defeated Allentown Central Catholic High School for third place in the conference. In 2008, the team advanced to the quarterfinal round of "Scholastic Scrimmage", where they lost again to the Liberty Hurricanes, on a disputed last-second ruling. Along the way, they defeated Easton Area High School, Notre Dame High School, and Nazareth Area High School.In 2007, senior Isha Himani Jain placed first in the Siemens Competition, one of the two most prestigious science competitions in the United States. [cite news|author=Catherine Arnst |title=Girls Dominate the Siemens Competition |url=http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2007/tc2007123_368568.htm?chan=technology_technology+index+page_science |publisher=Business Week|date=2007-12-03 |accessdate=2007-12-06 ] [cite news|author=Amanda Millner-Fairbanks |title=Girls Make History by Sweeping Top Honors at a Science Contest|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/04/nyregion/04siemens.html?_r=1&oref=slogin |publisher=The New York Times |date=2007-12-04 |accessdate=2007-12-06 ]

Athletics

*Athletic Director - Fred Harris
*Asst. Athletic Directors - George Kazakos, Joe Stellato, Kevin Remaly, and Carrie McAndrewThe school has received considerable attention as the starting point for the career of Dwayne Johnson, famously known as "The Rock" and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. At Freedom High School, Johnson participated on the school's football, wrestling, and track and field teams.

In boys athletics, Freedom is known for its historically successful golf, swimming, ice hockey, soccer, baseball, and volleyball teams.

In girls athletics, Freedom is best known for its historically successful girl's basketball, cheerleading, tennis, and volleyball teams.

Their most recent championships include:

*The cheerleading squad, which won the 2007 Jamfest and became National Champions. The 2008 Freedom Varsity Cheerleading squad has also won the District XI Cheerleading Championship.
*The varsity boys' volleyball team is one of the most successful programs at Freedom, winning the District XI championship four out of the last five years.
*Also the 2007 football team won the 2007 Eastern Conference Championship, the ice hockey team won the 2006-2007 LVSHL (Lehigh Valley School's Hockey League) championship, and the baseball team, which won the 2007 inaugural championship of the Pride of the Diamond baseball league.Freedom competes in the Lehigh Valley Conference in the District XI athletic division of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, one of the most competitive athletic divisions in the state. It holds the record for the most Lehigh Valley Conference championships in boys volleyball. [ [http://www.lviac.net/historicalstats.aspx LVIAC Historical Stats.] ]

Riot Squad

Freedom High School is also known for its extremely popular student section called the RIOT SQUAD. The RIOT SQUAD was started by FHS boys basketball coach and assistant athletic director Joe Stellato. The RIOT SQUAD is present at all FHS boys basketball games and is recognized as one of the best hish school student sections in the state of Pennsylvania. The "Squad" wears camouflage shirts to the games. On a good night the RIOT SQUAD can have up to 1,000 plus students in it. During the 2007-2008 basketball season the RIOT SQUAD was so obnoxious that fans of other teams would complain about them in the editorial section of local newspapers such as the Express-Times and the The Morning Call [ [http://www.topix.com/forum/source/the-morning-call/T8NJ9FT4C8TINM5O7 Morinig Call Editorial Forum.] ] .

Extra-Curricular Activities

Freedom High School offers a variety of after-school, extra-curricular activities. Some of these activities include:
*Student Council
*GREEN Team
*Students Against Destructive Decisons, SADD
*FBLA
*National Honor Society
*DECA
*Latino Leadership
*Yearbook Committee
*Young Democrats/Republicans of America
*Debate Team
*FEAT - Freedom's Environmental Awareness Team
*Freedom Forum - a student-run school newspaper

The Freedom Patriot Band

Ronald H. Demkee was the original director of instrumental music at Freedom and conductor of the Patriot Band and Orchestra from 1967 until his retirement in 1997. The first year band had a membership of 90. In 1970, band members made their first major national appearance (3 years after the school opened) as they marched down the streets of Miami, Florida in the Orange Bowl parade, in front of a national television audience. Under the leadership of current band director Michael Moran, the Freedom Patriot Band has performed at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. In 2004, the Freedom High School Patriot Marching Band performed at the Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.The Patriots turn in several all district band members each year (from Freedom High).

In March 2008 the Patriot Band performed in both the Limerick and Dublin St. Patrick's Day parades. In Limerick, the band won Best Uniform and won Best International Band. At the Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade, the band was honored with the award for Best Overall Band.

FHS Planetarium

Freedom High School is home to Bethlehem Area School District's only Planetarium. It is operated by astronomy teacher Bill Safranek, who is an alum of Freedom High School, and a teacher there since 1987. The Planetarium provides instruction for second, third, eighth, and 11-12th grade students in the Bethlehem Area School District. The Freedom High School planetarium and astronomy clubs also make use of the only BASD planetarium. Planetarium visits may be arranged by contacting Safranek at the school.

Construction

Like many Lehigh Valley schools, Freedom underwent construction to accommodate an quickly increasing student population. The new main entrance was completed in June 2006 and Freedom's athletic facilities opened in December. The additions boast new main offices, classrooms, a business wing, a refurbished pool & old gymnasium, a fitness center, a new athletic office, a new trainer's room, and a state-of-the-art gym. A larger combined cafeteria opened for the fall semester of 2007. The academic wings of the school still remain in their original state with no current plans for remodeling.

FHS Theatre Company

Freedom High School is well known for its high quality theatre company. The fall production has been announced as Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, which will be performed on the second weekend in November. Their most recent project was the musical "Bye Bye Birdie", which was performed at the beginning of April 2008 and competed in the Freddy Awards on May 22, 2008. Freedom High School received 16 Freddy Nominations for its production of Bye Bye Birdie, which broke Freddy records.

The company produces two plays per year and participates in a local awards show called the Freddy Awards. Since the Freddys began in 2003, Freedom has been nominated for Best Musical and performed at the ceremony 4 out of the 5 years. The performances include: Dance at the Gym ("West Side Story"), Crapshooters Ballet ("Guys and Dolls") "I Got Rhythm" (Crazy For You), "Anything Goes", and Honestly, Sincere ("Bye Bye Birdie"). Both "Crazy For You" and "Anything Goes" received 14 Freddy nominations. "Crazy For You" still holds the honor of receiving 8 Freddys, the most received to date in Freddy history.

Awards include:
2003: "Best Performance by a Featured Actor" - Tim Sampson(West Side Story)
6 Other Nominations- Best Leading Actor (Erich Jones), Best Supporting Actress (Kate Christopher), Best Supporting Actor (Adam Chisnall), Best Production Number (Gee, Officer Krupke), Best Featured Dancer (Tim Sampson), Best Musical

2004: "Outstanding Choreography" (Guys and Dolls)
10 Other Nominations- Best Supporting Actress (Lauren Zito), Best Chorus, Best Production Number (Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat), Best Orchestra, Best Dancer (Mariel Letourneau), Best Duet (Tim Sampson and Lauren Zito), Best Stage Crew, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Musical

2005: "Outstanding Scenic Design," "Outstanding Costume Design," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Choreography," "Outstanding Featured Dancer" (Andy Truscott), "Outstanding Male Lead" (Andy Truscott), "Outstanding Production Number" (I've Got Rhythm), "Best Overall Musical" (Crazy for You)
6 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Best Lighting, Best Supporting Actress (Mariel Letourneau), Best Small Ensemble (Josue Rivera, Jose Gonzalez, Alex Shuck), Best Stage Crew, Best Leading Actress (Julie Boring)

2006: "Outstanding Featured Performance" (Brittany Stahlberg) (Into the Woods)
7 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design (Ryan Hay), Best Small Ensemble (Alex Shuck & Justin Glessner), Best Scenic Design, Best Stage Crew, Best Leading Actress (Kristin Stachina)

2007: "Outstanding Performance by an Actor" (Drew Stonesifer) (Anything Goes)
13 Other Nominations- Best Orchestra, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design (Ryan Hay), Best Chorus, Best Small Ensemble (Amanda Kostalis, Alex Shuck, & John Andreadis), Best Supporting Actor (Alex Shuck), Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography, Best Stage Crew, Best Production Number (Anything Goes), Best Actress (Christine Stehly), Best Leading Actress (Amanda Kostalis), Best Overall Musical

2008: "Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra," "Outstanding Chorus," "Outstanding Stage Crew," "Outstanding Production Number" (Honestly, Sincere), "Outstanding Featured Performance by an Actor" (John Andreadis) (Bye Bye Birdie)
11 Other Nominations- Best Costume Design, Best Performance by an Ensemble Member (Karly Kaschak), Best Lighting Design, Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Elena Zervos), Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Alison Christopher), Best Performance by a Supporting Actor (Zachary Gibson), Best Scenic Design, Best Choreography, Best Leading Actor (Nick Conti), Best Leading Actress (Amanda Kostalis), Best Overall Musical

Notable Alumni

*Afa Anoa'i, Jr., professional wrestler.
*Lisa Boscola, Pennsylvania State Senator.
*Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock"), actor and former professional wrestler.
*Daniel Dae Kim, actor, ABC's "Lost".
*Janelle Stangl, Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader
*Jeff Schaeffer, NFL Kicking prospect, University of Chicago

References

External Links

* [http://www-fhs.beth.k12.pa.us Freedom High School Official Website] .
* [http://freedomhighschooltheatre.com Freedom High School Theatre Company Website] .
* [http://www.highschoolsports.net/defaultcal_300.cfm?school=PA180203800 Freedom High School Athletics Schedule and Scores] at HighSchoolSports.net.
* [http://www.lviac.net/freedom.asp Freedom High School Page at Lehigh Valley Conference Official Website] .
* [http://www-fhs.beth.k12.pa.us/~bsafranek/index.htm BASD Freedom High School Planetarium Website] .
* [http://www.leaguelineup.com/photodisplay.asp?url=freedomvarsity&sid=435886199&pid=1869684 Freedom High School Cheerleading Website] .
* [http://www.patesfootball.com Freedom High School Football Website] .
* [http://www.pateswrestling.com Freedom High School Wrestling Website] .
* [http://www.fhs-band.org Freedom High School Patriot Band Website] .

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