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|Coordinates||420752N 723248W / 42.1312N 72.5468W / 42.1312; -72.5468 Coordinates : 420752N 723248W / 42.1312N 72.5468W / 42.1312; -72.5468|
|Established||1898 ; 122 years ago ( 1898 )|
|School district||Springfield Public Schools|
|Teaching staff||146.10 (FTE)|
|Number of students||2,104 (2018-19)|
|Average class size||18-25|
|Student to teacher ratio||14.40|
|Hours in school day||7:35 A.M. - 2:20 P.M.|
|Color(s)||Black and Gold|
|Slogan||Home of Scholars and Champions|
|Athletics||MIAA - Division 1 West|
|Athletics conference||AA League|
|Website||central .springfieldpublicschools .com|
SPRINGFIELD To 2 000-plus students packing Central High School's gym on Oct. 4, it was not just another celebration for another championship. At a school known for football, basketball and wrestling stars, Courtney Stewart, reigning state Poetry recital champion, received a bleacher-rocking ovation. Great job, Courtney, principal Thaddeus S. Tokarz said as the cheerleader presented the 15-year old with the state Poetry Out Loud championship ring. It was a sweet moment at Central, large, urban High School that takes pride in defying stereotypes associated with large urban high schools. While its sports teams continue to pile up championships and headlines, Central academic and Arts programs are also flourishing with far less fanfare. This is the first story in a three-part series examining three high schools in SPRINGFIELD, each large, urban school that defies the perception that American urban schools face too many challenges to succeed. Aid by 5 million in scholarships, nearly 90 percent of last year's seniors went on to college, with some attending Brown, Columbia, Harvard and other elite schools. Already, Class of 2014 has won 105 prestigious John and Abigail Adams scholarships this year-highest one-year total for any SPRINGFIELD High School. A wrestling team take its ninth straight Western Mass. Title Last year, school achieved a more elusive milestone-enrolling highest number of minority students in Advanced Placement English classes statewide, and posting 2 highest enrollment for all Advanced courses. Overall, 525 students taking Advanced courses at Central this year is more than double the figure from 2008, reflecting an increasingly aggressive emphasis on preparing students for college and beyond. That is huge for us, say Tokarz, 40, principal and life coach for Centrals 2 040 students. We push kids to take tougher courses. We push them out of their comfort zone. We want them to get used to performing under pressure at a high level, he say. A frame T-shirt from Lake Placid Ironman Triathalon hangs in Tokarz's office, attesting to his appetite for challenge. Contrary to popular perception, Central is not the largest high school in the state. By student population, Brockton High School is twice as large, and nine other Eastern Massachusetts schools have more than 2 000 students. But in enrollment, classroom offerings and sheer square footage, Central dwarfs most public School in Massachusetts and across New England. Magnet School for Arts and Advanced Placement studies, Central also fields teams in 16 sports, has a 200-student marching band and the largest ROTC chapter in New England. Central has endured its share of tragedy-in 2008, varsity basketball captain Mario Hornsby was killed at a party, unintended victim of a gang-related drive-by shooting. And in 2006, six students were charged for pushing 5 000 antique piano off stage during a vandalism spree. Violence and vandalism are not routine problems at Central; low standardized test scores, on the other hand, have been a concern for years. Unlike many suburban schools, Central has students who are homeless, in foster care, or newly arrived from remote countries.
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