DID YOU KNOW?
The name “Weequahic” refers to the “head of the creek,” the high ground that served as a boundary between the lands of the Hackensacks and Raritans and later as the partition between the cities of Newark and Elizabeth, known today as Weequahic Park. The school was named “Weequahic” to honor Newark’s Native American roots.
Weequahic High School is a Newark Public High School located at 279 Chancellor Avenue, Newark New Jersey 07112. The construction of the high school was completed in 1932 and classes began in September 1933. Max Herzberg was the first Principal and remained the leader of the high school for 18 years until his retirement in 1951.
A Bit of History…
The high school is home to the New Deal era mural “Enlightenment of Man” painted by Michael Lenson who was director of New Jersey mural activities for the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.
Weequahic was considered to be one of the finest academic high schools in New Jersey during the 1960s. In the book “The Enduring Community”, Weequahic is noted for “It’s primary claim to fame, and justifiably so, was its student body and its faculty. It achieved a reputation as one of the best high schools in the country…The faculty at Weequahic High was outstanding by all accounts. The staff had terrific raw material to work with… Weequahic students were among the best in the land.”
A documentary film, “Heart of Stone” (2009), is about Ron Stone, the recently deceased principal of the high school and his efforts to work with students and further the mission of the high school. This documentary was presented at the Sundance Film Festival and has been shown in select venues.
In 1949, Untermann Field was dedicated in honor of William M. Untermann, a Newark attorney. In 1952, Weequahic won its first city championship in football and in 2006 won the Group II, Central Section, State Championship. The school competes in the Hills Division of the “Iron Hills Conference”.
The boys’ basketball team won its first State Group IV Championship in 1962 and repeated as State Champions in 1966, 1967, 1973 and 2001. The 1967 team was the number one ranked team in the country. The 2002 Boys Basketball won the North II, Group III state sectional championship, edging West Side High School in the tournament final.
The 2006 football team won the Group 2 Central Division State Championship, the first ever for Weequahic and the first in Newark since 1975. Coach Altarik White was named state Coach of the Year and Amara Kamara was selected as the state Defensive Player of the Year.
Lester Fine was the coach of the basketball team in the sixties, coaching many winning teams. His most successful season was 1966-67 when his team was 26-0 and captured the New Jersey State Championship in its Group. Some of his players went on to play in the National Basketball Association including Alvin Attles.
Additionally, the school’s marching band is regarded as one of the best in the conference, as their shows include dancing and singing while playing their instruments. In 2009 the Thanksgiving game, called the Soul Bowl, returned and continues to be a huge event expecting 5,000 10,000 fans.
The high school’s newspaper is the Calumet, the literary magazine is Ergo, and the yearbook is called the Legend. The school’s student governing body is the Orange and Brown Association (OBA). The school’s nickname is the Indians and its colors are Orange and Brown. The school has various clubs and academic activities including drama, journalism, jazz band and more.