Half Hollow Hills Central School District

Half Hollow Hills Central School District (#5) is located in Dix Hills and Melville New York. The district includes parts of both Huntington and Babylon townships. The school district contains eleven schools (seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools). The current superintendent of schools is Dr. Sheldon Karnilow.

The district continues to annually have large population increases due to extensive development within its borders. As a result, most of the schools have recently undergone expansions to accommodate additional students.


High Schools (9-12): High School East ("Hills East" or "HSE"), High School West ("Hills West" or "HSW")

Middle Schools (6-8): Candlewood Middle School, West Hollow Middle School

Elementary Schools (K-5): Chestnut Hill Elementary School, Forest Park Elementary School, Otsego Elementary School, Paumanok Elementary School, Signal Hill Elementary School, Sunquam Elementary School, Vanderbilt Elementary School

High School East

High School East is located at 50 Vanderbilt Parkway in Dix Hills, New York , across the street from the Dix Hills branch of the The Half Hollow Hills Community Library. Hills East is fed from West Hollow Middle School and is the larger of the two high schools in the district. The current principal is Jeffery Woodberry, who started in Fall of 2007. The building was once used as both a middle school and a high school, which were located side-by-side and connected to one another, so the building is sprawling. For the same reason, Hills East has (or once had) two each of many facilities: two main offices, two nurses' offices, two gymnasiums (and two pairs of men's and women's locker rooms), two auditoriums, and two cafeterias (one has since been converted to a weight room). The class of 1978 was the last class where all graduating seniors attended East; commencing in 1979 there were graduating classes from both high schools.


One rather distinctive feature of High School East is its Planetarium, located one floor above the main office. It features a Spitz A3P planetarium projector, and is usually used to host class trips from the middle and elementary schools; it is also home to High School East's Astronomy Club.

Another unique feature of High School East is the Eugene Orloff Auditorium which seats a total of 2,300 on two levels , making it the largest not-for-profit auditorium on Long Island. It hosts various school events throughout the year, including the Spring Musical, Graduation, Academic Awards, and Athletic Awards. The space is also rented out to local companies for events throughout the year. The stage is a full Broadway-sized stage (88 feet wide, 49 deep, three stories tall for fly space (hanging scenery)).

The school also has a recently-renovated Lecture Hall. It is usually the host of small gatherings and meetings. Advanced Placement exams are also hosted in the lecture hall.

Student life

The school mascot of Hills East is the Thunderbird, which wears the school colors: red, black, and white. There are facilities on both ends of the building for socialization: the student center on the west end and the library on the east end. The student center features a candy counter that is open after school hours for fifteen minutes and staffed by students in the business program. It was recently named to the Newsweek list of Best High Schools for 2007 and was ranked #209. Hills East is also a part of the Long Island Forensics Association, and has had some success in both oratory events and debate.

High School West

High School West (HSW), commonly referred to as as "Hills West" or simply "West" within its district, is located at 375 Wolf Hill Road in Dix Hills, New York. High School West, which was built in 1975, includes a natatorium adjacent to the "North Cafeteria" and the track, which sports the school colors, red and gold. It is primarily used for "swim meets", community events, gym classes, and occasional school trips from the other schools within the district. The school grounds of High School West are adjacent to those of Signal Hill Elementary School, which is located at the intersection of Wolf Hill Road and Caledonia Road. Students of HSW have generally attended Candlewood Middle School from 6th to 8th grade. The official school mascot is the Colt. Hills West has been successful in a variety of sports including Football, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball and Track. In addition, the Colts have fielded strong baseball teams over the years winning multiple league titles, two county championships, and a state championship in 2003. The Varsity Boys Basketball team finished last season with a 23-2 record while winning the 2008 Suffolk County AA championship, The Varsity Soccer team made the state semi-finals in 2007. The Hills swim team has gone undefeated and won league and county champs. The Varsity Football Team has made the playoffs the past 5 of 8 years and lost in the Suffolk County Championship last season. The Hills West dance team, the Wranglerettes, are the 2007 champions in the Long Island Kickline Association competition, winning in the jazz category for the 14th year, and in the newly-created hip hop category. The winter track team won 4 straight county titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and in spring of 2007 the spring track team won the league by going undefeated. Debra Intorcia is the new principal of HSW for 2007-2008. The assistant principals are Wayne Ebanks, Mary Lippert, and Frank Pugliese. A new turf field has just been completed at the school. The student body of High School West has approximately 1,500 students.

West Hollow Middle School

West Hollow is the larger of the two middle schools and is located at 250 Old East Neck Road in Melville, New York. Students come from Chestnut Hill, Paumanok, Signal Hill, and Sunquam and feed to High School East. The principal of the 2008-09 school year is Milton Kirk Strong. The Current assistant principals are Allison Beyersdorf, Robert Newton and Steven Hauk . West Hollow's current mascot is the Wolverine. West Hollow's current colors are Blue and White.

Candlewood Middle School

Candlewood is the second middle school that underwent renovations in 2003. The school is located at 1200 Carll's Straight Path, Dix Hills, New York. The current principal is Andrew Greene. The assistant principals are Alison Strand and Sy Roth. The mascot is the Cougar, and the current school colors are Red and Gold. A track has recently been completed. Roughly 1,200 students attend the school.

District Programs

Half Hollow Hills is known for its district-wide theater programs that extends to all schools in the district. This opportunity begins in 5th grade with the "Hills On Stage" program. Recent "Hills On Stage" productions include Peter Pan, Honk and My Fair Lady

The middle schools recently began a joint theater program also. These shows are directed by Lucielle Kenney and Dr. Gary de Sesa. The current production is Alice in Wonderland.

Both High School East and High School West are known for their research departments, which have produced a number of Intel Science Talent Search, Intel ISEF, and Siemens Westinghouse Competition finalists over the past century.

Central Office

Previously Manasquan Elementary School, Central Office now serves as the central administration building for the Half Hollow Hills School District. It is located on Half Hollow Hills Road, on the same property as High School East. In addition to housing the offices of the Superintendent and other administrators, Central Office serves as the location for a small mock-astronautics program for children and certain community events, as well as child care services. The Academically High Aptitude Program (A.H.A.P) of the district is also held at Manasquan for 3rd-5th graders along with a preschool and Reach CYA.

Notable alumni

  • Actor Ralph Macchio (Class of ’79) of The Karate Kid film series
  • Comedic director Todd Phillips (Class of ’89) of hit films such as Road Trip, Old School, and Starsky & Hutch
  • Actor Brian Bloom (Class of ’88) starred in As the World Turns
  • Brian Bloom's brother Scott Bloom (Class of ’91) was featured on Who's the Boss?
  • Othniel Askew (Class of ’90) an aspiring politician who shot and killed his rival, James E. Davis, a New York City councilman, on 23 July 2003.
  • NFL Center for the Buffalo Bills, Melvin Fowler (West class of '97)
  • NFL Defensive End for the Dallas Cowboys, Stephen Bowen (West Class of '02)
  • Professional wrestler Mark LoMonaco (East)
  • Professional Wrestler Alex Rizzo (West)
  • References

    External links

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