Inside Annapolis | Schools
Chesapeake High School
In the heart of Pasadena lies one of the most valued schools in Anne Arundel County: Chesapeake High. Built in 1976, on a peninsula between two branches of the Chesapeake Bay, the Magothy River and Bodkin Creek, Chesapeake High School is surrounded by water-accessible communities with a variety of new and old homes. Since 1976, Chesapeake has come a long way. With recent renovations to their science department, the 1,930-student school has been given a new look. Although the face of Chesapeake High school has changed, the values of the school still hold precedence today. Chesapeake High school functions on the belief that each child’s value makes him/her the hope of today and the promise of tomorrow.
Chesapeake High provides a “family-oriented environment” for its students, creating ample opportunities for their success. Upon their arrival at Chesapeake, students embark on a personalized journey through learning and extracurricular activities that prepare them for life after high school. The students at Chesapeake are offered twenty-three advanced placement courses along with a variety of honors classes and electives. Over seventy percent of students taking advanced placement exams receive a passing score of a three or higher, making Chesapeake eligible for the Advanced Placement Distinction on the basis of enrollment and test scores.
The students at Chesapeake are provided with many opportunities to enhance their involvement in their community and the world. Every other year, Chesapeake is graced with the opportunity to host a group of foreign exchange students from Germany. In turn, hosting students spend a month in Germany throughout their summer break. The exchange program, facilitated by Mrs. Shirley Santora, the German instructor of twenty six years, has been in place since 1991 and has become one of the most anticipated events at Chesapeake. This program provides an interactive learning experience for the students involved, and ultimately increases their understanding of the world.
One of the most prized assets of Chesapeake High is its award winning music department. Each year the concert choir, along with other musical groups (jazz choir, vocal ensemble, women’s choir, men’s choir etc.), travel to the Fiesta Val National Choral Competition where they have returned with multiple prizes. Chesapeake has won the entire competition, earning the title of grand-champion numerous times; most recently at the competition in Virginia Beach in 2003. The instrumental music program brings home the gold for Chesapeake year after year. They earned the esteemed title of State Champion in 2003, and since then have placed in the top rankings at weekly Tournament of the Bands competitions.
Music isn’t the only niche for students at Chesapeake High; many of the extra-curricular activities are student run. The morning announcements were first televised in 2003, and since then have become a daily broadcasted show known as Good Morning Chesapeake. Complete with segments on sports, weather, and current issues, WCHS is an organization completely designed and run by students. Through the daily broadcasts, students interested in communications are given first hand experience with the technological demands of the communication industry. Chesapeake is one of the only high schools in the county that offers such an extensive program in this area.
The journalism program at Chesapeake has grown due to an increase in student involvement. The yearbook and newspaper production staffs have really stepped up to the challenge of creating quality material. Students enrolled in these classes are completely responsible for designing, financing, and producing their craft. Chesapeake is known for its award winning yearbooks, having received honors in each category almost every year. In 2003, the Chesapeake Yearbook won the largest honor in yearbook rankings and was used as a model for the Herff Jones Company.
With its extensive academic curriculum and exquisite choice of extra-curricular activities, Chesapeake High School is a positive learning environment for its students. “I just like the students here. I am very proud of their behavior, and how they handle themselves on a daily basis,” said Principal Harry Calender. The students and staff at Chesapeake strive to create an atmosphere that is truly beneficial to the educational process. Chesapeake has made many strides since its doors opened in 1976; thirty years later the school still stands for student success and holds promising goals for the future.