Wayland High School

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Wayland High School
Wayland High School, Wayland MA.jpg
Wayland High School
Wayland High School is located in Massachusetts
Wayland High School
Wayland High School
Wayland High School is located in the United States
Wayland High School
Wayland High School
264 Old Connecticut Path


United States
Coordinates42°20′29.2″N 71°22′23.1″W / 42.341444°N 71.373083°W / 42.341444; -71.373083Coordinates: 42°20′29.2″N 71°22′23.1″W / 42.341444°N 71.373083°W / 42.341444; -71.373083
TypePublic high school
PrincipalMrs. Allyson Mizoguchi
Enrollment838 (2015-16)[1]
Color(s)     Orange
Team nameWarriors
NewspaperWayland Student Press

Wayland High School is a high school in Wayland, Massachusetts. U.S. Its principal is Mrs. Allyson Mizoguchi. As of the 2014–2015 school year, there are 850 students, under its designed operating capacity of 950. In 2009, Wayland voters approved a new, $70.8 million, three-building campus that replaced the old one. Construction of the new school was completed at the end of November 2011, and occupancy by the student body began January 3, 2012.[3] In February 2012, with the exception of the Field House, all of the original high school buildings were demolished.


In the 1950s, Wayland, like many other suburban towns, had grown a great deal in terms of population. With this new wave of residents came many well-educated individuals: doctors, lawyers, businessmen, who wanted an education for their children that was parallel to their own experiences. This factor, combined with the high school's lack of space to accommodate the large number of students and the insistence from the School Building Committee that the town take action,[4] led to the construction of the old school.

In his 1957 annual report, superintendent Edward J. Anderson cited Sputnik as the reason why math and science were receiving more attention in the U.S.

Anderson also pressed for the town to pay more taxes for the school's construction. In a letter from The Wayland-Weston Town Crier, he said, "Because of spiraling costs, all we're doing now educationally is holding our own and hanging on to what we have. At this rate we're not going to make any dramatic improvements. And yet, the taxes we pay for our schools are certainly high enough."

The Town Crier added,

Cambridge Consultants, Inc. of Boston, educational consultants, were hired to help the town determine what educational changes and structural changes were needed to make the new high school better than the last.

Architecture and construction[edit]

Wayland High School's old open campus was designed by Herbert Gallagher and John "Chip" Harkness of The Architects' Collaborative, who were hired by the Town of Wayland in January 1958; the two were assisted by the renowned architect Walter Gropius. The School Building Committee interviewed 10 architectural firms before finally making its decision.

Construction was carried out by the N.D.C. Construction Company Inc., headed by James Cazanas, who was a resident of Wayland. Another construction company, Post Products, Inc., headed by J.O. Post, provided the acoustical tiles for the school. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 25, 1959.

Said Cazanas of the project in The Town Crier, "I was very much upset when I saw the plans for the [old] High School...The plans, for a series of single story buildings, seemed to contradict all the usual rules of economic construction. On top of this, a circular field house: circular, on both horizontal and vertical planes."

Despite his surprise of the High School's structure, Cazanas was confident of the school's innovation: "There won't be another school anywhere around like this one...There is so much there to interest everyone that it will be a center of activities in Wayland as well as a High School." He even claimed, "This site is a contractor's dream. I don't expect to see another like it."

The Town Crier even noted how the project was the "cheapest per square foot building his company [had] built since the war."

The High School was expected to accommodate 900 students and be able to expand to address the needs of as many as 1200 students.

The constructors first poured the concrete for the floors and then the roofs on top afterwards, separating the two with a separating membrane. They then jacked up the roofs.


When the old high school opened in the fall of 1960, it was hailed for its innovative design. The school consisted of six buildings, five of which were academic centers for math and science, social studies and business, English and language, arts, and physical education. The last building housed the cafeteria, administrative offices, and the guidance office.

There were many aspects of the architecture of the campus that were especially fascinating to the public. For one, the physical education building, or the field house, was a circular structure with a domed roof. Inside, the field house was furnished with a basketball court and dirt track. On the sides were areas separated by walls for weightlifting, wrestling, and other such activities. The field house, with its collapsible bleachers, could easily be converted to accommodate school assemblies or town meetings and was (and still is) used for these purposes.

In addition to the field house, there were three large lecture rooms at Wayland High School which were tiered in the style of amphitheaters.

The idea of a campus for the high school helped to cut down on costs; corridor space was reduced from 15% to 7% of the total building area since the "hallways" were now outdoors.[5] With each square foot of the school costing $12.40, Wayland managed to complete its old high school for about $2,300,000. Construction, including architectural fees, equipment, and furnishings, came to $1,754,187, around $45,000 less than expected. The money saved allowed the school to install playing fields; otherwise, the town would have had to construct the fields itself through grading and seeding.

The costs saved can be attributed to the advanced thinking on the part of the architects and the chairman of the School Building Committee, Allan R. Finlay. The materials used and the structure of the school helped the town use its money more effectively.

The reason why most of the school had only one story is because a study in Connecticut found that schools with 800 or less students were more efficient with only one level.

Educational system[edit]

While it awaited the completion of the new school, the town began to implement the system of team teaching in 1959, the year preceding the new high school's opening. It became one of the first schools nationwide to do so. The team teaching system grouped teachers according to area of academics. Each group was led by a team leader (a "department head") who organized lessons and led the other teachers, which eased the work of the superintendent, who simply contacted these team leaders to learn what was going on in each department. Before this change was integrated into the education system, teachers were assigned rooms and did not have much contact with their colleagues. With this new system, they were able to better interact with one another and organize themselves more effectively and efficiently.

The change in educational system of Wayland High School was just as significant as that of the architecture. In addition to the team-teaching system, the school now attempted to individualize the students' learning.

While students previously had been assigned to classes according to a loose evaluation of their abilities, a new system of large, medium, and small sized classes provided a means for students to learn at their own pace. In a large class, a teacher, typically the most skilled in the department, would teach a large group of students the basic facts and fundamental ideas in a topic. With this foundation of knowledge, students would attend medium-sized classes of around 8-15 students to discuss in detail what was taught in the large class. The teacher guiding the discussions would be one skilled in attending to each student's progress in learning. Finally, small sized classes consisted of one or two students and allowed for more specific and individual questioning with a teacher. Classroom sizes mimicked this system.

Additionally, each student was assigned a teacher who would guide them throughout their years in high school.

The aim of this new high school was to produce students who were self-propelled and independent enough that they would seek answers for themselves out of an interest of learning.[5]

Although the advent of Sputnik focused the nation on math and science, Wayland did not forget the importance of the humanities. The December 12, 1957 edition of The Town Crier noted, "Anderson said that in any school system the humanities must continue to hold equal status with the sciences, because our children must be well grounded in both if they are to furnish the leaders of tomorrow."

Changes through the 1990s[edit]

By the mid 1960s, it was evident that, due to the growing student population, another building would need to be added to the original six building campus. In 1966, an English Building (later the Math-English Building) was built behind the Math-Science Building at the rear of the campus. This was followed six years later, in 1972, by the construction of an Administration/Media Center building in the front of the school, with renovations to areas in the Commons and Arts Buildings previously occupied by the administration and library spaces now relocated to the new building.

Eventually, the team teaching system was eliminated due to inconvenience, complications in scheduling, and high faculty/administration turnover. The reference centers in the original classroom buildings were also removed, mostly because of underuse.

Between 1990 and 1992, Wayland Public Schools undertook renovations to all of its school buildings, including a $6.2 million renovation to Wayland High School. The scope of the project included replacing outdated building systems, updates to lighting, ceilings, flooring, and selected classroom modifications. The buildings remained enitirely in this state until their demolition in 2012.

Achievement in the papers[edit]

Wayland High School received an enormous amount of attention from the press. Featured in Life magazine, Time magazine, The Architectural Forum, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, it was identified as a leader of the advancement of education.

In 1987, the town received the Red Book Award for its educational system.[citation needed]


Wayland High School logo.

Every year since 2001, Honors US history students in department head Kevin Delaney's class have researched and contributed to the Wayland High School History Project, a five-volume digital archive that examines how 20th-century trends and developments played out in the community.

Fine & Performing Arts[edit]

Wayland also is known for its exceptional performing arts program. The Drama Department, under Richard Weingartner (retired in 2018), typically produced three shows a year including (but not limited to) a musical, dramatic stage play/comedy and a competition prepared for a local dramatic theater festival. In addition, "Winter Week" one act festival plays are typically written, acted and directed by students. Held after mid-year exams and before the spring athletic season begins full-swing, Winter Week plays typically allow students whose athletic schedules during the year a chance to be on stage.

The school's three a cappella groups have become very popular— the Madrigals being the coed group, and the oldest, the Testostertones or T-Tones being all-male, and the Muses being all-female. The a cappella groups are run entirely by students and bring together students of all interests.

More traditional choral music ensembles include the chorus and honors concert choir, overseen by faculty. Additionally, the school has a band, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra along with other brass/symphonic groups as well.

Prior to the rise of student a cappella groups, sophomore student Dan Blocker ('97) gave the Creative Arts Parents Association the idea for the first College A Cappella Night. 19 years later the event continues to be one of groups' most anticipated and successful fundraisers. In 1996, Seniors Gretchen Perry, Carrie Schneider and Julie Burke ('96) grew increasingly frustrated by the absence of any type of dance performance offerings at the school and as a result conceived, choreographed, directed and produced (with the help of the theater department) "Windows: Dance Showcase" that spring which to this day continues bringing dance and movement to the school stage - still led and produced by students.

Wayland has a state of the art Entertainment Technology program. With the construction of the new high school in 2011, Wayland received a fantastic new auditorium with all new state of the art Audio, Video, and Lighting gear. During the 2012-2013 school year students Paul Crisafulli (Chief Engineer) ('14), Jonah Camiel (Chief Lighting Designer) ('15), and Karl Obermiller (Chief Sound Designer) ('15) founded the Wayland High School AV Team who took on the responsibility of operating and maintaining the state of the art space. Composed of state of the art lighting and sound gear that can actively be found on Broadway, the WHS AV Team began producing spectacular productions that began with the 2013 Spring production of "The Who's Tommy" directed by Richard Weingartner and continues with all of the dramatic production, Winter Week, and the WHS Talent and Senior shows. The Wayland High School auditorium is equipped with high end moving light technology, concert style sound system, top of the line video projection system, and a world class electronic rigging system.

New Campus Buildings[edit]

While the school would not see any substantial changes until the early 2010s, planning began several years earlier. In late 2001, the Town of Wayland signed Dore & Whittier Architects to come up with concepts for a larger, modern high school. However, in 2003, The State of Massachusetts announced that it would put a moratorium on its state building assistance program. With state funding uncertain, the vote to proceed with the schematic designs for the Dore and Whittier proposals was defeated at a Town Meeting In April 2003, and the firm withdrew from the project.

In late 2000, the town signed HMFH architects to draft their own proposals of a modernized high school, and the High School Building Committee (HSBC) was formed. By 2003, HMFH's selected design scheme for the High School showed a new classroom building, new cafeteria, auditorium, and administration spaces, as well as a renovated Field House. A special election ballot proposing additional funds for the project was rejected by Wayland voters in January 2005, by a margin of 2645 to 2005,[1] but passed in a later meeting when a larger majority of the town was made aware it was up for a vote. Those in favor of a new high school claim that the student body is continuing to grow and will soon be too large for the existing buildings, as evidenced by the modular classrooms already in use prior to the move to the new school. This claim is countered by those opposing the new school who say that the argument runs contrary to publicly available enrollment figures for all grades which indicated that the largest years were students born from 1990 to 1992. Also, many claimed that with state funding still not in place at the time, the project would have been a heavy financial burden on taxpayers. Some hold that if the proposal for a new school had been initiated in time to be ready for these students it might have been looked on more favorably. Though 70.8% of Wayland residents do not have children in the public school system, a survey conducted by the High School Building Committee in June 2005 found that 64.5% of respondents thought that the current high school facilities were inadequate, but 68.2% thought that the overall proposed price ($57 million) of building a new high school was too high.

In 2007, the High School Building Committee once again began pursuing a high school project. With the promise of the State of Massachusetts reimbursing 40% of the cost of a project, Wayland developed a proposal (all new construction with renovated field house) that meet the guidelines in accordance with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). On November 17, 2009, voters overwhelmingly approved the high school project (70% in favor), and again at the Town Meeting the following night (1481 in favor, 95 opposed). Construction on the new school began on June 22, 2010. The switch between the old high school and the new one occurred on January 3, 2012. By the end of the day on February 23, 2012, the entire old campus, with the exception of the field house, had been demolished.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Wayland High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  2. ^ http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/statereport/sat.aspx
  3. ^ Published student calendar for 2011–2012 school year.
  4. ^ Helen Fitch Emery, The Puritan Village Evolves, 1981.
  5. ^ a b Educational Facilities Laboratories Report, Profiles of significant schools, January 1960.
  6. ^ Saslow, Eli. "Helping to Write History". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Faithful baseball scout soldiers on – ‘Buzz’ Bowers still has an eye for talent. Boston.com. Retrieved on August 4, 2015.

External links[edit]