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One City, One High School

Holyoke High School gets larger as it welcomes Dean into the Purple Knight family.

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As of the 2018-19 school year, the two high schools in Holyoke (Holyoke High and Dean Technical) will merge into one, with both schools falling under the banner of  Holyoke High School. The campus on Beech St will be known as Holyoke High North, and the campus on Main St will be Holyoke High South. The incoming Holyoke High principal, Dr. Stephen Mahoney, will be Executive Principal for both facilitates.

In a small way, this process began last year, as students from Dean were already playing on Holyoke High sports team under the Purple Knight banner.

 “We are committed to providing all high school students with access to the programs and experiences that exist across the two buildings,” said HPS superintendent Dr. Zrike. “It’s important that the students of Holyoke have the choice to take advantage of all that our schools have to offer.”

Dr. Zrike hopes that all Holyoke students, regardless of which campus they attend, will start to have access to extracurricular activities, sports, and other enrichment opportunities. Although this won’t happen immediately, the hope is that with a singular leader overseeing both schools they can become more aligned and offer more of a chance for students to get a taste of both schools over time.
 
Although Dean will no longer be referred to as “Dean Technical High School,” it will still house the vocational shops and be focused primary on career and trade preparation. It will be a vocational program housed under the larger Holyoke High School umbrella, but school leadership says they are “committed to a strong career technical program in Holyoke.”
 
Jeffrey Peterson, Principal of Dean Tech, further elaborated saying he’s “I’m very excited that we are re-branding Dean as Holyoke High South Campus,” said current Dean principal Jeffery Peterson. “This is an opportunity for students at both campuses to partake in many programs.”
 
Many students seem to be embracing the change, even if it’s going to take some getting used to.
 
“It’s going to be a little weird,” commentated an anonymous Holyoke High student. “But since we already play on the same sports team together I guess it’s not that big of a change.”
 
“I think the name change is good because all of the students of Holyoke should be together,” said an anonymous Dean Tech student. “But I don’t like it because Dean students have a different experience that we should recognize.”
 
Dr. Zrike and Dr. Mahoney have both stated they are committed to honoring the Dean name and the Dean legacy, although no details of how that will happen are available at that time.
 
Other students have some concerns.
 
“So what happens to clubs?” asked another Holyoke High student. “Does The Herald have a South Campus branch now? Do we have the same band? What about graduation and prom?”
 
Details on specifics like graduation and prom are still forthcoming.
 
The Herald would like to be the first  welcome the newest members of our Knight community as we become “One City – One High School.”

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