The Story of HolicongHolicong: a school known for its dedication to its students and the Elite Eight--qualities of being honest, open-minded, loyal, inclusive, considerate, optimistic, non-judgmental, and genuine. Even so, in order to detail Holicong's dynamic journey to become the middle school it is today, one must stretch far back in time to the days when Native Americans governed the area.
Holicong is built on land that used to inhabit the Lenape Indian tribe: diplomats, mediators, and peace-keepers who placed a strong emphasis on community and family, and who stressed the moral importance of being kind and watching out for everyone in and around the community. Aptly choosing to name the school after "hollekonk", a freshwater spring and underwater river around which the Lenape tribe built a campsite, the Central Bucks school board decided on this name in 1971 as a tribute to the Native Americans who once reigned in this area and as a symbol of the cultural center that Holicong is, around which the Lenape Indians' ideals--the Elite Eight--circulate to influence the surrounding community.
When Holicong was established in 1971, the nation was just emerging from the turmoil surrounding the Civil Rights Movement and caught in the midst of the controversy regarding America's involvement in the Vietnam War. As pop culture flourished, American accomplishments were celebrated and change swept through the country, Holicong sprang up, the second of the five CB middle schools to be built. Yet at the time, its name was not "Holicong Middle School"; in fact, its name was not changed from "junior high school" to "middle school" until 1993.
The middle school philosophy was based around the idea that middle school students were not just "slightly older elementary school students" or "slightly younger high school students", but that they were a separate class of students with their own needs and goals. Though change was slow, by 1998, thirty-five years after the conception of the middle school idea in 1963, Holicong was among the 10,944 schools to adopt this philosophy, emphasizing ideas such as team-building, service learning and a varied curriculum in order to cater to the needs of eleven- to fifteen-year-old students so that they can blossom academically, athletically, and developmentally throughout their middle school careers.
Also in 1998, Holicong underwent its first major set of building renovations. Among the changes made at this time were the construction of the new cafeteria (moved from the Commons), the establishments of an office wing and official main entrance, the addition of an orchestra room to the music wing, and the temporary creation of the notorious Stairwell X that ran between the library and the Commons. Despite the frustrations associated with the renovation period, such updates to the building--both in 1998 and in 2014--were necessitated by an expanding student population.
As a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Holicong strives to aid its students in achieving overall academic success by providing myriad outlets through which students can express their talents and interests. In addition to Holicong's recognition in October of 2002 as a school of exemplary teaching and education, Holicong maintains a large National Junior Honor Society; successful National History Day, Science Fair, Reading Olympics, Mock Trial, World Affairs, and foreign language competition participants; a full-scale music program; a wide variety of electives; and a strong athletic program. The Holicong community can take pride in the support it provided for others during events such as September 11, 2001 and reminisce about the memories of the school. The History of the H is a long and unpredictable story, but it is nowhere near the end. As generations of alumni, currents students, and future students come to walk the halls of Holicong, its tale will fluctuate with the nuances of time, but the Colonials will be prepared to lead the way.
Written by Rachel ChenFreshman Class of 2014