Over the past 10 years, the Jamesville-DeWitt High School has seen a considerable amount of academic, athletic and institutional success.
Across several key areas such as rising state-test scores, college acceptances, rising number of sectional and state championships, more efficient school breakfast and lunch programs, as well as incredible success with students with disabilitie, J-DHS has shown considerable gains. Throughout the school, faculty members and even students are weighing in on why they believe the school is continuing to perform at such an impressive level.
When asked to explain the district's athletic success, J-D Athletic Director William Brown gave a relatively simple reason, which in many ways encapsulates the school's approach toward continuing success.
"I think there's no mystery to it," said Brown, a former scholar-athlete at Syracuse University. "We hire the best people, give them everything they need to be successful, and pretty much stay out of the way."
Brown has been at the head of one the past decade's most successful Central New York athletic programs. During his tenure, J-D has won three New York State basketball championships, one New York State lacrosse championship, dozens of New York State Section III Championships, and seven consecutive Onondaga High School League All-Sports Trophies for best overall, combined team records.
Last year alone it saw five sectional championships and a state basketball championship. Equally impressive, 23 out of 26 J-D athletic teams won New York State Scholar-Athlete awards in 2008.
"Schools and districts typically look at success in terms of wins, losses, championships won and lost, but that's probably the least important thing to me," Brown said. "As long as we can teach these kids how to play hard, act fairly and ethically, keep them strong in the classroom, and keep them doing all the right things for the right reasons, I consider myself a success. If you can get them to do all these important things, all the 'bigger things' like state championships just fall into place naturally."