50 years logoThe Class of 2015 was the 50th class to graduate from Chopticon High School. This page was created to highlight interesting stories, photos, and information about the school.  If you have a special story or photos to share, you may email them to Lynne Molen at lpmolen@smcps.org.  Posting of stories or photos is subject to administrative approval.  

 

Photo of school building from 1998    Photo of school building current day

Yesterday                                                       Today

 

Welcome to our historical database.  This is a work in progress so please check back for updates.  

 

Chopticon Graduation Programs                            Student Handbook from 1966

1966     1967     1968     1969     1970     1971     1972     1973    Photo of the cover of the 1966 Student Handbookr

1974     1975     1976     1977     1978     1979     1980     1981   

1982     1983     1984     1985     1986     1987     1988     1989     

1990     1991     1992     1993     1994     1995     1996     1997     

1998     1999     2000     2001     2002     2003     2004     2005

2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013

2014     2015     2016     2017     2018     2019

 

Photo of the old barn the seniors decorated by spray painting names on it                                    Hall of Fame

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF - PRINCIPALSAlma Mater 2014

Photo of Dr. Levay, the first principal of Chopticon High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Julius Alexander John Levay

First Principal of Chopticon High School
Served twelve years (1965 - 1977)
 
 
Photo of Bernard Johnson Photo of Dwight Chakales Photo of Dr. Edward Weiland Photo of Steve Olczak

Bernard I. Johnson

Served 1977-78, one year

Dwight E. Chakales

Served 1978-86, eight years

Edward T. Weiland

Served 1986-88, two years

Stephen G. Olczak

Served 1988-93, five years

Photo of John Ryan Photo of Joseph North Photo of Garth Bowling  Photo of Kim Summers

John R. Ryan

Served 1993-2001, eight years

Joseph R. North

Served 2001-08, seven years

Garth E. Bowling, Jr.

2008 - 2016

Kim D. Summers

2016 - Present 

   
Assistant Principals and Years of Service 
Mr. Fred Czarra
1965 - 1967
Mr. Dwight Chakales
1967 – 1979
Mr. George McLuckie
1967 – 1978
Mr. Alphonso Bell
1971 – 1973
Mr. Norman Moore
1973 – 1975
Mr. Charlie Taylor
1976 – 1986
Mr. John Ryan
1975 – 1976
Mr. John Ryan
1978 - 1982
Mr. Stephen Olczak
1979 – 1985
Ms. Mary Jo Comer
1982 – 1986
Mr. Donald O’Neal
1985 -  1986
Ms. Renda James
1986 – 1989
Mr. John Jones
1986 – 2010
Mr. Gene Wood
1986 – 1989
Mr. David Wright
1989 – 1997
Ms. Charlottis (Stewart) Woodley
1996 – 2001
Mr. Don Asher
1997 – 2001
Ms. Kristen Craft
2001 – 2003
Mr. Ryan Hitchman
2001 – 2005
Ms. Tammy (Matich) Burr
2001 – 2017
Mr. David O’Neill
2003 – 2006
Mr. Doug Diven
2005 – 2007
Mr. Kevin McCarthy
2006 – 2007
Ms. Vernetta Smith
2007 – Present
Mr. Stephen Williams
2008 – 2016
Ms. Deborah Conrad
2009 – 2011
Mr. David O’Neill
2011 - 2015
Ms. Lisa Johnson 2012 - 2013
Ms. Shelly McDaniel 2013 - Present
Ms. Katherine Norton 2015 - Present
Mr. Marc Pirner 2016 - Present
Mrs. Denise Coyne 2017 - Present

 

 

PHOTOS FROM ORIGINAL 1965 CONSTRUCTION

 

HISTORY OF THE CHOPTICON INDIANS

During the 2001-2002 school year, Chopticon High School implemented the Native American Name and Emblem Usage Committee to investigate whether Chopticon should keep its name and emblem or modify it. Chopticon High School took the initiative and created a committee that was composed of faculty, students, parents, and members of the community. After a detailed study and public comment session, the committee determined that Chopticon High School should not change its name or emblem. The use of Chopticon and the emblem of the Brave has been a unifying factor in the community and will continue to represent the tradition of “Pride Inside” for future generations. The following is a brief history of the Chopticon tribe of the Piscataway Confederation that inhabited the area approximately 400 years ago.
 
Captain John Smith, who explored the Chesapeake Bay, was the first to record seeing Native American villages. The Chopticon Indians had villages near the Wicomico and Port Tobacco streams and Choptico Bay. The Chopticon tribe was not a large group, estimated at 2,000 in 1600.
 
The Chopticon tribe enjoyed friendly relations with the English. They were the object of the first Catholic mission established by Father Andrew White. Father White recorded feelings of mutual respect and admiration between the Chopticons and the English. Within the Chopticon tribe, obedience and valor were stressed as a way to gain blessings and earn other men’s esteem. 
 
In regards to attire, it has been recorded that the Chopticon Indians dressed in deerskins and wore beads around their necks. Bracelets and earrings were common adornments of both men and women.
 
The Chopticon tribe joined the English and Piscataway Confederation in a border war with the Susquehannocks, who were more warlike than the Piscataways. Even though the Piscataways were successful, future raids against the Chopticons by the Susquehannocks and Iroqouis led to the Chopticon tribe moving north along the Potomac River in the mid 1600’s. 
 
In 1651 the English established Choptico Resolving, near the head of the Wicomico River, in an effort to protect the Piscataways and other tribes from raids by the Susquehannocks. In 1688, the manor was renamed Choptico Hundred; however, only a few members of the Chopticon tribe chose to remain there. By 1765, it was estimated that only 150 members of the Chopticon tribe existed. During the late 1700’s, the Chopticon tribe continued to decrease in number. The remaining members continued moving west along the Potomac River and assimilated into the Mohican and Delaware tribes. 
 
During the school desegregation movement of the mid 1960’s, the naming of Chopticon High School was seen as a unifying factor within the community. Just as the Chopticons assimilated peacefully into other tribes, the goal of Chopticon High School was to provide a safe environment where all students could be educated without fear. Since 1965, Chopticon High School has promoted participation, respect, individual accountability, decision-making, and excellence. These qualities define Chopticon High School today and reflect the school motto PRIDE INSIDE.
 
 
Photos of an early mimeographed copy of the Alma Mater provided by Michael Davis, Class of 1967
 
Photo of page one of the sheet music of the Alma Mater
         Photo of page 2 of the sheet music of the Alma Mater
 
Group photo of composers of the Alma Mater, Miriam Gregg, Julia Wagner, Walter Davidson, Rosemary Wipple, and Michael Davis
 

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.An excerpt from the History Channel website states, "Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence such as Mahatma Gandhi, King sought equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964."

As Chopticon celebrates its 50th year, we should take time to remember Dr. King and his efforts to end segregation throughout the United States.  It was this movement which led to the creation of Chopticon High School in the mid 1960’s.  Chopticon was built to unite Benjamin Banneker High School, which was a high school for African American students, with Leonardtown and Margaret Brent High Schools.  The name of Chopticon was chosen to remember the Chopticon indians who had lived in the area and who, over time, had assimilated peacefully into other tribes.  The goal of Chopticon High School was, and continues to be, to provide a safe environment where all students may be educated without fear.

Dr. King wrote “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.  Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” 

For more information about Dr. King, you can visit the The King Center.