Montclair High School produces some serious talent. From athletes and actors to astronauts and writers, there’s no doubt that our community has some notable alumni. Montclair High School boasts outstanding academics alongside a powerhouse athletic department, so we decided to take a look into some of Montclair High School’s notable alumni and where they are now, and/or what they’ve accomplished since passing through their high school halls. Read on to learn more about some of Montclair High School’s notable alumni.
Buzz Aldrin | Class of 1947
Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, is one of Montclair High School’s most notable alumni. Many of us are familiar with the astronaut’s ties to the Montclair community, including the renaming of Mt. Hebron Middle School to Buzz Aldrin Middle School in 2016. However, here’s an interesting fact you might not know: Buzz Aldrin played the starting center on the 1946 undefeated Montclair High School football team. He’s definitely a man of many talents.
Josh Allen | Class of 2015
Outside linebacker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Josh Allen, is a Montclair High School alumni who was selected seventh overall in the 2019 NFL draft. Josh Allen left Montclair during his middle school years to live with family in Alabama. He returned to Montclair for his senior year and helped lead the Montclair Mounties to victory in the 2015 state championship. He went on to attend the University of Kentucky where he received Unanimous All-American Honors. During his rookie NFL season, Josh Allen was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl. Be on the lookout — his sister Myisha Hines-Allen is also on this list.
Dale Berra | Class of 1975
Dale Berra, son of Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, was a highly sought-after baseball prospect upon his graduation from Montclair High School. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1975 with the twentieth overall pick in the MLB draft. Dale Berra played shortstop for 10 years in the MLB, from 1977 to 1987, and spent the majority of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he was a World Series Champion in 1979.
Allen B. DuMont | Class of 1919
Class of 1919, Allen B. DuMont is best known for his major advancements to television receivers. Allen B. DuMont was born in Brooklyn and at age 10 was stricken with polio. During his bed-ridden quarantine in his family’s apartment, DuMont became fascinated with science and radio communication. He even taught himself Morse code. During his recovery, DuMont was encouraged to swim by his doctor to regain utilization of his legs. In 1914, his family moved to Montclair to take advantage of an indoor year-round pool at the local YMCA. He went on to manufacture and sell the first practical television set to the public and found the first television network to be licensed, the DuMont Television Network.
Evan Stephans Hall | Class of 2007
Frontman and co-founder of indie rock band Pinegrove, Evan Stephans Hall is part of Montclair High Schools Class of 2007 alumni. Pinegrove grew a large grassroots following after their debut album, Meridian, launched in 2012 on Bandcamp. Many even have fond memories of attending Pinegrove shows through Montclair’s Serendipity Cafe. Pinegrove now has six albums in their discography and tour nationwide and in Europe.
Myisha Hines-Allen | Class of 2014
We told you to keep an eye out! Myisha Hines-Allen graduated from Montclair High School in 2014 where she played basketball throughout the entirety of her high school career. During her time at Montclair High School, Myisha was ranked by ESPN as the third-best player in the Class of 2014 in New Jersey and No. 34 nationally. She finished high school as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,803 points. She went on to play at the University of Louisville and was later drafted in 2018 to the WNBA as the nineteenth pick overall. She now plays for the Washington Mystics.
John A. Kenney Jr. | Class Unknown
Born in 1914 in Tuskegee, Alabama, John A. Kenney Jr. is known as the “dean of black dermatology” and one of the first African-American doctors to receive training in dermatology. The Kenney family relocated to Montclair in 1923 after the family was threatened by the Ku Klux Klan. After graduating from Montclair High School, Kenney attended Bates College earning a double major in chemistry and biology. During his time at Bates College, he won the William F. Manuel Award for the graduate who made the most significant progress in biology. He received his medical degree from Howard University in 1945. By 1973, he created a separate dermatology department at Howard’s Freedmen’s Hospital.
Aubrey Lewis | Class of 1954
Aubrey Lewis graduated from Montclair High School in 1954 and was known as one of New Jersey’s greatest high school athletes. During his time in Montclair, Lewis played basketball and won two state football championships as halfback with 49 touchdowns and 4,500 rushing yards. He went on to attend Notre Dame and become the first black captain of an athletic team for the Fighting Irish. In 1962, he was recruited by the FBI as one of the first two African-Americans to go through the bureau’s training academy in Quantico, Virginia. He was later appointed in 1997 by Governor Christine Todd Whitman to serve as commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until 1999.
Anne McCaffrey | Class of 1944
Anne McCaffrey, known for her Dragonriders of Pern science fiction series, is a Montclair High School alumni. She was the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award. Her novel The White Dragon became one of the first science fiction books to appear on the New York Times Bestseller list. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.
John Miller | Class Unknown
John Miller developed his interest in news and reporting during his time at Montclair High School. According to Essex County Sheriff’s Office representative Kevin Lynch, Miller would cut class to attend press briefings in Newark. Miller is a former ABC News reporter and anchorman who conducted the 1998 interview with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. He later became the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism for the New York Police Department. Miller has several journalistic awards including two Peabody Awards and nine Emmy Awards.
Mackenzie “Mac” Molner | Class of 2006
Since age seven, Mackenzie “Mac” Molner loved chess. He learned how to play during summer camp. Molner attended Montclair High School and as a sophomore in 2004, he came first place in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions. In 2013, Molner received the title of grandmaster after tying for first place in the United States Open Chess Championship. Molner remains active in the chess community in the New York, New Jersey area and runs a chess academy, GrandmasterMac, designed to help bring chess to people of all skill levels.
Ben Rosenfield | Class of 2010
Ben Rosenfield, best known for his role as Willie Thompson in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, admitted to Mr. Porter that high school was a challenge: “I barely graduated from high school. I was an unhappy kid, I didn’t go to class very often.” Despite that, Ben Rosenfield was invited to speak at his alma mater commencement in 2015. He most recently starred in Mark, Mary & Some Other People which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 10th, 2021.
Adam Schlesinger | Class of 1985
“Stacy’s mom has got it going on!” Remember that 2003 hit tune from the band, Fountains of Wayne? Adam Schlesinger was the founding member of the pop rock band and a proud Montclair High School alumni. In addition to Fountains of Wayne, Adam Schlesinger was a songwriter, composer, and record producer in a number of other projects, for which he won three Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and the ASCAP Pop Music Award. We recently lost Adam in 2020 due to complications with COVID-19.
Joe Walsh | Class of 1965
Although he didn’t spend his entire youth in New Jersey, according to NJMonthly, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh recalls his time in the Garden State as “one of my favorite parts of my life.” This Class of 1965 Montclair High School alumni was part of the marching band and orchestra as a clarinetist and an oboist. Later in life during his time with the Eagles, Joe Walsh was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.
Yael Averbuch West | Class of 2005
Professional soccer player and executive director of the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, Yael Averbuchh West, is a Montclair High School Class of 2005 alumni. Yael did not play on the Montclair soccer team, but focused more on club soccer with the New Jersey Stallions in the W-League, where she was the youngest player ever at just 14. She went on to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was named player of the year by Soccer Buzz and Top Drawer Soccer. She was selected in the first round of the 2009 WPS Draft. She is a two-time WPS champion with Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash.