As a graduate, I'm giving HHS 5 stars—though that should not imply I think it is perfect. I can agree with the gist of the comments here:
1) HHS has excellent academics and teachers
2) HHS teachers (especially in honors classes) expect quite a bit out of their students
3) There is a good deal of peer pressure from other students to succeed
4) The athletics are overall solid and important to the sense of community
5) Groups of friends tend to be fairly tight-knit.
I do not agree that Hanover is "cliquey" in the sense that one needs to be x or y to fit in. Every school has students who are more well-known or otherwise "popular" than others. If you look at the different friend groups they aren't really based on anything in particular. It isn't like a movie where you have the jocks and the nerds—at all.
HHS is a place where intelligence, athleticism, ambition, and social ability are all respected and seem to be entered into the popularity calculation.
My favorite aspect of HHS was easily the students, whom I found insightful, and the classroom environment, which I found intellectually engaging. I went on to attend an Ivy, and while I found the faculty excellent, I missed my HHS peers. I'd traded in the free-thinking intellectualism of Hanover for the worker-bee-lets-make-money Ivy mentality.
Hanover is a special place not for everyone. Visit and decide if it's right for you or your child.
We moved to this area of New Hampshire because of the amazing reputation of this school - as well as the high SAT scores and test scores overall. We haven't been disappointed! It would be difficult to find a better public school. The academics, teachers, and extra-curricular activites are 2nd to none. We are so pleased with this school! We couldn't rate or recommend it more!
Academically, not the best school. Very stressful- but it's only busywork, nothing important or difficult academically. The music program is quite good. They have some talented musicians, nothing special but very good for teenagers (I went to their concert). Their sports are very good. It's a very cliquey school and sort of typical. I would have rather gone to a different public school or even a private school.
I was a student at Hanover High. This school has a very good education and lots of freedom. And also, Hanover High is known for having good athletics. But my experience at Hanover High wasn't what I wanted. It is very clique and it's hard to make friends. You would have to dress well, be good at sports, and be pretty to fit in. That wasn't my scene. Don't know how I survived but I am glad to be out of that school.
Yes, the education is adequate. I have definitely seen better and seen worse. This school is very clique-y. Money talks, if you are not athletic or rich you are pretty much outta luck. Good education, bad high school experience. Beware.
Academically, you're not going to get a better place for a public school. I'm a senior and can say that while I love Hanover's drive for academic success, it can become incredibly stressful at times. The pressure for us as students to perform at a high level is intense; I have a 3.77 GPA and I'm ranked fairly low among my peers, who hold 3.8 like a golden standard as to whether or not you're a great student. Besides the academic pressure, I've also experienced my share of social pressure. Because Hanover is a fairly wealthy community, it produces high schoolers with very nice and expensive materials. It seems like everyone has a Macbook and an iPhone or other variety of smartphone. I don't have one and get along just fine, but it does deplete your social status just a bit. Finally, the part that makes me give Hanover a four star rating is the teachers. I have had incredible teachers my four years at Hanover that have all wanted to see me succeed. Whether you come into the school with a 4.0 or a 3.0, there is always going to be someone willing to stand in your corner to make sure you perform to your best. So, great academic school but a lousy one socially. That's all there is to it.
I graduated from HHS several years ago. My experience may be a bit dated but I do recognize several teachers and faculty on the current directory. My experience is that HHS is an outstanding public high school for high achieving students. Where it falls short is dealing with the average (B and C type grades) or special needs students. As a little bit of a late bloomer academically, and thus just an average high school student, I was written off by several teachers. One very highly regarded teacher even told my parents she did not want to "waste" her time with me because I was a "lost cause". Well I graduated college with honors, have a masters degree, make well into six figures annually, and am trusted with the lives of hundred of people daily, so her professional judgement was way off base. Like I said, it is a great public school for high academically achieving students, several classmates attended the Ivy League schools and other highly prestigious universities. But average and special needs students can expect to become surprisingly lost for such a small school.
I am unfortunate enough to be a student at this school and I hate it. Its cliquey and cold. The teachers are good but the culture in this school is such that kids are overworked and stressed. Kids never get a break. I cant wait get out of here. Don't send your kids here!