Athens Drive High School

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Athens Drive High School
1420 Athens Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27606
United States
Type Public high school
Established 1978
Principal James E. Hedrick
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 1,895 (2014)
Schedule type 4x4 Block Schedule
Hours in school day Monday-Friday, 7:25 AM - 2:18 PM
School color(s) Blue and Orange          
Mascot Jaguars
Newspaper Athens Oracle

Athens Drive High School is a co-educational secondary Wake County public high school in southwestern Raleigh that serves grades 9-12. As of 2006-2007 the school has approximately 1,900 enrolled students and approximately 130 hired educators. It is also part of the Wake County Public School System.


Athens Drive was opened in 1978. The first graduating class was in 1979. Some of the original teachers are still employed at the school. Mr. Myers, Ms. Moore, Ms. Hill, Mr. Ward among others are still either part-time teachers or full-time teachers. They are known as the "Silver Jags". Ann Roberson retired on December 18, 2009 after 31 years as a custodian.

Athens Drive was dedicated on April 11, 1979, and the first classes began on September 5, 1979. It was the first high school in Wake County built for school and community use. It was the first high school built after the merger of Wake County Schools and Raleigh City Schools. It was designed by architect F. Carter Williams. At the time, ADHS was the largest and most expensive high school built in North Carolina. Athens Drive is considered a small 4A school by NC standards. Originally, before the Jaguars were decided as the mascot for the school, the Owl was going to be the school's mascot.[1]

School profile[edit]

As of the 2014-2015 school year, there were 1895 students, 50% of which were White, 24% African American, 5.8% Asian, 16% Hispanic or Latino, 0.5% Native American or Alaska Native, and 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 41% were eligible for the state's free or reduced lunch program. Athens Drive High School offers the following AP courses: English Literature, English Language, Spanish Lit, French Lang, Government & Politics, Psychology, US History, Human Geography, Computer Science A, Statistics, AB/BC Calculus, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, Art-2D Design and AP Studio Art. The school has 16 varsity sports. [2]

Athens Drive is the only public high school in Wake County with a public library. It also has a Child Development Center which serves 3 and 4 year olds prior to their enrollment in kindergarten, commonly referred to by students and faculty as "Baby Jags".

Athens Drive is a Community School in the Wake County Public School System. There are night classes for adults offered during the school year and the summers as well.

Dr. James Hedrick is the current principal.[3]

Fine arts[edit]

Fine Arts at Athens Drive are among some of the most successful and largest in the county. Athens Drive offers a variety of instrumental, drama, vocal and visual art, as well as leadership development and community service. The school contains two art studios, a printing graphics studio and a yearbook/computer art studio. The Performing Arts facilities include the 1,000 seat theater, 150 seat choral room, 200 seat band room, music library, practice rooms, storage facilities, tech shops and instrument storage facilities.

Athens Drive is the only high school in Wake County that contains a professional, "Broadway" quality fly system for the auditorium's curtains and lights and has space for over 20 different backdrops.

The band room is one of the largest in the county, able to hold the 138 member marching band at one time for indoor music rehearsals. The room features large stadium-style risers, two large instrument storage rooms (percussion and marching horns), uniform closets, instrument closets, low brass stations and two new professional quality storage shelves and trophy cases designed and built by two recent Eagle Scouts in the band program. Next door, the music library houses over 25,000 volumes of band, orchestra and choral literature and also serves as the storage library for the NC Band Masters Association's Central District's festival music. Large practice rooms are available to students, and offices allow easy access to both band and choral rooms. The current band director is Dr. Jerry Markoch.

The chorus room features large stadium-style risers and contains a supplemental music library, offices and storage rooms for equipment. In March 2010, the symphonic band performed at the "Music For All" National Festival, sponsored by Bands Of America. This is viewed as one of the most prestigious band concert festivals in the country, seeing that only sixteen high school bands were chosen to participate and the Athens Drive High School band is one of only two bands ever chosen from North Carolina. The Wind Ensemble performed at the 2010 NC Music Educators Conference. This was a very high honor for the band because they were the only high school band chosen to participate. In March 2014, the Wind Ensemble will travel to New York City and perform a concert at Carnegie Hall at the National Band and Orchestra Festival. They will perform a 30-minute concert for a panel of internationally known wind band conductors and composers. The band was chosen based on their past superior performance records and their appearances in the "Music for All" National Festival and at the NC Music Educators Conference. The band was also recommended by well-respected music educators.[4]


The Athletics program at Athens has grown much in recent years. The Jaguars won the NCHSAA 4-A Boys Soccer State title in 2003, and the Varsity Volleyball and Women's Basketball have won Tri-8 Conference Titles and Tournaments for the past two years. The Athens Drive Women's Golf team won the state 4-A championship in 2008 and 2009. The Women's Basketball team also advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time in school history finishing 28-3 on the 2007-08 season. The Fighting Jaguars Football Team, traditionally a struggling sport, turned around for the 2006 season and finish 2nd in the conference with a 9-2 record and earned a bid to the NCHSAA Football playoffs of division 4-AA. This was the first time in school history that the Jaguars hosted a playoff game. Craig Sullivan won the NCHSAA individual golf state title in 1999. Athens Drive's baseball team has been traditionally strong missing the state playoffs only once in the last 7 years, with its best year in 1998 when it finished runner-ups in the state, as well as making the eastern regional in 01, and 04.

Recently another former player for the Jags Daniel Ottone was selected by the San Diego Padres organization in 2010. Ottone made it to AAA in his first season in the minors compiling a 3-2 record with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings pitched in his first year in the minors. The success of these players is a part of the storied tradition that the baseball team represents at Athens with numerous players playing at the collegiate and pro levels.

The facilities of Athens Drive Athletics include:

Peter Hines Williams Memorial Stadium This 2,500-seat stadium is currently home to the football, soccer, lacrosse, and track teams, as well as the ADHS Cheerleaders and Marching Jaguars. Pines Memorial is often the site for regional track meets, soccer and lacrosse play-off games and community events. The stadium features a rubberized track service, restrooms, concessions, pressbox, overflow capacity setting and a new sound and lighting system installed for the 2007-2008 school year.

New Stadium A new stadium for athletics is going to be built on the Athens Drive campus, expected to open late in the 2015-16 or the 2016-17 school year located behind the school. Construction is set to begin in late March 2015.

Tennis Courts The 8-court tennis park is home to the men's and Women's tennis teams, as well as the Annual North Carolina Games. Then Tennis Courts are named the Alisa Jones Tennis Courts in honor of Alisha Jones who was a math teacher who died from Leukemia in 2007.

Athens Drive Baseball Stadium The baseball stadium was constructed along with the original school building. It has stands for over 300 fans, a press box and concessions.

Softball Stadium Home of the Lady Jags Softball team, this field recently added new scoreboard systems to enhance game play.

ADHS Jaguar Gymnasium The main gym (upper gym) is home to the basketball, wrestling and volleyball teams, and features bleachers for 1,500. Concessions and gift shops are located in the large lobby outside. Scoring, sound and lighting systems were updated in 2005.

Lower Gym Originally the home of the wrestling team, the older gym is used today as a practice facility for all sports. Showers, lockers, footballs equipment rooms, officials and training rooms are located adjacent to the gym, as well as the ADHS Medical Trainer rooms. The Gym also serves as practice facilities for the Cheer squads and Marching Colorguard and Winterguard.

Practice Facilities Athens Drive has several practice facilities ready for its various teams. The women's Lacrosse teams practice on fields located by the Softball pitch, and the Softball team uses practice cages nearby. Two large practice fields near the Baseball stadium are used by football and Men's soccer during the fall and Men's Lacrosse and Women's soccer during the spring. Located at the bottom of Stadium Drive opposite Pines Memorial Stadium is the Band Practice field, used by the Marching Jaguars and the Cross Country team in the fall and the Lacrosse and Track teams in the spring. Lake Johnson Park, located next to Athens Drive High, also is used by Cross Country and Track.


In 1977, several community leaders came together to plan a new high school near Western Boulevard of NC State University. The leaders wanted the school to be accessible by the public, and used by the community. Finally it was decided to place a public Library in the school to serve as the Media Center. When Athens Drive opened in 1979, it became the first public high school in North Carolina to contain a public library, the Athens Drive Community Library, part of the Wake County Public Library System.


Athens Drive operates a 4x4 block schedule, with a 50-minute lunch period called "SMART" lunch in which the entire school has the same lunch period. The school day begins at 7:25 AM and ends at 2:18 PM.[5]



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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°46′07″N 78°42′40″W / 35.7685°N 78.7110°W / 35.7685; -78.7110

Curtis Brown (2003) of Curtis Brown Photography (c)