Ben Davis High School

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Ben Davis High School
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Information
Type Public high school
Motto Every Child Everyday Achieving Success in Every Way.
Established 1892
Locale Large city
Principal Sandra Squire
Assistant Principal Matt Clodfelter
Faculty 178
Grades 10-12
Number of students 2,956 (2011)
Color(s) Purple and White
         
Athletics Indiana High School Athletic Association; Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference
Mascot Giants
Snapshot BDHS
Website

Ben Davis High School (BDHS) is a 3 year American high school in Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana. As of 2011 (per IHSAA), it has a student enrollment of around 2,956 and a staff of 178.[1] The attached Ben Davis Ninth Grade Center houses 1,150 freshman students.[2]

History[edit]

Ben Davis was first established in 1892. The current school building was constructed in 1965. The school underwent extensive construction and renovation from 1998–2002 and experienced another addition of more classrooms which was completed prior to the 2007/2008 school year. With the newly opened Ninth Grade Center, the school boasts over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) under one continuous roof.

The school is named for the 1880s Vandalia Railroad Executive Benjamin Davis. He was instrumental in getting a stop on the railroad for a small community that would come to bear his name. The community members were so appreciative of Davis's efforts that they named the stop after him. The community around the stop became known as "Ben Davis".

The first Ben Davis High School was built in 1892. That school was replaced in the early 20th century by a bigger building at the corner of what is now Morris Street and High School Road. During the Great Depression, a larger school was built just up the road as part of the Works Progress Administration. Ben Davis High School remained in that location until the current building was established in 1965. The old Ben Davis Junior High School was renovated and now serves as Ben Davis University High School.

Ben Davis High School has received the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award[3] from the United States Department of Education.

The school is part of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township.

Athletics and academics[edit]

Ben Davis High School has won multiple state championships under the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). They have won a total of 26 IHSAA state championships:

  • Seven in Football (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2001, 2002);
  • Four in Cross Country (1962, 1989, 1990, 1995);
  • Three in Girls Swimming (1978, 1979, 1980),
  • Four in Girls Basketball (2000, 2001, 2009, 2010);
  • Two in Boys Basketball (1995, 1996);
  • Three in Boys Track and Field (2008, 2009,2010);
  • Volleyball in 1979;
  • Baseball in 1981;
  • Boys Golf in 1992[4]

Ben Davis High School is a member of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, which is known as one of the most competitive conferences in the Midwest. The team's nickname is the Giants. The 2008/2009 Lady Giants basketball team finished the season ranked number one in the nation by USA Today's Top 25 poll, and ESPN's Rise Poll. This marks the third team national championship in school history. Boys Track and Field 2009 being the second and the 1991 football team was national champion in the former ESPN/Scholastic Sports America poll, as well as the National Prep Poll and National Sports News Service Poll.[5]

The school also has a speech, debate, journalism, and communications program. Ben Davis is home to WBDG Giant 90.9 FM, a 400-Watt FM radio station operated by students. WBDG went on the air in 1966 and continues to broadcast today 24 hours, 7 days per week. BDHS publishes a student yearbook called Keyhole, Giant Visions, a literary magazine, and a student newspaper, the Spotlight. In 2003, the school re-launched BDTV, a video production house, within the Area 31 Career Center where students produce a weekly school newscast and a variety of other video productions for the township.

Ben Davis provides a career center which provides vocational training and serves nine regional schools, (Avon High School, Brownsburg High School, Cascade High School, Danville Community High School, Decatur Central High School, Monrovia High School, Mooresville Consolidated High School, Speedway High School, Tri-West High School).

The school has been authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Performing arts[edit]

Ben Davis' performing art department features both a chamber orchestra and a symphony orchestra.

Ben Davis High School hosts the "Arts Alive" festival biannually. The festival usually occurs in April and showcases student work from all Wayne Township schools. More than 500 people attend each year. At the festival, choirs and bands also perform in both the gym and auditorium.

S.W.E.A.T. or "Seniors With Extraordinary Artistic Talent" is another art show held at Ben Davis. The Show is one that occurs at the end of May right before the seniors graduate. Each senior puts together and creates their own section of the exhibit and displays their work. No artwork is sold that night, but students make take contact information to sell work after the show. The logo for S.W.E.A.T. each year is created by students and the show is run by the students under the direction of the head of the Art Department.

The Ben Davis Marching Giants have traveled across the country on invitation to march in various parades and festivals, including the King Kamehameha parade in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and The Inaugural Parade for President Reagan Jan. 1985 in Washington DC. The band has also won numerous Indiana state titles and has also competed on the national level, finishing 1st in Indiana state competition in 1984,1985,1986,1987,1988, 1993. Also, second in the National Marching Band Competition in 1982 and ninth and tenth in the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 2004 and 2008 respectively. In 2012, the Marching Giants traveled to Pasadena to again represent Ben Davis High School in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Ben Davis has three competitive choirs. "Purple-Aires" is an advanced concert choir that has been named grand champion at numerous competition throughout the years. "Premiers" is a mixed show choir which consistently places in the top five at area competitions. In 2010, the "Premiers" swept the Shelbyville High School invitational and at ISSMA Show Choir State Championships they placed 2nd overall and won the best vocal sound caption award. "Sounds", formerly known as "Soundsations", is a women's show choir. "Sounds" were named Grand Champions at the 2010 Pike Music Festival and the Shelbyville High School invitational. They too placed second at the ISSMA State Show Choir State Championships. Sounds were named ISSMA Women's Show Choir State Champions at the 2011 and 2013 championships.

Ben Davis' Theatre Department is expanding, increasing their season to include four shows throughout the year. In the 2008-2009 school year, they were invited to perform in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in 2009, they performed for the first time in the Indy Fringe Festival.

Notable alumni[edit]

School partnerships[edit]

Country School Name Partner since Comments
Germany Germany Gymnasium Letmathe Iserlohn 2009 First visit from Germany: October and November 2009. First stay in Germany: March and April 2010.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°47′5.00″N 86°17′27.00″W / 39.7847222°N 86.2908333°W / 39.7847222; -86.2908333