Indian Springs School
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
|Indian Springs School|
|190 Woodward Drive
Indian Springs Village, Alabama, 35124
|Type||Private, boarding and day, secondary|
(Learning Through Living)
|Founder||Harvey G. Woodward|
|Campus||350 acres (1.4 km2) with an 11-acre (45,000 m2) lake|
|Athletics||Boys' and Girls' Cross Country, Basketball, Tennis, and Soccer
Boys' Baseball and Golf
Girls' Volleyball and Softball
Student organized Ultimate Frisbee
|Choir||139 (47% of the student body)|
Indian Springs School is a private school that includes grades eight through twelve with both boarding and day students. It is at the base of Oak Mountain, in Indian Springs Village, Shelby County, Alabama, United States.
Indian Springs School was founded in 1952 by Birmingham-born, MIT-educated businessman Harvey G. Woodward, who left in his will the funds and instructions for creating the school at his death in 1930. In some ways, his vision was progressive. Woodward wanted to make the school available to both upper-class and lower-class people. He instructed that the school should champion a holistic approach to learning (the school's motto is "Discere Vivendo", or "Learning through Living"). During its first years, the school was a working farm, which the students tended, although this element was shortly eliminated. However, Woodward also stipulated that the school could admit only whites, non-Jews, and boys, limitations that all were eventually challenged and abolished. The school is now praised for its wide diversity.
Indian Springs opened in 1952 with ten staff members and sixty students. The first director of the school was Louis "Doc" Armstrong. He made several changes to Woodward's original plans for the school, most notably Woodward's request that the school not be preparatory.
By the 1970s, the school had grown to include equal numbers of day students and boarders. An eighth grade was added, and the school began admitting girls in 1976.
Indian Springs School was the first school in the Southeast to be recognized by the Malone Family Foundation, with a $2-million grant to underwrite tuition and other expenses for gifted students whose families could not otherwise afford an independent school.
Indian Springs School's campus is on 350 acres (1.4 km2) in northern Shelby County, 15 miles (24 km) south of downtown Birmingham. Through the 1970s, the school was remote and surrounded by woodlands, with Oak Mountain State Park abutting its southern boundary. In the late 1970s, facing increasing debts and possible bankruptcy because of decreased enrollment, the school sold hundreds of acres surrounding the campus.
Instruction takes place in seven academic buildings, which house 23 classrooms, a new science center, a concert hall, a theater, two student lounges, a college center, a technology lab, a 19,000-volume library, and special studios for chorus, art, photography, and drama. The athletic facilities include two gymnasiums, with two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, and two weight rooms. The campus has four tennis courts, a competition soccer field, a baseball field, a softball field, a cross country track, and a practice field/track. A new organic orchard, Fertile Minds, complements the greenhouse in producing food for the students. In 2006, new dorms for both boys and girls were opened.
As of 2011-2012, ISS had 261 students from twelve states and thirteen countries, 68% of whom were day students and 32% of whom were boarders.
The school competes in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (Division 3A) in all sports except football. The school has a long-running rivalry, especially in basketball and soccer, with The Altamont School.
- Daniel Alarcón, author
- John Badham, director
- Howard Cruse, cartoonist
- John Green, best-selling young adult author. His debut novel, Looking for Alaska, contains several elements influenced by his high school experiences.
- Ken Grimwood, author
- Preston Haskell, construction magnate in Jacksonville, Florida, and part-owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
- Rob Henrikson, Chairman, President, and CEO of MetLife,Inc., the largest life insurer in the U.S.
- Michael McCullers, director and screenwriter
- Charles I. Plosser, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
- Joel L. Shin, specialist in international trade matters, government affairs and national defense
- "Where There's a Will: The Story of Indian Springs School" by Pam Jones, Alabama Heritage Magazine, Number 77, Summer 2005, 26-33.
- Malone Family Foundation
- Indian Springs School's Official Site
- History of Springs compiled by M.D. Smith (Class of 1959)
- National Association of Independent Schools
- Boarding School Review: Indian Springs School profile
- Private School Review: Indian Springs School profile