Milton High School (Georgia)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2008)|
|Milton High School|
|13025 Birmingham Highway
Milton, Georgia, 30004
|Oversight||Fulton County School System|
|Principal||Brian Jones (Interim)|
|Color(s)||Red, White and Navy Blue|
|Mascot||Eddie the Eagle|
|Rival||Roswell High School|
Milton High School Front Lawn
- 1 History
- 2 Today
- 3 Student, Staff & School Awards
- 4 The Arts at Milton
- 5 Athletics and extracurricular activities
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 References
Milton High School was founded in the shadows of metropolitan Atlanta within the city of Alpharetta, Georgia. When Principal W. T. Harrison rang the bell in 1921 to begin the first day of classes at the school serving all of Milton County, children and youth in grades one through eleven came running. There were no buses or school lunches - not even central heating or plumbing. With the merger of Milton and Fulton counties in 1932, improvements began at a rapid pace.
Due to the initiative of the Fulton Farmers of America, a cannery operated during the summers on the Milton Campus. An authentic log cabin - also a FFA project - still stands as a memorial to our heritage.
The 1950s brought more positive changes and the building of an elementary school allowed Milton to be home for grades eight through twelve. The addition of a concrete football stadium drew the entire community on Friday nights to cheer for the Milton Eagles, and football (and sports in general) remained so important that the Latin club only earned official support from then-principal (and ex-coach) Max McBrayer when local JCL teams held a volleyball contest and the Latin team therefore brought home an athletics trophy. The 1970s represented a time of tremendous economic and social transition for Alpharetta and Milton High School. Additions to the original building included a new cafeteria, library and front office. Tapped as Fulton County's first comprehensive high school in the 1980s, programs began for learners with all exceptionalities, abilities and interests along with the opening of a middle school to meet specialized needs of youngsters in grades six through eight.
As the 1990s rolled in, an enlarged modernized Milton High School (encompassing the MHS Center for the Arts, a new greenhouse, music and the health/physical education facilities) established a stellar reputation for strong community ties, presenting a broad and relevant curriculum supported by state-of-the-art technology and a caring spirit. Then, Milton High School embarked on yet another construction project: a state-of-the-art science wing, an enlargement of the school cafeteria and renovations to the front office.
In the 1997-98 school year, Milton was named a Georgia School of Excellence and a Blue Ribbon Nominee. In the 1998-99 school year, the U.S. News & World Report named Milton High School an outstanding high school, a model of excellence. Milton continued to be a vital part of the Fulton County School System characterized by economic and geographic diversity. Undergirded by its long-time history representing the best of yesterday's rural Georgia, this sprawling comprehensive high school became a unique and warm blend of the old and new.
With the new 2000 millennium came increasing numbers of students and new ideas about how best to serve young people whose adult lives will be spent in the 21st century. Unlike the schools which prepared most graduates of the 1930s and 1940s for jobs right out of high school, we're now challenged to prepare students for a world changing so rapidly that current graduates need to be prepared for careers which didn't even exist when they entered high school. Our need to expand again was in conflict with our land locked campus in the heart of Alpharetta. After much discussion, the Fulton County Board of Education decided to build a new school. At the time of its creation, Milton High School taught students in grades 1 to 11. It had no central heating system or plumbing until the merger of Fulton County and Milton County in 1932. Then, the much more wealthy Fulton County began to improve the school's facilities. In the 1950s, the addition of an elementary school in the area (Alpharetta Elementary School) and an additional high school, Roswell High School, allowed Milton to shrink its size to teach grades 8 to 12. Until the opening of Roswell High, Milton was the only public high school in the region which now covers the attendance zones of five high schools. In the 1970s, economic and social transitions of the area allowed Milton High School to build a new cafeteria, library, and front office. In 1983, with the opening of Haynes Bridge Middle School, eighth grade was dropped, leaving the school as a grade 9 - 12 facility. As the 1990s came, Milton began to add new facilities to the school by adding the Milton High School Center for the Arts, a greenhouse, music and the health/physical education facilities.
Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, Milton High School moved from its original location in downtown Alpharetta (located at 86 School Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30009) to a new foundation near the local middle school, Northwestern Middle School (at 13025 Birmingham Highway, Milton, GA 30004).
(The "Old" Milton High School now serves as the alternative High School, Independence.)
Today, Milton High School teaches grades 9-12 and was expected to have about 2,225 students to start the 2007-08 school year. In the 2008-09 school year there were 2314 students enrolled, and the school grew to over 2600 students for the fall of 2010.
Once the new building was opened, Milton adopted an academy system that allowed students to choose a 'track' of sorts that personalizes their education. For their freshman year (9th grade), all students had to take the Freshman Academy. From 10th grade on, students could choose between the Math and Science Academy, Social Sciences Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Academy. Each Academy taught the courses required for graduation but taught them in a way similar to the 'theme' of the academy. This model was done away with after just two years of use, and Milton is now back to the traditional system. Milton offers preparation for most, but not all, AP exams. Milton offers these AP courses: AP Biology, AP Calculus AB & BC, AP Drawing, AP 2D Design, AP 3D design, AP Environmental Science, AP French, AP Gov/Politics, AP Human Geography, AP Language & Composition, 12th Grade AP Literature, AP Macro, AP Music Theory, AP Physics B, AP Spanish, AP U.S. History, AP World History.
Following years of service, former Principal Ron Tesch retired after the 2009-2010 school year, but returned as interim principal for the 2014-2015 year after the resignation of Nathan Buhl. Buhl stepped down from his position following a DUI and an arrest 2 weeks before the school year started.
Student, Staff & School Awards
Employee and Teacher of the Year for 2008-09 Milton's Teacher of the Year is Meredith "Academic Maturity" Reddy (Language Arts), who is also the Fulton County Teacher of the Year. The Employee of the Year is Bev Bailey.
Milton HS Named to Newsweek's Top Schools List - June 15, 2009 Newsweek Magazine named Milton High School in its annual list of 1,500 top-ranking public high schools in the United States, appearing at number 307. Seven other Fulton County schools also made the list. The entire report is online at www.newsweek.com/id/201160. Public schools are ranked according to a ratio devised by Newsweek - the number of Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school in 2008 divided by the number of graduating seniors. Using this measurement, 1,500 schools were identified as being within the top 6 percent of all U.S. public schools.
Milton HS named Nat'l Blue Ribbon school Milton High School was the only high school in Georgia to receive the prestigious No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools distinction for 2008, the U.S. Department of Education announced September 9.
Previously called the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, the program was reorganized by the U.S. Department of Education to recognize public and private K-12 schools that are academically superior in their states coupled with significant gains in student achievement.
Schools must demonstrate dramatic improvement in a school environment with significant populations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds or score in the top 10 percent on state assessments. Milton was recognized for its high achievement on assessments.
Principal Ron Tesch credited Milton's quality of teachers and the school's culture for academic excellence as keys to its success. "To steal from the real estate motto, 'location, location, location' - at Milton, it's 'academics, academics, academics,' Tesch says. "We have such wonderful teachers - truly, the finest in the nation - who really look for ways to unlock students' potential. They do whatever it takes to help students succeed." Tesch also acknowledged the community's support of the school. "The Milton community really values education, high standards and rigor. When we announced the award, everyone was jubilant. You could feel the pride throughout the school. Our teachers and students know the significance of this kind of award and what it means. Parents are stopping me in the hall to say how proud they are and what it means to the community." Tesch and assistant principal Cliff Jones attended a special awards ceremony October 20–21 in Washington, D.C. to accept the award.
The Arts at Milton
Milton is known for its strong arts programs.
The Milton Band includes the Milton High School Marching Band, 2 jazz ensembles, a jazz combo, 3 concert bands, a Percussion Ensemble, and the Milton Indoor Drumline. The marching band has competed in many regional competitions, and has a history of being very successful at marching band competitions. They have received many awards, including the honor of participating in the London New Year's Day Parade in 2000. In recent years, the Wind Ensemble has received invitations to perform at the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia. The Milton Band is under the direction of Mr. Chris Shumick, with the percussion directed by Mr. Mark Kapral. Milton's indoor drumline has won regional and national awards as well. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 the MID was one of the finalists in the WGI Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Since choral music was added to the curriculum in 1951, the Milton Choral Department has enjoyed great success. The Milton Choral program consists of three choirs.
- Chorale - The Milton Chorale is the Advanced Mixed Ensemble at Milton. The members of this ensemble are selected by audition and are 10th - 12th grade men and women.
- Women's Select - Women's Select is the Advanced Women's Ensemble at Milton. The members of this ensemble are selected by audition and are 10th - 12th grade women.
- Concert Choir - The Concert Choir is open to all 9th - 12th grade men and women. No audition is required. This is the entry level choir for all freshmen.
The Milton choirs consistently receive Superior Ratings in Performance and Sight-Singing at the Georgia Music Educators Large Group Performance Evaluation as well as at other festivals across the south. They have received invitations and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City three times. The groups have also had the opportunity to perform in Honolulu, Hawaii; Orlando, Florida; and Gatlinburg, Tennessee among others.
All three choirs perform in the twice yearly concerts held at the Milton High School auditorium; one in the fall and one in the spring. Various other group and solo performance opportunities occur during the year.
In addition to the success of the choirs, students have been selected to participate in Georgia Music Educators Association All-State Chorus, the Governor's Honors Program, District Honor Chorus, American Choral Director Association Honor Choruses, Spivey Hall Honor Choruses, and other various honor choirs. Students from Milton have gone on to study music and participate in college music programs throughout the southeast including Belmont University, Columbus State University, Georgia Southern, Louisiana State University, Mercer University, Shorter College, Stetson University, and the University of Georgia.
Drew Bowers has been the Director of Choral Activities at Milton High School since his appointment in 2007. He conducts the Chorale, Women's Select, and Concert Choir and teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory.
Milton also has an award-winning theatre program led by Renee Denney and Sim Jones. Milton Theatre recently came second in State One Act Competition with their play "A Piece of my Heart" And last year with their play "The Rimers of Eldritch". They also broke ground with their performances of "Cirque Glosoli", a cirque show brought to the school by director, Larry Smith.
The Milton High School Orchestra is directed by Mr. Richard Bomba. At this time, he is the longest tenured member of the fine arts department at Milton High School. Since his arrival, the orchestra has grown from 32 members to 110+ in the current school year. The orchestra program consists of 3 different orchestra: Chamber, Sinfonia, and Concert. The orchestras perform individually and together at least four times per year. Often, the orchestra will arrange a full symphony concert with members from the elite MHS Band program. In addition, the orchestra hosts multiple ensembles and quartets and encourages them (and individual players) to perform throughout the local area in an outreach program. The MHS Orchestra has been invited to the National Orchestra Festival and has been a recent past winner of the Smoky Mountain Music Festival. Individuals in the MHS orchestra have earned chairs at All-State, ASYO, MYSO, LSO, FCHO, and Spivey Chamber Orchestra including first chair placement on several occasions.
Athletics and extracurricular activities
The Athletic Director at Milton High School is Gary Sylvestri. Milton High School is a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) and currently competes in Region 5 of the AAAAAA Classification. Sports at Milton include: IEA Equestrian Team, Lacrosse, Soccer, Football, Tennis, Dance team, Cross Country, Track and Field, Golf, Swimming, Baseball, Volleyball, Ice Hockey, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Wrestling, Basketball, and Softball. Academic sports include Mathematics, Debate team, and Mock Trial.
Team GHSA State Champions
Through the 2013 school year, Milton has won 34 State Championships in 13 sports or activities. The Girls lacrosse program has won the most State titles (9). The boys' program with the most GHSA State Championships is baseball.
- Boys Basketball: 2010, 2012
- Baseball: 1955, 2004, 2013
- Debate: 2009 
- Boys Golf: 2012
- Girls Golf: 2012
- Girls Gymnastics: 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999
- Girls Lacrosse: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 
- Boys Lacrosse: 2010, 2012
- One Act Play: 2011 2012 2013 2014
- Girls Soccer: 2012
- Boys Tennis: 1985, 2003
- Girls Tennis: 1980, 1983, 1985
- Wrestling: 1978
Individual Georgia High School Association State Champions
(list believed to be complete through 2012-13 school year)
- Boys Cross Country -- 1965: John Wolf; 1998: Ian Dickinson; 1999: Ian Dickinson
- Boys Golf -- 2002: Robert Castro; 2010: Patrick Grahek
- Girls Golf -- 2012: Rachel Dai
- Girls Gymnastics -- 1990: Keely Dunston, Balance Beam; 1991: Christa Cully (3), Uneven Parallel Bars, Balance Beam & All Around; 1997: Loren Simpson (4), Uneven Parallel Bars, Vault, Balance Beam, & All Around; 1999: Loren Simpson, Uneven Parallel Bars; 2000: Loren Simpson (2), Uneven Parallel Bars & Floor Exercise; 2004: Marisa Schneider, Vault; 2005: Marisa Schneider (2), Vault & All Around; 2006: Marisa Schneider (2), Floor Exercise, & Vault
- One Act Play -- Best Actress -- 2012: McKenzie Kurtz
- Boys Swimming -- 2008: Jeff Cox, 200 yd Individual Medley (1:54.69); 2009: Jeff Cox (2), 100 yd Freestyle (46.04) & 200 yd Individual Medley (1:52.18); 2012: Sam Lewis, 100 yd Backstroke (48.85)
- Girls Swimming -- 2001: Melissa Klein (2), 100 yd Breaststroke (1:02.75; 5A State Meet Record) & 200 yd Individual Medley (2:02.59; 5A State Meet Record); 2002: Melissa Klein, 100 yd Breaststroke (1:03.24); 2003: Melissa Klein (2), 100 yd Breaststroke (1:02.15; 5A State Meet Record) & 200 yd Individual Medley (2:01.44; 5A State Meet Record); 2012: Katie Grover, 100 yd Freestyle (51.14); 2013: Katie Grover (2), 100 yd Backstroke (55.21) & 100 yd Butterfly (53.55)
- Girls Tennis -- 1970: Lynn Gloria Bates, Singles; 1972: Michele Flowers & Kathy Pledger, Doubles; 1980: Tracy Burke & Leighann Tareton, Doubles; 1983: Patti Belling & Kristi Overton, Doubles; 1985: Kristi Overton, Singles
- Boys Tennis -- 1974: Phil Parrish & Robbie Bagwell, Doubles; 1976: Phil Parrish & Robbie Bagwell, Doubles; 1985: Robi Soni & Mike Rossen, Doubles
- Boys Track & Field -- 1957: Marshall Sims, High Jump (6'1"; 1A State Meet Record); Don Devore, 120yd Hurdles (16.0s; 1A State Meet Record); 1960: Melvin Cochran, Shot Put (46'11.5"); 1961: Melvin Cochran, Shot Put (54'1.5"; 2A State Meet Record); Bobby Coleman (2), 180yd Hurdles (21.2s) & 120yd Hurdles (15.2s); 1962: Arthur Letchas, 440yd Dash (51.0s); Melvin Cochran, Discus (148' 2.5”); 1965: John Wolf (2), 1-Mile Run (4:32.6) & 2-Mile Run (10:07.7, 1A State Meet Record); 1966: John Wolf (2), 1-Mile Run (4:23, All Classification State Meet Record) & 2-Mile Run (9:50, 1A State Meet Record); 1967: John Wolf (2), 1-Mile Run (4:26.9) & 2-Mile Run (9:51.5); Kendall Wolf, 1/2 Mile Run (2:00.5, 1A State Meet Record); 1980: Kevin Duncan, 330yd Hurdles (39.77s); 2000: Ian Dickenson, 3200 Meter Run (9:21.71).
- Girls Track & Field -- 1973: Susan Lipscomb (2), 70 yd Hurdles (10.3s; 1A State Meet Record) & 220yd Dash (27.2; 1A State Meet Record); 1974: Lydia Beavers, 80yd Hurdles (11.9s); 2010: Samantha Becker, Pole Vault (12'0", 5A State Meet Record; Tied all Class Record)
- Boys Wrestling -- 1978: Ricky Scott, 167 lb Class; 1984: Thomas Harris, 98 lb Class; 1995: Andrew Stolz, 220 lb Class; 2011: Blake Roytek, 135 lb Class; 2013: Phillip Anderson, 126 lb Class
The Milton Football team is led by Head Coach Howie DeCristofaro, who is celebrating his 31st year of coaching. The Milton Eagles are the 2014 Region Champs, and have made the state playoffs four years in a row (in the Fall of 2011, Fall of 2012, Fall of 2013 and Fall of 2014). The Milton football team plays in the largest GHSA classification, AAAAAA, and therefore plays against the most competitive teams in the state, having played against Norcross, Camden County, Roswell, etc.
In the spring of 2012, 7 senior football players signed on to play college football, more than any other high school team in the region. In the spring of 2013, 13 senior football players signed on to play college football, again, more than any other high school team in the region, and 5 in the Spring of 2014. The Class of 2013 sent three to Auburn, two to Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Army, Davidson, Northern Illinois, etc. Milton's class of 2013 included the nations' #2 player, Carl Lawson, Jr., earning Milton a live broadcast of their game against Walton on ESPN. The 2012, 2013 and 2014 Spring Practices saw over 100 college teams come through the week of Spring Practice to observe. Milton expects the same demand for their 2015 Spring Practices, with several nationally ranked players.
Milton currently has 22 active football players in the college ranks, and an untold number of players who have finished their college careers. Three have gone on to play professional football.
- Roberto Castro - Milton Class of 2002. Professional golfer and All-American at Georgia Tech.
- Daniel Pope - Milton Class of 1994. Former punter in the National Football League, played for Kansas City Chiefs in 1999, Cincinnati Bengals in 2000, New York Jets in 2001, with his longest NFL punt being 64 yards. Daniel is also known for scoring a touchdown while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. Daniel was not asked to punt at Milton High School, but was taught punting by his father Jeff while Daniel was at the University of Alabama (1995 through 1998). Daniel started as a walk-on at Alabama. Daniel is still listed in the record books five times in four different punting categories at Alabama. Daniel was also a coach for Alabama in 1998.
- Kyle Farnsworth - Major League Baseball (1994) 
- Nadine Jolie Courtney - blogger, author, Bravo TV personality Newlyweds: The First Year (1998)
- Dexter Fowler- Major League Baseball (2004)
- Bobby Scales- Major League Baseball (1995)
- Danyelle Sargent- Fox Sports (1995)
- Jon Cox- Atlanta Silverbacks Forward in the North American Soccer League (2005)
- Milton High School official website. (a) See "About Us" - "History" (b) See "Organizations" - "Sports" - "Directory". Retrieved on December 24, 2008.
- Personal interview with Milton High School graduate, class of 1983
- Milton High School in Milton, Georgia (ga). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.city-data.com/school/milton-high-school-ga.html
- Ap & honors summer assignments 2010 . (2010). Retrieved from http://www.miltonhighschool.com/page2.php?page=summer_reading
- Waylock, Candy (30 July 2014). "Milton High principal resigns over DUI Incident derails career of promising new principal". Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "GHSA Gymnastics Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Girls Lacrosse Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Baseball Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Debate Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- "GHSA Boys Tennis Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Girls Tennis Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Wrestling Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.