Norcross High School
|Norcross High School|
|5300 Spalding Drive
Norcross, Georgia, 30092
|Motto||Envisioning a world-class school|
|Color(s)||Blue, Silver, White|
|Website||Norcross High School|
The current Norcross High School occupies a 440,000-square-foot (41,000 m2) facility at 5300 Spalding Drive, Norcross, Georgia that opened in August 2001. Jonathan Patterson has been school principal at Norcross since Spring 2012. William Bishop replaced Jonathon Patterson and is the current school principal. Norcross is the only high school in the Gwinnett County school system to have the IB Diploma Programme (1999).
Municipal bonds were issued for a new modern brick schoolhouse in 1903, and another bond issue approved an additional school in 1914. These buildings stood side by side on College Street for many years in the center of Norcross and were preceded by an old wooden building at the same site. Before this older wooden school was destroyed, it became very unsteady.
After the second red-brick building was constructed as a grammar school, the first building became Norcross High School. Both of the brick schools were demolished several years ago, although the first building was in use until 1970.
According to a booklet compiled in 1923 and reprinted recently, the rural schools surrounding Norcross were Beaver Ruin with 60 students, Glover with 172, Mechanicsville with 87, and Pittman with 60. Crabapple School, which was located at Pinckneyville, had apparently closed earlier.
In 1933, a report printed in Flanigan's History, Volume I, stated, "Norcross has three buildings valued at $60,000, and used thirteen teachers. For many years this has been one of the best schools in the county and is accredited first class." A school for black children was located near Hopewell Baptist Church at that time, according to Clara Nesbit.
Norcross Elementary School was built in 1939, and the Board of Trustees of the Norcross Consolidated School System listed on the cornerstone were H. L. Sudderth, J. Howard Webb, B. F. Summerour, B. W. Westbrook and C. A. Garner. This school is still in use, although many additions have been built through the years. With the completion of the new elementary school, the two older buildings 'on the hill' became Norcross High School.
When West Gwinnett High School was built in 1957, parents of Duluth students objected to consolidation and fought successfully to have a new high school built in Duluth. The citizens of Norcross later asked to have the name West Gwinnett changed back to Norcross High School.
The school colors, blue and white, and the school mascot, the Blue Devil, were chosen by the students in 1957 when football was played as a school sport for the first time.
Norcross High School opened a 440,000-square-foot (41,000 m2) facility at 5300 Spalding Drive in Norcross in August 2001. This land was purchased by the Gwinnett County Public School System because the 1998 tornado cleared the land of trees. The new building opened with a student population of 2,400 students. Today the student body has an estimated 4,000 pupils. The former facility located at 2595 Beaver Ruin Road has been renamed Buchanan High School of Technology, which until July 2013 housed the Gwinnett Online Campus and GIVE Center West, a grade 6-12 alternative school. In January 2013, the Gwinnett County Board of Education voted to move GIVE and the online center to a new location, making way for new life on the old school grounds. Construction has begun on the campus of the former Norcross High School. All existing buildings with the exception of the 1996 gymnasium, are currently under demolition. Construction on this property will give way for a new Summerour Middle School, expected to move in at the close of the 2014-2015 school year.
In 1999, Norcross High School became the first high school in Gwinnett to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to high school juniors and seniors. This program was implemented to offer a different curriculum for motivated students. IB Diploma students have classes independent of the majority of the student body. IB Certificate students can get a certification in some IB courses that they are interested in without having to complete the entire Diploma Programme. Norcross also offers a pre-IB program to underclassmen in order for them to take some state required courses that must be done before taking higher level IB courses. Norcross High School also offers a vast array of AP (Advanced Placement) courses.
Relay for Life
Norcross High School is part of the Gwinnett County Relay for Life, the top fund-raising Relay event in the country. In 2006, under the leadership of Kirsten Mixter, NHS solidified their position as the top fundraising high school in the nation when they raised over $112,000 for Relay, and were the only high school to raise over $50,000. NHS raised most of the funds in honor of beloved math teacher Dorothy Lewis, who died of cancer in the February before Relay.
Norcross currently competes in Region 7-AAAAAA  The school's mascot is the Blue Devil. The school competes in football, baseball, softball, track and field, cross country, swimming and diving, wrestling, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball, competitive cheerleading, and roller hockey.
Norcross High's athletic program has received recognition in recent years for its boys' basketball program, coached by Eddie Martin. Norcross varsity boys basketball team won the Class AAAAA Georgia state championship in 2006, 2007,2008, and 2011 after finishing as the state runner-up in 2005. The boy's basketball team has had press coverage in USA Today, which ranked the Blue Devils as the #2 high school basketball program in the nation in a preseason poll, and through ESPN2, which carried a national broadcast of the Blue Devils' game against #1 ranked Oak Hill Academy (VA) in December 2006. The 2007–2008 team was featured on ESPN2 (in a victory against Helen Cox). On Friday, March 7, 2008, the team won their third consecutive state title. This has not been done in the AAAAA classification since the years of 1938–1940 by Lanier High School. This "three-peat" was won against their 2004 rivals, Wheeler High School. The team is currently ranked at #6 nationally.
Norcross's football team is the reigning (2012) AAAAAA champions. Norcross's football team first garnered success under Head Coach Theo Caldwell (1985–1998). Under Coach Caldwell, the devils were the first varsity football team in Gwinnett County to ever achieve an undefeated regular season record, and they were region championships in 1991 and 1994. Coach Caldwell brought an exciting Run and Shoot-type offensive to NHS that is rarely seen in high school football. He was known to "breed" quarterbacks. In 2006, Under head coach Keith Maloof, the Blue Devils varsity football team went undefeated in the regular season, winning their region and earning a #1 state ranking at the end of the regular season by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They eventually lost in the third round of the state AAAAA playoffs to Warner Robins High School. In 2012 Coach Maloof led the Blue Devils to their first state title. The 2012 football team won region 7-AAAAAA and advanced into the playoffs where the squad achieved perfection when they came from behind in the 4th quarter to defeat Lovejoy High School 21-14 in the 2012 AAAAAA championship game finishing their first state championship season with a 15-0 record. 
In the 2006–2007 school year, Norcross became the only school in the nation to achieve an extraordinary trifecta when the Norcross basketball team finished #12 in the final USA Today rankings, the football team appeared in the final regular season national rankings, and the Norcross Academic Team competed in the NAQT National Championships in Chicago, Illinois.
So far in the 2007-2008 school year, Norcross High School has won their region in football, volleyball, and basketball, and ranked top 10 in the state preseason for baseball and girls soccer.
The girls have also won the basketball state championship for the past two years 2010 and 2011. They have great players one being the famous USA national player Diamond Dashields.
Also, the Men's Cross Country team placed third at the State meet in 2011. The third place finish beats the former best finish of 4th, which happened in the 1980s.
The Norcross High School Band Program  has attained regional and national recognition. Under previous director William J. Pharris, the program earned the Sudler Flag of Honor, an award granted by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation for consistent superior musical performance. The current head director of bands is Lee Newman and the assistant director is Doug Maloney.
In 2000, 2005 and 2010 the band was a guest performing ensemble at the University of Georgia January Music Festival. The Wind Symphony also performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association Convention in January 2007.
The Wind Symphony has received the William D. Revelli Concert Band Award for first place in 2009 in New York and in 2007 in Chicago. The program was also awarded the Dr. Tim Lautzenheimer Esprit de Corps Award at the 2009 Festivals of Music in New York.
The Norcross High School Marching Band has grown from 110 members in 2002 to 170 members in 2006. The band consistently earns "superior" ratings and in 2004 came away Grand Champion of the Rome Marching Classic with the show "Movin' Out: the Music of Billy Joel." In 2007 the marching band won 1st place at the Southern Invitational at Sprayberry High School. Awards and trophies included Best in Class Percussion, Best in Class Band, High Music Award, High Effect Award, and Gold Division Grand Champion.
The concert band program consists of four groups: the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, and the Wind Symphony. 34 members of the Norcross band earned seats in the District XIII Honor Bands in the 2006-2007 school year.
The orchestra is made up of approximately 150 students and is directed by Na Seo, the four orchestras (in order of performance level), the Chamber ensemble, the Philharmonic, and two Symphonic. All allow violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists to perform string music.
In 2005, while under the direction of Cathy Hudnall, the Norcross Philharmonic Orchestra was the featured performance group at the UGA Fall Orchestra Camp and received an invitation to perform at the GMEA Music Conference in Savannah, Georgia. The Philharmonic also finished as the top public school orchestra in the nation at the 2006 American String Teacher Association's National Orchestra Festival in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2007, Norcross High and it's feeder orchestra from Pinckneyville Middle School, under the direction of Carol Kane, had more orchestra players qualify for the GMEA All-State Orchestra than any other high school in the state of Georgia. The school's Philharmonic Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall in New York in April 2007.
Led by Gina "Pev" Parrish, the Norcross Theater program has been very successful. They consistently rank high in the GHSA one-act play competition. In 2004, they won Region 7AAAAA and placed third in the state. In 2007, they performed "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking" at the region level and earned a third place finish. Actresses Christina Jundt and Amanda Facemire both received awards for Best Actress in the Region, an award usually reserved for one person. The technical crew for "White Chicks" brought home the award for Best Tech Crew of the Region. The Theatre Arts Department produces a variety of shows every year with consistently sold out houses. Randy Kemper is the other theatre teacher who is responsible for the beginning classes. Mr. Kemper directs the children's' show, which enables hundreds of elementary students to see live theatre. Pev runs the advanced program consisting of classes ranging from Stage Craft to Musical Production Workshop. The NHS Theatre program is proud of the variety of theatre courses offered to the students. NHS Thespian are involved in community service projects as well as performing.
The visual arts department is led by five different instructors, and is one of the most successful, and well-known fine art departments in the metro-Atlanta area. Although it is particularly famous for its excellence in ceramics, it is also imperative to note that Norcross visual arts department is one of the few that offer unique courses such as jewelry, printmaking, and computer graphics in the state of Georgia. The department is also responsible for the exposure of talented young artist, and has been awarded with various prizes over the years. In 2010 the norcross art department arose from a year of small success by receiving several awards at the prestigious Scholastics Art & Writing competition where student, the school was awarded with the only gold key award in the portfolio category, in Gwinnett county. Norcross also received best of show in the same competition as well as nine gold keys awards.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2012)|
- Jangy Addy, 2× Olympian in the decathlon, while representing Liberia.
- Al-Farouq Aminu, NBA player for the New Orleans Pelicans.
- Jeff Backus, American football player
- Larry Grant, American football player
- Darius Hanks, Alabama football player now with Washington Redskins
- Adrian Hubbard, Alabama Crimson Tide
- Jeremy Lamb, NBA player for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Gani Lawal, basketball player.
- Chandler Massey, Emmy Award winning actor.
- Jodie Meeks, NBA player for the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Lajon Witherspoon, Lead singer of the band Sevendust.
- Brice Butler, National Football League Player for the Oakland Raiders.
- 2012-2013 Region Alignments | GHSA.net
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- AAAAAA: Norcross 21, Lovejoy 14 | Prep Zone: High School Sports
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- "Al-Farouq Aminu". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 15, 2012.