Richard J. Reynolds High School

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Richard J. Reynolds High School
Type Public
Principal Jeff Olsen, Ed. D
Students 1,687 (05-06)
Grades 9–12
Location 301 N. Hawthorne Road,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina,
Oversight Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Campus Urban
Colors Black      and Gold     
Mascot Demons
Newspaper Pines Whispers
Conference 4-A; Central Piedmont Conference
Distinctions High standards, diverse community. Historically recognized location.
Website Website

Richard J. Reynolds High School now the Richard J. Reynolds Magnet School for the Visual and Performing Arts (often simply R. J. Reynolds High School or Reynolds) is a high school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Named for R. J. Reynolds, the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the school opened in 1923. The school colors are black and gold, and the school's mascot is a Demon.


Made possible through the philanthropy of Katherine Smith Reynolds-Johnston, the widow of R. J. Reynolds and the mother of Zachary Smith Reynolds, who donated the land for the School and the Auditorium.


The School and Auditorium sit on a piece of land known as "Society Hill". Original plans for the School included two grand school buildings sitting on either side of an Auditorium. Construction on the School began in 1919, under the direction of Reynolda House architect Charles Barton Keen. The first classroom building was finished in 1923, but construction on the second building was delayed and eventually abandoned after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. In the early 1990s, the high school building was thoroughly renovated and restored to its original appearance with some modern updating (e.g., a computer lab to replace the former language lab, and central air-conditioning).

The R. J. Reynolds Memorial Auditorium is on the campus and is often used for school functions. The auditorium was constructed in 1924, and a formal opening was held the same year, with Harry Houdini performing. An extensive renovation was completed in 2003. A customized acoustical shell was added to Reynolds Auditorium in 2009.

A fine arts/performing arts building, named the Judy Voss Jones Arts Center for a member of the class of 1968, is on the campus between the R. J. Reynolds Memorial Auditorium and Hawthorne Road. Reynolds became a magnet school for the arts in fall of 2007.

Student body[edit]

R. J. Reynolds is a long-time chief rival of the nearby Mount Tabor High School. This rivalry is fed by the fact that many students developed friendships across school lines. The schools are close enough that neighborhood friends often wind up split between the two schools.

More recently, a rivalry has formed between Reynolds and the new Reagan High School due to several students and teachers having left Reynolds to attend or teach at Reagan, including former principal Stan Elrod, and former basketball head coach Howard West.

From March 30-April 2, 2007, the R. J. Reynolds Key Club, along with several R. J. Reynolds Junior Civitan members, played a basketball game for 72 consecutive hours to raise money for UNICEF, breaking the Guinness World Record although the Record is not recognized by Guinness.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable graduates include:


  1. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (June 24, 2009). "One or Two Things He Knows About Teenagers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  2. ^ "UWE awards honorary degree to Peaches Golding OBE". UWE Press Office. University of the West of England. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°06′04″N 80°15′56″W / 36.1011°N 80.2656°W / 36.1011; -80.2656