South Lakes High School

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South Lakes High School
The Seal of South Lakes
Veritas in Scientia (Truth in Knowledge)
11400 South Lakes Drive
Reston, Virginia, 20191
School type Public, high school
Founded 1979
School district Fairfax County Public Schools
Principal Kimberly Retzer
Staff approximately 200 [1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,378 [2]
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Royal Blue and Kelly Green
Mascot Seahawks
Rivals Herndon High School
Feeder schools Hughes Middle School, Rachel Carson Middle School
Athletic conferences Liberty District
Northern Region

South Lakes High School is the primary high school for the community of Reston in Fairfax County, Virginia. The school, part of Fairfax County Public Schools, has 2,378 students. [3]

The principal is Kimberly Retzer. The school also has 16 other administrators, including assistant administrators for each grade.[4] The school's mascot is the Seahawk. The school colors are Royal Blue and Kelly Green. The school newspaper is named the Sentinel.[5]


South Lakes underwent a $55 million renovation from winter 2006 through August 2008. The renovation was completed in time for the 2008-2009 school year.[6]

The main feeder middle schools are Langston Hughes Middle School and Rachel Carson Middle School.

Demographics and test scores[edit]

In the 2013-2014 school year, South Lakes High School's student body was 46.68% White, 21.24% Hispanic, 13.00% Black, 12.53% Asian and 6.56% Other.[7]

South Lakes High School is a fully accredited high school based on the Standards of Learning tests in Virginia. The average SAT score in the 2013-2014 school year for South Lakes was 1676.

School design[edit]


When the school first opened in 1978, South Lakes High School had an "open classroom" design. The school was laid out into four quadrants, one quadrant area for each grade level. Each quadrant, or "sub-school", was labeled by color: green for freshman, blue for sophomores, yellow for juniors, and orange for seniors. When the school was first opened each sub-school was designed to be a classroom within itself. The open space was not divided into individual classrooms or interrupted with walls. The open design was quickly determined to be an ineffective and distracting way for people to learn, especially with different teachers and students learning different materials around them. Individual classrooms were created with temporary dividers which remained until a renovation which took place between 2006 and 2008.


The recent renovation changed several of the building's characteristic features. The four sub-school design was kept, but altered. Like the original design, there are four separate locker commons (one for each grade level), but the ease of access from one to another has been improved. Each classroom is divided by walls, rather than temporary dividers, and have their own door and windows (if located along the perimeter wall of the building). Classrooms have LCD projectors and the math classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards. The four cafeterias were combined into one larger cafeteria located in the center of the building. The media center was also moved and enlarged.[6]


The school's curriculum offers special education courses, remedial coursework, standard courses, and college-level advanced courses. Advanced coursework is offered in the form of the International Baccalaureate program. There is also one Advanced Placement class: AP U.S. Government and Politics. South Lakes also has an Army JROTC program, which has a Gold Star. South Lakes offers three types of diplomas- Standard, Advanced, and IB.

South Lakes was a pioneer in the FCPS Political Science Program. A 1.5 credit class reserved for seniors, Political Science involves a one semester introduction to the discipline followed by a semester-long internship with a local government agency or organization.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


South Lakes offers twenty sports at the varsity, JV, and freshman levels. The mascot is a seahawk and the sports teams play in the AAA Liberty District and Northern Region of the Virginia High School League. They are least known for their football team, which won a maximum of three games in the fall 2014 season, and barely even beat TJ!


Their Boys Basketball team has consistently been one of the best teams in the Washington D.C area; With 13 District Championships and 6 Northern Virginia Region Titles; 8 Final Four Appearances in the AAA Virginia State finals, and have twice finished 2nd in the State (1998-1999, 2002-2003) Additionally, South Lakes is known throughout the metro area for producing top tier talent that has resulted in an extensive list of Division 1 and professional players. Former Duke Guard and Los Angeles Clipper Grant Hill attended and played for South Lakes. Succeeding former South Lakes superstar Michael Jackson who played for Georgetown National Championship team and in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings. Other big names include Joey Beard (Duke and Boston Celtics), Jerome Scott (Miami and CBA), and Julian Vaughn (Oak Hill Academy and Georgetown). Acel[8]


South Lakes has more than seventy clubs, including National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Model United Nations, Latin Club, and Tri-M Music Honor Society, and clubs for interests in government, academic competitions, performing arts, business, science, computer science, journalism, student leadership and special interests in addition to honor societies for the languages offered.[9]


South Lakes' music department consists of band, orchestra, guitar and chorus programs.

The marching band is the Spirit of Reston. The band program consists of Marching Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. Marching Band is a requirement for Wind Ensemble students (the highest group), but optional for Symphonic Band students.

The orchestra program contains three groups: Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra. Along with the band and chorus, the orchestra travels once a year.

The South Lakes chorus program contains six groups: Women's Chorale, Men's Camerata, Bella Voce, Chamber Singers, DoReMigas (Ladies A Capella Ensemble) and SMAC (South Lakes Men's A Capella).[9] Every spring, the choral program goes on a trip with the band and orchestra to attend a competition.


The South Lakes High School Theatre Arts Department has been honored with many awards, including multiple nominations and wins in the Cappies (Critics and Awards) Program.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°55′57″N 77°20′22″W / 38.932400°N 77.339500°W / 38.932400; -77.339500