Southwest Magnet High School
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Southwest Magnet High School|
|1775 Williamson Road
Macon, Georgia, 31206
|School district||Bibb County School District|
|Vice principal||Brenda Edwards
|Teaching staff||56 FTE|
|Student to teacher ratio||21:1|
Southwest Magnet High School, also known as Southwest-Macon and Southwest Magnet High School and Law Academy, is a high school in Macon, Georgia, serving students in grades 9–12. It is a unit of the Bibb County Public School System.
In the 1970s, Macon residents often claimed that Southwest was the largest high school in the United States in both campus size and attendance numbers. Its sprawling campus complex comprised four classroom buildings (McEvoy A, McEvoy B, Willingham A, Willingham B), 3 of which had their own gymnasium. It had its own baseball field, 1/4 mile track, soccer field and football field. A fifth building was added in the 1980s to accommodate technical education needs.
Southwest High School was born out of the integration and co-ed movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s, during which the Alfred R. Willingham High School for Boys, the adjacent Margaret McEvoy High School for Girls, and nearby all-black Ballard-Hudson High School merged, and eventually rose to national prominence under the leadership of complex principals W. C. Whitley and Gloria Washington. After the merger, the campuses formerly used for Ballard-Hudson High School were converted to junior high campuses (grades 8-9) with the Ballard-Hudson name.
Its large student body enabled the school to have successful teams in baseball, track and field, football and basketball, as well as numerous academic teams. Its chief rival was Central High School's Chargers. Each fall, the campus hosted Orange Crush week designed to celebrate the upcoming game between the Southwest Patriots (whose colors are red, white and blue) and Central Chargers (whose main color was orange). Now, their rival is the Northeast Magnet High School's Raiders.
In the late 1980s, because of growing concerns about successful management of the enormous student body, the school was split into Southwest High School and Southeast High School. Southwest later added a magnet program, focusing on preparatory curricula for law and criminal justice careers.
Prior to the school's split, Southwest High School also produced NBA basketball greats Norm Nixon (#10 Los Angeles Lakers 1977-83), Jeff Malone (Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, & Washington Bullets 1983-90). The school was also nationally known for its marching band, "The Southwest Marching Patriots Band," or the "Big Red Machine," and its concert and jazz bands, all of which succeeded under the demanding and temperamental direction of Bill Hunter and Oscar Jackson. In addition, the school also produced marketing genius, Joy Sutherland Highnote(1975–78).
- Dr. Wallace Whitley (1971–1981)
- Gloria Washington (1981–1989)
- Gerald Stuart (1989–1991)
- Dr. Columbus Watkins (1991–1998)
- Dr. Gail Fowler (1998–2006)
- Tyrone Bacon (2006–2010)
- Dr. Benjy Spann-Morgan (2010–2011)
- Elizabeth Blair-Ricks (2011–2013)
- Dr. Tanzy Kilcrease (2013-
- Milt Cuyler, Former professional baseball player (Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers) and current Hitting Coach of the Gulf Coast Twins