A.L. Brown High School

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A.L. Brown High School
A.L. Brown High School
415 E. 1st Street
Kannapolis, North Carolina, 28083
Type Free public
Established 1924
School district Kannapolis City Schools
Principal Todd Parker
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1350
Campus type Suburb
Color(s) Kelly green, White          
Nickname Wonders
Rival Concord High School

A.L. (Alfred Luther) Brown High School is a comprehensive public high school in Kannapolis, North Carolina. It is the only high school in the Kannapolis City Schools district as well as the city of Kannapolis.

A.L. Brown was recognized by DPI as a "School of Distinction" under the state's ABC standards for public education for the 2003–2010 school years.


During the expansion of the Cannon Mills Corporation during the 1920s, James William Cannon donated a piece of land just east of the town for a school. Centerview School was constructed in 1924, about the same time that a new Concord High School opened. Later in the early 1930s Centerview School was renamed J. W. Cannon High School, after the town's founder. A few years later Cannon High School was destroyed by a fire, then later rebuilt. In 1951, the school was renamed A. L. Brown High School, and moved to a new building southeast of the old facility. The former building was converted into a junior high school under the name Cannon Junior High School. In 1974, A.L. Brown was almost destroyed by a fire started in the attic; fearing auditorium damage, graduation was moved to the primary gymnasium. Then on January 10, 1982, James William Cannon Junior High School was completely destroyed by a fire.

Many additions have been built on to A. L. Brown and there is a separate vocational building as well as a free-standing gymnasium. During the 2006/07 school year, a newer gymnasium/PE facility opened on campus. These free-standing buildings give A. L. Brown its unique character. Instead of a traditional single building like most high schools, Brown has a small, college-like atmosphere with numerous buildings around a central courtyard. All of the buildings on the campus are built in the Colonial Williamsburg style of architecture. All of the buildings are brick with white trim, modeled after most of Kannapolis.

A photograph of A. L. Brown High School in February, 2006

The $8.1 million, 50,000-square foot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy, designed to resemble the nearby North Carolina Research Campus Core Lab, held its grand opening on September 25, 2011. The top two floors offer modern science labs, while the second floor will house communication classes. The basement has a health center and an international welcome center.[1]

Opening March 2012 is the Stroup Arts Center. This building will replace the previous Vocational Building or V-Building. This center will provide an Exceptional Children's Department, Dance Studio, Art Studio, Drafting, Culinary Arts, Foods 1 & 2, Theatre, & ROTC to the students of A. L. Brown.


  • 1924 – Central High School Opens
  • 1930 – Renamed J. W. Cannon High School
  • 1933 – J. W. Cannon High School burns down because of faulty wiring
  • 1934 – Cannon HS is rebuilt
  • 1950–51 – A. L. Brown High School is constructed 50 yd southeast of Cannon High. Cannon High becomes J. W. Cannon Junior High School.
  • 1957 – An 8-classroom science wing is added to the west end of the main building.
  • 1958 – The W. J. Bullock Physical Education Building is constructed. Kannapolis Memorial Stadium is built and the central courtyard is added.
  • 1967 – The Samuel B. Stroup Vocational Arts Building, The Ruth Coltrane Cannon Musical Education Center and the Administrative Annex is constructed (Now the Central Office).
  • April 17, 1974 – Roof Burns; graduation is moved to W. J. Bullock Gymnasium.
  • 1976 – The W. J. Bullock Physical Education Building is extensively renovated under the supervision of Coach Bob Boswell.
  • January 10, 1982 – J. W. Cannon Junior High School burns down. (Fire was caused by accident). Gymnasium, Cafeteria and Home Economics buildings remain.
  • 1991 – Media Center Wing is constructed.
  • 1993 – Cafeteria Addition is built
  • 1994 – Main Office Renovated
  • 1995 – Music building roof pitched, W. J. Bullock Gym roof replaced.
  • 1995 – An 8-classroom science wing is added to the existing science wing
  • 1997 – Cyber Campus comes online.
  • 2003 – Science wing basement is renovated. Becomes the Mathematics wing.
  • 2005 – Cannon Cafeteria and Home Economics Building are demolished
  • 2006 – Auxiliary Physical Education Building is constructed and the Auditorium is extensively renovated. An addition is built for the Central Office and the Main Office is renovated.
  • 2007 – The Freshman academy is made.
  • 2009 – The Biotech Wing (later called STEM Academy) construction begins.
  • 2011 – STEM Academy completed, V-Building renovation begins
  • 2012 - Vocational Building(V-Building) later called Arts Building is renovated.


A. L. Brown's athletics teams are known as the Wonders. The school is an AAAA member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association as of 2016(NCHSAA) and competes in the SPC 3A Conference. The school sponsors interscholastic football, volleyball, tennis (boys and girls), cross country (boys and girls), basketball (boys and girls), wrestling, swimming (boys and girls), baseball, softball, golf, which the 2006 team won the SPC Conference for the first time in school history, track and field (boys and girls), indoor track and field (boys and girls), soccer (boys and girls), and most recently a lacrosse team. The Varsity football team won titles in 1989 and won another 3A State Championship in 1997. The dominant years of the late 90's featured a team with one All-American (Drew Maher) one D-1A player and one NFL practice squad player (Maher). The Varsity football team has posted 33 consecutive seasons at .500 or better. In the 2010-2011 football season the wonder varsity team posted a record of 13-2 making it to the 3rd round of the play-offs. the wonders were led by senior quarterback Wayne Parker. After a great junior year Parker put up even better numbers his senior year. Parker will be attending Davidson College in the fall. In 2011 season the junior varsity went undefeated. The A. L. Brown football team has 474 wins and 168 losses since 1952. Ron Massey is currently 108-30, a 78.7% winning percentage, into his 11th season in 2010. Mike Newsome was hired in 2011 from Butler High School. A. L. Brown's swim team as also seen recent success with Junior Davied Sanchez placing 1st in the 100 backstroke at the NCHSA 3A state championship meet. He also was runner-up in the 100 butterfly, as well as a participant in the 200 medley relay with Cole Harris, Alex Fesperman, and brother Daniel Sanchez, which placed 4th at the meet.

They also host an NJROTC unit that is successful. In the last four years the Cross Country team has battled from the conference cellar to be a constant contender for the regional crown, finishing 2nd in the region in 2003 and 2004, those years they finished 7th and 6th in state, respectively. In 2007 the men's team finished 5th in the state championships. The team continues to grow strong and have developed to be a more competitive team. In 2010, the men's and women's track and field team were the SPC Conference champions and would later win the regional title, ultimately ending in 4th place at the NCHSAA 3A Track and Field Championships.

Battle for the Bell[edit]

A long-running tradition, The Battle for the Bell is a football game between A. L. Brown and Concord High School. The teams play for a coveted railroad bell that was donated to the schools in 1950; after an initial game in 1924 the two schools have played continuously since 1931. The A. L. Brown/Concord game is the 15th oldest rivalry nationally, and longest continuous high school football rivalry in the state of North Carolina. Concord leads the series at 42-38–4, but since 1975 A. L. Brown has won 24 out of 38. At the end of each game, the losers of the game perform the traditional exchange of the bell which occurs at midfield. A week before the Concord game A. L. Brown will display the bell in the courtyard for all students to ring in spirit of the Wonders. The winning team paints the bell transom in their school colors for display during the entire school year. In the '08 season A. L. Brown beat the Concord Spiders 56–6, 2011 season, 28-21, and 2012, 31-26, this biggest defeat in the series for 3 consecutive years. The following upsets were the 3 consecutive years: In 2009 Concord upset A. L. Brown 10-13, possibly the biggest upset in the series history. In the '12 season, Concord upset A. L. Brown 21-14, in the '13 season, 33-20, 1 In the 2014 season, 20-14, this marks the third upset for A. L. Brown in history, In 2015, A. L. Brown scored 26-15 for the very first time since 2011.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Campbell, Sarah (2011-09-02). "STEM Academy offers science students a place to thrive in Kannapolis". Salisbury Post. Retrieved 2011-09-09.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°29′47″N 80°37′09″W / 35.496268°N 80.619269°W / 35.496268; -80.619269