Albemarle High School (Virginia)

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Albemarle High School
2775 Hydraulic Road


United States
School typePublic high school
Motto"Pursuing Victory With Honor"
School districtAlbemarle County Public Schools
SuperintendentMatthew Haas
PrincipalDarah Bonham
Enrollment1,992 (September 30, 2017)
Color(s)    Red and Navy Blue
Athletics conferenceJefferson District
Team namePatriots
RivalsCharlottesville Black Knights, Monticello Mustangs, Western Albemarle Warriors
Feeder schoolsJouett Middle School
Sutherland Middle School
Burley Middle School
WebsiteOfficial Site

Albemarle High School is a public high school serving grades 9 through 12. It is a part of Albemarle County Public Schools and is located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. The principal is Darah Bonham, appointed in 2019.

Albemarle High School offers Advanced Placement and dual enrollment classes through nearby Piedmont Virginia Community College. High school students can also study at CATEC, a joint program with Albemarle County Public Schools and Charlottesville City Public Schools where classes are focused on technical education. Adult Education and LED programs are offered in the evening.

Performing arts[edit]

The Albemarle Players won first place at (Virginia Theater Association (VTA) in 2006 with the show Black Comedy, and moved on to perform at South Eastern Theater Conference (SETC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, the players won first place at VTA with the show Man of La Mancha, and performed at SETC in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2011. In 2013, the players won second place at VTA with Shakespeare's R&J and hen performed the show at SETC in Mobile, Alabama in March 2014. They were titled VHSL State Champions in 2010 with the show The Zoo Story. Every spring they put on a musical,. Past musicals include Les Misérables in 2008, West Side Story in 2009, Disney's Beauty and the Beast in 2010, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera in 2011, and Fiddler on the Roof in 2012, Hello, Dolly! in 2013, and The Sound of Music in 2014. They are scheduled to perform The Addams Family in May 2015.

The forensics team is part of performing arts at AHS. Each year a team of students is created representing each category. The forensics team travels to VHSL each year and competes to hopefully move on to states. The Albemarle Forensics team has won the District Forensics Tournament for the past decade, and the Regional Tournament for the past 9 years[when?]. However, in the 2011 Regional Tournament they were overcome by Osbourn Park Senior High School, who later went on to win the VHSL State Tournament. In March 2012, the forensics team took home their first state championship trophy.

The school has a Concert Band, a Symphonic Band, a Wind Ensemble and a jazz band Each year, the Wind Ensemble prepares a repertoire in preparation for a performance at the All-District Festival, usually held in March. In 2008, the players were awarded a "1" or a "Superior" rating with a repertoire consisting of Grade 6 pieces Mannin Veen, Divertimento, and the Grade 5 March Lucky Two and also achieved perfect individual category scores for the first time in its history. In 2009, they achieved this perfect score for the second year in a row with a repertoire of Frank Ticheli's Blue Shades, Ron Nelson's Rocky Point Holiday, and the popular circus march Thunder and Blazes, arranged by Louis-Phillipe Laurendeau. Ever since, they have continued this winning tradition, continuously getting 1's.

The Albemarle Jazz Ensemble won 1st place from 2008 to 2010, and multiple other years leading up to 2019, in the Chantilly Jazz Festival. Their 2010 performance pieces included Bill Holman's arrangement of After You've Gone, Alan Baylock's arrangement of Caravan, and Pat Metheny's Have You Heard. The band has auditioned for and been accepted into the Swing Central Jazz competition 3 times, which is a part of the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah, Georgia. Up to one-hundred bands from across the nation audition every year, and only twelve are accepted.

The school has two orchestras. In 2009, the school's orchestras traveled to VA Beach to compete in the Fiesta-Val Music Invitational Competition. This is a national competition for both instrumental and choral groups. The Albemarle, Jouett, Sutherland Combined Concert Orchestra received a Superior Rating and 1st Place in division IV. The Albemarle High String Ensemble received a Superior Rating and 1st Place in division VI. The Orchestras also received the Fiesta-Val Champion Trophy, awarded for the highest numerical score among all orchestras, regardless of division. The Orchestras, as a group, were also awarded the prestigious Grand Champion Trophy, awarded for the highest total numerical score by combining scores from two different performing groups. In addition to being presented the Grand Championship Trophy, the director of the winning group received the Fiesta-Val Award of Distinction in recognition of a contribution to musical excellence.

The Albemarle Chorus department has eight choirs and almost 200 members. The Patriot Singers have consistently received 1's at the annual District Assessment. Take Note! Treble Jazz has been selected to sing at such venues as the President's Park in Washington D.C.and with renowned musician Jim Brickman. No Fella A Cappella and Minutemen, both student-run a cappella groups, perform throughout the year, including performances with the Yale Spizzwinks and Virginia Belles. All groups perform in spring competitions throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. They consistently receive superior ratings and have been awarded the Grand Championship for 17 of the last 16 years[when?].

The Performing Arts program at Albemarle High School Music Department has been awarded the Blue Ribbon award by Virginia Music Educators Association for seven times since the award's inception.


Examples include:


With a recent addition to the school in 2009 came the addition of a new program for students interested in engineering-related careers. The program, called the Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA), opened for the 2009–2010 school year, inviting approximately 50 rising freshmen and 25 rising juniors. These students were selected by an application which included essays, transcripts, and teacher recommendations. MESA offers an accelerated curriculum which allows students to earn 3 science credits and 3 math credits in 2 years. The junior and senior part of the program earns 4 dual enrollment credits and 4 high school credits in 2 years. The curriculum blends math and science against an engineering and application focus. Collaborative project based learning, robotics, research and competitions are all part of the MESA environment. Students use calculus, physics and chemistry to solve problems analytically and verify their results empirically through experimentation using engineering modeling and analysis tools including MATLAB, Autodesk Inventor and Microsoft Excel at an expert level. In 2013, MESA students won the International Robotic Sailing Regatta beating every college team in attendance and advanced two students to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • R. J. Archer, Arena Football League quarterback; quarterback for the Georgia Force
  • Drew Atchison, Former NFL tight end; was cut from the Dallas Cowboys; is now a teacher in Washington D.C.
  • Steve Carter, Former MLB outfielder; played for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Edward H. Deets, Rear Admiral in the United States Navy
  • David Dillehunt, Film director, television producer, and composer
  • Mark Linkous, Singer, songwriter, and musician; leader of the band Sparklehorse
  • Brandon London, CFL wide receiver; signed by Montreal Alouettes;[1] former NFL wide receiver; attended Albemarle before transferring to Fork Union Military Academy
  • James McNew, Bass player; member of the band Yo La Tengo
  • Nick Novak, scored 802 points in a 10-year NFL place-kicking career;[2] attended the University of Maryland; finished career as the ACC's all-time leading scorer and 5th all-time in NCAA with 393 points; 13 seasons of professional football; 6th leading scorer in Chargers history; AHS Hall of Fame.
  • Tommy Toms, Former MLB relief pitcher; played for the San Francisco Giants
  • Walter White, Former NFL tight end; played for the Kansas City Chiefs; recorded 808 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in 1976
  • Jason F. Wright, New York Times bestselling author, speaker and columnist.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Frankie Allen, Current Maryland-Eastern Shore head basketball coach; former Varsity Basketball coach
  • Al Groh, Former University of Virginia head football coach; began coaching career as an assistant at Albemarle
  • Susan Paxman, editor of progressive magazine Exponent II 1984–1997, winner of constitutional action over maternity rights in the 1970s
  • Steve Robinson, Former Florida State head basketball coach; coached at Albemarle during the 1982–1983 season
  • Eric Wilson, Former NFL linebacker; head coach of the JV Boys' Basketball team

Coordinates: 38°4′32.5″N 78°30′1.9″W / 38.075694°N 78.500528°W / 38.075694; -78.500528


  1. ^ Montreal Alouettes Archived January 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-05-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]