Altamont School

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The Altamont School
Altamont School seal.png
Truth, Knowledge, Honor
4801 Altamont Road
Birmingham, Alabama, 35222
United States
Coordinates 33°30′50″N 86°45′28″W / 33.51398°N 86.75783°W / 33.51398; -86.75783Coordinates: 33°30′50″N 86°45′28″W / 33.51398°N 86.75783°W / 33.51398; -86.75783
Type Private
Established 1975
Principal Sarah Whiteside
Faculty 54
Grades 5–12
Enrollment 425
Color(s) Gold, White, and Black
Athletics Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Tennis, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track and Field, Volleyball, Baseball, Fast Pitch Softball, Golf, Lacrosse, and Swimming
Mascot Knight

The Altamont School, located in Birmingham, Alabama atop Red Mountain, is a college preparatory day school with coeducational enrollment of grades 512. In 2005-2006, The Altamont School enrolled 425 students, with 188 in the Lower School and 237 in the Upper School.[1] Most of the students live in Birmingham and the surrounding communities.


Altamont was established in 1975 as a merger between the Brooke Hill School, a college preparatory school for girls founded in 1940, and the Birmingham University School, a boys' school founded in 1922 by Basil M. Parks.

Following the merger Edna Earle Mullins of Brooke Hill became headmistress of the new school and Bill Haver of B.U.S. became assistant headmaster. One year later, Edna Mullins retired and Bill Haver became headmaster. Prominent roles were also played by Margaret Gage of Brooke Hill and Martin Hames of B.U.S.

In November 2007, long time Altamont teacher Sarah Whiteside took over as headmistress.[1]


Altamont's main campus is located on 28 acres (110,000 m2) on the crest of Red Mountain just south of downtown Birmingham. The main school building houses 40 classrooms, two science wings, a fine arts center, a student center, an art gallery and sculpture garden, a computer lab, a 20,000-volume library, and special studios for chorus, art, photography, orchestra. An audio-visual recording studio was recently added to the fine arts suite. The athletic facilities include two gymnasiums with two basketball courts, three volleyball courts and a weight room. The main campus offers six tennis courts, a soccer field and a track. A second campus provides another gymnasium as well as soccer, baseball, and softball fields.

Students, faculty, and administration[edit]

Approximately 80% of Altamont graduates matriculate to out-of-state colleges and universities. A total of 14% of the students in the Class of 2008 were named National Merit semifinalists, the highest percentage of a school in the state. The faculty consists of 54 teachers, of whom nearly three quarters hold masters degrees or higher. Altamont is governed by a Board of Trustees. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Under the leadership of head coach Jim Palmer and former Olympian Phil Mulkey[2] the girls track and cross country teams have won the state title each of the last 14 years.[3] Altamont boys track won the outdoor title in 2006 and the indoor in 2004 and 2005.[4] Also, girls track won the outdoor title and boys track came in third place in 2008. This is also the final year Jim Palmer coached cross country and track. He is still a teacher there, but has retired from being a coach.

From 2003 through 2006 Coach Barry Bearden led the Knights boys basketball to place first in the state for their class (at the time 2A) for over year.

The boys' tennis team won the State Title in 2010. It was their first State Title in tennis, having a previous best of runner-up.[citation needed]

Both the boys' and girls' soccer teams have had great success. The girls soccer team have won State Titles in 2004, 2006, and 2007. The boys team won in 2003, 2008, and 2012. Both continue to compete at the top of their division (class 1A-4A).[4]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]