Appalachia High School

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Appalachia High School

205 Lee Street
Appalachia, Virginia 24216

36°54′31.1″N 82°46′22.2″W / 36.908639°N 82.772833°W / 36.908639; -82.772833Coordinates: 36°54′31.1″N 82°46′22.2″W / 36.908639°N 82.772833°W / 36.908639; -82.772833
School type Public, high school
School district Wise County Public Schools
Superintendent Jeff Perry
Principal William Austin
Grades 8-12
Enrollment 218[1] (2009)
Language English
Color(s)           Royal Blue and Gold
Athletics conference Lonesome Pine District
Region D
Mascot Bulldog
Rival Powell Valley Vikings
Newspaper The Bulldog Bark

Appalachia High School, located in Appalachia, Virginia, was a part of Wise County Public Schools. Appalachia High educates approximately 350 students ranging from 8th through 12th grades. Appalachia High School was awarded a Bronze Medal in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 Best High Schools.[2] Appalachia will be consolidating with neighboring Powell Valley High School, located in Big Stone Gap. The new consolidated school is located in the former PVHS building and is called Union High School, a name derived from the combination of two traditional rivals into one single school.


Appalachia High School opened in the 1916-1917 school year. That year, Dr. J. J. Kelly, Wise County's new Superintendent of Schools, gave out diplomas at the first graduation in the spring of 1917. The original building was constructed in 1911, with an additional structure added in 1915. Both of these early buildings burned down in 1924 and were replaced. Contractors used local Wise County bricks to construct this structure, until the current school was built in 1960.[3] During the summer of 2011, Appalachia High School closed and was consolidated with neighboring Powell Valley High School in Big Stone Gap due to low enrollment and operational costs. This consolidated school was named Union High School.


The school is publicly noted for its scenic location at the top of a small hill, in overview of the nearby mountains, and about 900 yards from the rest of town, as well as being a short distance from the elementary school. In most parts of the campus the town of Appalachia can clearly be seen, particularly the regions of town near Main Street. The school is split into four buildings surrounding the football field in a crescent shape with the field closest to the nearby mountains. The buildings are all bordered on the outside by parking lots, on the far end (leaving path) is a moderate suburb of the town. In all other directions, forestry covers the large hillside, with the tennis court on a trail a short distance in. The buildings are home to (in the order they appear as you enter the campus.): "The Doghouse", which contains the personal weight and locker rooms for athletes. The second building is a two story building that houses the gymnasium, the cafeteria, the band/music room, and the boiler room, as well as boy's and girl's locker rooms for day to day use, the Health room,the school store, and the athletic trophy display. The third building is the largest building on campus. It contains most of the school's classrooms, taking place inside of its three stories with the guidance office, the main office, the library, a small underground storm shelter, and two computer labs. The last of the four buildings is the auditorium, with enough room to seat all students, and a large theatrical/presentation stage, as well as the in-school-suspension room underground.


Appalachia has won state championships in football in 1971, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1997.[4] The school also won the state championship in boys basketball in 1972 and girls basketball in 2000. The girls beat JJ Kelly, from the same district, in their sixth meeting of the season, 49-41.[3]

In 2001, the school took that Virginia Group A championships in both the 400-meter sprint and the 200 hurdles when Roshana Jackson won both events.[5]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "VHSL 2009-2010 Football Divisions Enrollment" (PDF). 
  2. ^ US News & World Report Appalachia High School Profile Archived February 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "History". Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  4. ^ VHSL Record Book 12th Edition
  5. ^ Waugh, Katrina (20 March 2005). "Focusing on her family". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2009-03-02. [dead link]

External links[edit]