Athens Drive High School

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Athens Drive Magnet High School: Center For Medical Sciences and Global Health Initiatives
1420 Athens Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina 27606
 United States
Coordinates 35°46′07″N 78°42′40″W / 35.7687°N 78.7112°W / 35.7687; -78.7112Coordinates: 35°46′07″N 78°42′40″W / 35.7687°N 78.7112°W / 35.7687; -78.7112
Type Public high school
Established September 5, 1978
School district Wake County Public School System
Principal Stephen Mares
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 1,897 (2015)
Schedule type 4x4 Block Schedule
Hours in school day Monday-Friday, 7:25 AM - 2:18 PM
School color(s) Blue and Orange          
Athletics conference Southwest Wake Athletic Conference
Team name Jaguars
Newspaper Athens Oracle
Yearbook Athens Torch

Athens Drive Magnet High School: Center For Medical Sciences and Global Health Initiatives, formerly known as Athens Drive High School, is a co-educational secondary Wake County public high school in southwestern Raleigh, North Carolina that serves grades 9-12. As of 2015-2016 the school has 1,897 enrolled students and approximately 130 hired educators. It is also part of the Wake County Public School System.


Athens Drive High School was opened on September 5, 1978. ADHS was then dedicated on April 11, 1979. The first graduating class was in 1979. Until recently, some of the original teachers were still employed at the school. They are known as the "Silver Jags". Ms. Moore was the last "Silver Jag" to leave ADHS, when she did so in 2014. Ann Roberson retired on December 18, 2009 after 31 years as a custodian.

Athens Drive High School was the first high school in Wake County built for school and community use. It was the first high school built after the merger of Wake County Schools and Raleigh City Schools. It was designed by architect F. Carter Williams. The price tag of the ADHS building was $7.1 million. At the time, ADHS was the largest and most expensive high school built in North Carolina. The City of Raleigh paid $425,000 to construct Williams Stadium. Athens Drive is considered a small 4A school by NC standards. Originally, before the Jaguars were decided as the mascot for the school, the Owl was going to be the school's mascot.[1]

The school underwent a major refurbishment during the 2001-02 school year. A new wing was added to the school, originally called the Freshman Academy Wing, built specifically for freshman classes, but the name was later removed and the wing is now used for math and science classes for all grades. The main entrance was also moved. While the refurbishments occurred, all ADHS students were assigned to Middle Creek High School for the 2001-02 school year, which had not opened yet for its own students. The refurbished ADHS reopened in the fall of 2002.

In September 2015, Athens Drive was selected by WCPSS to become a magnet school for the 2016-17 school year.

School profile[edit]

As of the 2014-2015 school year, there were 1895 students, a combination of White, African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Native American or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 41% were eligible for the state's free or reduced lunch program.[clarification needed] Athens Drive High School offers the following AP courses: English Literature and Composition, English Language and Composition, Spanish Literature, French Language, Government & Politics, Psychology, US History, Human Geography, Computer Science A, Statistics, AB/BC Calculus, Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, Art-2D Design and AP Studio Art. The school has 16 varsity sports.[2]

Athens Drive is the only public high school in Wake County with a public library.[citation needed] It also has a Child Development Center which serves 3 and 4 year olds prior to their enrollment in kindergarten.

Athens Drive is a Wake County STEM High School. The school offers two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) academies: the STEM Academy of Energy and Sustainability, established in 2012, and the Health Science Academy, established in 1990.

Athens Drive is a Community School in the Wake County Public School System. There are night classes for adults offered all year.

Stephen Mares is the current principal. He replaced Dr. James Hedrick, who died on 2 August 2016.

Fine arts[edit]

Athens Drive offers a variety of instrumental, drama, vocal and visual art, as well as leadership development and community service. The school contains two art studios, a printing graphics studio and a yearbook/computer art studio. The Performing Arts facilities include the 1,000 seat theater, 150 seat choral room, 200 seat band room and tech shops.

The band room is able to hold the marching band for rehearsals. The room features large stadium-style risers, two instrument storage rooms (percussion and marching horns) and low brass stations. The music library houses over 25,000 volumes of band, orchestra and choral literature and also serves as the storage library for the NC Band Masters Association's Central District's festival music. The current band director is Dr. Jerry Markoch.

The chorus room features large stadium-style risers and contains a supplemental music library, offices and storage rooms for equipment. In March 2010, the symphonic band performed at the "Music For All" National Festival, sponsored by Bands Of America. The Wind Ensemble performed at the 2010 NC Music Educators Conference. In March 2014, the Wind Ensemble will travel to New York City and perform a concert at Carnegie Hall at the National Band and Orchestra Festival. They will perform a 30-minute concert for a panel of internationally known wind band conductors and composers. The band was chosen based on their past superior performance records and their appearances in the "Music for All" National Festival and at the NC Music Educators Conference. The band was also recommended by well-respected music educators.[3]


The Athletics program at Athens has grown much in recent years. The Jaguars compete in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference (SWAC). Athens Drive offers the following sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball (Men's and Women's)
  • Cheerleading (Men's and Women's)
  • Cross Country (Men's and Women's)
  • Football
  • Golf (Men's and Women's)
  • Lacrosse (Men's and Women's)
  • Soccer (Men's and Women's)
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving (Men's and Women's)
  • Stunt Team
  • Track and Field - Indoor & Outdoor (Men's and Women's)
  • Tennis (Men's and Women's)
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Athletic history[edit]

The Jaguars won the NCHSAA 4-A Boys Soccer State title in 2003, and the Varsity Volleyball and Women's Basketball have recently won Tri-8 Conference Titles and Tournaments. The Athens Drive Women's Golf team won the state 4-A championship in 2008 and 2009. The Women's Basketball team also advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time in school history finishing 28-3 on the 2007-08 season. The Fighting Jaguars Football Team, traditionally a struggling sport, turned around for the 2006 season and finish 2nd in the conference with a 9-2 record and earned a bid to the NCHSAA Football playoffs of division 4-AA. This was the first time in school history that the Jaguars hosted a playoff game. Craig Sullivan won the NCHSAA individual golf state title in 1999. Athens Drive's baseball team has been traditionally strong, making the state playoffs most recently in 2016 and for five consecutive years from 2007-2011. Its best year was in 1998 when it finished runners-up in the state. The Jaguars also reached the eastern regional in 2001 and 2004.

Recently, another former baseball player for the Jaguars, Daniel Ottone, was selected by the San Diego Padres organization in the 33rd round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Ottone made it to AAA in his first season in the minors compiling a 3-2 record with a 3.62 ERA in 32.1 innings pitched in his first year in the minors. The success of these players is a part of the storied tradition that the baseball team represents at Athens with numerous players playing at the collegiate and pro levels.

Athletic facilities[edit]

The facilities of Athens Drive Athletics include:

Williams Stadium during a Varsity Football Game
  • Peter Hines Williams Memorial Stadium This 2,500-seat stadium is currently home to the track team and was, until 2016, home to the football, soccer, and lacrosse teams, as well as the ADHS Cheerleaders and Marching Jaguars. Williams Stadium is often the site for regional track meets, soccer and lacrosse play-off games and community events. The stadium features a rubberized track service, restrooms, concessions, pressbox, overflow capacity setting and a new sound and lighting system installed for the 2007-2008 school year. As part of the Athens Drive athletic facilities improvements, Williams Stadium is currently being renovated due to safety concerns. The stadium will receive several updates, including a new track, handicapped accessible grandstands, press decks and a new drainage system around the field.[4]
  • Jaguar Stadium The brand-new Jaguar Stadium is home to the football, soccer, and lacrosse teams, opened in 2016. The new stadium, which has yet to be named, was recently sodded and lights have been installed. The new stadium will feature a new concession and restroom building. Construction began in April 2015, and the groundbreaking took place on May 20, 2015. The stadium was finished in August 2016.
  • Tennis Courts The 8-court tennis park is home to the men's and Women's tennis teams, as well as the Annual North Carolina Games. The Tennis Courts are named the Alicia Jones Tennis Courts in honor of Alicia Jones who was a math teacher who died from Leukemia in 2007. The tennis courts are currently also being refurbished as part of the Athens Drive athletic facilities renovation project.
  • Athens Drive Baseball Stadium The baseball stadium was constructed along with the original school building. It has bleacher seating for over 300 fans, a press box and concessions. It is located behind the school, near Lake Johnson Pool and behind the area of the new stadium under construction. It is set to receive a new scoreboard for the 2016 season as part of the Athens Drive athletic facilities renovation project.
  • Softball Stadium Home of the Lady Jags Softball team, this field recently added new scoreboard systems to enhance game play.
  • ADHS Jaguar Gymnasium The main gym (upper gym) is home to the basketball, wrestling and volleyball teams, and features bleachers for 1,500. Concessions and gift shops are located in the large lobby outside. Scoring and lighting systems were updated in 2005, and the sound system was updated in 2015.
  • Lower Gym Originally the home of the wrestling team, the older gym is used today as a practice facility for all sports. Showers, lockers, footballs equipment rooms, officials and training rooms are located adjacent to the gym, as well as the ADHS Medical Trainer rooms. The Gym also serves as practice facilities for the Cheer squads and Marching Colorguard and Winterguard.
  • Practice Facilities Athens Drive has several practice facilities ready for its various teams. The women's Lacrosse teams practice on fields located by the Softball pitch, and the Softball team uses practice cages nearby. Two large practice fields near the Baseball stadium are used by football and Men's soccer during the fall and Men's Lacrosse and Women's soccer during the spring. Located at the bottom of Jaguar Park Drive opposite Williams Memorial Stadium is the Band Practice field, used by the Marching Jaguars and the Cross Country team in the fall and the Lacrosse, Baseball and Track teams in the spring. Lake Johnson Park, located next to Athens Drive High, also is used by Cross Country and Track.


In 1977, several community leaders came together to plan a new high school near Western Boulevard of NC State University.[citation needed] The leaders wanted the school to be accessible by the public, and used by the community. Finally it was decided to place a public Library in the school to serve as the Media Center. When Athens Drive High School opened in 1978, it became the first public high school in North Carolina to contain a public library,[citation needed] the Athens Drive Community Library, part of the Wake County Public Library System. Despite nearly being closed in 2009 and 2015, the Athens Drive Public Library remains open to the public, the only public library in a Wake County School.


Athens Drive operates on a 4x4 semester block schedule, with a 44-minute lunch period called "SMART" lunch in which the entire school has the same lunch period. The school day begins at 7:25 AM and ends at 2:18 PM. [5]

Period Time
1st Period 7:25-8:52
2nd Period 8:58-10:29
SMART Lunch 10:29-11:13
3rd Period 11:18-12:45
4th Period 12:51-2:18



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