|Headteacher||Mr Stephen Black|
|Location||89 Galgorm Rd
Northern Ireland, UK
|Local authority||Education Authority|
|Houses||Knocklayde, Lurigethan, Slemish, Trostan|
|Colours||Black/navy and red|
Ballymena Academy (founded 1828) is a mixed gender grammar school located in the market town of Ballymena in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was founded in the early nineteenth century as a small provincial school for children in the town and surrounding agricultural hinterland.
The school currently has approximately 1200 pupils and 93 members of teaching staff. The school has 88 acres (360,000 m2) of mature grounds situated on the Galgorm Road, just west of the town centre.
The school motto is Tenax Propositi meaning Steadfast in Purpose.
Its current headmaster is Mr. Stephen Black who became headmaster of the school following the retirement of Mr J. R. Hassard.
Hassard announced on Tuesday, 19 November 2013, that he intended to retire at the end of August 2014. On Friday 7 March it was announced that Mr Stephen Black (former headmaster at Antrim Grammar School) would take on the role of headmaster on 1 September 2014.
Coat of arms
The red hands are borrowed from the Adair family arms, who gave the 1-acre (4,000 m2) of ground on which the original school was built, itself represented by the blue rectangle below. The ant represents hard work. The badger on the crest, accompanied by a lamp representing learning, is a pun on 'Brocklamont', site of the new school buildings, with 'brock' being an archaic word for badger. Sporting, academic, musical and other arts achievement are recognised by the award of a similar but distinctive coat of arms worn on the school blazer and also by the presentation of Honours Ties.
Notable former pupils
- John Alderdice, Baron Alderdice, Liberal Democrat peer, first Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly
- William Booth CVO, chaplain
- Roger Casement, British diplomat and early human rights campaigner for the Congolese, turned Irish revolutionary, hanged in 1916 under the Treason Act
- Barry Cowan, journalist and broadcaster with BBC Northern Ireland
- George Dawson, DUP MLA from 2003-7 for East Antrim
- Steven Davis, Southampton and Northern Ireland footballer
- Lucy Evangelista, Miss Northern Ireland 2005, placed in top ten at Miss World.
- Edgar Graham, Northern Irish Unionist political figure, assassinated by the IRA in 1983 at the age of 29
- George Boyle Hanna, Northern Irish Unionist politician and minister
- Air Vice-Marshal William Harbison CB CBE DFC, Station Commander from 1963-5 of RAF Leuchars
- David Humphreys, Irish rugby union star
- Peter Johnston, Controller of BBC Northern Ireland (November 2006–present)
- Luke Marshall, is an Irish professional rugby union player, who currently plays for the Ulster Ravens
- Commandant Vonla McBride - head of the WRNS 1976-9
- Alan Montgomery Jones, prominent Ulster architect and President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects 2012–14
- Willie John McBride, rugby player. Captain of the Irish International Team and British & Irish Lions Rugby Team
- Prof James Sayers, Professor of Electron Physics from 1946-72 at the University of Birmingham, from 1939-43 developed the cavity magnetron which was essential for centimetric radar, and later worked from 1943-5 on the Manhattan Project
- Prof James McAteer, Professor in Astrophysics 2010- at New Mexico State University, from 2004-2008 as a NASA Scientist, and 2008-2010 at Trinity College Dublin, in studies of the Sun.
- Dr Robert Simpson, Ulster Unionist MP (NI) from 1953-72 for Mid Antrim
- Robin Swann, Member of the Legislative Assembly (2011- )
- Colin Wallace, former British soldier and psychological warfare operative, subject of a wrongful imprisonment case
The main boys' sport at Ballymena Academy is rugby, with the most recent success occurring at Ravenhill, Belfast. The school won the 2010 Ulster Schools Cup final when they beat Belfast Royal Academy by 10 points to 7. Previous wins were recorded in 1972 and 1981. The school has also won the Subsidiary Shield on seven occasions - more than any other school.
The main girls' sport is hockey and the Ulster Schools Cup has been won outright on six occasions. The trophy has also been shared a further three times after drawn finals. The most recent win was in 2001.
- Richard Hill, ‘McBride, (Sara) Vonla Adair (1921–2003)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Jan 2007 accessed 9 July 2017
- "BBC Sport 2010 Final report". BBC News. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Belfast Newsletter. 15 March 1976. p. 10. Missing or empty
- "Ballymena Academy triumph over Regent House!". Ulster Rugby. 30 March 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- "Northern Bank Ulster Schools' Round Up Saturday 24th March 2007". Ulster Rugby. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- "Disappointment for Coleraine Inst". Coleraine Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- "Northern Bank Ulster Schools' Round Up". Ulster Rugby. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Northern Whig & Belfast Post. 17 March 1951. p. 2. Missing or empty
|title=(help) and Northern Whig & Belfast Post. 21 March 1951. p. 2. Missing or empty
- Ballymena Observer. 27 March 1969. p. 8. Missing or empty