Bel Air High School (Bel Air, Maryland)
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|Bel Air High School|
|100 Heighe Street
Bel Air, Maryland 21014
|School district||Harford County Public Schools|
|Number of students||1,633|
Entrance to the new (2009) building
Entrance to the previous (1950) building
Bel Air High School began as the Harford County Academy when it was formed by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in 1811. The first school building was a stuccoed stone building built at 24 E. Pennsylvania Avenue, and the name was soon changed to the Bel Air Academy in 1815. John Wilkes Booth attended the school in the 1850s.
In 1867, while the Bel Air Academy was operating separately, a wooden one-room school house was built on Main Street, which functioned as the main public school of the county.
In 1882, a brick public school was built at 45 East Gordon Street. The school was renamed the Bel Air Academy and Graded School as the old academy merged with the public school system. This building housed classes for all students above the third grade. Additions to the building were made in 1897 and 1910. This building became solely a grade school in 1924 and headquartered the Harford County Board of Education after 1951.
Bel Air High School, named thus for the first time, was first formed in 1907, and classes were held at the Gordon Street building and the Pennsylvania Avenue building.
The past facility at 100 Heighe Street was opened in 1950, with additional renovations made in 1954, 1968 and 1983. The building had a design capacity of 1,423 students; as a result, 11 "portables" were in use to provide additional classroom space. A new building was scheduled for completion for the graduating class of 2010.
The current Bel Air High School building was built in 2009, and has a capacity of 1,668 students. Some new features of the school are its auditorium/stage, cafeteria, library, and multiple sports facilities.
The student body is mainly Caucasian, with white students representing 81% of the 1,633 students, African Americans 6%, Hispanics 5%, Asians 4%, Two or More Races 4%, American Indians 0-1% and Pacific Islanders 0-1%. Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding.
As the suburban population of the Baltimore area has grown significantly during the past two decades, the total student enrollment of the school is steadily rising:
- Year Students
- 2012 – 1,633
- 2011 – 1,574
- 2010 – 1,431
- 2009 – 1,380
- 2008 – 1,403
- 2007 – 1,683
- 2005 – 1,636
- 2004 – 1,647
- 2003 – 1,573
- 2002 – 1,573
- 2001 – 1,587
- 2000 – 1,555
- 1999 – 1,524
- 1998 – 1,440
- 1997 – 1,383
- 1996 – 1,312
- 1995 – 1,295
- 1994 – 1,272
- 1993 – 1,238
- Sean Michael Wilson, Musician, Lead singer of the Sean Wilson Groovy Bunch
- John Wilkes Booth, Actor, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln
- Martha Mae Sterbak Breedlove (1956), national equestrian champion 
- Joseph H. Deckman, elected to National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1965.
- Donald C. Fry, former Maryland Senator and Delegate.
- James M. Harkins, former Maryland Delegate (1990-1998), Harford County Executive (1998-2005), & leader of Maryland Environmental Services (2005–present).
- J. Robert Hooper, Maryland State Senator (1936 - 2008)
- Harris St. A. O'Neill, judge, District Court District 9
- Donna Stifler, Delegate for District 35A
- Richard Cassilly, Metropolitan Opera NYC
- Julienne Irwin Finalist on the NBC show America's Got Talent
- Mark Weider and Darin Reagan of the pop punk band Chasing Morgan
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bel Air High School.|
- Bel Air High School – official website
- Bel Air High School profile from Harford County Public Schools
- School State performance report