Capital High School (Charleston, West Virginia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Capital High School


United States
Coordinates38°21′59″N 81°34′55″W / 38.3665°N 81.582°W / 38.3665; -81.582
Motto"Everybody is somebody at Capital High School."
School districtKanawha County Schools
Faculty81.5 with over 60% holding advanced degrees(on FTE basis)[1]
Grades9 to 12
Enrollment1,567[2] (2016–17)
Student to teacher ratio15.8[1]
Color(s)Royal blue and silver grey[3]         
Slogan"Make good decisions, wear a seat-belt, and keep making the commitment to graduate."
SportsBaseball, football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, wrestling, tennis, track, cross-country
NicknameCougar Gang

Capital High School is a public high school located in Charleston, West Virginia, United States.


The original high school in the city was Charleston High School, locally known as "The High," serving the entire city. In 1940 the school had become overcrowded and the district was divided at the Elk River, with the west side of town attending the new Stonewall Jackson High School ("The Wall"). During the 1980s, enrollment at both schools dropped. In 1989, Capital High School opened, combining the students of these two longtime rivals. The name "Capital" derives from the fact that the school primarily serves the bulk of West Virginia's capital city, Charleston.

The first site considered was near Laidley Field, next to the West Virginia State Capitol. This was abandoned in favor of a Track and Field Hall of Fame (which was never built) and a second site was selected on Greenbrier Street near the airport. However, when an airplane crashed on this site, it was abandoned, and today is an office park. The board then decided on a location on a hilltop about five miles from town that was formerly a country club for golfing and had a swimming pool. Although located in a rural setting, it is typically considered an inner-city school due the majority of its students coming from an inner-city environment. This system of busing from an urban location to a closed campus in a remote setting was successful in controlling many urban problems and was later copied by Huntington High School and Wheeling Park High School.

It is a modern school, built in 1989. It has a closed campus. It has a student population of around 1,400. Capital High School is Kanawha County's magnet school for the performing arts. It is the only high school in Kanawha County to offer a performing arts class every period of the day.


From its establishment, Capital High School has a history of excellence in both academic and athletic competitions.


  • State Science Bowl champions in 2006 and 2008 and third runner-up in 2007.
  • S.C.O.R.E.S, a competition involving a multitude of subjects ranging from basic academic subjects to physical conditioning, champions in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Schools from all over the state participate.
  • First place winners of the Marshall Math Examination in 2007, a three-hour exam using extended reasoning and critical thinking. Schools from West Virginia and the surrounding area participated.
  • Fourth place state Quiz bowl team in 2007 and first place in 2008.
  • First place local ACS (American Chemical Society) Competition winners in 2008.
  • 2015 West Virginia Quiz Bowl Champions


  • 1989, 1991, 1995 & 2014 Class AAA Football State Champions
  • 1992, 1998 & 2003 Boys' Soccer State Champions
  • 2000 & 2001 Boys' Basketball State Champions
  • 2001 & 2002 Girls' Basketball State Champions
  • 2001 Volleyball State Champion
  • 1991,1992, 2000 & 2002 Boys' Track & Field State Champions
  • 1991, 2000, 2003 & 2004 Girls' Track & Field State Champions
  • 2015 Boys' Lacrosse - West Virginia Scholastic Lacrosse Association Champions

Phantom of the Opera production[edit]

In 2007, Capital High was chosen by Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals as one of six pilot schools to perform The Phantom of the Opera. The schools were chosen to determine how well amateur groups could perform the musical. The Capital Performing Arts Centre hosted five shows from May 1 to May 4, 2008. Members of each performing arts group were involved in the production.

Performing arts[edit]

Capital High is Kanawha County's magnet school for the performing arts, offering a class in performing arts every period of the day. These include The Capital High Dance Company, the Capital High Theatre Department, the Capital High V.I.P.s (Voices In Perfection) Show Choir, the Capital High Orchestra, and "The Pride of Capital High" Marching and Concert Band as well as the Capital High School Jazz Ensemble. Each group has won numerous awards throughout the state of West Virginia, as well as outside of the state.

The Capital High Theatre Department is directed by Jeffery Haught. In 2015, the Capital High School Theatre Department won Outstanding Technical School and Outstanding Technical Theatre student at the West Virginia State Thespian Festival.

The Capital High Dance Company, accompanied by the Capital High Jazz Band, was selected to perform at "Arts Alive: The Best of West Virginia," held on April 28, 2008 at the Maier Foundation Performance Hall at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. The Capital High Dance Company has also performed at the WV Dance Festival, the WV Secondary Dance Alliance Weekend Celebration, SCORES, and for Festival 2009. They have also won numerous awards over the years. The director is Tabitha A. Moore.

The Capital High V.I.P.s (Voices In Perfection) Show Choir have won numerous grand championships and awards since the school's opening in 1989. The director is Kathleen G. Corbett, who has been the Director of Vocal Music since the school's opening. Corbett is also the head of Capital's Performing Arts Department.

The Capital High Orchestra, combined with the South Charleston High School Orchestra, took First Place High School Orchestra and Best Overall Orchestra at Music in the Parks competition. They were also invited to the 2009 National Orchestra Festival held March 18–21, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. The director is Dr. Jeffrey Lipscomb.

"The Pride of Capital High" Marching Band is the result of hard-working students. With the first marching competition season came two Grand Championships, a marching style second to none, and what is called the trademark bow. Since the school's opening, the Pride of Capital High has won over 70 Grand Championships. The Pride of Capital High, along with the seven other public high schools in Kanawha County, compete in the Gazette-Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival. 2007 marked the tenth win for the band at the festival and the Class of 2008 became the first in to win the festival every year (including when the school was grades 10 through 12). In 2008, the band won the festival again and became the first band since 1984 to have won the festival for five consecutive years. They broke this record in 2009 and continued a winning streak until 2015, an eleven consecutive win streak with an overall of eighteen wins (1989–90, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2004–14, 2016). The band has had five girls named Miss Kanawha Majorette at the festival (in 1991, 1999, 2002, 2009, 2014). In the 2006–2007 academic school year, The Pride of Capital High went undefeated with a 5-0 winning streak, the first time the band went undefeated. The band has also performed for numerous Governors of West Virginia, two Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States, including former Vice President Al Gore and former Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008. They have marched in the Indianapolis 500 Pageant Parade, the 2005 Chicago State Street Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Citrus Bowl Parade (all three were nationally televised) in Universal Studios Orlando, and Walt Disney World. The current Director of Bands is Brianna Blankenship. Former directors include William R. "Bobby" Jenks and Robert M. "Bob" Scott; the latter had been the Director of Bands since the school opened in 1989 until his retirement in 2011.

The Concert Band has received superior ratings at the Region IV High School Adjudications (which is also hosted by the school) since the school's opening in 1989. In 2010, the concert band served as the Honor Band for the West Virginia Music Educators Association All-State Conference festival held in Charleston that year.

The Jazz Band plays numerous times throughout the school year for community and school events and have won several awards. In 2008, the Jazz Band was the accompaniment for the Capital High Dance Company at Arts Alive: The Best of West Virginia. The two pieces they played for the Dance Company were "Got to Get You into My Life" and "Bandstand Boogie". The Jazz Band meets after school once a week after the marching season has ended and during the club/activity period. The Jazz Band is the first instrumental group formed for Capital High in the spring of 1989, before the school opened. It consisted of musicians from Charleston High School and Stonewall Jackson High School. The ensemble's first performance was in Florida on spring break of 1989 at Boardwalk and Baseball in Kissimmee. The Capital High Instrumental Music Department had a performance before there was a school. The Jazz Band has since performed on board premiere Cruise Line & Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, the Governor's Christmas Tree Lighting, the Governor's Inaugural Parade and numerous venues around the city and state.

Every year, Capital High students have been selected, by audition, to be in one of several honors groups, including the West Virginia All-State Chorus, the West Virginia All-State Orchestra, the West Virginia All-State Band, the Kanawha County All-County Chorus, the Kanawha County All-County Orchestra, the Kanawha County All-County Band, the Kanawha County All-County Jazz Band, the WVU Honor Band, the WVU Honor Orchestra, the Virginia Tech Honor Band, and other honors groups throughout West Virginia.


Capital High offers a number of sports throughout fall, winter, and spring.

Fall sports
  • Cheer
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Boys' soccer
  • Girls' soccer
  • Volleyball
Winter sports
  • Boys' basketball
  • Girls' basketball
  • Swimming
  • Wrestling
Spring sports
  • Baseball
  • Boys' Lacrosse
  • Girls' Lacrosse
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track & field
  • Ice Hockey
  • Halo5
  • Egames

Notable alumni[edit]

School statistics[edit]

WESTEST results

Scale: % proficient or above

2007 2006 2005 2004 State average (2007)
Reading 75% 68% 78% 75% 75%
Science 81% 83% 86% 80% 86%
Mathematics 64% 60% 71% 60% 68%

2006 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) math statistics:

Students tested : 283
White: 189
Black: 88
Low socioeconomic status: 128
Met standard: YES
White: YES
Black: YES
Low socioeconomic status: YES
Participation rate : 98.0%
White: 98.0%
Black: 98.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 98.0%
State average from 664 schools: 99.3%
Novice (%) 11.0%
White: 6.0%
Black: 25.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 15.0%
State average from 226 schools: 6.8%
Below mastery (%) 23.0%
White: 12.0%
Black: 39.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 31.0%
State average from 549 schools: 19.9%
Mastery (%) 49.0%
White: 54.0%
Black: 105.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 44.0%
State average from 656 schools: 45.8%
Above mastery (%) 13.0%
White: 16.0%
Black: 98.0%
Low socioeconomic status: Information not available
State average from 614 schools: 23.6%
Proficient (%) 65.0%
White: 73.0%
Black: 47.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 52.0%
State average from 663 schools: 77.6%

2006 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reading statistics:

Students tested : 282
White: 189
Black: 87
Low socioeconomic status: 126
Met standard : YES
White: YES
Black: YES
Low socioeconomic status: YES
Participation rate : 98.0%
White: 98.0%
Black: 97.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 97.0%
Novice (%) 7.0%
White: Information not available
Black: 13.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 9.0%
Below mastery (%) 17.0%
White: 11.0%
Black: 30.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 27.0%
Mastery (%) 39.0%
White: 38.0%
Black: 44.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 39.0%
Above mastery (%) 32.0%
White: 16.0%
Black: 13.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 21.0%
Distinguished (%) 10.0%
White: 14.0%
Black: Information not available
Low socioeconomic status: Information not available
Proficient (%) 76.0%
White: 84.0%
Black: 57.0%
Low socioeconomic status: 64.0%

Enrollment statistics[edit]

Source: CCD public school data, 2005–2006 school year

Enrollment by grade

PK 9 10 11 12
Students 12 399 318 301 258

Enrollment by race/ethnicity

American Indian /


Asian Black Hispanic White
Students 1 17 366 5 899

Enrollment by gender

Male Female
Students 648 640

Free lunch eligible: 400 Reduced-price lunch eligible: 64

2008 presidential campaign[edit]

On Wednesday, March 19, 2008, then New York Senator Hillary Clinton selected Capital as her first high school to visit. The school received national recognition and was featured by several major national news networks and on the homepage.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b "Capital High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Capital Cougars. Retrieved on 2008-03-26.
  4. ^ Tom Searis (March 20, 2008). "Clinton campaign visits Charleston". The Charleston Gazette. Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  5. ^ Gil McClanahan (March 19, 2008). "Capital High School Students Get A Taste Of Politics". WOWK-TV. Archived from the original on 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2008-03-26.


External links[edit]