Cary High School

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Cary Senior High School
Cary, North Carolina
United States
Type Public High School
Motto Cognitio Vincit
Established 1896
Principal Nolan Bryant
Grades 9 - 12
Number of students 2,800
School color(s) Kelly Green and White
Fight song Notre Dame Victory March
Mascot Imp

Cary High School is one of four high schools in Cary, North Carolina. Established in 1896, it was among the first public high schools in North Carolina. Students in grades 9-12 attend Cary High. In 2006, approximately 2,800 students attended, with 540 graduating seniors, making Cary High one of the largest schools in the state. Cary High is a part of the Wake County Public School System and operates on a traditional calendar, with a block schedule.


Cary High School in 1896-1898

Cary High School was established in 1896[citation needed] as among the first public high schools in North Carolina. The school was originally located in downtown Cary on Academy Street, until it moved to its current location in 1960.

The school was the first to be desegregated in Wake County outside Raleigh (William G. Enloe High School being the first within the city of Raleigh) in 1963 when six African-American girls, chosen to be bright, outgoing, and "strong-willed enough to take what was inevitably coming to them," came to the school amid intense verbal opposition from Whites. Some White parents sued the school system over the integration, and the suit was thrown out by the state Supreme Court.[1]

The original site housed Cary Elementary School until it reopened August 13, 2011, as the Cary Community Arts Center.[2]

A new auditorium, gymnasium, music classrooms, and a classroom building have recently been completed on the main campus.

The original mascot was a White Imp after the UNC White Phantoms (later Tarheels) and the Duke University Imps (later Blue Devils). The "white" was dropped to avoid racial connotations when the school was desegregated.[3]

Student life[edit]

1915 Cary High School Senior Class Yearbook

Cary High School students participate in extracurricular activities ranging from sports teams, to acting, to politics.

The Cary High School Marching Band, established in 1920, is a corps-style marching band. The band hosts Cary Band Day, an annual festival featuring marching bands from the North Carolina and Virginia area. The director of the band program since 1997 has been Matthew Minick. The band marched in the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.

The drama department led by Kristin McCormick and choral department led by Ed Yasick put on a fall play and a spring musical most years.

The Cary High Speech and Debate team is a member of the Tarheel Forensics League (TFL) and competes statewide.



Cary High School's wrestling team through the leadership of former Coach Jerry Winterton won twenty state championships, eighteen consecutive regional tournament titles, and twenty-eight consecutive conference tournament titles. Under the leadership of Coach Taylor Cummings, they won two additional regional titles, and two additional conference tournament titles. Coach Winterton was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's Hall of Fame in October 2014.[4]

State championships[edit]

  • Baseball:(1) 1914
  • 4A Men's Soccer:(1) 1998
  • 4A Wrestling State Dual Meet:(8) 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009[5]
  • 4A Wrestling State Tournament:(11) 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009[6]
  • All Division State Wrestling Tournament:(1) 1977
  • 4A Women's Cross-Country:(1) 1997
  • Class A Football:(1) 1955
  • Class A Men's Basketball: (1) 1954
  • Class B Men's Basketball:(1) 1939
  • 4A Men's Basketball (1)1995
  • 4A Women's Basketball: (1) 1993

In 1994 the Cary High men's basketball team played in the state championship game. It was later discovered by Cary's head coach that they used ineligible player, and they forfeited all games in the second semester of the 1994 season.[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°46′18″N 78°45′57″W / 35.771752°N 78.765922°W / 35.771752; -78.765922