Columbus High School (Columbus, Georgia)

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Columbus High School Liberal Arts Magnet
1700 Cherokee Ave.
Columbus, Georgia 31906

United States
Coordinates 32°28′46″N 84°57′48″W / 32.479395°N 84.963285°W / 32.479395; -84.963285Coordinates: 32°28′46″N 84°57′48″W / 32.479395°N 84.963285°W / 32.479395; -84.963285
Type Public magnet school for the liberal arts
Established 1890
Principal Dr. Marvin Crumbs
Enrollment 1300
Color(s)          Orange and blue
Mascot Blue Devils
Information (706) 748–2534
Student: teacher ratio 24: 1
Partners in Education AFLAC

Columbus High School (CHS) is a public high school located in Columbus, Georgia, United States. It serves as one of the Muscogee County School District's[1] liberal arts magnet schools. It opened in 1890.

In 2017 the school ranked first in the state of Georgia, 83rd in the nation, and 21st among magnet schools in the nation.


Columbus High School began in 1890 at a building known as the Female Academy located at 10th Street and 2nd Avenue in downtown Columbus, Georgia. There were 20 students in the first graduating class in 1892, 3 boys and 17 girls. In 1898, the school moved to its first exclusive building (a two-story, red brick structure) at 11th Street and 4th Avenue and remained at that location until 1927. By that time, the graduating class had grown to a total of 90 students (28 boys and 62 girls). In the early 1900s, three alternative educational tracts were offered at CHS, college preparatory, classical and scientific. In 1913, the first COHISCAN, the CHS annual yearbook, was published. The name is derived from COlumbus HIgh SChool ANnual.

In 1919, the school supported athletic teams including girls’ basketball team and boys’ football and basketball. In 1923, the “Blue Devil” name was first used when General John J. Pershing referred to a spirited football team playing against Phillips High School in Birmingham, Alabama. He stated that the team played like devils in winning the game. Previous to that time, several nicknames had been used for CHS sport teams, one of them was “Orange Avalanche.”[2]

In 1924, a bond referendum was approved to build a new high school. The 11th street location had become too small to accommodate the growing population of the city, especially after Camp Benning (now Fort Benning) brought an influx of new people to Columbus during and following World War I. Sixteen acres in Wildwood Park was selected as the site for the new location for Columbus High School. The respected New York Architectural firm of Starrett and van Vleck, working with local architects, designed the building and the surrounding area.[3] The cornerstone was laid on September 2, 1925 at 1600 Cherokee Avenue and the dedication ceremony was held on September 16, 1926. The first graduating class from the new high school was in 1928. On June 12, 1981, the building was burned and it was later determined to be the result of arson; however, no one was ever arrested. The fire began where the school records were stored and much of the early records of CHS were destroyed. The school was rebuilt, and on August 27, 1983, a re-dedication ceremony was held for the reconstructed building.

In 2001, CHS became a total magnet school and continues as such today.

In school years 2004-2005, CHS was named a Georgia School of Excellence and a National Blue Ribbon school and has been awarded gold status each year since as one of the best high schools in Georgia and the nation.[4] In 2017, CHS shared the ranking as the top (#1) high school in the state of Georgia, #21 nationwide for magnet high schools, and #83 nationwide in overall high schools by U.S. News & World Report.[5]


Columbus High School today.

Columbus High School's overall performance is higher than 99% of schools in the state of Georgia, it's academic growth is higher than 94% of schools in the state, and its four-year graduation rate is 99.6%, which is higher than 99% of high schools in the state of Georgia.[6] CHS students have a college readiness index of 85.8%, with Mathematics and English proficiencies at 88 and 84 percents, respectively - more than twice the state average.[7]

In 2017, CHS was ranked #4 in the state of Georgia for "Best Teachers".[8]

CHS' student body makeup is 40% male and 60% female, and the total minority enrollment is 42%.[9]

Graduation requirements[edit]

All Liberal Arts College Preparatory Magnet students entering the program as 9th graders must earn a total of 32 Carnegie units. To stay in the magnet program, a student must maintain at least a "C" average in any taken course. Failure to do so can result in the removal of the student from Columbus High School, the one exception being for freshmen who fail during their first semester, as the transition to high school may be overwhelming. Students take one core course each year in English, math, science, and social studies.

Course type Credits needed
English 4 units
Foreign Language 3 units
Math 4 units
Science 4 units
Social Studies 4 units
Physical Education 1/2 unit
Health 1/2 unit
Humanities 1 unit
Academic electives 3 units
Student choice electives 6 units
Fine arts electives 1 unit

Community involvement[edit]

Each year, students serve 20 hours of volunteer work around the area as part of their social studies class. 12th graders do a senior project in which they pick an activity they have never tried before, and have a mentor teach them what to do and how to do it. Each senior must spend 100 hours on this and maintain a portfolio documenting their progress from the summer before their senior year until the final presentation in April. Then they present their project in the form of a speech to a board.[10]


Students qualify for entrance into the program based on:

  • 8th grade course averages of 82 or better, with the exception of algebra and foreign languages
  • Recommendations from middle school counselor, math, and English teachers
  • Entrance exams performance in math, reading, and composition
  • Students must maintain a "C" average in each academic course, with the exception of one "F" allowed in the first semester of freshman year.


The school sits atop a hill in the Lakebottom area of the city and across Cherokee Avenue from Lakebottom/Weracoba Park, where the school shares athletic facilities with the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.


Students are required to wear ID cards around their necks at all times during school hours. This serves as the students' library card and can only be removed at the end of the day once off of school property. Lack of wearing student ID can result in detention, and is the most common disciplinary problem at the school.

The second most common infraction results from the district's cell phone policy. In accordance to the policy, if a phone is used in class and discovered, it is confiscated and a student is assigned detention. The phone may be retrieved by the parents after a few days, depending on the regularity of the offense.


Students can spend their time out of class in the following extracurricular activities.


Columbus High School is ranked fourth (2004) in AAAA schools in Georgia. The school is rated 5A by student population. Two thirds of the students participate in 41 teams:

  • Boys'/girls' cross country
  • Boys'/girls' track
  • Boys'/girls' basketball
  • Boys'/girls' tennis
  • Boys'/girls' golf
  • Boys'/girls' soccer
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Marching Band - Drumline/Colorguard
  • JROTC Drill Team
  • JROTC Colorguard
  • JROTC Raiders
  • Swim team
  • Softball
  • Cheerleading (competition, football, and basketball)
  • Wrestling
  • Rifle Team
  • Girls' volleyball
  • Girls' lacrosse

GHSA Class AAAA State Champions[edit]

  • Baseball[11] - 1984, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Girls' Basketball - 2017[12]
  • Cheerleading - 2008, 2010
  • Girls' Cross country - 2008, 2010
  • Boys' Golf - 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1955, 1958, 1967, 1972, 2010, 2011, 2016[13]
  • Girls' Golf - 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2014, 2017[14][15]
  • Literary - 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017[16]
  • Softball - 2009
  • Boys' Tennis - 2013
  • Girls' Tennis - 2016[17]
  • Boys' Track - 1967
  • Volleyball - 2007, 2013, 2015
  • Wrestling - 2006

Fine arts[edit]

CHS is well known for its fine arts program, led by Martha Jane Collins. The program includes chorus, drama, band, and orchestra. At CHS the drama department or "Full House Productions" usually produces a one-act show that is used to compete in a local competition, and a spring musical. In the theater department the two acting classes also each produce their own class showcase in the form of a play.

Clubs and organizations[edit]

Clubs and organizations at CHS include Young Activists; Junior Civitan; GSA; Ballroom Dance Club; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; National Art Honor Society; National Honor Society; Beta Club; National English Honor Society; Students Against Destructive Decisions; Language Clubs: Spanish, Japanese, French, Latin; Science Club; Envirothon; FIRST Robotics; Columbus Space Program; Dead Poet's Society; Competition Mathematics Team; Academic Decathlon; Thespians Drama Society; Dance Team; Model UN; Gavel Club; Literary Magazine, Fired Up; Debate; Youth Alive; Student Council; Chess Club; Future Business Leaders of America; and Health Occupations Students of America.


The school annual is written by students as part of their creative writing class. It title is the COHISCAN (Columbus HIgh SChool ANnual).

Notable alumni[edit]

Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

  • Karen Spears Zacharias, class of 1974, distinguished journalist and author, New York Times, CNN, Washington Post. Her debut novel, Mother of Rain, was awarded the Weatherford Award for Best in Appalachian Fiction (Berea College), and was adapted for the stage by Paul Pierce and the Springer Opera House, 2016.


  1. ^ "Columbus High School". Great Schools. GreatSchools Inc. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
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  10. ^ "Columbus High School". Archived from the original on April 14, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  11. ^ "The Blue Devils". Columbus High School: Home of the Blue Devils. Columbus High School. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Columbus girls golf captures first state title since 2014". ledger-enquirer. Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  15. ^ "GHSA Girls Golf Champioins |". Retrieved 2017-07-06. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Reggie Abercrombie Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Stempel, Tom (1980). Screenwriter, The Life and Times of Nunnally Johnson. A. S. Barnes. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-498-02362-0. 
  21. ^ Bloom, Harold (2009). Carson McCullers. Infobase Publishing. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-60413-394-3. 
  22. ^ "Sam Mitchell". Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Ketia Swanier". UCONN Hoop Legends. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  24. ^ Cox, Ted (1994). Frank Thomas: The Big Hurt. Children's Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-516-04386-9. 

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