Decatur High School (Alabama)

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Decatur High School
1011 Prospect Drive
Decatur, Alabama 35601
United States
Coordinates 34°35′38″N 86°58′26″W / 34.594°N 86.974°W / 34.594; -86.974Coordinates: 34°35′38″N 86°58′26″W / 34.594°N 86.974°W / 34.594; -86.974
School type Public
Motto Pride, Tradition, Excellence.
Established 1950
School district Decatur City Schools
Principal Dr. Johnny Berry
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 958
Color(s) Red and Black          
Nickname Red Raiders

Decatur High School is a public high school in Decatur, Alabama, United States. It is one of two high schools in the Decatur City School District. Decatur High offers technical, academic, and International Baccalaureate programs, as well as dual enrollment with the John C. Calhoun Community College System.

Decatur High, along with southwestern Decatur's Austin High School, were the first International Baccalaureate schools in Alabama north of Birmingham, Alabama.[1] Starting the 2017-2018 school year, Decatur High will no longer continue the IB program.


Ogle Stadium

Decatur High's football and soccer programs play at the 9,000 seat Ogle Stadium at the southern end of the campus. The stadium, owned by the Decatur City Schools,[2], is named for a former Decatur High coach, and Alabama Sports Hall of Famer, H. L. "Shorty" Ogle, who led the Red Raiders from 1933 to 1963. The high school's sports teams often use the field as a practice field.

Prior to 1949, the Decatur football team played at the 3,000-person capacity Benson Field that is now a part of Rhodes Ferry Park along the shores of the Tennessee River next to the old Riverview High School.

Both of the high schools in Decatur play their home games in the stadium. The one exception is the Decatur vs. Austin game. In that case, one team sits on the away side while the other occupies the home side. The schools alternate each year. This football game usually sells out the stadium, and brings in crowds of over 10,000 to watch the city's major rivalry.[citation needed]


Decatur has produced many players that went on to play in the Collegiate and Professional leagues, including Jerraud Powers and Rolando McClain.


Decatur High School has had one boys' state championship under coach Earl Morris and five girls' state championships under coach Mike Smith. The 1948 basketball team was the first Decatur team to go to the state tournament, but did not win the county tournament.


The Decatur High School girls' soccer team defeated Briarwood Christian in the class 5A Alabama State Championship game on May 10, 2008.[citation needed]

Visual arts[edit]

Decatur High School's Visual Arts department offers a wide range of art courses that include Drawing and Painting (Art I – IB/AP Studio Art), Ceramics, Graphic Design, and Photography. A scaffolded curriculum is in place to prepare students for portfolio coursework in IB (International Baccalaureate) Visual Art or AP Studio Art classes. In addition to ongoing competition exhibitions, student work is exhibited throughout the year at Decatur General Hospital, in the fall at the All City Music and Art Festival, and at Decatur High during their spring art exhibit. Students in the IB and AP Art courses have scored above the world average for the past two years.

Students who excel in the visual arts at Decatur High School, who exhibit exemplary character and meet academic requirements are invited to join the National Art Honor Society (NAHS). NAHS was created by the National Art Education Association for the purpose of inspiring and recognizing those students who have shown an outstanding ability in art. NAHS members at Decatur High School complete art related service hours for the Carnegie Visual Arts Center and to create ceramic bowls to raise money for North Alabama food pantries. Decatur High School students participate annually in various city, state, and national competitions. In 2011−12 students placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in the citywide PTA Reflections competition. A DHS senior was awarded a regional Gold Key in the prestigious Scholastic Art and Writing Award competition, a regional Blue Ribbon in the district 5 VAA competition, and also earned one of three portfolio scholarships in the Alabama State Council on the Arts Visual Arts Achievement Program that is annually adjudicated by college professionals from the Southeast according to AP College Board guidelines.

The Decatur High School art department actively promotes the success of their students through participation in state and nationally recognized competitions and assists students in applications for portfolio and academic merit scholarships. During the 2011–12 school year, students received over $140,000 in visual art scholarships.


The Decatur High School's Chorus and Concert Bands have consistently received superior ratings in both District and State festivals.

Decatur High has the longest string of District Festival Superior Ratings in Alabama, dating back to the festival's formation in 1947, never receiving anything less than a superior rating.

Decatur High also continues to lead in total number of Alabama Bandmasters State Festival Superior Ratings at 58, more than any other high school in state history.[3]

The Decatur Red Raider Marching Band won the Tennessee Valley Invitational at Muscle Shoals High School in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 2006. Since then, the band has won its class twice at the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational. During their undefeated 2010 season, the Red Raider Marching Band became the first ever band from the state of Alabama to win a class at the prestigious Contest of Champions in Murfreesboro, Tn. The Contest of Champions is the oldest marching contest in America with 49 straight years of competition. In 2013, the band once again won the Tennessee Valley Invitational at Muscle Shoals High School.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Decatur City Schools IB Brochure" (PDF). Decatur City Schools. Retrieved 2007.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Decatur Sports Facilities". Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau. 2006. 
  3. ^ "Decatur City Schools Highlights to Cheer". Decatur Daily Newspaper. 2006-07-11. Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. 

External links[edit]