Dreher High School
|Dreher High School|
|3319 Millwood Avenue
Columbia, South Carolina
|Color(s)||Blue and white|
Dreher High School is a co-educational four-year public high school in Richland County School District One located in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Dreher, established in 1938, is one of the oldest public high schools in the state. In 2009, Dreher was listed as the 702nd best school in the country by Newsweek in their annual best-high school rankings. In 2015, Dreher was ranked the 7th best high school in South Carolina by US News and World Report.
In 1938, the third high school in Columbia was completed. It was built at 701 Adger Road on a ten-acre lot, which at one time was part of Governor Wade Hampton's estate, purchased for $25,000 from Burrell D. Manning. Construction of the new building was completed by the Mechanics Contracting Company at a cost of $239,306. The new school was named for Ernest S. Dreher, who served as the second superintendent of Columbia City Schools from 1895 to 1918. Mr. Dreher was also responsible for the building initiative that led to the construction of Columbia and Booker T. Washington High Schools.
The first principal, D. Leon McCormac, and five faculty members formulated the organization of the new school. Doors to the first facility opened in 1938, with a faculty of 30 and 651 students in grades 9–12. The first 123 students graduated in 1939. A new auditorium, the south wing, was completed in 1954. With the completion of this wing, Dreher was an enclosed facility with a central courtyard. Through the efforts of several classes, the courtyard became a focal point of the school, complete with statuary and a fountain. From the air, the Dreher complex had a block “D” appearance.
In 1962, Dreher became the first school in Columbia to offer Russian as a foreign-language class. Two years later the first black students to enroll at Dreher were Oliver Washington and Brenda Fruster, as part of the Freedom of Choice plan in 1964. Both went on to graduate from Dreher in 1968.
In 1958 South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) began recording and airing productions in a studio at Dreher, through the efforts of R. Lynn Kalmbach. Kalmbach's student assistants were Henry J. Cauthen and Thomas Stepp, with Cauthen becoming SCETV's first president. The SCETV call letters WRLK were named for Kalmbach, as well as Dreher's original gymnasium until renaming in 2002. In one of the first broadcasts, Dreher teacher, Lucille Turney-High taught French over the radiowaves.
In November 2002, a $381 million bond referendum passed for school construction in Richland District One. The original Dreher High School complex had been in existence for sixty-four years. The condition of the physical plant, the inadequacies of space and classroom size, as well as the technological shortfalls of the old school made the construction of a new facility necessary.
Construction began in June 2005. Construction continued for two years followed by the demolition of the old school from June 7 until August 8. Occupancy of the new facilities took place on August 16, 2007, with a new address of 3319 Millwood Avenue.
The new $42,000,000 complex has 80,000 more square feet of floor space, a large commons area, a 2,000-seat air competition gymnasium, classrooms, meeting facilities, a NJROTC suite, arts facilities, an auditorium and a media center. Athletic facilities were added at Memorial Stadium. Parking for students and staff is provided on campus. The architecture reflects the tradition of the old school including an interior courtyard with the dolphin fountain and other artifacts. The new school incorporates a covered seating area, a wall built from bricks of the old building with some of its seals and plaques and a lamppost donated by alumni. Additional reminders of Dreher's proud past include statuary and the extensive art gallery (professional and student works) that was accumulated through the efforts of various school organizations, graduating classes, and donations from many benefactors.
The school has 1,302 enrolled student and is classified AAA by the SCHSL.
- 1938 - 651
- 1941 - 854
- 1957 - 1,278
- 2001 - 1,246
- 2009 - 1,302
- The smallest graduating class at Dreher came in 1948, when 41 students graduated.
- The largest graduating class was 1960, when 453 students graduated.
- In its first 60 years Dreher has graduated more than 15,000 students and produced more than 300 National Merit Scholarship Finalists.
- 2008, 2009, 2010
Palmetto Gold Award
- Winner: 2007-08
Red Carpet School
Flagship School of Promise
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The Dreher athletics mascot is the Blue Devil. Boys' sports at Dreher include baseball, basketball, bobsled, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, and wrestling.
Girls' sports at Dreher include basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball, tennis, and wrestling.
In 2001 and 2003 the girls' basketball team won the AAA Basketball State Championship at the Colonial Life Arena, while falling in the 2002 Championship to York. In winter 2008 and 2009, both boys' and girls' basketball teams won the Region V AAA Championships on their way to undefeated Region seasons.
Dreher's football and soccer teams play at Memorial Stadium located across the street from the Columbia Owens Downtown Airport in the Rosewood neighborhood. Adjacent to Memorial Stadium are the newly built baseball and softball stadiums, along with a new track and field pitch. In September 2007 Dreher was defeated by its crosstown rival Lower Richland 35-21 in football snapping LR's 32-game losing streak.
Recently, boys' and girls' track and cross country teams have been runner-up at the state championships or been crowned champions for AAA. In 2003 the Dreher Track Team won the AAA State Championship.
The boys' and girls' soccer teams have dominated regional soccer, both winning four championships in a row. In 2003 the Dreher girls' soccer team won the state championship. The boys' soccer team emerged victorious from the Lowerstate Finals in 1992, 1999, and 2006. On each occasion, however, they fell one game short, losing to the Riverside Warriors 4-3 in 1992 and 2-1 in 2006 and to the J.L. Mann Patriots 1-0 in 1999.
The boys' swim team has also been commanding at the regional level, boasting four consecutive undefeated seasons (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). In 2014, the boys' 200-yard freestyle relay placed 1st at the AAA Swimming State Championships.
- Boys' football
- State Champions: 1951, 1956, 1957, 1959
- Boys' basketball
- State Champions: 1956, 1957, 1961, 1963, 1979
- Region Champions: 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009
- Girls' basketball
- State Champions: 1969, 1994, 2001, 2003, 2012, 2014
- Runners-up: 2002
- Region Champions:1969, 1977, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009
- Track and field
- State Champions: 2003, 2012
- Girls' Soccer
- State Champions: 2003, 2015
- Boys' soccer
- State Champions: 1968, 1980, 1982
- Runners-up: 1999, 2006
- Region Champions: 1968, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- Boys' baseball
- State Champions: 1969
- Boys' wrestling
- State Champions: 1988
- Boys' swimming
- State Champions: 2014
- Alex English, NBA Hall of Famer, Class of 1972
- Corey Jenkins, former professional football player for the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears as well as a first-round draft choice playing baseball for the Boston Red Sox minor league system, Class of 1995
- Tramaine Billie, former linebacker at Clemson
- Curtis Sharp, former wide receiver at Navy and current navigator of the USS San Diego, appeared as a special guest on the November 10, 2012 edition of ESPN College Gameday
Arts and entertainment
- Henry J. Cauthen, founder and first president of SCETV, Class of 1959
- Warren Edward Johnson, or Blue Sky is a painter and artist famous for Tunnelvision, Class of 1956
- Michael Flessas, actor, Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) winning film Dancer in the Dark at the Cannes Film Festival
- Sarah Gilbert Fox, national best selling author, Class of 1976
- Adam Knight Gilbert, Director of Early Music Program at University of Southern California, Class of 1979
- Chris Potter, jazz saxophonist and composer, Grammy Award nominee, Class of 1989
- Anna Camp, actress; did not graduate, but attended for three years
- Ned Harkey, artist, musician, actor, Class of 1977
- John Martin, SC State Senator, Class of 1939/former Seventh Day Adventist and cobbler.
- J. Walter Bristow, State Representative and Senator, Class of 1941
- Crosby Lewis, House of Representatives, Class of 1952
- Alex Sanders, Former chief judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals and 19th President of the College of Charleston, Class of 1957
- Jean H. Toal, Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, Class of 1961
- Lonnie Randolph, SC President of the NAACP, Class of 1968
- Bob Coble, Columbia Mayor for over 20 years, Class of 1971
- Darrell Jackson, SC State Senator, Class of 1975
- O'Neal Humphries, Dean USC School of Medicine, Class of 1949
- Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize Laureate, Class of 1962
- Alex Sanders, 19th President of the College of Charleston, Class of 1964
- "Middle Schools Of The Year: Let Them Lift Us Up: WINNER Hand Middle School/Columbia, S.C.". TIME Magazine. 21 May 2001.
- "America's Best High Schools: The List". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Dreher High School". Richland One School District. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Alex English". NBA.com. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Tramaine Billie #20". Scout.com. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "Curtis Sharp Profile". NavySports. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "College GameDay visits USS San Diego". ESPN. 14 November 2012.
- "Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal". South Carolina Supreme Court. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Coble Bio" (PDF). Central Midlands. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1993 - Kary B. Mullis, Michael Smith". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 22 November 2012.