Fayetteville High School (Arkansas)

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Fayetteville High School
Fayetteville High School.jpg
1001 Bulldog Ave.
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701
United States
Coordinates 36°03′33″N 94°10′25″W / 36.059171°N 94.173512°W / 36.059171; -94.173512
Type Public high school
Motto Fidelity, Honor, Service
Established 1908
School district Fayetteville Public Schools
Superintendent Paul Hewitt
Principal Chad A. Scott, Ed.D
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,911
Campus Urban
Color(s)           Purple & White
Athletics conference 7A West
Mascot Purple Bulldog
Nickname The Bulldogs, Purple Dogs, Dawgs, The Better Ville

Fayetteville High School is a public high school located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The school is administered by the Fayetteville Public Schools system, headed by Paul Hewitt, who is retiring on June 30, 2016 and will be replaced by Dr. Matthew Wendt. The school recently underwent massive rebuilding and expansion with designs by architect Marlon Blackwell.


The school was first opened in 1908, and the previous building was built in 1950, with further renovations made in the 1990s. Phase 1 of the current building opened in 2012, Phase 2 in 2013, and Phase 3 in 2014, with the final phase opening in 2015. The current building, built adjacent to the University of Arkansas and just off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is also located on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The evidence of its location alongside the Trail of Tears is two signs at the road side—one of them a government sign, the other a sign erected by the University. The school also has one of the best TV studios in the country, from which they air the Bulldog Show on Channel 14. The school, which is currently grades 10-12, expanded to grades 9-12 in 2015.

The school was also the first school in Arkansas to voluntarily desegregate, and on September 11, 1954, African American students first attended the high school. The school's marching band was selected to go to the Tournament of Roses Parade for 2006, only the second time an Arkansas band has attended.


The assumed course of study follows the Smart Core curriculum developed by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). Students complete regular (core) and career focus courses and exams and may select Advanced Placement (AP) coursework and exams that provide an opportunity for students to receive college credit.

In 2006, Fayetteville High School was named the 413th best high school in the nation according to the Newsweek magazine's Top 1200 US Schools [2]. Public schools are ranked according to a ratio called the Challenge Index. In 2010, Fayetteville High School was recognized above all other Arkansas public high schools, as having the most AP scholars enrolled in AP courses.


The Fayetteville High School Band at a marching competition in Carthage, MO.

The Fayetteville High School Marching Bulldog Band is under the direction of Barry Harper. The band has marched in many prestigious parades in the past, including 1989 George H. W. Bush Presidential Inauguration Parade, the Fiesta Bowl, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in both 1998 and 2008, and the 6abc Dunkin' Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade. The band is considered one of the top high school marching bands in the state and surrounding region and consists of about 200 members. In 2013, the band competed in the Bands of America Super Regional in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] In 2014, the band competed in the Bands of America Super Regional in St. Louis, and marched in the Disney World Thanksgiving Day Parade.


In 2017, Connotations received Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown award, the highest award given to literary magazines. [2]

In 2005, Connotations, the school's literary magazine, received a Superior award from the National Council of Teachers of English's Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines.[3]

In 1993, 1995, 1997, 2007 and 2013, Connotations won the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Magazine Pacemaker Award.[4] In 2006, Connotations was placed in the NSPA's Hall of Fame for receiving the highest rating that NSPA awards in its critique service twelve times in the schools' recent history[5]

In 1994, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association awarded Connotations the CSPA's Scholastic Gold Circle Awards for its Overall Design, Cover Design (Two or More Colors), Title and Contents Page, and Typography.[6]


The Fayetteville Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs are highly competitive in the state's largest classification, 7A, and are members of the West conference of that classification. State championships include:[7]

  • 13-time Girls' Golf (1973, 1975, 1977, 1985, 2001, 2003, 2005–11)
  • 12-time Boys' Cross Country Running (1965, 1969–75, 1983–86)
  • 10-time Boys' Swimming (1972–74, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1985–86, 2000–01)
  • 8-time Boys' Tennis (1970, 1972–73, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1989–90)
  • 13-time Boys' Golf (1950–52, 1959–63, 2004, 2013-2016)
  • 8-time Girls' Gymnastics (between 1998 and 2005)
  • 7-time Baseball (1960, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013)
  • 6-time Girls' Basketball (1979, 1993–94, 2009, 2011, 2015)
  • 5-time Boys' Basketball (1948, 1975, 1978, 1987, 2009)
  • 5-time Girls' Soccer (1998–2001, 2010) 4-time Runner-up (2002, 2004, 2006, 2009)[8]
  • 5-time Football (2007, 2011–12, 2015, 2016)
  • 4-time Girls' Swimming (1976, 1981, 1999, 2002)
  • 4-time Cheerleading (2006, 2010–12)
  • 2-time Softball (2006–07)
  • 2-time Volleyball (2012, 2015)
  • 1-time Spirit Squad (2007)

In 2006, Sports Illustrated ranked Fayetteville High School in the nation's Top 20 High School Athletic Programs,[9] stating:

"Located across the street from the University of Arkansas, this school has won a state-best 24 titles in 10 sports since 1996. The Purple Bulldogs’ girls’ gymnastics team has won eight straight state championships, and the girls’ soccer team took four straight from 1998 to 2001, plus one in 2010. Since 1996 the boys’ basketball team has made five appearances in the state semifinals and went to the title game in March. Fayetteville has also won four state championships in indoor track, which is not a recognized sport in the state."

2007 saw the Bulldogs win their first state football championship after 103 years of playing football, defeating Springdale Har-Ber 28-7 in Little Rock. Eight years later, they would duplicate the feat, defeating Har-Ber 28-7 again to claim their fourth state championship.

On Saturday, March 14, 2009, FHS concluded undefeated seasons in both boys and girls basketball and won 7A state championships. The girls finished 32-0 while the boys finished 30-0, with the boys carding a No. 8 final national ranking.

In December 2011, Fayetteville High's football team upset top-ranked Bentonville and broke their 25-game winning streak with a 29-28 overtime victory in War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock to win their second state football championship. On December 1, 2012, Fayetteville defeated Bentonville again in the 7A state championship game, 31-20, to become the first school in the 7A era to repeat as state champions.

Bullying controversy[edit]

On March 24, 2008, the New York Times ran an article accusing the administration and teachers of ignoring violence and bullying against Billy Wolfe, a sophomore who attended Fayetteville High School. After years of abuse, his parents filed a lawsuit against one of the bullies, and considered an additional lawsuit against the district, claiming that their son had been wrongly suspended and accused of being responsible for his own situation by school officials despite evidence that other students were responsible.

Some students had set up a Facebook group titled "Every One Hates Billy Wolfe" calling on them to attack him at school. One entry by a student on March 9, 2007 wrote ""Haha (your ) Billy got clocked today at school and I think one or two of his teeth got knocked out damn my friends are awesome"."[10][11]

Fayetteville High School representatives responded by saying that in these types of cases if laws have been violated then the school reports the incident to the Fayetteville Police Department, and stated that the article was "casting our school district in a very bad and undeserved light."

However, police records, Wolfe's mother, and Fayetteville Police Department Cpl. Craig Stout said an assault report was eventually filed by the Wolfe family, not the school.[12][13] Wolfe's mother claims she begged the assistant principal of the school, Byron Zeagler, to call the police. "He said my son got what he deserved."

Former Fayetteville Superintendent Bobby New said "We stand behind our administrators and believe they acted appropriately."[14]

Students at Fayetteville High School, in reaction to perceived bias in the New York Times article, expressed their opinion when being interviewed by the local news. They stated that Wolfe "brings a lot of it on himself, that he actually picks a lot of the fights" and "that what he does, is he antagonizes the other person and starts the fight and when he loses he says 'Oh I got beat up.'"[15]

In a local newspaper report the following week, a student with muscular dystrophy claimed that Wolfe "likes to call him names, like stupid or retarded," and "screams in his ear, which is sensitive to noise because of his medical condition…[Wolfe] once pounded him in the back of the head several times with a medium-sized rubber ball."[16]

Following the story's publication, the Fayetteville School District has reported receiving "terroristic threatening" as both a threatening phone call to McNair Middle School and an email which "suggested the district would be hit with some sort of Internet or computer network attack."[17]

A decade ago a student attending Fayetteville High School's Vocational Campus was harassed and beaten for being homosexual. At that time the administration of Fayetteville School District had promised the office of Civil Rights they would adopt procedures to promote tolerance and respect.[10]

Currently, Fayetteville High School has a Gay-Straight Alliance, which, in 2004 was picketed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church.[18]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°03′33″N 94°10′25″W / 36.059171°N 94.173512°W / 36.059171; -94.173512