Birmingham Groves High School

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Groves High School
Groves High School.jpg
20500 West Thirteen Mile Road
Beverly Hills, Michigan 48025
United States
Coordinates 42°31′04″N 83°14′42″W / 42.5177°N 83.2449°W / 42.5177; -83.2449Coordinates: 42°31′04″N 83°14′42″W / 42.5177°N 83.2449°W / 42.5177; -83.2449
School type Public high school
Motto A Tradition of Excellence
Established 1959
Founder Wylie E. Groves
School district Birmingham Public School District
Superintendent Dr. Daniel Nerad
Principal Cathy Hurley
Faculty 89.9 (on FTE basis)
Grades 9-12
Age range 13–21
Enrollment 1,306 (as of 2009-10)
Student to teacher ratio 15:9
Campus size 7 acres (2.8 ha)
Campus type Suburban
Fight song "Rise Up, All Falcons"
Athletics OAA White Division, MHSAA Class A
Mascot Falcon Groves Falcon.jpg
Rival Seaholm High School
National ranking #646[1]
Newspaper The Scriptor

Groves High School (Wylie E. Groves High School or Groves) is a high school in Beverly Hills, Michigan, in the Birmingham Public School District. Groves' colors are green, white, and yellow and its mascot is Freddy the Falcon. Groves' intra-district rival is Seaholm High School. The current principal is Cathy Hurley, and the assistant principals are Othamian Peterson, Staci Peterson, and Darin Wilcox, and the athletic director is Tom Flynn. The school consistently ranks as one of the best schools in the state of Michigan as a result of high test scores on the SAT, ACT, AP, and MEAP exams.

The French School of Detroit holds its high school classes at Groves High School.[2]



In 1951, a new high school in Birmingham opened under the name Birmingham High (which is now known as Seaholm High School). At the time, the Board of Education president was Ernest W. Seaholm and the treasurer was Wylie E. Groves. When Birmingham had to build another school to accommodate the incoming baby boomers, these men's names would become the source of the modern names of Birmingham's two main high schools: Seaholm High School and Groves High School.

Building history[edit]

Completed in 1959, the building was an example of the International Style applied to ordinary school design, resulting in a modernistic exterior look similar to much subsequent school construction. The building's original architectural "signature" was a scalloped circular white roof over the circular library; now painted black, it is visible but no longer prominent. The building has a grid-like floor plan, with three main hallways intersected by six shorter ones. Liberal use was made of glass walls and interior courtyards, with energy costs not yet a major concern in 1959. Since the school's opening, the building has undergone periodic renovations, the most extensive occurring from 1999–2001 when the school was completely remodeled. The school features state of the art technology, including seven computer labs (including one for modern languages) and a large media center; state of the art science labs for biology, chemistry, physics, CAD, and robotics; a little theatre that seats approximately 300; an auditorium that seats approximately 1200; art studios for drawing, photography, jewelry, ceramics, and graphic design; a TV studio; and a large, open commons area where students gather for lunch, dances, and other activities. In 2005, construction began to renovate the athletic wing of the school, as well as to build a new competitive size swimming pool. The former swimming pool has been converted into classrooms, a fitness center, and a dance studio. The school was one of the first schools in Michigan to use artificial "FieldTurf" for its football/soccer field.

Early years[edit]

The school opened in the fall of 1959 with 1,052 students in grades seven through ten. Intended eventually to be Birmingham's second high school, it was named after a local civic leader and school board member. In the first year, students selected the school colors (green and white), team nickname (Falcons), fight song ("Rise Up, All Falcons," music and lyrics composed by Mr. Burton Bronson, Groves Band Director), names of the yearbook ("Talon") and newspaper ("Scriptor"), etc. The original tenth graders became the first class of graduating seniors in 1962. For a brief period the school was a junior and senior high school, and the classes of 1965, 1966 and 1967 spent grades seven through twelve there. Beginning with the 1963-64 school year, grades seven and eight were moved from Groves to Berkshire Middle School, which today serves grades six through eight in the Birmingham City School District.[3] The lower grades were eliminated as new junior high schools were built. This pattern enabled the school district to accommodate, with phased construction, the demographic wave of babyboomers emerging from elementary schools in the late 1950s and 1960s.


The school offers numerous Honors and Advanced Placement courses for students to elect. Advanced Placement is offered for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Computer Science, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, European History, French, Music Theory, Psychology, Spanish, Statistics, US History, and US Government. The school has a variety of academic elective options for students who do not wish to take Honors or AP courses. The school also offers many courses in journalism, with the newspaper- "The Scriptor", the yearbook- "The Talon", and the television production- "The Fann (Falcon Action News Network)"

Athletics and activities[edit]

The school offers over thirty varsity sports for both men and women. Most sports are broken down into varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen teams. Groves is a member of the Oakland Activities Association and has won league championships in nearly every sport since the league's inception in 1994. Groves also offers a variety of activities for students to participate in, including instrumental music (both band and orchestra), forensics team, eco club, interact club, fashion club, Amnesty and Animal Rights club, Gay-Straight Alliance club, Japanese club, Spanish club, French club, debate team, theatre, quiz bowl, bowling club, photography club, and the National Honor Society. Both the forensics and debate teams have enjoyed success in recent years. The forensics team finished second in the state in 2007, while the debate team finished first in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Groves Student Congress (GSC) is responsible for planning school-wide activities and events such as Spirit Week, Field Day, Extreme Dodgeball, Operation Volleyball, Sadie Hawkins Dance, Wylie's Winter Week, and two blood drives. Members of GSC are elected in school-wide elections. In addition, each class elects its own government, which is responsible for planning class-wide events. Groves students also run their own events independent of the school, including the seniors-only "Water Wars" tournament at the end of the year.

State Championships[edit]

State Championships
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Fall Water Polo, Boys (MWPA) 6 1975, 1983, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
Soccer, Boys 1 1975
Swimming and Diving, Girls 5 1988, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Winter Swimming and Diving, Boys 6 1969, 1975, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010
Spring Golf, Boys 1 1971
Lacrosse, Birmingham Unified* Girls 4 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
Figure Skating, Birmingham Unified* Girls 1 2003
Soccer, Girls 1 1999
Policy Debate Team, Co-ed (MIFA) 4 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
Total 28
  • Birmingham Unified is a combined team of Groves and Seaholm students


U.S. News and World Report[edit]

Groves received a "Gold Medal" on U.S. News & World Report's rankings of Best High Schools in America in 2007. This means that the school was one of the top schools in the country based on the "College Readiness Index" used by the magazine. Groves was one of thirteen schools in Michigan in 2007 to receive this award . Its index score of 39.3 was the fourth highest in the state. This school is behind private schools such as Cranbrook, U of D Jesuit, University Liggett School, and Detroit Country Day School.[4]


School Year Students Enrolled Ranking
2005–2006 1,405 #800 [5]
2006–2007 1,411 #854 [6]
2007–2008 1,429 #774 [7]
2008–2009 1,414 #643.[1]
2009–2010 1,347 #803 [8]
2011-2012 #479 [9]

In 2005 Groves was ranked #800[5] on Newsweek's Best High Schools in America, which is based on the percentage of seniors who take advanced placement exams. In 2006 Groves' rank dropped slightly to #854.[6] Groves saw its highest ranking yet in 2007 when it was ranked #774.[7] Later, in 2008, Groves gained 148 spots above 2007's ranking to #643[1] on Newsweek's Best High Schools in America. Inexplicably in 2009, Groves dropped an astounding 160 spots, to #803[8] in the nation. As of 2012, Groves was rated #479 in the nation.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c America's Top Public High Schools 2008, The complete list of the 1,300 top U.S. high schools, Newsweek (Web Exclusive), May 17, 2008, retrieved 2009-09-18 
  2. ^ "The High School." French School of Detroit. Retrieved on June 20, 2015. "Location: Groves High School, 20500 13 mile Road, Beverly, MI 48025."
  3. ^ Berkshire Middle School is located at 21707 West 14 Mile Road, Beverly Hills, Michigan 48025.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Newsweek 2005
  6. ^ a b Newsweek 2006
  7. ^ a b Newsweek 2007
  8. ^ a b Newsweek 2009
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Brian McCollum, "Griz finds the funk in electronic music's future", Detroit Free Press, May 19, 2015.