Highland School of Technology

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Highland School of Technology
1600 North Morris St.
Gastonia, North Carolina 28052
Coordinates 35°16′49″N 81°11′26″W / 35.28028°N 81.19056°W / 35.28028; -81.19056
Motto "A world class school educating world class students"
Established 2000
School district Gaston County Schools
Category Magnet School
Principal Denise McLean
Staff 56[1]
Enrollment 551[2]
Color(s) Royal Blue and Gold
Athletics conference Southern Piedmont (1A/2A--1A size)
Team name Rams
Rivals Bessemer City

Highland School of Technology is a magnet public high school located in Gastonia, NC. It is the first magnet school available to students in the Gaston County Schools public school district and draws students from each of the other nine high schools in the district. The percentage of students at Highland from a particular feeder high school is equal to the overall percentage of that school's students in the district. Students are selected through a lottery among qualified 8th-grade applicants.[3]

The school opened to freshmen and sophomores in the 2000 school year. The first graduating class was in 2003.

Highland School of Technology has had three principals: David Baldaia, who was the school's inaugural principal. He left HST to start Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system.

Lee Dedmon, formerly the principal of Cherryville High School and East Gaston High School, is known for his height, 6 foot 11 ¾ inches (he played center for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team) and for his reminder at the end of every Friday "Be safe, and don't drink and drive, but if you do choose to drink please don't drive" along with a cautionary warning of slippery leaves on rainy autumn days. Mr. Dedmon was also known to pass out dollars to those that can guess his height exactly.

On July 1, 2013 Lee Dedmon was succeeded by Denise McLean as principal of Highland.[4] Josh Allen serves as assistant principal and Butch Blalock serves as athletic director.[1]

In July 2014 Lee Dedmon announced his candidacy for Gaston County School Board to continue his passion for education.[5]

Campus and facilities[edit]

Highland School was remodeled from the former Highland Junior High School. The new configuration of the hallways has three hallways, a gymnasium, and a football field. The halls are labeled A, B and C, and are quasi-sorted by career-technical academy. For example, the A hall has all of the medical classrooms, such as the dental lab located in the vicinity. There are two commons areas: Medford Commons, in which all students congregate and socialize before going to classrooms, and Times Square, where the halls meet.

Vocational Academies[edit]

Each student enters the school as a member of one of the three academies. Within each academy there are various pathways available for the students, each with its own sequence of required courses.[3] The three academies offered are (effective for the Class of 2015):

  • Business, Legal Studies, & Information Sciences
  • Health Sciences and BioTechnology
  • Manufacturing and Engineering/Graphics

Business, Legal Studies, & Information Sciences[edit]

Rachel Martin, Academy Coordinator

The Business, Legal Studies, & Information Sciences Academy at Highland School of Technology contains three different pathways of study:

Network Administration (ends with the Class of 2014)
Provides students with the skill standards of every-day network technologies. Topics include: fundamentals of microcomputer systems, file and directory management, microcomputer components, accessing network information and resources, connecting to the network, accessing data files and applications, and printing to a network printer.[3] After students complete all of pathway's courses, they have the opportunity to become a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).

Computer Engineering
This pathway helps further the students' ability to operate computer skills used in today's engineering technology careers. Studies emphasize the skills needed to build, upgrade, configure and troubleshoot computers, peripherals and make songs that are baconn.[3] Students will have the opportunity to gain their own Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certification.

Finance (renamed Business & Legal Studies beginning with the Class of 2015)
Equips students with the understanding of the economy in our history and in today's society. This pathway also teaches students how to make sound choices for their future. It provides students with industry-related courses of study, while enabling them to complete internships at leading financial services corporations, obtain employment after graduation, and pursue higher education.[3]

Health Sciences and BioTechnology[edit]

Waheeba al-Uqdah, Academy Coordinator

The Health Sciences and BioTechnology Academy at Highland School of Technology contains three pathways of health study:

Allied Health Science
This pathway focuses on the many health care jobs that are available. Students will learn how to become sufficient and responsible health team members throughout the courses. Also, during students' senior year, they will have the opportunity to intern at local hospitals where they will actually put their skills to the test. These students will be given the opportunity to gain their Nurse Aide Level I certification at the completion of this pathway.[3]

Medical Science
Similar to the Allied Health Science pathway, Medical Science prepares students to become professional health care team workers. Emphasis in the classroom is placed on research, communication, computer literacy, health team relations, problem solving and decision making.[3] During students' senior year, they must complete a 40 or more hour mentorship with a local health care professional.

Dental Science
As the smallest pathway at Highland School of Technology, and the only high school dental program in North Carolina, Dental Sciences will prepare students for careers in the dental field. Students will perform entry-level skills in the two laboratories that are inside of the classrooms and even in local dental care offices as well.[3] They will also have the opportunity to become radiology certified by the state of North Carolina within their years of study. During their senior year, students must intern at local dental practices to experience hands-on skills.

Manufacturing and Engineering/Graphics[edit]

Darryl Thompson, Academy Coordinator
The Manufacturing and Engineering/Graphics academy at Highland School of Technology contains two pathways of study:

Manufacturing and Engineering
All students in this pathway perform daily skills in a series of classes in a laboratory setting.[3] They work with others on computer programs and machines (located in the school campus' mechanic study laboratory) to complete projects and study objectives that help them understand more about the industry.

The 2011-2012 Senior Engineering class recently completed a joint venture partnership with Daimler Trucks North America, in which they were taught many different engineering processes used at the Daimler plant in Gastonia, NC. They were taught by 3 of Daimlers engineers. The students also built 3 Lego UNIMOGs, a European truck produced by Daimler. The students then modified these trucks using spare parts. They incorporated Bluetooth technology into each machine, making them controllable from and Android Smartphone. The work that the students did was recognized by the Gaston County School board. This learning venture was the first of its kind in Gaston County.

Graphic Communications
Graphic Communications simply offer students an overview of graphic design.[3] Students will study the fundamentals of digital file preparation, principles of design, web graphics, web page layout, and web site design. Daily they will work with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in a Macintosh computer lab located on campus.[3] During the students' senior year, they will use video production equipment and software to produce and host RAM-TV, Highland School of Technology's news show.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Staff Directory". Gaston County Schools. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ "2017 to 2021 NCHSAA Realignment Classification" (PDF). North Carolina High School Athletics Association. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Official Highland website. Retrieved on 2008-07-24.
  4. ^ http://www.gaston.k12.nc.us/schools/highland/administration/Pages/welcome.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.leededmon.org/

External links[edit]