Jonesboro High School (Arkansas)

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Jonesboro High School
Insignia that designates a Blue Ribbon School
301 Hurricane Drive
Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401-4977
School type Public, secondary school
Motto "Excellence is our standard...not our goal...for all students"
Founded 1899 (1899)
School district Jonesboro Public Schools
Principal Leigh Rainey
Staff 118
Grades 10–12
Enrollment 1,066 (2013-14)
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s)      Black      Gold      White
Athletics conference 7A/6A East (2012-14)
Mascot Golden Hurricane
Rivals West Memphis High School
Nettleton High School
Greene County Tech High School
Accreditation North Central Association (NCA) Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (CASI)
Communities served Jonesboro, AR
Feeder schools Annie Camp Junior High School
Douglas MacArthur Junior High School

Jonesboro High School is a public high school for students in grades 10 through 12 located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. Jonesboro High School is one of eight public high schools in Craighead County and is the sole high school of the Jonesboro Public Schools.

As of 2013, the principal is David Clark.


Jonesboro High School was founded in 1899 and is accredited by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE). Since 1924, Jonesboro High School has been a charter member accredited by AdvancED (formerly the North Central Association (NCA) Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (CASI).[1]

The assumed course of study follows the ADE Smart Core curriculum, which requires students complete at least 22 units prior to graduation. Students complete regular (core and career focus) courses and exams and may select Advanced Placement (AP) coursework and exams that provide an opportunity to receive college credit prior to high school graduation.

As of 2011–2012, JHS offers the following Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Government & Politics, Spanish, Statistics, Studio Art, U.S. History, and World History. The school has been recognized by the Siemens Foundation for their AP program.

As of 2013, Jonesboro High School is referred to as "The Academies at Jonesboro High School". Academy-based JHS splits students into one of three academies: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Health, Human Services and Law or Business and Communication Arts.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1982–1983, Jonesboro High School was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, one of only six high schools in the state ever to be awarded this honor.

Jonesboro ranked No. 1,126 of 2,008 high schools in the 2012 Challenge Index high school scoring system with an index score of 1.828, which is the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2011 divided by the number of graduates that year. For the previous year (2011), Jonesboro was ranked No. 2,110 with an index score of 0.836 for college-level tests given in 2010.[2]

JHS regularly has a high percentage of its students that attend post secondary institutions, with over 65 percent of the 2010 senior class receiving scholarships totaling over $7.8 million.

Performing arts[edit]

JHS has a highly awarded performing arts program, with options such as choir, symphonic and marching band, acting, and visual and performing arts being available to students. Several levels of each program are available to students, and each program has continuously received various awards at competitions. The marching band, led by Steve Warner and Tim Hendrix, is a regular participant at various competitions, and regularly receives team and individual awards. The acting program, led by Dawn Tucker, regularly performs plays each semester, and has its regularly students participate in Forensics and Thespian tournaments, including the International Thespian Festival.[3][4] A high percentage of its students receive individual awards and scholarships, and in 2011 the JHS Thespian Troupe has gone to perform at the International Thespian Competition in Scotland.[5]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

JHS offers a variety of clubs, such as foreign language clubs, honorary organizations (National Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society), leadership oriented (Student Council, FCCLA, FBLA), sports clubs ("J" Club and FCA), drug prevention (PRIDE Youth Program), plus others that are sponsored by civic organizations whose general intent is philanthropic.

In 2011, students in the school's Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program won 2nd place at the Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl held at the 2011 FCCLA National Conference. In 2012, Jonesboro won 4th place at the National Conference. Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl is a three-level, team competition that challenges students’ knowledge of all aspects of family and consumer sciences.[6]


The current school building was designed by the Jonesboro firm Little and Associates. This replaced the original building destroyed by a tornado on May 27, 1973. They were not allowed to build a structure larger than two stories. They were also limited on the number of windows in the structure due to the laws on public school buildings in place at the time. This kept them from restoring the beautiful original colonial-style building.

After a special election, the district was awarded additional funding through a millage increase. Part of this increase will be used towards the construction of new facilities and upgrading of previous ones. JHS benefited from a complete overhaul of its current Don Riggs Hurricane Gym and a newly constructed Performing Arts Center intended to seat over 1000 people. Jonesboro High School's football field and track were also refurbished for the 2013 season.


The Jonesboro athletic teams are known as the Golden Hurricane or Hurricane. They play in the Arkansas High School Athletic Association, Class AAAAAA East Conference. The Athletic Director is David Daniel.


Jonesboro has won 3 Arkansas State Football Championships, most recently in 1979. The Hurricane last won a conference championship in 2011. Head Football Coach Jim DeVazier resigned at the end of the 2007 season after a 25+ year stint. The Jonesboro Public School District chose Randy Coleman, former coach at cross-town school Valley View High School, to replace DeVazier. In 2008 the Hurricane saw a resurgence of sorts in football going (8-2) in the regular season, thus receiving a second round home game in the AAAAAA Playoffs. The Hurricane's traditional rivals are West Memphis High School and Greene County Tech High School, both near Jonesboro in Northeast Arkansas. In 1998 Jonesboro began a series with smaller cross-town rival Nettleton High School (4A) and leads the series 4-1. The "Crosstown Showdown" has since ceased. In 2010 a new rivalry was started with the Greene County Tech Golden Eagles known as the "Border Bowl" as the counties in which the schools are located (Craighead and Greene) border each other. Jonesboro currently leads the series 4-0.


The Hurricane have been successful in basketball, winning a total of 10 Arkansas State Basketball Championships. Most recently, JHS defeated AAAAAA East Conference rival Forrest City for the 2007 title at the Hot Springs Convention Center. In 2006, the Hurricane lost to Little Rock Parkview High School in a rematch of the 1994 state finals game in which the Hurricane won. The main basketball rivals for the Hurricanes are West Memphis High School and Nettleton High School. The Hurricane have won several conference championships, most recently in 2014 when the Hurricanes won the AAAAAA East Conference Championship against rival Parkview.


Compared to basketball and football, Jonesboro's baseball team is relatively new. The Hurricane first fielded a team in 1989 and made it to their first (and as of 2008 only) state championship game in 2005, played in Baum Stadium at the University of Arkansas. The Hurricane lost to former fellow AAAAAA East Conference member, Sylvan Hills High School. The Hurricanes have won several AAAAAA East Conference Baseball Championships, most recently in 2012. The Hurricanes baseball rivals are Searcy High School and Nettleton High School. In 2013, Jonesboro beat Greenwood High School in the AAAAAA state championship to claim their first ever baseball state championship lead by two time player of the year J.D. Rainwater. In the Spring of 2016, Jonesboro High won their second 6A State Championship.

Track & field[edit]

Jonesboro High School's Track & Field teams and have won multiple state and conference championships. Coaches Steve Thompson, Perry Darby and Blake Mackey have shown their commitment to the team since 1996. Included among their past record breaking athletes and state champions have been Earl Bell (1973) in pole vault, Arkansas State University, Darrell Burris (1973) in 1600m, Arkansas State University, Steve Griffith (1973) in 800m, Arkansas State University, John Butler (1969) in long jump, Henderson State University; Gary Guthrie (1965) in decathlon, Alabama; Jed Jackson (1972) in shot put, Rhodes College; Sam Urton (1974) in hurdles, Arkansas State University; Terry Primm (1975) in pole vault, Arkansas State University; Gary Haag (1963) in hurdles, Arkansas State University; and Charles Reding (1969) in the mile, Arkansas-Monticello.


Jonesboro High School's tennis team has won several state championships in recent years. Their most recent state championship was 2011, where the girls defeated Searcy and the boys defeated Mountain Home. The head coach for the tennis team is Mark Dobson. Volleyball, golf, soccer, wrestling, cross country, bowling, swimming, and softball have also been successful to the Hurricane as those teams have had several playoff appearances as well as conference and state championships.


The girls volleyball team has won a state-high 12 state championships between 1978 and 2016, including three consecutive titles (1994, 1995, 1996). In 2002, the team has its most successful campaign with a state-record 39 wins in a season.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]

Football alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Institution Summary, Jonesboro High School". AdvancED. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Challenge Index". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "News". Arkansas Chapter of Educational Theatre Association (EDTA). Retrieved 21 March 2013. Receiving Judges Recommendation for the 2012 International Thespian Showcase, University of Nebraska, Lincoln are The Trojan Women, Benton County School of the Arts High School and alternate Shakespearian Shorts-Hamlite, Jonesboro High School. 
  4. ^ "Awards". Arkansas Chapter of Educational Theatre Association (EDTA). Retrieved 21 March 2013. Congratulations to Carter Kidd, Troupe 1338 Jonesboro High School, for being selected for National Individual Events Showcase in Costume Design. This was his 2nd year for this honor. 
  5. ^ "JHS Thespian Festival Winners". Jonesboro Public Schools. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl". Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "2012-13 Record Book" (PDF). Arkansas Activities Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-31. Retrieved Aug 28, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°49′25″N 90°42′19″W / 35.8235°N 90.7054°W / 35.8235; -90.7054