Milton High School (Georgia)
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|Milton High School|
|13025 Birmingham Highway
Milton, Georgia 30004
|Oversight||Fulton County School System|
|Color(s)||Red, white and navy blue|
|Mascot||Eddie the Eagle|
|Rival||Roswell High School|
Milton High School front lawn
Milton High School was founded in the shadows of metropolitan Atlanta within the city of Alpharetta. It opened in 1921, serving all of the students of Milton County and including grades one through eleven. The school initially had no buses, school lunches, central heating, or plumbing. Its first principal was W.T. Harrison.
With the merger of Milton and Fulton counties in 1932, improvements began at a rapid pace.
Due to the initiative of the Fulton Farmers of America, a cannery operated during the summers on the Milton Campus. An authentic log cabin, also an FFA project, still stands as a memorial.
The 1950s brought more positive changes, and the building of an elementary school allowed Milton to house only grades eight through twelve.
The addition of a concrete football stadium drew the entire community on Friday nights to cheer for the Milton Eagles. The stadium was later named the "Sonny" Hawkins stadium, after teacher "Sonny" Hawkins, who tirelessly provided over 25 years of volunteering as the public address announcer.
The 1970s represented a time of tremendous economic and social transition for Alpharetta and Milton High School. A new cafeteria, library, and front office were added.
Tapped as Fulton County's first comprehensive high school, in the 1980s, programs began for learners with all abilities and interests. A middle school was opened nearby to meet the specialized needs of students in grades six through eight, which left Milton as a grade 9-12 facility.
In the 1990s, an enlarged and modernized Milton High School (encompassing the MHS Center for the Arts, a new greenhouse, music facilities, and health/physical education facilities) established a stellar reputation for strong community ties, presenting a broad and relevant curriculum supported by state-of-the-art technology and a caring spirit. The school later added a state-of-the-art science wing, an enlargement of the school cafeteria, and renovations to the front office.
In the 1997-98 school year, Milton was named a Georgia School of Excellence and a Blue Ribbon Nominee. In the 1998-99 school year, U.S. News & World Report named Milton High School an outstanding high school and a model of excellence.
Milton continued to be a vital part of the Fulton County School System, characterized by economic and geographic diversity. This sprawling comprehensive high school became a unique and warm blend of the old and new.
With the new millennium came increasing numbers of students and new ideas about how best to serve young people whose adult lives would be spent in the 21st century. Unlike the schools which prepared graduates of the 1930s and 1940s for jobs right out of high school, the school was challenged to prepare students for a rapidly changing world. Its need to expand again was in conflict with its landlocked campus in the heart of Alpharetta. After much discussion, the Fulton County Board of Education decided to build a new school in a new location.
In the 2005-2006 school year, Milton High School moved from its original location in downtown Alpharetta to a new site adjacent to the Northwestern Middle School and Crabapple Crossing Elementary in the city of Milton.
The old Milton High School facility now serves as the home of Independence High School, an alternative school serving north Fulton County.
Today, Milton High School teaches grades 9-12 and started the 2008-09 school with 2,314 students. Enrollment grew to over 2600 students for the fall of 2010.
Once the new building was opened, Milton adopted an innovative academy system that allowed students to choose a "track" to personalize their education. In 9th grade, all students take the Freshman Academy. From 10th grade on, students chose among the Math and Science Academy, Social Sciences Academy, and Arts and Humanities Academy. Each academy contained the courses required for graduation, taught in a way similar to the academy's particular theme. This model was done away with after just two years of use, and Milton went back to the traditional system.
Milton offers a number of Advanced Placement courses, including AP Biology, AP Calculus AB & BC, AP Drawing, AP Chemistry, AP 2D Design, AP 3D design, AP Environmental Science, AP French, AP Economy, AP Gov/Politics, AP Human Geography, AP Japanese, AP Language & Composition, 12th Grade AP Literature, AP Macro, AP Music Theory, AP Physics 1&2&C, AP Spanish, AP U.S. History, and AP World History.
Following years of service as principal at both the old Milton High School campus and the new campus, Principal Ron Tesch retired after the 2009-2010 school year, but returned as interim principal for the 2014-2015 year after Cliff Jones moved to the administrative side of the Fulton County School System. Brian Jones (no relation to Cliff Jones) is the current principal.
Student, staff and school awards
In 2008-09 Milton's Teacher of the Year was Meredith "Academic Maturity" Reddy (Language Arts), who was also the Fulton County Teacher of the Year. Employee of the Year was Bev Bailey.
In 2009, Newsweek magazine named Milton High School #307 in its annual list of 1,500 top-ranking public high schools in the nation. Seven other Fulton County schools also made the list, which represents the top 6% of US schools.
Milton was the only high school in Georgia to receive the prestigious "No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools" distinction for 2008, the US Department of Education announced. Schools must demonstrate dramatic improvement in a school environment with significant populations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds or score in the top 10 percent on state assessments. Milton was recognized for its high achievement on assessments.
Principal Ron Tesch credited Milton's quality of teachers and the school's culture for academic excellence as keys to its success. "To steal from the real estate motto, 'location, location, location' - at Milton, it's 'academics, academics, academics,' Tesch said. "We have such wonderful teachers - truly, the finest in the nation - who really look for ways to unlock students' potential. They do whatever it takes to help students succeed."
Tesch also acknowledged the community's support of the school. "The Milton community really values education, high standards and rigor. When we announced the award, everyone was jubilant. You could feel the pride throughout the school. Our teachers and students know the significance of this kind of award and what it means. Parents are stopping me in the hall to say how proud they are and what it means to the community." Tesch and assistant principal Cliff Jones attended a special awards ceremony on October 20–21 in Washington, D.C. to accept the award.
The arts at Milton
The Milton Band includes the Milton High School marching band, two jazz ensembles, a jazz combo, three concert bands, a percussion ensemble, and the Milton Indoor Drumline. The marching band has competed in many regional competitions. They have received many awards, and had the honor of participating in the London New Year's Day Parade in 2000. In recent years, the Wind Ensemble has received invitations to perform at the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia. The Milton Band is under the direction of Chris Shumick, with percussion directed by John Herndon. Milton's indoor drumline has won regional and national awards as well. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, the MID was one of the finalists in the WGI Championships in Dayton, Ohio. The marching band participated in New York's Veteran's Day Parade in 2014.
Choral music was added to the curriculum in 1951. The choral program consists of three choirs.
- Chorale - The Milton Chorale is the Advanced Mixed Ensemble at Milton. The members of this ensemble are selected by audition and are 9th-12th grade men and women.
- Women's Select - Women's Select is the Advanced Women's Ensemble at Milton. The members of this ensemble are selected by audition and are 9th-12th grade women.
- Concert Choir - The Concert Choir is open to all 9th-12th grade men and women. No audition is required. This is the entry-level choir for most freshmen.
The Milton choirs consistently receive Superior ratings in Performance and Sight-Singing at the Georgia Music Educators Large Group Performance Evaluation, as well as at other festivals across the south. They have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City three times. The groups have also performed in Honolulu, Hawaii; Orlando, Florida; and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
All three choirs perform three times per year at the Milton High School auditorium, in the fall, winter, and spring. Various other group and solo performances occur during the year.
Students have been selected to participate in Georgia Music Educators Association All-State Chorus, the Governor's Honors Program, District Honor Chorus, American Choral Director Association Honor Choruses, Spivey Hall Honor Choruses, and other honor choirs. Students from Milton have gone on to study music and participate in college music programs including Belmont University, Columbus State University, Georgia Southern, Louisiana State University, Mercer University, Shorter College, Stetson University, and the University of Georgia.
Drew Bowers has been the Director of Choral Activities at Milton High School since his appointment in 2007. He conducts the Chorale, Women's Select, and Concert Choir, and teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory.
Milton has an award-winning theatre program led by Renee Denney and Sim Jones. Milton Theatre recently came second in the State One Act Competition with their play A Piece of my Heart. They also broke ground with their performances of Cirque Glosoli, a cirque show brought to the school by director Larry Smith.
The Milton High School Orchestra is directed by Richard Bomba. He is the longest tenured member of the fine arts department at Milton High School. Since his arrival, the orchestra has grown from 32 members to over 110. The orchestra program consists chamber, Sinfonia, and concert orchestras. The orchestras perform individually and together at least four times per year. The orchestra often arranges a full symphony concert with members from the elite MHS Band program. The orchestra also hosts multiple ensembles and quartets and encourages them (and individual players) to perform throughout the local area in an outreach program. The MHS Orchestra has been invited to the National Orchestra Festival, and has won the Smoky Mountain Music Festival. Individuals in the MHS orchestra have earned chairs at All-State, ASYO, MYSO, LSO, FCHO, and Spivey Chamber Orchestra, including first chair placement on several occasions. In 2016 they graduated the bassist Jan, who was named salutatorian, along with violinist Agni, who was named valedictorian.
- Cross country running
- Ice hockey
- Swimming and diving
- Track and field
Team GHSA State Champions
As of the 2014 school year, Milton has won 35 state championships in 13 sports and activities. The girls' lacrosse program has won the most state titles (ten). The boys' program with the most GHSA State Championships is baseball (three).
GHSA State Champions
- Girls' lacrosse: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 
- Girls' gymnastics: 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999
- Girls' tennis: 1980, 1983, 1985
- Baseball: 1955, 2004, 2013
- Boys' basketball: 2010, 2012
- Boys' lacrosse: 2010, 2012
- Boys' tennis: 1985, 2003
- Wrestling: 1978
- Boys' golf: 2012
- Girls' golf: 2012
- Girls' soccer: 2012
- One Act Play: 2011 2012 2013 2014
- Debate: 2009 
- Boys' cross country: 1965: John Wolf; 1998: Ian Dickinson; 1999: Ian Dickinson
- Boys' golf: 2002: Robert Castro; 2010: Patrick Grahek
- Girls' golf: 2012: Rachel Dai
- Girls' gymnastics: 1990: Keely Dunston, balance beam; 1991: Christa Cully (3), uneven parallel bars, balance beam & all-around; 1997: Loren Simpson (4), uneven parallel bars, vault, balance beam, & all-around; 1999: Loren Simpson, uneven parallel bars; 2000: Loren Simpson (2), uneven parallel bars & floor exercise; 2004: Marisa Schneider, Vault; 2005: Marisa Schneider (2), vault & all-around; 2006: Marisa Schneider (2), floor exercise & vault
- One Act Play - Best Actress: 2012: McKenzie Kurtz
- Boys' swimming: 2008: Jeff Cox, 200-yd individual medley (1:54.69); 2009: Jeff Cox (2), 100-yd freestyle (46.04) & 200-yd individual medley (1:52.18); 2012: Sam Lewis, 100-yd backstroke (48.85)
- Girls' swimming: 2001: Melissa Klein (2), 100-yd breaststroke (1:02.75; 5A state meet record) & 200-yd individual medley (2:02.59; 5A state meet record); 2002: Melissa Klein, 100-yd breaststroke (1:03.24); 2003: Melissa Klein (2), 100-yd breaststroke (1:02.15; 5A state meet record) & 200-yd individual medley (2:01.44; 5A state meet record); 2012: Katie Grover, 100-yd freestyle (51.14); 2013: Katie Grover (2), 100-yd backstroke (55.21) & 100-yd butterfly (53.55)
- Girls' tennis: 1970: Lynn Gloria Bates, singles; 1972: Michele Flowers & Kathy Pledger, doubles; 1980: Tracy Burke & Lee Ann Tarlton, doubles; 1983: Patti Belling & Kristi Overton, doubles; 1985: Kristi Overton, singles
- Boys' tennis: 1974: Phil Parrish & Robbie Bagwell, doubles; 1976: Phil Parrish & Robbie Bagwell, doubles; 1985: Robi Soni & Mike Rossen, doubles
- Boys' track & field: 1957: Marshall Sims, high jump (6'1"; 1A state meet record); Don Devore, 120-yd hurdles (16.0s; 1A state meet record); 1960: Melvin Cochran, shot put (46'11.5"); 1961: Melvin Cochran, shot put (54'1.5"; 2A state meet record); Bobby Coleman (2), 180-yd hurdles (21.2s) & 120-yd hurdles (15.2s); 1962: Arthur Letchas, 440-yd dash (51.0s); Melvin Cochran, discus (148' 2.5"); 1965: John Wolf (2), 1-mile run (4:32.6) & 2-mile run (10:07.7, 1A state meet record); 1966: John Wolf (2), 1-mile run (4:23, All Classification state meet record) & 2-mile run (9:50, 1A state meet record); 1967: John Wolf (2), 1-mile run (4:26.9) & 2-mile run (9:51.5); Kendall Wolf, 1/2-mile run (2:00.5, 1A state meet record); 1980: Kevin Duncan, 330-yd hurdles (39.77s); 2000: Ian Dickenson, 3200 meter run (9:21.71).
- Girls' track & field: 1973: Susan Lipscomb (2), 70-yd hurdles (10.3s; 1A state meet record) & 220-yd dash (27.2; 1A state meet record); 1974: Lydia Beavers, 80-yd hurdles (11.9s); 2010: Samantha Becker, pole vault (12'0", 5A state meet record; tied all-class record); 2016: Riley Burr (2), 1600 meter run (4:48.80) & 800 meter run (2:10.60)
- Boys' wrestling: 1978: Ricky Scott, 167 lb class; 1984: Thomas Harris, 98 lb class; 1995: Andrew Stolz, 220 lb class; 2011: Blake Roytek, 135 lb class; 2013: Phillip Anderson, 126 lb class
GHSA State Competition results (team and individual) can be found in the GHSA archive page.
- Peyton Barber (class of 2013) - Auburn Tigers running back
- Roberto Castro (class of 2002) - professional golfer and All-American at Georgia Tech
- Dylan Cease (class of 2014) - professional baseball player and pitcher for the Chicago Cubs
- Nadine Jolie Courtney - (class of 1998) novelist and Bravo TV personality, Newlyweds: The First Year
- Jon Cox - (class of 2005) Atlanta Silverbacks forward in the North American Soccer League
- Kyle Farnsworth - (class of 1994) Major League Baseball player 
- Dexter Fowler - (class of 2004) Major League Baseball player
- Bryan Nesbitt - (class of 1987) automobile designer
- Daniel Pope (class of 1994) - former punter in the National Football League; played for Kansas City Chiefs in 1999, Cincinnati Bengals in 2000, New York Jets in 2001, with his longest NFL punt being 64 yards
- Danyelle Sargent - (class of 1995) Fox News sports reporter
- Bobby Scales - (class of 1995) Major League Baseball player
- Shannon Scott (class of 2011) - Ohio State / Toronto Raptors basketball
- Milton High School official website. (a) See "About Us" - "History" (b) See "Organizations" - "Sports" - "Directory". Retrieved on December 24, 2008.
- Milton High School in Milton, Georgia (ga). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.city-data.com/school/milton-high-school-ga.html
- AP & honors summer assignments 2010. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.miltonhighschool.com/page2.php?page=summer_reading
- "GHSA Gymnastics Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Girls Lacrosse Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Girls Tennis Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Baseball Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Boys Tennis Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Wrestling Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- "GHSA Debate Champions". Georgia High School Association. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- 1979-1980 - Georgia High School Association. 150-151. p.
- "Milton's Dylan Cease signs with Cubs". Appen Media Group. Retrieved September 23, 2015.