Northwest Guilford High School

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Northwest Guilford High School (NWGHS)
5240 Northwest School Road
Greensboro, North Carolina, 27409
United States
Type Public
Motto "It's a great day to be a Viking."
Founded 1962
School district Guilford County Schools
Principal Ralph Kitley
Teaching staff 120[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment approximately 2,000
Color(s) Red, Black, and White
Mascot The Vikings
Northwest Vikings.
Northwest Guilford Vikings.

Northwest Guilford High School is a public high school in Guilford County, North Carolina. It currently has an enrollment of 1,947 students[2] in grades 9 through 12, making it the public school with the largest enrollment in Guilford County.

The school was ranked by Newsweek's Best High Schools in America as 261st among American high schools.[3] The school also received an award from Siemens for its strength in Science and Math AP education,[4] and was listed by High Schools That Work[5] as one of the top 36 high schools in the United States, the only high school in North Carolina to receive an honorable mention.[citation needed]

Rivalries and traditions[edit]

The school has long had a sports-based rivalry with Western Guilford High School, and more recently with Northern Guilford High School. Football games have themes, such as Hawaiian, Red Sea, Blackout, and Rave.

Northwest has two dances during the school year: the Homecoming dance the Saturday night after the Homecoming football game on Friday, and the Junior/Senior Prom.


Due to an increase in population in the area, several additions occurred at Northwest during the early 2000s, including the adaptation of a two-story educational building completed in 2002, a second gym completed in 2003, and a cultural arts wing. Northwest now has the "Old Gym" and the "New Gym;" as well as two main buildings, the "Old Building" and the "New Building."

The original main building at the school, the "Old Building," serves primarily as the English, CTE, and Environmental Science building, and the Educational Building, or "New Building," serves primarily as the Mathematics, Foreign Language, Biology, and Physical Science building.

The Vocational Building houses classes such as Drafting, Technology, and Graphic Design, and trailers serve mostly as the Social Studies classrooms. The Vocational Building used to be the home of the school's Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC), until the program was decommissioned in the Spring of 2004.

A new field house, football field bleachers and track were opened to Northwest students in the fall of 2012. R.L. Billings Stadium now has a capacity of 5,000.


Northwest has a large selection of Advanced Placement courses, including US History, Environmental Science, Calculus AB & BC, Physics, Statistics, World History, European History, Human Geography, Government, Psychology, Art 2D, Art 3D, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Latin, English Language & Composition, German Language and Composition, and English Literature. The school also has Honors and College Prep courses. Due to lack of interest, it no longer has an ROTC program.

Languages offered at Northwest include Spanish, French, Latin, and German. Others may be available as online courses through NC Virtual Public Schools.[6]

The school is actively involved and successful in competitions such as We the People, in which the school's team has held the state title and participated in national competition in all but one of the past 14 years, placing in the Top Ten at nationals in the spring of 2007 and 2011. Northwest also participates in Mock Trial, the National Forensic League, Future Business Leaders of America, and DECA (sending students to national competitions various times), and Science Olympiad, (sending numerous students to the International Beijing Science Competition over the years). The Speech and Debate Club participates in the National Forensic League.

Northwest's school paper modified its name in 2007, from The Northwest Express to Northwest Horizons.[7] Northwest Horizons has received numerous awards. In 2008, it won First Place Features and Second Place Graphics from the North Carolina Press Association (NCSPA). In 2009 and 2010, it was named "All-North Carolina" by the NCSPA and won the Southern Interscholastic Press Association's "Shoquist Freedom of the Press" Award.


Northwest is a 4A school with a large athletic program, with sports programs in cross country, soccer, basketball, football, tennis, swimming, lacrosse, baseball, wrestling, tennis, track, field hockey, volleyball, rugby, and golf, among others.


Northwest has a fine arts program, including award-winning concert and marching bands, orchestral ensembles, arts classes, drama department, and vocal ensembles.

Marching band[edit]

Northwest has a successful marching band of approximately 150 students led by Brian McMath. They consistently place highly in local competitions and have recently started to compete nationally through Bands of America (BOA) in 2013 after an approximately thirty-year hiatus. Mr. McMath also leads class bands that consistently receive superior ratings at North Carolina High School Band Music Performance Adjudication (MPA). The Northwest Band Program consists of a concert band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, a jazz band and, as of 2015, a percussion ensemble. Students from the program often place in local, district-wide, state-wide, and even national bands while going to Northwest.[8]

Marching winter ensembles[edit]

Northwest also has highly successful winter guard and percussion ensembles. The varsity winter guard has made finals at Winter Guard International (WG)I regionals almost nearly year for a decade as well as being highly ranked in the Carolina Winter Ensemble Association circuit as a 1A guard. They also made semi-finals a winter guard world championships in Dayton, Ohio in 2010 and 2015. The JV winter guard was revived during the 2016 season in CWEA's 2A class. The percussion ensemble in 2016 as well and placed 1st in CWEA's Novice percussion class.


Northwest High School offers many extra-curricular clubs and teams, includin: The Popcorn Club,[9] FBLA, FCCLA, Leading Ladies, Science Through the Looking Glass, Science Olympiad, DECA, Gay-Straight Alliance, Anime Club, Key Club, Philosophy Club, Math Club, Spanish Club, German Club, Longboarding Club, Drama Club, Book Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletics, Horsepower, SAVE/SADD, Speech and Debate, Breakfast Club, Rubik's Cube Club, and Junior Classical League.

Northwest offers students in 11th or 12th grade the chance to participate in the National Honor Society, which promotes academic achievements and outstanding performance. There are also National Technical Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and National German Honor Society branches at Northwest.


  • European American: 81%
  • African American: 8%
  • Hispanic: 5%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Other: 2%

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°09′13″N 79°57′17″W / 36.1535361°N 79.9547°W / 36.1535361; -79.9547