Overton High School (Memphis, Tennessee)
|Watkins Overton High School|
|Type||Public secondary Creative and Performing Arts|
|Motto||"Producing stars, in the classroom and on the stage."|
|School district||Shelby County Schools|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gray|
The school, which serves grades 9 through 12, is a part of the Memphis City Schools district.
The School was named in honor of Memphis mayor S. Watkins Overton.
Students may wear oxford shirts, polo shirts, turtlenecks, and blouses with "Peter Pan" collars. All shirts must be white. Sweatshirts must be white, black, navy blue, tan or any other colors approved by the individual campus.
Trousers, shorts, skirts, and jumpers must be black, tan, or navy blue. Denim clothing is not allowed. All shorts and jumpers must come to knee.
Overton offers a variety of athletic clubs to both boys and girls.
Basketball, Baseball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, and Track.
Lately Overton's Track team has produced the top runners in the state.
Overtons's Baseball team has always been considered as one of the best in Memphis and Shelby County. Several athletes are now playing college ball.
Basketball,volleyball, Bowling, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Golf, Pom Pom, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, and Track.
Over the past few years Overton has produced some of the best athletes in the county. Those athletes include: Marcus Moody (University of Memphis),Derrick Townsel (Murray State University), Derrick Warren, Britton Wakefield (Faulkner University), D'Cory Owens (Tougaloo College), Sergio Kerusch (Western Kentuck University)and Roland Brooks.
Overton was declared a performing arts high school in 1976. Overton had one of the finest high school choirs in the nation under the late Dr. Lulah M. Hedgeman. Merel Gartre;;
was selected as choir director in 1976 and within five years, she grew the program from 25 students to a choir of 150 students. The choir, under Dr. Hedgeman performed a full concert in 1987 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The choirs were invited to Nice, France four times as guests of the city. Dr. Hedgeman was honored by the Walt Disney company in 1990 in their first production of The Salute to the American Teacher Awards. The Overton Chamber Singers were invited to perform and Dr. Hedgeman was honored as the nations most outstanding performing arts teacher. Dr. Hedgeman was also presented with the first "Mr. Hollands Opus" award based on the 1995 motion picture. The Overton Choirs program, under the direction of Dr. Hedgeman were ranked number in the state of Tennessee for 21 consecutive years until Dr. Hedgeman's death in December 1997. At the time of her death, Overton hosted seven performing arts choirs all ranked number one. The Watkins Overton Choirs are now under the direction of vocal music teacher for 31 years, Delphime Huddleston, and the Vocal Music Department at Overton is still ranked the number 1 performing arts high school choir in the city of Memphis as of April 2016. The Watkins Overton band program, which consistently wins top honors and awards is considered among the best in the nation as well. The band is the 2008 Division AAA Champions of the University of Memphis Bandmasters Championship and the 2008 Smoky Mountains Invitational Champions. The band has performed at the Midwest Clinic, the Tennessee Music Educators Association Convention, and as part of the Conn-Selmer Institute. The band program at Overton has achieved too much success to fully list, under the expert direction of former band directors T.W. Swayzee, Larry Volman, Merle Gartrell, Jerry Rains, David Ryan, Philip Hughes, Chris Piecuch, O'Neal Douglas, Andre Feagin, Raleigh Wilson, James Richens and Kyle Lee. The band is currently under band directors Chris Piecuch and Chelsea Negray.
Other aspects of the CAPA program include Creative Writing, choirs, orchestra, jazz ensembles, drama, dance, and visual arts. Students must audition to qualify for CAPA programs.
Creative Writing, run by Shannon Marszalek, frequently hosts Poetry Slams for anyone who is interested in writing of any and all sorts. The Poetry Out Loud competition was held on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Many of the Scholastic Gold Keys come from both the Creative Writing Department and the Art Department.
- Josey Scott - lead singer of Saliva
- Elise Neal - actress
- Kevin Paige - singer
- O'landa Draper - Singer, choir director
- K. Michelle - Singer, actress
- Wendy Moten - Singer
- Johnny Neumann - American basketball player and coach