South Lakes High School

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South Lakes High School
Seal of South Lakes High School.png
South Lakes High School is located in Northern Virginia
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School is located in Virginia
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School is located in the US
South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School
11400 South Lakes Drive
Reston, Virginia 20191
School type Public, high school
Motto Veritas in Scientia (Truth in Knowledge)
Founded 1979
School district Fairfax County Public Schools
Principal Kimberly Brophy Retzer
Staff approximately 200[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,378
Language English
Campus Suburban Sprawl
Color(s) Royal Blue and Kelly Green
Mascot Seahawks
Rivals Herndon High School
Feeder schools Hughes Middle School, Rachel Carson Middle School
Athletic conferences Liberty District
Northern Region

South Lakes High School is the primary high school for the community of Reston in Fairfax County, Virginia. The school, part of Fairfax County Public Schools, has 2,378 students.

The principal is Kimberly Brophy Retzer. The school also has 16 other administrators, including assistant administrators for each grade.[2] The school's mascot is Seymour the Seahawk. The school colors are Royal Blue and Kelly Green. The school newspaper is named the Sentinel.[3]


South Lakes underwent a $55 million renovation from winter 2006 through August 2008. The renovation was completed in time for the 2008–2009 school year.[4] Another renovation is currently ongoing, projected to be complete by Winter, 2017.

The main feeder middle schools are Langston Hughes Middle School and Rachel Carson Middle School.

Demographics and test scores[edit]

In the 2013–2014 school year, South Lakes High School's student body was 46.68% White, 21.24% Hispanic, 13.00% Black, 12.53% Asian and 6.56% Other.[5]

South Lakes High School is a fully accredited high school based on the Standards of Learning tests in Virginia. The average SAT score in the 2013–2014 school year for South Lakes was 1676.

School design[edit]


When the school first opened in 1978, South Lakes High School had an "open classroom" design. The school was laid out into four quadrants, one quadrant area for each grade level. Each quadrant, or "sub-school", was labeled by color: green for freshman, blue for sophomores, yellow for juniors, and orange for seniors. When the school was first opened each sub-school was designed to be a classroom within itself. The open space was not divided into individual classrooms or interrupted with walls. The open design was quickly determined to be an ineffective and distracting way for people to learn, especially with different teachers and students learning different materials around them. Individual classrooms were created with temporary dividers which remained until a renovation which took place between 2006 and 2008.


The extensive renovation changed several of the building's characteristic features. The four sub-school design was kept, but altered. Like the original design, there are four separate locker commons (one for each grade level), but the ease of access from one to another has been improved. Each classroom is divided by walls, rather than temporary dividers, and have their own door and windows (if located along the perimeter wall of the building). Classrooms have LCD projectors and the math classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards. The four cafeterias were combined into one larger cafeteria located in the center of the building. The media center was also moved and enlarged.[4] Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, another wing will be added to the school.


The school's curriculum offers special education courses, remedial coursework, standard courses, and college-level advanced courses. Advanced coursework is offered in the form of the International Baccalaureate program. There is also one Advanced Placement class: AP U.S. Government and Politics. South Lakes also has an Army JROTC program, which has a Gold Star. South Lakes offers three types of diplomas – Standard, Advanced, and IB.

South Lakes was a pioneer in the FCPS Political Science Program. A 1.5 credit class reserved for seniors, Political Science involves a one semester introduction to the discipline followed by a semester-long internship with a local government agency or organization.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


South Lakes offers twenty sports at the varsity, JV, and freshman levels. The mascot is a seahawk and the sports teams play in the AAA Liberty District and Northern Region of the Virginia High School League.


Their Boys Basketball team has consistently been one of the best teams in the Washington D.C area; With 14 District Championships and 6 Northern Virginia Region Titles; 8 Final Four Appearances in the AAA Virginia State finals, and have twice finished 2nd in the State (1998–1999, 2002–2003) Additionally, South Lakes is known throughout the metro area for producing top tier talent that has resulted in an extensive list of Division 1 and professional players. Former Duke Guard and Los Angeles Clipper Grant Hill attended and played for South Lakes. Succeeding former South Lakes superstar Michael Jackson who played for Georgetown National Championship team and in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings. Other big names include Joey Beard (Duke and Boston Celtics), Jerome Scott (Miami and CBA), Julian Vaughn (Oak Hill Academy and Georgetown), and Brandon Kamga (Northeastern University). Acel[6]


South Lakes has more than seventy clubs, including National Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Model United Nations, Latin Club, and Tri-M Music Honor Society, and clubs for interests in government, academic competitions, performing arts, business, science, computer science, journalism, student leadership and special interests in addition to honor societies for the languages offered.[7]

The current senior class council consists of Natalie Abbey, Mia Bailey, Loree Seitz, Coco DeJong, Jamie Richards.


South Lakes' music department consists of band, orchestra, guitar and chorus programs.

The marching band is the Spirit of Reston. The band program consists of Marching Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble, all of which are conducted by Grayson Fore.

The orchestra program contains three groups: Concert (Freshman) Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra, which are all led by Bryan Baldwin. Along with the band and chorus, the orchestra travels once a year.

The South Lakes chorus program contains five groups: Women's Chorale ( Treble Choir which consists of female 9th to 12th graders), Men's Camerata, Bella Voce, Select Women, Chamber Singers, which are led by Rita Gigliotti, DoReMigas (Ladies A Capella Ensemble), SMAC (South Lakes Men's A Capella), and Noteworthy (Mixed A Capella Ensemble), which are student led programs.[7]


The South Lakes Theatre Arts Department under the direction of Maria L. Harris has been honored with many awards including wins and nominations in the National Capital Area Cappies (Critics and Awards) Program.

Every year they put up the Halloween Fright Night Festival of Plays in October, a fall show in November, student written and directed one-act plays in the winter, and a musical in the spring. South Lakes' Theatre Arts Department also participates in the International Thespian Society.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ FCPS – School Profiles – South Lakes HS – Staffing. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.
  2. ^ Administration.
  3. ^ Student Newspaper.
  4. ^ a b South Lakes High School Renovation.
  5. ^ FCPS – School Profiles – South Lakes HS – Demographics. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.
  6. ^ South Lakes High School. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.
  7. ^ a b Clubs.
  8. ^ "Virginia native becomes an in-demand producer at 22". Reuters. 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  9. ^ Duke Wins Services Of Hill;South Lakes Forward To Announce Today. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.
  10. ^ "South Lakes High School". Public School Review. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°55′57″N 77°20′22″W / 38.932400°N 77.339500°W / 38.932400; -77.339500