Spencer High School (Columbus, Georgia)
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|4340 Victory Drive, Columbus, Georgia|
|School district||Muscogee County School District|
|Color(s)||Green and gold|
Spencer High School is located at 4340 Victory Drive in Columbus, Georgia, United States. It was established on November 29, 1930, by the Columbus Public Schools as the first African American high school in Columbus. The school was named in honor of Dr. William Henry Spencer. It is the only high school in Columbus to have ever been at three locations.
The first Spencer High School was built on 10th Avenue at 8th Street. This building remained until it was destroyed by fire. The building was the home of Marshall Junior High School until it burned.
The second Spencer High School, relocated in 1953, was located at 1830 Shepherd Drive (now Marshall Middle School). The Shepherd Drive location was designated as the high school where all the military dependent students from neighboring Fort Benning would attend after the 5th Circuit Court's 1971 desegregation order was handed down. In the past, Fort Benning agreed that it would never build a high school on the military reservation and would send their high school age children to either Baker High (children of enlisted personnel were bussed here) or Columbus High (children whose parents were officers were bussed here). In essence, desegregation of Spencer High was accomplished with the reallocation of military dependents from Fort Benning with a minimum of non-minority students from outlying Columbus neighborhoods to achieve racial equality.
In 1978 the Muscogee County School Board voted to close Spencer High School and move the students to a new high school located at 4340 Victory Drive on the Fort Benning military reservation. The name of this new high school was to be the Southwest High School and its colors were to be blue and white. Incidentally, blue and white were the school colors for Baker High School (closed in 1991), about a mile west of the current Spencer High campus.
To the rescue came a group of young men by the name of the Golden Owls. Their appearance before both the School Board and City Council convinced both not to eliminate the name of Spencer High School and its colors of green and gold.
The current Spencer High School, located at 4340 Victory Drive, is a complex designed to accommodate around 1,000 students.
Spencer High was a powerhouse in 50-foot gallery small-bore rifle marksmanship from 1972 through 1988. During this period, the Superintendent's Trophy (basically the All-City Championships) was retired in 1975 and again in 1978 after three consecutive wins and Spencer's rifle team won the Georgia State Interscholastic Rifle Championship in 1976. Team members included David Moeller, Glenn Moeller, John Moeller, Denise Canella, Carlos Villa-Gomez and Coach Gordon J. Burke. Spencer rifle team member Deena Wigger earned a slot on the 1987 Pan American Team and won a gold medal in the 50 meter small-bore rifle prone event and a bronze in the 10 meter air-rifle event. Her medaling in these Olympic level sporting events also earned her the coveted Distinguished International Marksman's badge. Deena was nominated as Georgia High School Female Athletic of the Year for 1987 but lost out to a cheerleader from metro Atlanta.
The school will be moving to a new location to be opened in the Fall of 2018. The new 200,000 square-foot building with 60 classrooms has a price tag of $56 million. It will be located at 1000 Fort Benning Road. An adjacent lot will be used for an athletic complex shared by all the Muscogee County District schools.
The school's principal is Johnny Freeman and the assistant principals are Jeffery Jones and Ms. Patterson.
- Gary Downs - former NFL player
- Randy Fuller - former NFL player
- Ernie Green - former NFL player
- Otis Sistrunk - former NFL player
- Moe Williams - former NFL player
- "Spencer High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 17 March 2016.