Wando High School
|Wando High School|
|1000 Warrior Way
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
|Type||Public high school|
|Motto||Walk the Warrior Way|
|Campus||110 acres (0.45 km2)|
|Color(s)||Garnet & black|
|School Paper||Tribal Tribune|
Wando High School (often shortened to Wando) is a public high school within the Charleston County School District, located in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, United States. The high school serves students living in Mount Pleasant and other suburban portions of eastern Charleston County. Established in 1973, the school was re-built in 2004 to accommodate the town's rapid growth during the 1990s. Wando is the largest high school in the state of South Carolina based upon an enrollment of around 3,700 students in the 2013-2014 school year.
Wando High School takes its name from the nearby Wando River, a major tributary of the Cooper River that divides Charleston and Mount Pleasant. The school opened in 1973 shortly after desegregation was completed in Charleston County.
In 2004, the new facility at 1000 Warrior Way in Mount Pleasant opened its doors. In 2009, principal Lucy Beckham was named the 2010 MetLife/National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) National Secondary Principal of the Year. This is classified as the highest honor for a secondary school principal in the nation. In 2014, Beckham stepped down from her role as principal, being replaced by interim principal Sherry Eppelscheimer.
After the new campus was completed, the old campus became a temporary home for other local schools while they rebuilt their primary campuses. First it became the home to Laing Middle School, and in 2010 Charleston County leased part of the property out to Buist Academy. When Buist completed its new downtown campus, it left and its place on the old campus was taken by Jennie Moore Elementary. This arrangement continued until the 2014-2015 school year, for which both Laing and Jennie Moore moved into their new facilities a few miles away. Demolition of the old campus was completed in the fall of 2016. Today, the only remnant of the old campus is the football stadium, which is still used by the Wando football team.
Situated on 110 acres (0.45 km2), the main school building is 433,121-square-foot (40,238.3 m2) in size. The grounds include a 4,800-square-foot (450 m2) field house complete with a 1,598-square-foot (148.5 m2) press box. Student parking spaces total 1,179, with 33 visitor spaces, 368 staff spaces and room for 20 buses. The layout of the school was based on the similar layout of West Ashley High School, one of Wando's cross town rivals.
Inside the school, there is a 906-square-foot (84.2 m2) performing arts center; the gym has over 2,560 square feet (238 m2); and the specialized food court has 780 square feet (72 m2). 27,800,000 pounds of steel, 12,000,000 pounds of concrete, over 800,000,000 bricks and concrete blocks and a total of 176 individual HVAC units were used in construction. The school has two multi-purpose fields along with separate fields for marching band practice, soccer, football, baseball and softball. There are also six tennis courts, a track area, and a shot put and javelin area.
According to data released by the South Carolina Department of Education, Wando High School earned an "A" letter grade for the 2012-2013 school year, substantially exceeding academic expectations put forth by the state in standardized testing and graduation accomplishment. The school previously earned a "B" for the 2011-2012 school year.
Wando High School received "excellent" scores on the Absolute Rating and Growth Rating metrics on its 2012 state report card. In 2012, 97.0% of students passed the state-mandated High School Assessment Program (HSAP). The four-year graduation rate was 85.3% in 2012, a slight decrease from 85.9% in 2011. The teacher retention rate was 90.2%. Based on 2011 financial data, the dollars spent per student was $6,834.
In 2012, the average student-teacher ratio in core subjects was 29.3 students for every 1 teacher. In total, 26.5% of students were enrolled in Advanced Placement courses and 64.7% of students were enrolled in career/technology courses. Wando High School is accredited with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Wando offers over 250 classes, including Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, Honors, College Preparatory, and Applied Technology courses. The addition of a "Ninth Grade Academy" improves the smooth transition of the change from middle school, to high school. All Wando students are to select a "major" and enter into one of the following "schools of study": arts & humanities; business and information systems; health sciences and human & services; and math, science, and engineering.
- English classes: 30
- Math classes: 18
- Science classes: 21
- History classes: 20
- Foreign Language classes: 20 (including French, Spanish, German, and Latin)
- Physical Education classes: 1
- Health Education classes: 11
- JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps) classes: 8
- Direct Business classes : 35
- Family and Consumer Science classes: 20
- Hospitality and Tourism classes: 4
- Engineering classes: 8
- Art classes: 3
- Band, Orchestra, and Choir classes: 15
- Drama and Dance classes: 9
- Dance: 13
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Wando competes at the Class AAAAA level of the South Carolina High School League. Due to it being among the largest schools in the state, it is one of the "Big 16" schools for football. Wando's main rivals are the West Ashley High School Wildcats and the Bishop England Battling Bishops.
- State - 2014
- State – 2007, 2015
- State – 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006
- State – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- State – 1991, 1992, 1994, 2002, 2011, 2014, 2017
- State – 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012
Track & Field
- State – 2009, 2015
- State – 1977, 1980
- State – 1976, 2009
- State – 2011
- State – 1994, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013
- State Champs – 2007
- State – 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2015
- State – 1977, 1978, 1979, 1993, 2014, 2015
Wando boasts over 70 different unique clubs, including the National Honor Society, to The Rock Climbing Club, and the Dance Dance Revolution club.
The Wando High School Marching Band  has won the SCBDA state 5-A championship 10 times with their 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015 shows respectively entitled Equilibrium, Watermark, Promethean Dreams, Incarnata, Beyond, Turn, Daedalus and Icarus, Immortal, It's All Wright, and Empire of the Sky. Turn included the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, the changing of seasons and included a plume change. In 2005 the band had an undefeated season, achieving first place in every competition attended. The Band is also the second band from South Carolina to make the Bands of America Grand National Finals, placing 11th in 2009, 12th in 2011, and 7th in 2014. The first was Irmo High School. Additional achievements are listed below:
- In 2007, the Wando Band placed 25 people out of 170 in the All-State Band.
- The band has been awarded the Outstanding Performance Award for 2008–2009.
- The Wando High School Symphonic Band performed at The Midwest Clinic in 2007.
- The Wando High School Band program received the The Sudler Flag of Honor on May 15, 2008 (see John Philip Sousa Foundation).
- In 2012, the Wando Symphonic Band performed at the SCBDA In-Service conference in Charleston under the baton of Scott Rush, Lanie Radecke and Scott Weiss.
The band is under the direction of Bobby Lambert, and assisted by Jeff Handel and Lanie Radecke. Former directors include Scott Rush, Basil Kerr and Miller Asbill.
The Wando choirs are led by Director Eric Wilkinson, Associate Director Mary Elizabeth Morton, and Associate Director Matt Taylor. In 2014, Wando Chorus was ranked 2nd in the State, previously ranking 3rd in 2011. Vernon Huff, Rodger Wiley and Marilyn Austin are former directors. Their website is wandochorus.com.
Tribal Tribune|Wando's school newspaper, viewable online at their website, has won many awards including for the second consecutive year the Best in Show Award for newspapers over 17 pages at the National Scholastic Press Association Convention, the All-American Award from the NSPA for the sixth consecutive year, the Silver Crown Award for the second consecutive year from Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and the Gold Medalist award from CSPA. Tribal Tribune won the equivalency for a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 called the Pacemaker, under the direction and advisement of Mrs. Watkins for over 25 years. It also is consistently placed in the top 35 newspapers in the nation. It has received the Best in State of South Carolina Award from the Southern Interscholastic Press Association for the sixth consecutive year, an All-Southern ranking, the SIPA’s highest ranking, for the 16th consecutive year, and Best in State from SCSPA for five of the last seven years. Tribal Tribune's website is tribaltribune.org.
The Wando engineering program is one of the best in the state. Offering eight courses and an internship program, it is also one of the biggest in the state as well, with more than 400 students and a faculty of 5 teachers. In 2008, the Wando engineering program was named a National Model Site by Project Lead the Way. Teacher David Roemer was inducted into The Citadel's "Wall of Fame" in 2011 as the first ever STEM Educator of the Year in South Carolina. David Roemer and Katie Johnston sponsor the Engineering Club, which is home to several competitive teams including:
- two robotics teams
- two aerospace engineering teams
- one trebuchet team
- three Design/Invention teams
- one bridge design Team
- Amanda Baker
- Dexter Coakley
- Shepard Fairey
- Travis Jervey
- Brooke Mosteller, Miss South Carolina 2013
- Barry Richardson, NFL football player
- Melanie Thornton
- "Wando High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Smalley, Elliot Lucy Beckham Named Secondary Principal of the Year. ccsdschools.org (2008-12-15).
- Vela, Hatzel (2010-06-08). "Parents angry over Buist Academy's move". WCSC. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- Pan, Deanna. "School officials 'confident' Laing Middle, Jennie Moore Elementary opening on time". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
- Slade, David. "Down comes the old Wando". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
- South Carolina Department of Education Wando High School 2012 Annual Report Card. ed.sc.gov (2012-11-14).
- Past SCBDA Marching Contest Champions – 5A. Bandlink.org. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
- 2007 SOUTH CAROLINA ALL-STATE. bandlink.org
- Bands of Wando – Wando High School
- An International Band and Orchestra Conference.+ The Midwest Clinic. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
- Communications and Fine Arts Achievements
- Players. NFLPlayers.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-12.
- "Charleston City Paper". Obey Giant. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
- The Sporting News: NFL – Travis Jervey[dead link]