West Charlotte High School
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|West Charlotte High School|
|2219 Senior Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina
|Type||Public high school|
|School district||Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools|
|Principal||Dr. Timisha Barnes-Jones|
|Number of students||1,780|
|School color(s)||Maroon and Gold|
West Charlotte High School was founded in 1938 and had a sprawling campus with different buildings soon after. During the next three decades, the school became the pride of the community and students won statewide competitions, with a strong connection between students and parents. Beginning in the late 1960s, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education ruled that cities had to desegregate their schools through busing, which created riots at many schools in the district, including at the school, as students from West Mecklenburg, Harding, Garinger, North Mecklenburg and Myers Park were bused to the school, starting in the fall of 1970. Over time though, the school became nationally-recognized as a model for student integration, with students and teachers coming from as far as Boston to view the success of the school. For the next twenty of years, the school remained integrated until a series of court decisions stated that integration in Charlotte was a success and that busing was no longer needed.
IB Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for higher education and life beyond. The program is taught over two years and has gained recognition from universities worldwide.
IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level or standard level. Students select one subject from each of the following groups:
- Group 1: Language A1
- Group 2: Second Language
- Group 3: Individuals and societies
- Group 4: Experimental sciences
- Group 5: Mathematics and computer science
- Group 6: The arts
Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE)
In 1989, a West Charlotte student named Alex Orange was killed while trying to break up a fight at a party. His grieving classmates gathered and vowed to organize against violence in Alex's memory. The group formed Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), with the vision that all students will be able to attend a school that is safe, secure, free of fear, and conducive to learning. Their signature color is orange, a reflection of Alex's surname.
SAVE members participated in local non-violence marches and the Carolina Carrousel Parade. During the school year, they would visit elementary and junior high schools, as well as television and radio shows, to perform skits showing how to act out non-violent solutions to problems.
Due to SAVE’s efforts, there was a decrease in the number of violent incidents, weapons found in the school and the excursion rate of students. This sparked an increase of chapters being started at other local high schools.
In 1992, SAVE received the 875th Daily Point of Light award by President George H.W. Bush. The award honors individuals and volunteer groups that have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities.
Over the past 20 years, SAVE has grown from one chapter in Charlotte, North Carolina, to over 1,800 SAVE chapters with more than 200,000 members across the U.S. Today, SAVE serves youth in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community youth-serving organizations in 46 states and several foreign countries. SAVE is coordinated by a North Carolina-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere, but it is still led by students, for students.
Due to low test scores on standardized testing, it was feared the school would be closed. During the 2006–2007 school year, WC had the third worst performance in Mecklenburg County—surpassed only by Harding and Independence. The school has remained open, in part because of the response of its active alumni.
In 2007, local pastors in the Charlotte area, officials at Johnson C. Smith University, and city council member and future Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx formed the West Charlotte Mentoring Coalition, a collaborative effort to eliminate the 50 percent drop-out rate by providing mentoring and tutoring support for ninth graders at West Charlotte High School.
The group placed each of the 550 incoming freshmen with a mentor. West Charlotte principal Shelton Jeffries said the graduation rate at his school is a serious concern. He believes the work of the coalition will be powerful in reversing those trends by positively influencing the lives of young people.
West Charlotte offers many extracurricular activities to encourage students' involvement in the school’s community outside of the normal classroom setting. Those activities include:
- Track and Field
Other special interests programs
- Academic contests
- Community service
- Science and technology
- Chess Club
West Charlotte is known throughout the Charlotte area for its athletic programs. The marching band is one of the best known extracurricular activities at West Charlotte. They have performed at a bowl game every year since 2004, when they debuted at the Sugar Bowl. WC's stadium is called Jack Martin Stadium.
West Charlotte's main rivals are Independence High School and Harding University High School.
State 4-A Championships
- Men's Basketball 1986, 1991, 1992, 1999, 2011
- Football 1954, 1978, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2006
- Men's Track 1995, 1999, 2003
- Men's Indoor Track 1999
- Volleyball 1997, 2000
- Women's Basketball 2008–2009
- Thomas Harold "Junior" Burrough (University of Virginia, Boston Celtics) Basketball
- Mo Collins (Oakland Raiders) University of Florida
- Andrew Jordan (Retired NFL, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Bucs, Philadelphia Eagles) Western Carolina University
- Justin Gray (Wake Forest University) Basketball
- Trent Guy NFL and CFL player
- Pep Hamilton (Offensive Coordinator, Indianapolis Colts) Howard University
- Jeff McInnis (Charlotte Bobcats) Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazer, UNC Tar Heels Basketball
- Pettis Norman (Retired Dallas Cowboys) Johnson C Smith University
- Wali Rainer (University of Virginia, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans)
- Dave Waymer (University of Notre Dame, NFL, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders)
- Steven Wilks Secondary Coach, Carolina Panthers
- Kennedy Meeks center for the University of North Carolina
Other notable alumni
- Anthony Foxx, U.S Secretary of Transportation, Charlotte, NC City Council (2005–present), Mayor, City of Charlotte (2009–2013).
- Jon Phillips, solo recording artist, producer, political activist. Class of 1998.
- Pep Hamilton, Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator, Stanford University Quarterback Coach.
- Grier Martin, Member, North Carolina House of Representatives (2005–present).
- Maureen O'Boyle, Previously on A Current Affair and Extra. Currently lead anchor for WBTV in Charlotte.
- Ruth Samuelson, Mecklenburg County Commissioner (2000–04), Member, North Carolina House of Representatives (2007–present).
- Everett Withers, Appalachian State DB/LB (1981-1985); Interim Head Football Coach, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (2011–2012); Ohio State University, Defensive Coordinator (2012-2013), James Madison University Head Football Coach (2013–present).
- Steven Wilks, Coach Carolina Panthers, San Diego Chargers, Chicago Bears, Notre Dame University: DB Appalachian State University.
- Rab, Lisa (September 2014). "The Fall of the Lions". Charlotte Magazine. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- The Last of Mrs. Lincoln Kengtung Airport . "List of IBDP schools – Info from". en.academic.ru. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "The IBDP – Info from". www.ibo.org. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "Points of Light history – Info from". www.pointsoflight.org. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "SAVE history – Info from". www.nationalsave.org. 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- West Charlotte High School – Info from www.charlotte.com
- "West Charlotte Mentoring Coalition – Info from". www.thecharlottepost.com. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
- "The Official Website of the Chicago Bears". Chicagobears.com. Retrieved 2012-09-22.