Western Albemarle High School
|Western Albemarle High School|
5941 Rockfish Gap Turnpike
|School type||Public, Comprehensive high school|
|School district||Albemarle County Public Schools|
|Superintendent||Matthew S. Haas|
|Color(s)||Blue and gold|
|Athletics conference||VHSL Group 3A West Region|
|Rival||Albemarle Patriots, Charlottesville Black Knights, Monticello Mustangs|
|Newspaper||The Western Hemisphere|
|Feeder schools||J. T. Henley Middle School|
Western Albemarle High School is a public high school located in Crozet, Virginia. Western Albemarle is often simply referred to as Western or WAHS (pronounced "woz") by students and locals. The school opened in September 1977. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school went fully virtual following March 13, and it resulted in the use of Zoom platforms and online learning.
About the school
Western Albemarle enrolls approximately 1,241 students. It is situated at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a 75-acre (30 ha) site adjacent to Highway 250 and Interstate 64. WAHS is part of the Albemarle County Public School System, serving the western and central areas of Albemarle County.
The main feeder school is J. T. Henley Middle School.
Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) opened its doors to students in fall 1977. Then, the school consisted of two classroom wings (the A and B-Wings), the fine arts wing with the auditorium, band and choir room, as well as a few more classrooms (the C-Wing), and the gymnasium and athletic wing (D-Wing). The building remained untouched until the 1996 academic year when a new addition to the school was opened. This addition added four classrooms and two science labs to the B-Wing and a new auxiliary gymnasium and athletic offices to the D-Wing. In 2005 a new, modern weight room was added to the D-Wing. In 2011, the school received a total overhaul of their athletic field. A brand new AstroTurf playing field and rubber running track was installed using funds from an anonymous donor. In 2015, a renovation to the media center was conducted to enhance student activities as well as modernize the existing, outdated library. The main office was also modernized and renovated to improve school security. In 2016, a new modern greenhouse and classroom was constructed behind the school to be used by Western's STEM academy the Environmental Studies Academy (ESA). In 2017, two history classrooms and two English classrooms (all together in a quad) were renovated to promote Albemarle County's Global Studies concept where the history and English classes are intertwined. In summer 2018, a total renovation and addition of science labs began. Opening in fall 2018 was the school's new Tri-Lab, a large, open multi use space to the building. This space consisted of two classrooms and a hallway that were all connected by knocking down walls and modernizing the whole room. Throughout the 2018–19 school year and summer 2019, construction continued on the new science addition that would soon be known as the E-Wing. During summer 2019, all of the school's existing science labs were renovated and modernized. These rooms, along with the new E-Wing, opened to students at the beginning of the 2019–20 school year.
In January 2008, it was announced that Western was one of two schools (along with Murray Elementary) in the county that received the Governor's Award for Educational Excellence. This was the highest honor in the new incentive program for schools and school divisions created by the board of education to advance Governor Tim Kaine’s “competence to excellence” agenda.
Also in 2008, the school was ranked 1310 of 1358 of the top 5% of U.S. high schools by Newsweek, placing it in the 9th percentile of school quality. It is also ranked in the top 10 of the state of Virginia.
Western Albemarle's athletic department has been awarded the Wells Fargo Cup (formerly the Wachovia Cup) five times (2004, 2005, 2008, 2018, and 2019). The cup is awarded annually to one school in each of the VHSL's six divisions that demonstrates the best-overall record in state championship competitions. WAHS broke the record for most points ever scored towards the cup in 2019. The school is a member of VHSL's Class 3 in the Jefferson District.
The boys' soccer team won its fourth state championship in 2019, with other championships coming in 1996, 2014, and 2016.
The girls' soccer team won their second and third state championships in 2017 and 2018, with the first in 2002.
In football they have been three-time Jefferson District champions.
In 2004–2005, the school won 21 district, regional, and state championships.
Combined, the boys and girls swimming and diving teams have won ten state championships, with the girls winning from 2011 to 2016, and in 2019, and the boys winning in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
In 2017, the boys' and girls' cross-country teams both won the state championship.
WAHS hosts the Destination ImagiNation tournament for the Jefferson District.
In 2006, a 16-year-old Western Albemarle High School student and a 15-year-old Albemarle High School student were arrested after it was discovered that they were plotting to detonate explosives at their schools. The students were both found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to use explosives to destroy a school house, and have been committed to the juvenile justice system.
- Bill Baber, NFL tight end
- Billy Campbell, American film and television actor
- LeRoi Moore, American saxophonist
- Colin Steers, contestant on Season 2 of Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel
- Remedy Rule, Filipino swimmer
- Timothy M. Kaine (January 10, 2008). "Governor Kaine Announces Awards for High-Performing Virginia Public Schools". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- America's Top Public High Schools
- Isley, Bart (2019-06-28). "Western Albemarle wins Class 3 Wells Fargo Cup with record-setting total". Scrimmage Play CVA. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
- Lehmbeck, Alexander (June 12, 2016). "Warriors on top — again". The Daily Progress. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- Western Albemarle High School Athletics page
- Counts, Ron (February 19, 2016). "Western Albemarle sweeps 3A state swimming titles". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- "VHSL-Record-Book.pdf". Google Docs. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
- "2014 NSC Results". Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- Liesel Nowak (April 6, 2006). "13-year-olds guilty in bomb plot Hawranke hearing delayed". The Daily Progress. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2006.
- "Student convicted in bomb plot". Richmond Times-Dispatch. March 30, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2006.
- "Billy Baber". Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- "Billy Baber". NFL. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- Make Me a Supermodel (season 2)