Westside High School (South Carolina)

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Westside High School
806 Pearman Dairy Rd. Anderson, SC 29625
Anderson, SC
United States
Type Public School
Established 1951
School district Anderson School District Five
Color(s) Maroon and Grey          White, Black
Mascot Rams

Westside High School is a high school located in Anderson, South Carolina. Westside High School is one of two high schools in Anderson School District 5. The school serves the West side of Anderson and is part of Anderson School District 5. Westside High School is administered by Head Principal Kory Roberts. He is the third Head Principal that Westside High has ever had. The other two were Bowen Wakefield and Henry "Daddy" Adair who both held terms over 30 years. Roberts took over Westside High as principal on July 1, 2015. His father William was the head Football Coach at Westside from 1951-1979. He also taught at Westside until 1998. Kory's mother taught English there for almost 40 years as well. This school is famous for being somewhat a maverick in the local system and uses the slogan "The Westside Way" and "It's a Matter of Pride" along with "Westside Is My Side". It is one of only eight historically black high schools still in operation in South Carolina, and the only one west of Columbia.[citation needed]


Westside High School has grades 9-12. Westside offers the main school requirements (Science, Math, English, Geography), as well as electives including music, foreign language (Spanish, German, French, Latin), gym, and many technology classes. Students can also earn credits by taking electives at the Career Center. Westside offers college preparatory, honors and advanced placement classes. In 2011, Westside became an Early College Academy, allowing students to get a headstart in college classes. WECA students are able to take these courses on campus, taught by college professors. Alternatively, students can travel to Tri-County Technical College to receive additional credits. The school has long been established as a very caring and rewarding place of learning. Westside has won many awards over the years and was led by Head Principal Henry "Daddy" Adair (who held that post since 1983). The first principal was beloved Bowen Wakefield who served from 1951-1983. The campus has recently been renovated and enlarged with the latest in educational technology. It is a member of Anderson School District Five.


The original Westside High School was located in the western section of the city at the corner of Southwood and Franklin Streets. The site contained 14 acres (57,000 m2) and the plant consisted of 33 teaching stations including gymnasium and shops. The school was officially opened in September 1951, replacing the senior high department formerly known as Reed Street High School. The enrollment consisted of 316 students in grades 10-12, 13 faculty members, and one full-time Head principal. Westside High School was one of the all black schools in Anderson. The first Head Principal was [B.M. Wakefield]. The first graduating class of Westside numbered 85 students. In September 1953, the enrollment decreased by approximately 50 students due to the building of a high school in Anderson District Three. The 1954 graduating class consisted of 70 members.

In September 1955 the ninth grade class was transferred from Reed Street Junior High to Westside resulting in a total enrollment of 356 students and two additional faculty members.

In April 1955, the [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools] accredited Westside High School. As a result of the committee's recommendations, the school board immediately began a program of expansion for the school which consisted of a junior high wing for grades 7 and 8, cosmetology laboratory, vocational department for brickmasonry, agriculture, industrial arts, and auto mechanics. Additional rooms were also built for commercial education, first aid, band room, field houses, and an athletic field with track. This phase of the building program was completed and ready for occupancy in September 1957 at which time grades 7 and 8 from Reed Street Junior High were transferred to Westside. The faculty was increased by 16 members and the enrollment reached 780 students and one full-time secretary was employed along with additional janitors.

The enrollment remained constant through 1958. However, with the beginning of the 1959 school term, the enrollment jumped to 890 students which necessitated one full-time teacher of physical education for girls plus two additional teachers to take care of the increased enrollment. The faculty now numbered 34 full-time teachers, one part-time music instructor, and one full-time guidance counselor.

The enrollment continued to grow and in 1960 reached 946 students. It was during this school term that Westside accomplished a feat in athletics that had never before been reached: winning state championships in three sports; football, basketball, and baseball. The Cosmetology Department won the National Award for proficiency three times out of four attempts.

In 1962-63 the enrollment again increased to 981 students (478 males, 503 females), 34 full-time teachers, two counselors, and one full-time music teacher. The following term Westside continued to grow, reaching an all-time high of 1130 students and 55 faculty members, including two part-time teachers. In September 1963 the school was bursting at the seams which necessitated the use of five temporary buildings to house all students. Prior to this time, a bond was floated by the district to build additional classrooms and buildings. Southwood School was constructed and opened for occupancy in September 1967 relieving Westside of approximately 400 students in grades seven and eight. Sixteen teachers were transferred to Southwood, leaving Westside with 685 students and 38 faculty members.

Army JROTC was established at Westside High School on June 14, 1967, by contractual agreement between the principal of Westside High School and Commanding General, Third U.S. Army under Section 2031, Title 10, U.S. Code. The principal's statement justifying establishment said, "We believe that a Junior ROTC unit at Westside would enhance our total school program since we have a large percentage of boys from deprived and broken homes. These boys need something to be identified with to give them status."

The school year 1969–70 was the last term that students of School District Five received their education on a segregated basis. Plans were set in motion to begin the 1970–71 term under a unified system. During its final year of operation under the segregated system, Westside had 40 full-time and five part-time faculty and staff members serving 693 students in grades 9–12. There were 59 course offerings ranging from auto mechanics and Army JROTC to college preparatory and office occupations.

The year 1970–71 ushered in the unified school system. The school system had been tasked by the federal government to become the first and only community institution, public or private, to undergo the total integration.

During this first year under the unified system Westside served 655 students (219 black, 436 white), with a faculty and staff of 39. The curriculum consisted of three major courses of study: office occupations, college preparatory, and the general diploma program. The course offerings now totaled 86. All vocational programs were moved to McDuffie High School.

In the fall of 1971, the present $4.5 million facility was occupied. The facility could ultimately house as many as 1500 students. The enrollment at the new facility jumped to 977 students (297 black, 680 white), and the faculty and staff to 51.

Enrollment steadily climbed to a high of 1094 students (326 black, 768 white) in 1977-78. The 1978-79 enrollment due to the declining birth rate of the early 1960s decreased to 954 (326 black, 661 white).

From 1973-1977 Westside was the benefactor of "Project RISE", a federally funded project designed to reduce dropouts through improving student reading skills and reading/study skills in the content areas. Success was attained and in 1975 the project received federal validation. Educators from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas visited Westside during this period to view the project as a model for programs they hoped to develop in their schools.

In 1974 distributive education, a program designed to convey a basic understanding of the concepts of marketing, management, and merchandising was added to the curriculum.

Another significant change was made in the curriculum in 1975, Advanced Placement (AP) courses were added. AP courses are college-level courses taught in high school. At the end of the school year the student takes an AP examination that is scored on a scale of one to five with five being the highest.

AP American History was added in 1976-77, AP Biology in 1976-77, AP European History in 1976-77, and AP English IV in 1975-76.

In January 1979, New Century Math and Reading labs designed to serve 140 students each with individually designed programs were added.

In the 1978-79 school year, Westside had four part-time faculty, 48 full-time faculty, one librarian, two counselors, two assistant principals, and one principal serving 954 students in grades 10-12.

The 1985-86 school year again brought major changes. The junior high schools were reorganized into middle schools with grades 6-8. The ninth grade was moved to the high schools. This increased the enrollment of Westside High School as well as the number of faculty and staff. By the 1987-88 school year, the enrollment was 1260. During this school year the faculty and staff consisted of one principal, two assistant principals, 70 classroom teachers, three guidance counselors, two library media specialists, and 9 support staff. Lakeside Middle School and Southwood Middle School were the feeder schools for Westside.

Courses offered included:

  • English: English I-IV, English II-IV Gifted and Talented, English AP, Journalism, Developmental Reading, Remedial Reading, and English Resource;
  • MATHEMATICS: Math I-III, Algebra I-II, Algebra II Gifted and Talented, Algebra/Trigonometry, Geometry, Geometry Gifted and Talented, Business Math, Math Resource, Remedial Math, Pre-Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Pre-Calculus Gifted and Talented, And Calculus AP;
  • SOCIAL STUDIES: American History, World History, U.S. History, World Geography, Civics, American Government, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, and Western Civilization; SCIENCE: Physical Science, General Biology, Biology I CP, Biology II AP, Environmental Studies, General Chemistry, Chemistry I-II, and Physics; HEALTH-PHYSICAL SCIENCE: P.E. I-II, Strength & Fitness, Community Health, and Personal Health & Safety; FINE ARTS: Art I-IV, Band I-IV, Concert Chorus, Chorus I, Orchestra I-IV, Drama I-IV, and Drama Gifted and Talented; BUSINESS EDUCATION: Keyboarding, Typing I, Accounting I-II, Business Law, Record Keeping, Data Processing I-II, Word Processing; VOCATIONAL: Homemaking, Child Development, Clothing & Textiles I-II, Parenting, Foods & Nutrition I-II, Family Life, Pre-Vocational Education, Industrial Arts, Marketing/Distributive Education I-II, Mechanical Drawing I-II; OTHER: Drivers Education, AJROTC I-IV; FOREIGN LANGUAGE: French I-III, Spanish I-III, German I-III.

According to the 1988 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Report, 55% of Westside graduates attended colleges, junior colleges, or technical schools. A full in-house computer system was implemented during the 1987-88 school year. During the following school year, the library media center was computerized allowing the staff to circulate books by the use of a computer system.

In 1992 a major renovation at Westside was completed. A fine arts wing was added which now houses the band/orchestra room and chorus room with practice rooms in both areas.

In 1993, hundreds of community members, parents, teachers, and students joined together to plan the future of Anderson School District Five through the strategic planning process. Seven strategies were developed to accomplish the new strategic goals and the mission of Anderson School District Five.

Committee members developed plans to create a challenging and rigorous educational environment. The plans included restructuring the 9-12 course of studies into schools which include majors and academics coordinating work based learning experiences reviewing and revising all course curricula restructuring guidance and curriculum support activities utilizing more effective teaching methods promoting character and ethical behavior developing requirements and course prerequisites

The High School Redesign Committee met frequently, discussing numerous options. During their long discussions, the committee agreed that there must be a change. Looking at the District Five school system as a whole, their goal was to find a way to make the new classes accessible to the most students. Finally, the committee presented two options to the Board of Trustees for review.

District Five trustees evaluated the options in work sessions and discussed the proposals with members of the community. Then at the July 1995 board meeting, Trustees voted to change the way high schools are organized in District Five to support the new program of studies, increase student access to the new courses, and reflect the changing college and job market needs.

In 1996-1997, District Five high schools were changed to meet the demands of a rapidly changing job market and an increasingly competitive college environment.

This is how our[who?] high schools look now:

The McDuffie High School campus was transformed into a technological magnet campus with a new name - T.L. Hanna Westside Extension Campus. All students in the district attend academic classes at either T. L. Hanna or Westside. All students will graduate from either T.L. Hanna or Westside. All occupational courses are housed at the Extension Campus. Courses in the School of Arts and Sciences are offered at T.L. Hanna and Westside. Courses in the Schools of Allied Health and Human Services, Business and Finance, and Manufacturing and Engineering are offered through the Extension Campus. College level coursework and credit are offered for some courses at T.L. Hanna and Westside.

In the 1998-99 school year Westside High School completed a ten-year self-study for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Information from this report indicated that 42% of the 1998 graduates attended a 4-year college, 1% attended a junior college, 43% attended a technical college, and 4% entered the military. The enrollment for this school year was 1631, a 30% increase since 1989.

During the 2000-2001 school year Westside High School received a major face-lift. The covered walkways were rebuilt with new maroon-colored roofs, as well as the main office area.

In the school year 2003-2004 a Ninth Grade Academy was established. Ninth grade students who are not repeating 9th grade, or who are not taking advanced courses, are in the academy. During the first year, only English and math courses were taught within the academy. At present, English, math, and science classes are taught in the academy.

Beginning in August 2005, ground was broken for a new wing to house the Ninth Grade Academy. The Academy was completed and opened in July 2006 for the 2006-07 school year.

Today,[when?] Westside has two part-time faculty, 102 full-time faculty, two library media specialists, one media clerk, five guidance counselors, two assistant principals, one instructional specialist, one school nurse, one athletic director, one testing coordinator, one computer facilitator, two computer lab technicians, one Resource Security Officer, two Security Staff, two ISS Supervisors, one Study Hall Supervisor, ten support staff, one Academy Director, and one principal serving over 1700 students in grades 9-12. It has just completed the construction of a new gym, a new English Department Building, new press boxes for both softball and baseball, and with the destruction of the courtyard, a new administrative building and commons area.

Specialty Electives and Clubs[edit]

Westside features a variety of specialty electives and clubs, including Band, JROTC, Leo Club, National Honor Society, Debate, Journalism, Teacher Cadet, Beta Club, Key Club, and TEAM.

Alma mater[edit]

"Rising 'neath the golden sunshine

And the blue, blue sky

proudly stands our Alma Mater,

Dear old Westside High.

You're our idol, inspiration

Memories never die;

For we'll love and cherish ever,

Hold your standards high.

So with hearts of happiness,

Voices deep with pride;

We proudly hail and loudly praise,

Our own dear Westside High.

CHORUS: Oh, we love you, yes we love you;

Courage ever high.

We pledge to thee our loyalty,

Dear old Westside High!"

-Words by Linda Burriss Roberts


Westside High School is home of the Rams. The school's colors are Maroon and Gray. The main rival of the Westside Rams is cross-town T.L. Hanna Yellow Jackets. The Head Football Varsity Coach is Scott Earley. Ted "Lucky" Luckadoo was the head football coach at Westside from 1984-2012. Westside has only had five head football coaches in Varsity over the years. William Roberts was the Head Coach from the 1950s- late 1970s. Bill Swinger became Head Coach at that time and was replaced by Ted Luckadoo in 1984. Westside also had a long-time Head Basketball Coach named John Moore. He led the Rams from the 1960s-early 1990s. Westside has won many State Championships in Football, Baseball, Basketball and Track.

In 2004, a team from Westside, composed of Dennis Martin, Brandon Brown, Martez Brown and Mauricus Brown, set the National High School record in the rarely run 4x110 Hurdle race.

Westide High School has teams in 16 different sports:

  • Football (Varsity, JV, C-Team)
  • Boys Basketball (Varsity, JV, C-Team)
  • Girls Basketball (Varsity, JV)
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball (Varsity, JV)
  • Swimming
  • Boys Cross Country
  • Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Tennis
  • Girls Tennis
  • Boys Soccer (Varsity, JV)
  • Girls Soccer (Varsity, JV)
  • Boys Golf
  • Girls Golf
  • Baseball (Varsity, JV)
  • Softball (Varsity, JV)
  • Track and Field.
  • JROTC Raider Team
  • Football


External links[edit]

  • [westside.anderson5.net Westside High School]

Coordinates: 34°31′03″N 82°41′26″W / 34.5176056°N 82.6906903°W / 34.5176056; -82.6906903