Williamsville South High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Williamsville South High School
20090412 Williamsville South High School.JPG
5950 Main St
Williamsville, New York
United States
Coordinates 42°57′59″N 78°43′54″W / 42.9664°N 78.73159°W / 42.9664; -78.73159Coordinates: 42°57′59″N 78°43′54″W / 42.9664°N 78.73159°W / 42.9664; -78.73159
Established 1892; 126 years ago (1892)
School district Williamsville Central School District
Principal Keith Boardman
Grades 9 - 12
Enrollment 952 (2014-15)[1]
Team name Billies
Newspaper Out of the Blue
Yearbook Searchlight
Williamsville Junior and Senior High School
Built 1950
Architect Duane Lyman
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP reference # 08000407
Added to NRHP May 12, 2008

Williamsville South High School is a high school located in Williamsville, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, New York. South is one of three high schools in the Williamsville Central School District, along with Williamsville North High School and Williamsville East High School.


Origins, 1853-1892[edit]

In 1853, the Williamsville Classical Institute was formed as a private school to provide education in Williamsville beyond the elementary level. The property on Academy Street was purchased for $700. The first catalog was published in 1857, but the Williamsville Classical Institute (which had become known as the "Academy") eventually closed in 1869. In 1874, School District No. 3 rented the building for use as an elementary school.[2]

Academy Street School, 1892-1950[edit]

Union Free School District No. 3 was organized on May 7, 1892.[3] The Board of Education purchased the property and building from the Institute for $250, naming it Union Free School No. 3, and added a high school program. The first Regents exams were held there in 1892 and its first graduating class consisted of five students in 1895.[2] The first principals were George E. Smith, W. M. Pierce, and D.B. Albert, who had five assistants in 1898.[3] By 1902, there were 65 high school students and 143 in the elementary program.[2]

By 1921, the original red brick building had been condemned by the State Department of Education as antiquated and unsanitary. The public voted to demolish the old building and rebuild at the same site for a cost of $122,000. The new building was opened in 1924, although the auditorium was completed in time for the graduation of the Class of 1923. A large addition was built in 1931 and the curriculum was enlarged.[2]

After the opening of the current building on Main Street in 1950, the 1920s-era Academy Street building continued in use as an elementary school for a time, and eventually also a middle school. In 1981, the Christian Central Academy rented the then-vacant Academy Street School, eventually purchasing the property from the Williamsville Central School District in 1985. In 1991, the Williamsville Historical Society declared and marked that location as an historic site.[4]

Williamsville High School[edit]

Due to rapid growth and expansion, the Williamsville Central School District was formed and a new location was needed for the middle and high school students. The current building on Main Street was constructed for an approved cost of $2.5 million,[2] and opened as Williamsville Junior and Senior High School in September 1950, serving grades 7-12. The building was re-designated as Williamsville Senior High following the opening of Mill Middle School in 1958, and finally as South High following the opening of North High School in 1968.[5]

The building was designed by acclaimed local architect Duane Lyman, who was known as the dean of Western New York architecture.[5] Its construction features classic columns and a traditional clock tower. A science wing was added to the building's east side in 1961, and a new athletics wing was added to the north side in 1992.[5] The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places (as "Williamsville Junior and Senior High School") in 2008.[6][7]


Advanced Placement courses[edit]

Williamsville South has a wide range of Advanced Placement courses in many areas of study. Williamsville South offers 2 AP courses in English, AP Calculus as well as non-AP Calculus for Math. South offers AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, and AP Physics in the Science Department. There are several AP courses in the Social Studies department (both elective-wise as well as course-wise). Williamsville South offers many AP Language courses also. There are AP courses in the Art department, Music department, and Technology Department as well.[citation needed]

Williamsville South has long been an active participant in the Advanced Placement program. In 1998, Newsweek issued its first ranking of American high schools, based on a calculation of AP exam participation in May 1996 per enrolled student, with Williamsville South ranking 63rd in the country.[8] The school's rank has fallen in subsequent years as AP participation has expanded nationwide, but its rank of 974 in Newsweek's 2010 list still places it among the top 5 percent of all U.S. public high schools.[9]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The school's football team finished with the #1 ranking in New York State in 1984, during an era prior to the establishment of a state tournament.[10] In 1994, the football team advanced to the New York State championship game (Class B), but was defeated by one point.[11]

The school's softball team has won four New York State championships, in 2000 (Class B), 2004, 2006, and 2014 (Class A).[12][13] These are Williamsville South's first-ever New York State tournament championships in any team sport to appear in the New York State Sportswriters Association records.


The orchestra program at Williamsville South is the largest of the three Williamsville schools.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "WILLIAMSVILLE SOUTH HIGH SCHOOL". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Sue Miller Young, A History of the Town of Amherst, New York, Chap. 15 (1965)
  3. ^ a b Town of Amherst, from Our County and Its People, A Descriptive Work on Erie County, New York, Truman C. White, ed. (The Boston History Company, 1898)
  4. ^ Christian Central Academy -- Heritage
  5. ^ a b c South High School Added to Register of Historic Places, Amherst Bee, August 6, 2008
  6. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-07-01.  Note: This includes Francis R. Kowsky, Martin Wachadlo, and Mark Peckham (July 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Williamsville Junior and Senior High School" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01.  and Accompanying photographs
  7. ^ State Board Recommends Diverse Properties for Listing on State & National Registers of Historic Places -- March 12, 2008
  8. ^ Jay Mathews, Class Struggle -- The Top 100* High Schools, Newsweek, March 30, 1998
  9. ^ America's Best High Schools: The List, Newsweek, June 13, 2010
  10. ^ RoadToSyracuse.com: Reference library, NYSSWA rankings, 1981-90
  11. ^ RoadToSyracuse.com: Reference library, NYSPHSAA tournament scores, 1993-2000
  12. ^ Year by year champions, all sports from the New York State Sportswriters Association
  13. ^ Buffalo News, Williamsville South wins fourth state softball title, Miguel Rodriguez, June 14, 2014
  14. ^ "Glee Newcomer Jacob Artist on Dancing Dreams, Rap Nightmares and New-Girl Drama". Tvline.com. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ "N.H.L. Players Watch as a Young Prospect Grows Before Their Eyes". New York Times. June 15, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  16. ^ Steve Smith, New Works To Celebrate a Flutist's Influence, New York Times, April 1, 2010
  17. ^ "Ten Alumni Earn Spots on Williamsville Wall of Fame". Williamsville Central Schools. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 

External links[edit]