- Grades: 10-12
- Enrollment: 1,561 students
- Student:Teacher Ratio: 15:1
- Minority Enrollment: 19%
- Graduation Rate: 96% (Top 5% in AL)
- Overall Testing Rank: Top 5%
- Math Proficiency: 71% (Top 1%)
- Reading Proficiency: 69% (Top 10%)
- Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), AL Dept. of Education
Vestavia Hills High School ranks among the top 20% of public schools in Alabama for:
- Vestavia Hills High School (VHHS), founded in 1970, is a public high school in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. Part of the Vestavia Hills School System, the high school is known primarily for the success of its band, math, debate, and baseball teams.
- The creation of an independent school system was a landmark event in the history of Vestavia Hills and their quality is locally recognized as the city's greatest asset. The high school, which is noted for excellence nationally as well as on a statewide level, is also an asset to a region not recognized for committing adequate resources to primary education.
- The school mascot is the Rebel (a cartoon depiction of a "Southern gentleman" patterned after the University of Mississippi mascot). Occasional controversy about the use of the Rebel mascot has not made much impact in Vestavia Hills, which has an overwhelmingly white student body. The name "Rebels", the mascot, the Confederate battle flag(though not the school's official flag) as a rallying symbol was the subject of a school board debate in November 2000. After hearing many opinions, mostly in favor of keeping these symbols, the board took the advice of its legal counsel and made no new policy. The use of the flag, once common, is now strongly discouraged and remains a divisive issue among students.
- However, the school has renewed the issue recently by giving out free school flags at a recent pep rally. This school flag was designed over 10 years ago, but failed to garner the attention of the student body. The second attempt has proved much more successful, with students readily accepting and vaunting the flag.
- Academic Achievements: Vestavia's math team has dominated national competition for more than a decade. The team has earned 15 first-place and 2 second-place finishes in their 17 National Mu Alpha Theta Convention competitions. Most recently, Vestavia's math team won first place recognition in the national competition in Fort Collins, Colorado in July 2006. Other successes include four victories at the regional Furman University Wylie Mathematics Tournament from 1999-2004.
- The debate team, winners of seven national championships, has the distinction of being the first team in history to win both the Lincoln-Douglas Debate and the Policy Debate in the National Forensic League championships. Vestavia is also the only school to have two national champions in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
- Vestavia's "We The People Team" won the Alabama state competition and placed 4th at the National Competition in Washington, D.C. in 2006. We The People is a mock constitutional debate program, and the National Competition showcased all fifty of the state champion teams. The team was led by Amy Maddox, who led her team to a 4th place finish after competing in the We The People program for just five years.
- Compared to the vast majority of public high schools in Alabama, Vestavia sends high percentage of graduating seniors to elite out-of-state schools. Recently, Vestavia has become a de facto feeder school for Vanderbilt University, and many graduates are currently attending Ivy Leagues, such as Harvard, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, as well as other elites like Stanford, MIT, and Duke.
- Vestavia's newspaper, The Vedette, received the All-Alabama award for the 2005-2006 school year. The All-Alabama award, sponsored by the Alabama Scholastic Press Association is the highest award that can be given to a high school newspaper in Alabama.
- Vestavia has a long-standing tradition of a quality music department. Both the band and choir have won numerous state and regional awards, and consistently place best-in-class in competition. Vestavia's jazz program, in particular, has been notable since its founding by bandleader Ted Galloway.
- Athletic Achievements: Vestavia has also produced a legacy of athletic accomplishment. The baseball team, under late Coach Sammy Dunn, won nine state titles in the highest division of competition, including seven straight from 1994-2000 and the 1998 national championship. Dunn's 27-year record at Vestavia was 647-146. The football team won state championships in 1980 and 1998. The wrestling, soccer, golf and tennis teams have also enjoyed notable successes.
- Faculty: Nine of Vestavia Hills High School's teachers have achieved "National Board Certification" with seven more on track to be certified.
- Outstanding teaching staff include Kay Tipton, chair of the math department since 1989, who has won Cornell University's Outstanding High School Educator Award, the Golden Apple Teacher of the Year Award, and received the White House Commission of Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teacher Award three times.
- Former Debate Coach, Marilee Dukes was inducted to the National Forensics League Hall of Fame in 2004. She is also in the Tournament of Champions Coaches Hall of Fame. Dukes coached at Alabama’s Vestavia Hills High School for over twenty years and made the program one of the powerhouses of the 1990s. Her students have claimed the championships and top speaker awards at every major national tournament during her tenure, and she has coached debaters to finals at the Tournament of Champions an unprecedented seven times. She is one of ten coaches honored by having a debate round in the Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University named after her.
- Former Band Director Ted Galloway not only conducted performing groups of consistently high quality, but also brought many legendary jazz musicians, such as Urbie Green to the school for performances.
- Alumni: Notable alumni include: Colter Bean (1995), Major League Baseball pitcher (New York Yankees).
- Tanner Colby (1993), writer, producer "National Lampoon Radio Hour" & Belushi: A Biography.
- Josh Hancock (1996), Major League Baseball pitcher (St. Louis Cardinals).
- Chris Hammond (1984), Major League Baseball pitcher (Cincinnati Reds).
- Jo S. Kittinger, children's book author.
- Michael Papajohn (1983), actor.
- Susan Patterson, opera soprano.
- Jeanne Wilson, three-time world champion wheelchair weightlifter.
- Rebecca Moore, Miss Alabama USA 2007.
- Grant Gannon (1999) Publisher [RebelSports.net].
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