Vestavia Hills High School

  • Vestavia Hills High School serves 2,036 students in grades 9-12.
  • The percentage of students achieving proficiency in Math is 46% (which is higher than the Alabama state average of 44%) for the 2016-17 school year. The percentage of students achieving proficiency in Reading/Language Arts is 60% (which is higher than the Alabama state average of 39%) for the 2016-17 school year.
  • The student:teacher ratio of 14:1 is lower than the Alabama state level of 18:1.
  • Minority enrollment is 18% of the student body (majority Black and Hispanic), which is lower than the Alabama state average of 45%.

Top Placements

Vestavia Hills High School places among the top 20% of public schools in Alabama for:

School Overview

  • Vestavia Hills High School's student population of 2,036 students has grown by 7% over five school years.
  • The teacher population of 142 teachers has grown by 11% over five school years.
AwardsHonored for National Blue Ribbon Award Blue Ribbon School (2009)
Grades OfferedGrades 9-12
Total Students2,036 students
This chart display total students of Vestavia Hills High School by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Gender %This chart display gender of Vestavia Hills High School
Total Classroom Teachers142 teachers
This chart display the total teachers of Vestavia Hills High School by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Students by GradeThis chart display the students of Vestavia Hills High School by grade.

School Comparison

  • Vestavia Hills High School's student:teacher ratio of 14:1 has decreased from 15:1 over five school years.
  • The diversity score of Vestavia Hills High School is 0.32, which is less than the diversity score at state average of 0.34. The school's diversity has stayed relatively flat over five school years.
Definition of Terms 2016-2017 School Year DataThis SchoolState Level (AL)
Overall School Rank#283 out of 1,264 schools
(Top 30%)
Math Test Scores (% Proficient)
46%
44%
This chart display the percentage of students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Math of Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of public school students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Math of public schools in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Reading / Language Arts Test Scores (% Proficient)
60%
39%
This chart display the percentage of students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Reading/Language Arts of Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of public school students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Reading/Language Arts of Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Student : Teacher Ratio14:118:1
This chart display the student teacher ratio of Vestavia Hills High School and the public school average student teacher ratio of Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
American Indian
n/a
1%
This chart display the percentage of American Indian students in Vestavia Hills High School and percentage of American Indian public school students in Alabama by year, with the latest 2004-05 school year data.
Asian
4%
1%
This chart display the percentage of Asian students in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of Asian public school students in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Hispanic
4%
7%
This chart display the percentage of Hispanic students in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of Hispanic public school students in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Black
8%
33%
This chart display the percentage of Black students in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of Black public school students in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
White
82%
55%
This chart display the percentage of White students in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of White public school students in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Two or more races
2%
2%
This chart display the percentage of students of two or more races in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of public school students of two or more races in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
All Ethnic GroupsThis chart display the percentage breakdown of students of all ethnic groups in Vestavia Hills High School.This chart display the percentage breakdown of public school students of all ethnic groups in AL.
Diversity Score0.320.34
This chart display the diversity score of Vestavia Hills High School and the public school average diversity score of Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Graduation Rate
96%
88%
This chart display graduation rate of Vestavia Hills High School and public school graduation rate of Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Eligible for Free Lunch
8%
47%
This chart display the percentage of students who is eligible for free lunch in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of public school students who is eligible for free lunch in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Eligible for Reduced Lunch
1%
5%
This chart display the percentage of students who is eligible for reduced lunch in Vestavia Hills High School and the percentage of public school students who is eligible for reduced lunch in Alabama by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
School Statewide TestingView Education Department Test Scores
School District NameVestavia Hills City School District
Source: 2016-2017 (latest school year available) NCES, AL Dept. of Education

School Notes

  • 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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School Reviews

  3.50 out of 5  (2 reviews)
5  
Today's students are in no more trouble than students of previous years. Vestavia parents have always been active in the schools. They especially get involved when they hear of students moving in the wrong direction. Taking action when needed brings about support that the schools, students, teachers, and parents want and need. There will always be students who misbehave and head down the wrong path. The schools do their best to help students learn to make the best choices.
- Posted by
2  
Academics are down from what they were years back. Disapointed with how much trouble these students are getting into compared to surrounding schools.
- Posted by

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