Shades Valley High School
|Shades Valley High School|
|School type||Public secondary|
|District||Jefferson County Schools|
|Principal||Mary Beth Blankenship|
|Colors||maroon & black|
|Location||6100 Old Leeds Rd|
Shades Valley High School is a a four-year public high school located in the Birmingham suburb of Irondale. Part of the Jefferson County School System, it was established in Fall 1949 on Hermosa Drive near Homewood as a replacement for Shades Cahaba High School. It was moved to its present location on Old Leeds Road in Irondale in the fall of 1996.
 Original campus
The Homewood City Council, concerned about growth of the city and its effect on the student population at Shades Cahaba High School, formed a special school committee in 1942 to let the Jefferson County Board of Education know that "proper consideration" had not been given to the needs of the area. The committee's report, issued in spring 1943, called for the construction of a new high school, which the city offered to help finance construction of. Jefferson County Superintendent John E. Bryan, did not respond favorably at first, but eventually caved as citizens' demands increased.
A joint venture between the county schools, Homewood, and newly incorporated Mountain Brook was suggested and, in 1945, a study by the Bureau of Educational Research at the University of Alabama found it feasable. In May 1947, both cities' citizens voted for a five-mill tax to support their schools, with two mills going toward the purchase of land and support of a new high school. The county school board purchased 40 acres in the Sweetwater Park Survey between Birmingham and Homewood and adjacent to Lane Park for the new school, approximately 1/2 mile from Shades Cahaba. Van Keuren & Davis designed the new school and Daniel Construction won the project bid at $2.1 million, significantly more than the original construction estimate of half a million dollars. Frank Peake, formerly principal of Hewitt-Trussville High School, was named principal of the new school. Nineteen faculty members from Shades Cahaba transferred.
When the county school board announced that the school was to be named Shades Valley instead of maintaining the Shades Cahaba name, many citizens of Homewood were outraged. Shades Cahaba was to be maintained as the elementary school's name, which would continue in the old high school's building, although Shades Valley would continue the use of the Mountaineers (or Mounties) athletic teams' names. 1,600 students and graduates of Shades Cahaba signed a petition over the new name and the Homewood City Council, Shades Valley Exchange Club, and Shades Valley Athletic Association all presented resolutions to the school board requesting the Shades Cahaba name be used, but the school board stayed with Shades Valley.
The new school, although not completed, opened to students on September 12, 1949. Only the west wing, containing the offices, library, and ten classrooms, was finished at the time. Additional classes met in the library, school buses, and the hallways, while the band and graphic arts department continued to meet at Shades Cahaba. Construction continued while classes met and the school was completed, finishing with the auditorium, just prior to graduation. The formal dedication took place May 25, 1950.
Shades Valley was designed to house 1,500 students. Initial enrollment in 1949 was 870. By 1955 it was up to 1,456 and then 1,701 in 1956. However, in 1959, Mountain Brook formed its own school system. Initially, students were allowed to continue attending Shades Valley for a fee while Mountain Brook constructed its own high school. Despite Mountain Brook students leaving, by 1967 enrollment reached 2,000. In 1970, Homewood also formed an independent school system, operating under a similar arrangement of allowing students to attend Shades Valley while Homewood High School was built.
 Irondale campus
In 1994, the Jefferson County School Board voted to acquire land for a new site for Shades Valley High School. The new, 42-acre site was located in Irondale, almost eight miles from the school's original location. A groundbreaking ceremony was held October 18, 1994 at the new site and the new school building opened to students on August 14, 1996.
The Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School is located on the same campus. Dabbs Technical Academy is located several miles away on a different campus. The school's academies include business, theater, and technical. Because of the draw from the county, SVHS/JCIB serves a diverse student body population. SVHS/JCIB serves ninth grade through twelfth grade and had an enrollment of 1182 students in the 2006-2007 school year. The administration consists of a principal and five assistant principals, one who primarily serves at JCIB.
- Frank A. Peake, 1949–1970s
- Royce G. Creel, 1970s
- T. Lundy Clements, 1978–1990
- Richard Lazenby, 1990–1997
- Janice Dennis, 1997–2001
- Kay Lindsey, 2001-2003
- Jane Baker, 2003–October 2011
- Mary Beth Blankenship, October 2011–present)
Shades Valley High School's colors are maroon and black, and the athletic teams are called the "Mounties". Sports include football, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys tennis and golf, wrestling, swimming, boys and girls cross country, volleyball, track, girls and boys soccer, baseball and softball. The baseball team played for the state 4A championship in 1980, finishing runner-up to Davidson High of Mobile. The boy's basketball team has won numerous Jefferson County, region, and area championships, as well as playing in the state final four in 1954, 1962, 1971, 1980, and 1984. Boy's basketball finished runner-up in the state in 1971 to A. H. Parker High School of Birmingham. The girl's basketball team has also won numerous Jefferson County, region, and area championships and played in the state final four in 1997. The boy's soccer team won state championships in 2001, 2004, and 2006, and finished runner-up in 2000. The football team has won close to 500 games all-time, which is the most all-time wins for any team in Jefferson County. Football has also accumulated a total of 13 region and area championships, three undefeated regular seasons, and finished runner-up in the state in 1987 and 1994. The boys track team won the state championship in 1966. Also, the boys golf team won the state championship in 1957.
 Notable alumni
- Edward Burgess, chemist
- Miller Gorrie, chairman of Brasfield & Gorrie
- Hubert Green, professional golfer
- Marion Hobby, professional football player
- Wade Kwon, journalist and blogger
- Elizabeth MacQueen, sculptor
- Saleem Rasheed, professional football player
- Shannon Shorr, professional poker player
- Van Snider, professional baseball player
- Sperry Snow, jewelry store owner
- Luther Strange (1970), attorney and lobbyist
- Reginald Turner, professional basketball player
- Hulen, Tara and John Davis. (March 25, 1994). "Shades Valley, Clay To Get New Schools." The Birmingham News
- "Jeffco Turns First Dirt For Shades Valley High." (October 19, 1994). The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent. (August 7, 1996). "New Shades Valley High $19 Million School Opens At Mid-Month." The Birmingham News, page 1-A .
- Summe, Sheryl Spradling. (2001). Homewood: The Life of a City. Homewood, AL: Friends of the Homewood Public Library.
- "Shades Valley High School" (April 12, 2010) Wikipedia - accessed April 12, 2010.