Wenonah High School

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Wenonah High School
BCS small logo.png Birmingham City Schools
Years 1948present
Location 2916 Wilson Rd SW, (map)
Tarpley City
Grades 9-12
Principal Willie Goldsmith Jr
Enrollment 782 (2014)
Colors old gold & white
Mascot Dragons
Website bhamcityschools.org

Wenonah High School (opened in 1948) is a high school in the Birmingham City Schools system. It is located at 2916 Wilson Road Southwest in the Tarpley City neighborhood of Birmingham's Grasselli community. The principal is Willie Goldsmith.

The school was constructed after a 1946 fire destroyed the former Wenonah School, which had been established by Tennessee Coal Iron & Railroad Company at the Wenonah mining camp in 1917 and was later turned over to Jefferson County Schools. TCI donated a 16-acre parcel for construction of a new high school and elementary school and construction began in late 1946.

The new school plant was built at a cost a cost of $500,000 and included 15 classrooms, administrative office, lunchroom, athletic room, shoe repair, upholstery and radio repair shop, cosmetology, foods and clothing labs.

In January 1948, the 9-12 grade students at the elementary school, Powderly School and students from surrounding areas of Jefferson County as far away as Shades Valley and McCalla attended classes in the building led by Principal Leon Kennedy. In May 1948, the first senior class graduated from Wenonah High School.

In 1956, seven classrooms, a library and gym were added to the school plant. In September 1968, the Wenonah Area Vocational School opened to students. In the spring of 1970, a new facility was erected by the Jefferson County Board of Education at a cost of $300,000 to house the Wenonah Area Vocational School. The building was located on the southwest side of the old Wenonah High School campus.

In 1973, Wenonah High School was annexed into the city of Birmingham. Administration of Wenonah was taken over by the Birmingham Board of Education officially in December 1974. In 1981, a new gymnasium was constructed and equipped at a cost of more than $1 million.

Under head coach Emanuel Bell, Wenonah's girls basketball team amassed a 530-194 record over 22 seasons and won four straight state 5A championships from 2014 to 2017, finishing as runner-up in 2018.

2007 campus

In 2005, construction began on a new Wenonah High School, just northeast of the 1948 school campus. On August 13, 2007, classes began in portions the new $40 million school. Construction was led by Doster Construction and architectural services were provided by McCauley Associates.

The new Wenonah High School replaced the 1948 building with a 183,000 square foot facility that is built for 1,200 students. It includes a 750 seat auditorium with theatrical lighting and sound systems. The main academic building features a state-of-the art media center, computer laboratories and classrooms for science, math, social studies, English and other subjects.

The career-technical wing contains an electronics classroom with lab areas, a classroom and fully equipped commercial kitchen for the schools well-known culinary arts program and a family and consumer science classroom. There are also classrooms and labs for welding and cosmetology. Band and chorus classrooms also are part of the career-tech wing, which includes the cafeteria.

The new campus includes a gymnasium for practice and physical education classes. The "new gym" that was part of the old school, a free-standing building, was renovated and expanded into a 1,400 seat competition gym.

A new 4,500 seat football stadium with a six lane track, concession stands, restrooms and irrigation system was also built on the campus. All construction was completed in January 2008.

In the summer of 2008 environmental science teacher Ruayyah Aqeel invited representatives of the Fruit Tree Planting Organization in San Diego, California to help students plant a small orchard on campus.

In 2011, Wenonah became the home of the city's "Academy of Hospitality and Tourism" under Superintendent Craig Witherspoon's plan to establish career academies in the city's high schools. In 2017 the school was placed for the first time on the state's list of "failing schools" due to the low performance of Wenonah 10th graders on the reading and math portions of the ACT Aspire test. The school reappeared on the state's 2018 and 2019 lists.


Notable alumni


External Links

BCS small logo.png Birmingham High Schools

Carver High School | Jackson-Olin High School | Huffman High School | Parker High School | Ramsay High School | Wenonah High School | Woodlawn High School