MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis' Whitehaven High School is definitely a special place. It’s one of the highest performing schools in MCS. The school’s football team recently won the state championship, and students are receiving millions of dollars in college scholarships.
On our recent visit to Whitehaven High, the high pitch of violin strings could be heard weaving through the halls. The school's top notch orchestra is no stranger to hard work.
"After school we come about 2 or 3 days a week and some of us even come when we don’t have rehearsal just to practice on our individual stuff," said student Johneice Anderson.
These students have performed all across the city and state, even at the famed Peabody Hotel. But it’s not just the arts that are important here. Whitehaven is the only school in the state with an Arabic class.
Whitehaven High is an optional school, with an emphasis on business, finance and international studies. Principal Vincent Hunter says the Arabic program plays a key role in that focus.
"It’s the best feeling that you could ever have to see young people who are preparing to be something special in life," he said.
And get this - just this year alone students here have gotten nearly $20 million in college scholarship offers.
"They offered me $88,000; University of Evansville offered me $14,000 a year - I have Mary University, they offered me $32,000," said student Regina Jackson, who is well on her way to a free college education. "So far I’ve applied to 87 schools and I have close to $800,000 dollars in scholarships right now."
Whitehaven High also excels in athletics. This past football season the school took home its first ever state championship.
Coach Rodney Saulsberry told ABC 24, "It’s a surreal feeling you know, you work for it, it’s something we’ve been talking about for years."
Student Darrius Sims added, "It’s a wonderful feeling, every time I see the gold ball it just symbolizes the struggles, the blood, sweat and tears we have to go through, so it’s a great feeling."
From academics to athletics, Whitehaven High School is definitely a cool school.