Douglass High School (Atlanta)

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Frederick Douglass High School
United States
Coordinates33°45′40″N 84°28′05″W / 33.761173°N 84.46813°W / 33.761173; -84.46813Coordinates: 33°45′40″N 84°28′05″W / 33.761173°N 84.46813°W / 33.761173; -84.46813
Motto"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
School districtAtlanta Public Schools
CEEB code1110164
PrincipalDr. Ellis Duncan
Staff64.30 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment929 (2017–18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio14.45[1]
Color(s)Black and old gold
RivalsBenjamin Elijah Mays High School Kipp collegiate
NewspaperThe North Star
Georgia School of Excellence1983-84 National Blue Ribbon School U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
WebsiteDouglass High School

Frederick Douglass High School is a public school located in northwest Atlanta, Georgia, United States, bordering the Collier Heights and Center Hill communities.


Since 1968, Frederick Douglass High School has served the communities of historic Collier Heights, Peyton Forest, Cascade Heights, Center Hill, and the city of Atlanta. Atlanta Public Schools established Douglass High School to relieve overcrowding at nearby Harper, Turner, and West Fulton High Schools. All three of these (as well as the defunct Archer High School) eventually merged with Douglass.

About 800 students attended Douglass High School as of 2016, making it one of the smaller high schools in the Atlanta Public School System.

From 2002 to 2004 the school was renovated to update the main building and add a gymnasium and auditorium.[2] These buildings honor former principals Lester W. Butts and Samuel L. Hill. In 2009, Frederick Douglass High School was listed in the National Historic Registry as one of the buildings in "The Collier Heights Historic District: Atlanta's Premier African American Suburb".

Front entrance


Douglass High School is made up of several small learning communities:

  • CFEAT - Center for Engineering and Applied Technology
  • C&J - Communications and Journalism
  • HTM - Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Marketing[3]
  • B&E - Center for Business and Entrepreneurship

Feeder patterns

Elementary schools feeding Douglass are Grove Park, F.L. Stanton, Usher, and White. Middle schools feeding Douglass are Harper-Archer and Kennedy.

Student activities


Inside the gymnasium
Inside the old gymnasium
Outside the new gymnasium

Douglass High School competes in the Georgia High School Association Region 6, the state's second highest classification of 4A. The school's teams are known as the Astros, and its colors are black and gold.

The sports available for competition are softball, varsity and junior varsity football, cross country, varsity and junior varsity girls' and boys' basketball, track and field, boys' and girls' soccer, golf, and air rifle. All home varsity football games are played at Lakewood Stadium.

The boys' basketball program has won the state championship once (in 1984). However, the team has reached the final four 16 times (1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1999), and has captured 27 regional championships (1970–1985, 1987–1991, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2008). They have played in the finals seven times (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1984, 1991).

Douglass' dominance was achieved under two coaches, Donald Dollar (1971–1991) and Jesse Bonner (1992–2000). The girls' basketball team reached their first state final four in March 2007.

The football team has reached the state finals once (1975), and has sent numerous athletes to college on scholarships. They have won five regional championships, in 1975, 1978, 1995, 1998 and 2004.

Douglass has three tennis courts to accommodate their varsity tennis team. Students are encouraged to join whether they are beginners or avid players.

The girls' track and field team won the state championship title in 1993 and the boys' track team won the state crown in 1994. The boys' track team also won the 4x400 state title and finished second in state in 2008.

Other championships

Since 1993, the school has been a participant in the Stock Market Game, sponsored by the Georgia Council on Economic Education. In spring 2000, it became the first and only predominantly black high school in the Atlanta Public School System to win the state championship. Team Coach and Sponsor Jill Dockett Beracki is a graduate of the high school. On May 7, 2010, Douglass' team, led by captain Brandon Dykes, won the National Championship sponsored by the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education. The five-member team, Beracki, and Dr. Martin of the Georgia Council on Economic Education were flown to Washington, D.C. to attend an awards ceremony at the Capitol. They were honored by Congressman John Lewis. Beracki had taught at Douglass for 26 years. [4]

Marching Astros

Douglass' Marching Astros Band has competed in the annual Original Battle of the Bands Showcase and in jamborees locally and out of state. They have been highly televised and voted the #1 band in the Atlanta Public School District in the 2017-18 season. They also appear in parades and perform at events including by invitation. V.H. Moody, the former band director, was the longest working band director in Atlanta Public Schools. The current band director is Micah Wynn.

The band has made trips to Philadelphia, Nashville, Florida, Bermuda, Magic City Classic, the Florida Classic in Orlando, and to the nation's second largest St. Patrick's Day parade, in Savannah. They were invited to perform at the New England Patriots' halftime show and selected members performed at the Super Bowl XXXIII halftime show. The percussion section, known as DDD (Douglass Deadly Drummers), have been featured on television, opening show for nationally televised games, and performing for known celebrities and government officials. In 2005, DDD won the First City and Statewide Drumline Competition, first place in APS and third place in State, bringing home the first cash prize and trophy for a single performance. The Douglass Deadly Drummers won a drumline competition against Osborne High School on September 17, 2011.

In 2017 The band also received first place at the Annual High stepping nationals competition in North Carolina and also placed first in ; Auxiliary, Music, And also Best drum major . They also marched in two Mardi Gras parades (Thoth & Rex) thanks to tuba section leader Stephon Wheeler who reached out to artist and alumni Killer Mike, Lil Jon and T.I who all contributed funds and helped fundraise for the trip.

“Where there is no struggle, there is no progress”

Band director Micah Wynn along with Stephon and drum major Joshua Koonce were interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WGCL-TV (cbs 46) making the public aware of their efforts to get the band to New Orleans.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Ricky Byrdsong 1974 Former Northwestern University basketball coach; the Ricky Byrdsong Foundation was started after his death by his wife, Sherialyn Byrdsong [5]
Milton Campbell 1994 Track athlete, record holder for the indoor 4x400 meters relay [6]
Ahmad Carroll 2001 Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Orlando Predators, and New York Jets cornerback [7]
James Davis 2005 Tailback for the Washington Redskins [8]
Harold Ellis 1988 Played for the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets; Atlanta Hawks scout [9]
Sonny Emory 1980 Musician, composer, producer, and professor [10]
Jeremie Foster 2012 Percussionist, composer, software developer and former head percussion section leader of both Douglass High School and college alma mater Bethune-Cookman University. [11]
Jarvis Hayes 1999 New Jersey Nets, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards [12]
Robert Hicks 1993 Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills [13]
Dexter Scott King 1980 Actor, documentary filmmaker and civil rights activist; second son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [14]
Killer Mike 1993 Rapper [15]
Kilo Ali 1991 Rapper [citation needed]
Bernice King 1982 Attorney, author, orator, minister; daughter of Dr. King, Jr [16]
Jamal Lewis 1997 Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns [17]
Lil Jon 1988 Rapper and producer [18]
Finesse Mitchell 1990 Actor, Saturday Night Live, 2003-2006 [19]
Chris Morris 1984 New Jersey Nets [20]
Pill 2003 Rapper [21]
Stanley Pritchett 1992 Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins [22]
Leslie C. Smith 1982 Major General, United States Army [citation needed]
T.I. NA Rapper, actor [23]
Unk 2000 Rapper [citation needed]
Keisha Lance Bottoms 1987 60th Mayor of Atlanta. Assumed office in 2018.


  1. ^ a b c "Douglass High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  2. ^ Frederick Douglass High School Archived April 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ at Archived May 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Georgia Council on Economic Education, Georgia State University
  5. ^ Staff. "Ex-coach killed, Jews injured as gunman stalks Chicago", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 4, 1999. Accessed January 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2009-07-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Staff. "GEORGIA RECRUITING NOTEBOOK: Bulldogs waiting for top recruits", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 28, 2001. Accessed January 14, 2009.
  8. ^ Petrak, Scott (August 8, 2009). "Browns rookie running back James Davis attracting big-time attention with his big-play skills". Chronicle-Telegram. Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Co. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Staff. "A dual concentration: Pro player's camp puts focus on academics, too", , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 21, 1997. Accessed January 14, 2009.
  10. ^ News & Events - Yamaha United States
  11. ^ Snare Drum Solos & Song Covers - Youtube
  12. ^ Prospect Profile: Jarvis Hayes
  13. ^ Oscar Dillard All Sports Academy Archived March 2, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Keeper of the Flame :
  15. ^ Godfrey, Gavin (August 7, 2014). "Local alums reminisce about their glory days". Creative Loafing. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Bernice King Archived February 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Zisner, Lynn. "PRO FOOTBALL; Jamal Lewis Charged in Drug Case", The New York Times, February 26, 2004. "At the time of the alleged crime, Lewis, who had graduated from Douglass High School in Atlanta, was waiting to attend his first N.F.L. training camp."
  18. ^ Besthoff, Ben (July 27, 2010). "Best Lil Jon quotes". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  19. ^ The Finesse Mitchell Picture Pages
  20. ^ Chris Morris Past Stats, Playoff Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards Archived 2010-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Garland, Maurice G. (January 27, 2010). "Hard to swallow: Pill raps Atlanta's grim reality". Creative Loafing. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  22. ^ Stanley Pritchett Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards - Archived 2010-02-18 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Hip-hop Heavyweight T.I. Reveals his Early Ambition as a High School Freshman Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine