Midtown High School (Atlanta)

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Midtown High School
Midtown High School.jpg
Midtown High School seen from its new front entrance (Renovated 2020) on Charles Allen Dr.
929 Charles Allen Drive

Coordinates33°46′50″N 84°22′18″W / 33.780633°N 84.371613°W / 33.780633; -84.371613Coordinates: 33°46′50″N 84°22′18″W / 33.780633°N 84.371613°W / 33.780633; -84.371613
TypePublic secondary
Mottoscientia est potestas (Knowledge is Power)
Established1872; 150 years ago (1872)
School districtAtlanta Public Schools
PrincipalDr. Betsy Bockman
Faculty90.70 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment1,473 (2020–21)[1]
Student to teacher ratio14.69[1]
Color(s)   Grey and cardinal red
NewspaperThe Southerner
YearbookThe Orator
WebsiteMidtown High School

Midtown High School, formerly Henry W. Grady High School, is a public high school located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It began as Boys High School and was one of the first two high schools established by Atlanta Public Schools in 1872. In 1947, the school was named after Henry W. Grady, a famous journalist and orator in the Reconstruction Era, but controversially, a white supremacist. In December 2020, the Atlanta Board of Education announced the new name of Midtown which took effect June 1, 2021.

Midtown is located adjacent to Piedmont Park at 929 Charles Allen Drive, between 8th and 10th Streets, in Midtown Atlanta.

Areas served

In addition to Midtown Atlanta, the school serves Inman Park, Virginia-Highland, Poncey–Highland, Lake Claire, Candler Park, Old Fourth Ward, Morningside-Lenox Park, Home Park, Atlantic Station, Ansley Park, 10th and Home, the designated family housing unit of Georgia Tech, and parts of Downtown Atlanta.[2]

Elementary schools feeding into Midtown High are: Centennial Place, Mary Lin, Hope-Hill, Morningside, and Springdale Park. The Samuel M. Inman Middle School also feeds into Midtown.


Dedicatory plaque in the 1924 wing

Initially known as Boys High School, it had a Technical Department which expanded in 1909 to become a separate school: Tech High. The "Henry W. Grady Senior High School for Boys" moved to the current campus site in 1924. The 1924 structure (the wing of the campus facing Charles Allen Dr.) still stands, and has been renovated three times (1950, 1987, and 2004). Between 1909 and 1924, Tech High also moved to the campus' current location. Tech High and Boys High merged in 1947 under the name Henry Woodfin Grady High School.

Grady served as the communication magnet in the Atlanta Public Schools system from 1991 until 2011, when the school closed the magnet following a system-wide grant from the Gates Foundation to open small learning communities. From 2011 to 2015, Grady was home to four small learning communities: Communications and Journalism, Public Policy and Justice, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Biomedical Science and Engineering. In 2015, Grady High School course offerings expanded to include the following pathways: Advanced Academic, World Languages, Fine Arts, Instrumental Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, and Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE).[3] In 2016–17, it was used during the production of the 2017 Marvel Studios film Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Controversy over name

In January 2016, Henry W. Grady Middle School in Houston was renamed because Grady was a white supremacist.[4]

In February 2016, the school newspaper argued that Henry Grady's name should be removed from the school because he was a white supremacist.[5]

In July 2020, the Atlanta Board of Education formed a committee to consider a new name.[6] On December 15, 2020, the Board officially announced the name change to Midtown High School effective June 1, 2021.[7]

Curriculum and activities


Knights of Sound

The Midtown High School Knights of Sound Band (made of a marching band, a concert/symphonic band, and a jazz band).[8] It was built under the leadership of band director Dr. Dyann Ryans from 2001 to 2008.[citation needed] During this time, the Knights of Sound received numerous awards and accolades.[citation needed] Band members have received gold, silver, and bronze medals in the NAACP-ACT SO Competition held annually in March.[citation needed] In 2007, the Knights of Sound performed with Dem Franchize Boys in the video for "Talkin Out The Side of Ya Neck."[citation needed] As of July 2011, the band was under the leadership of Brian Cook.[citation needed]


The school also features a chorus.[9] It has performed at Spivey Hall (Clayton State University), Falany Hall (Reinhardt College), and the Recital Hall of Georgia State University.[citation needed] They have also performed with the William Baker Festival Singers and have annual fall performances with the Woodstock High School Varsity Singers.[citation needed]

School publications

The Unmasking

The Unmasking literary magazine was founded in 1988 as a collection of student art, literature, and criticism edited by Midtown students, published every spring. The magazine was named "Best in Show" by the National Scholastic Press Association twice, in 2005 (Seattle) and 2001 (Boston).[10]

The Southerner

The Southerner is a monthly newspaper written by Midtown students. Part of the High School National Ad Network, it has been published since 1947. The Southerner has won numerous awards, such as the Pacemaker Award and the Quill & Scroll Award, earning the publication nationwide acclaim.[11]

GNN and Gametime

Grady News Now and Gametime were Midtown High School's programs in broadcast journalism, and are also recipients of many awards. GNN won its first Pacemaker in November 2005. Gametime is a weekly show dedicated to the coverage of prevalent sports stories as well as scores and highlights from all scholastic athletic events. It won the GSPA (Georgia Scholastic Press Association) award for the best new breakthrough production.[12]


Nexus, written by Midtown students, was a bimonthly magazine. Its success in the 2004–2005 school year was at first limited, with only a handful of editions, as that was its first year and it started late. Its second year (2005–2006) saw great success when Nexus gained the Start-Up achievement award from the Georgia Scholastic Press Association. In the 2008–2009 school year Nexus won "All Southern" from SIPA.[13]

The Orator

The Orator is an annual yearbook written and designed by students.


  • Fall sports
    • Water polo - boys' and girls'; girls 3rd place in state, 2013
    • Cheerleading (2006 Regional Champions)
    • Cross-country (boys: 2017 Regional Champions; 2017 APS city champions; 2005 Regional Champions; 2003 2nd at state; 2009 APS city champions, 2010 APS city champions, 2011 APS city champions; 2016 APS city champions, 2018 APS city champions, 2019 APS city champions, 2019 2nd at regionals; 2019 3rd at state; girls: 2017 Regional Champions; 2017 APS City Champions)
    • Football – varsity and junior varsity (1953 State Champions, 2016 Regional Champions, 2014 Regional Champions, State Football Semi-Finals)
    • Softball
    • Volleyball
  • Winter sports
    • Swimming - girls 2014 City Champs, boys 2014 City 2nd Place
    • Basketball – boys' and girls' varsity and JV (2006 Regional Champion Runner-up)
    • Cheerleading (2006 Regional Champion)
    • Debate – novice, JV and varsity (see below, under "Speech and Debate")
    • Riflery – co-ed
  • Spring sports
    • Baseball – varsity and JV
    • Golf
    • Lacrosse - varsity (boys and girls)
    • Soccer (boys: 2004, 2005 Regional Champions; girls: first state playoff win ever in 2006, Final Four in 2007) - Grady soccer teams compete in region 5-AAA.
    • Tennis (varsity boys: 2017,2018, 2019 6AAAAA Region Champions, 2019 AAAAA State Runner Up)
    • Track (girls, 1988 State Champions, 2013 Atlanta City Champions; boys, 2000, Team 3rd State Class AA, 2001, Team 3rd State Class AA, 2002 Team Region Runner-up, 2003, Team 3rd State Class AA, 2005, Team Class AA State Runner-up, 2007, State runner-up and nationally ranked 4x100 relay, 2011 Atlanta City Champions, 2012 Atlanta City Champions)[14][15][16][17]
    • Ultimate frisbee - boys' and girls' varsity and JV (2012, 2017, 2018, 2019 varsity Boys state champions, 2017 Varsity Boys Southeast-Region Champions, 2018 Varsity Boys National Champions)

Clubs and extracurricular activities

  • 21st Century Leaders (Leadership Skill Building and Community Service)
  • 500 Women Scientists
  • Academic Decathlon
  • American Sign Language Club
  • Apiculture (Beekeeping) Club
  • BETA Club
  • Black Student Union
  • Book Club
  • Chorus
  • DECA (emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management)
  • E Sports
  • Earth Club
  • Fashion Club, with an annual fashion show
  • FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
  • French Club
  • Future Teachers of America (FTA)
  • Grady Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Girls Who Code
  • Grady Corps (Photography/Social Media)
  • HOSA (Future Health Professionals)
  • Jazz Band
  • Jewish Student Union
  • JROTC, Citywide JROTC Drill Team Competition: 1st Place – Color Guard Team; 2nd Place – Standard Drill Team, 1st Place Veterans Day Parade
  • Latin Club
  • Marching Band
  • Mock Trial - The team won the State Championship in 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2017. The team placed 14, 16, 8, 3, 4, and 3 at the National Championship in 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2017 respectively. The team has won the Metro Atlanta Regional competition for 12 years in a row. They also won an International Invitational Competition in New York in October 2010.
  • March For Our Lives
  • Model U.N. - numerous individual awards at the Georgia State University competition
  • Moot Court
  • MSA (Muslim Students Association)
  • National Black Society of Engineers
  • Orchestra
  • PRISM (a GSA affiliate)
  • Quiz Bowl (NAQT High School Nationals qualifier)
  • Robotics Team ("G3 Robotics")[18]
    • FIRST Robotics Competition:
      • 2005
        • Rookie All Star Award, Peachtree Regional
        • Regional Finalist, Peachtree Regional
      • 2011
        • Finalist, Peachtree Regional
      • 2013
        • Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen, Palmetto Regional
      • 2014
        • Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen, Peachtree Regional
      • 2015
        • Winner, 2015 Georgia Southern Classic Regional
      • 2016
        • Chairman's Award, 2016 Columbus District
      • 2017
        • Winner, 2017 Gainesville District
        • Winner, 2017 Columbus District
      • 2018
        • Winner, 2018 Albany District
        • Winner, 2018 Duluth District
        • Chairman's Award, 2018 Duluth District
        • Winner, 2018 Peachtree District District Championship
    • G3 Drones for Good
    • VEX - 2005 International Championship 1st place
    • BEST Robotics Competition - 2006 Regional 2nd place; awards for most elegant design, best shirt design, most photogenic robot, and Founders Award for best conceptual design
    • MATE ROV Challenge
  • SenseAbility ATL
  • SGA (Student Government Association)
  • Speech and Debate ("Jesters")
    • Public Forum, Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Extemporaneous Speech, Impromptu, Oratory, Informative, Prose Poetry, Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, and Duo Interpretation
    • GFCA State Champions: 2009-2021 (all years the sweepstakes award at the tournament has been offered)[19]
  • Students for Voter Registration
  • Theatre & Drama
  • TSA (Technology Student Association
  • Women in Transportation (STEM)

Demographics of student body

As of October 2021, the school had 1,473 students.[20]

In popular culture

Several rap videos have been shot on campus, including videos by popular artists Dem Franchize Boyz, Freak Nasty, and Outkast. In 2011, the campus hosted MTV's hit show Teen Wolf as it made its television debut. Several movies have been shot on campus, including Remember the Titans, Ride Along, The Duff, Love, Simon, and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Notable alumni

The following are notable alumni of Boys High (pre-1947), Henry W. Grady High (1947-2021) or Midtown High (2021-present), listed with their graduating class and notable accomplishments:

Name Class Notable Accomplishments
Jim Bagby, Jr. 1935 Former professional baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Pittsburgh Pirates
Charles Alvin Beckwith 1947 Special Forces officer credited with founding Delta Force
Red Borom 1935 former professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers
Hugh Casey 1932 Former professional baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Yankees
S. Truett Cathy 1939 Chick-fil-A founder (Boys High)
Stuart Eizenstat 1960 Policy advisor for the Carter and Clinton presidential administrations
Harris Hines 1961 Chief Justice, State of Georgia Supreme Court[21]
Franklin Garrett 1924 Historian of Atlanta
Lorenza Izzo 2008 Actress and model
Yolanda King 1972 Daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.
Elliott Levitas 1948 Former U.S. Congressman
Marty Marion 1936 Former professional baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns; former manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Browns, and Chicago White Sox)
Earthwind Moreland 1995 Professional football player for the New England Patriots
Nolen Richardson Former professional baseball player for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and Cincinnati Reds
Eric Roberts 1974 Academy Award-nominated actor
Dean Rusk 1924 Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969
John M. Slaton 1880 Governor of Georgia from 1913 to 1915
Supreeme Former hip-hop group whose members include Shaka "Tom Cruz" Girvan aka Dope Pope, Negashi Armada, and Sam "King Self" Terrell
Faye Webster 2014 Musician
Allen West 1979 C/LTC of the 1979 ROTC class, US Congressman from Florida
Donald Windham 1937 Playwright, editor, novelist, short-story writer, and memoirist; known for such works as The Dog Star, Emblems of Conduct, The Warm Country, and Two People; grew up on Peachtree Street
Bronte Woodard 1958 Wrote and adapted screenplay for the movie Grease[citation needed]
George W. Woodruff 1913 Former Director of Coca-Cola Company, philanthropist
Damian Swann 2011 Professional football player for the New Orleans Saints


  1. ^ a b c "Grady High School". National Center for Education Statistics.
  2. ^ "Grady Zone" (PDF). Atlanta Public Schools.
  3. ^ "HENRY W. GRADY HIGH SCHOOL" (PDF). Atlanta Public Schools.
  4. ^ Rhone, Nedra (January 15, 2016). "Henry Grady school in Houston renamed because of Confederate ties". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  5. ^ Bloom, Molly (February 10, 2016). "Atlanta school newspaper calls for renaming Grady High School". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  6. ^ McCray, Vanessa (July 2, 2020). "Grady High, Brown Middle among schools Atlanta board could rename". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  7. ^ "APS school board approves new names for Grady High, Brown Middle schools". WSB-TV. December 15, 2020.
  8. ^ "Midtown Bands".
  9. ^ "Grady High School Chorus".
  10. ^ "The Unmasking".
  11. ^ "The Southerner".
  12. ^ "Grady News Now" – via Facebook.
  13. ^ "Nexus Magazine" – via Twitter.
  14. ^ Georgia High School Track and Field. Ed. Bruce Taylor. ga.milesplit.com, March 29, 2011. Web. June 16, 2013. <http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/88146/results/152275>
  15. ^ Georgia High School Track and Field. Ed. Bruce Taylor. ga.milesplit.com, March 29, 2012. Web. June 16, 2013. <http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/113059/results/191750
  16. ^ Georgia High School Track and Field. Ed. Bruce Taylor. ga.milesplit.com, March 30, 2013. Web. June 16, 2013. <http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/139187/results/239146
  17. ^ Georgia High School Association. Ed. Steve Figueroa. Georgia High School Association, n.d. Web. June 16, 2013. <http://ghsa.net/ghsa-girls-track-champions>
  18. ^ "Team 1648 - G3 Robotics". The Blue Alliance.
  19. ^ Georgia General Assembly. "2019-2020 Regular Session - SR 396" (PDF). Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  20. ^ "APS Enrollment Data 1994-2019". December 6, 2019.
  21. ^ "IN MEMORIAM: Chief Justice P. Harris Hines" (PDF). Supreme Court of Georgia.

External links