Harman Patil (Editor)

Central High School (Memphis, Tennessee)

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Type  Public
School district  Shelby County Schools
Grades  9-12
Mascot  Warrior
Established  1909
Principal  Gregory McCullough
Area  2 ha
Phone  +1 901-416-4500
Central High School (Memphis, Tennessee)
Motto  Enhancing The Tradition of Excellence
Address  306 S Bellevue Blvd, Memphis, TN 38104, USA
District  Memphis City Schools, Shelby County Schools

Central High School is a public high school (grades 9-12) in Memphis, Tennessee. Since it was founded in the early 1900s and is considered the first high school in Memphis; Central is often called "THE" High School. It is a part of the Shelby County Schools Optional School system where it is recognized as a school specializing in college preparatory programs. The principal is Gregory McCullough. Central's mascot is the Warrior and the school colors are green and gold. For recognition as the successor to Memphis High School, the first high school in Memphis, Central High's football team, rather than having artwork denoting the "Warrior" mascot, simply has a capital "H", for THE High School



Central High was built in 1911, when the current building was erected on Raleigh Avenue, now called Bellevue Blvd. It is in the Jacobean Revival architecture style, with corner pavilions on the west facade, and rusticated surrounds on the upper story windows. Though there have been additions, the school retains is architectural integrity. Central High's building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 17, 1982.


Central High School offers a traditional program of academics as well as an 'Optional' Optional College Preparatory Program. Honors and ADvanced Placesment courses are offered.


In 2014, 405 students received diplomas. ACT composite scores for the 2014-2015 school year were 18.1 vs 19.8 for the state and 21.1 national.

Extra-Curricular/Clubs and Organizations

Central High school is known for its many clubs in foreign language, volunteer service, and honor societies. Central's extracurricular activities include:

Central's concert choir under the direction of Mr. Gaylon Robinson has won many awards in the state and nation. Central's band adopted their own mascot called "Sam." (Spirit, Attitude, Musicionship) Central currently has two new band directors - Mr. Ollie Lidell and Mr. Roderick White. Central also has many successful athletic teams. The most notable are the softball team, cross country, basketball and track teams. The Lady Warrior Basketball team won the City and Regional Championships and were semifinalists at the state level in 2010. The Student Council is also very notable in the city, having participated in national and international student council conventions.

Noteworthy Alumni

  • Avron Fogelman - (Prominent Memphis Businessman)
  • Alex Chilton - (musician of the Box Tops – “The Letter” - would have been CHS '69, but dropped out when The Letter became a hit)
  • Bette Greene - (CHS ’52; author “Summer of My German Soldier”)
  • Kemmons Wilson - (Creator of the Holiday Inn)
  • Charles W. Burson - (CHS '62; legal counsel and chief of staff to Vice-President Al Gore)
  • George Barnes alias Machine Gun Kelly
  • Terry Manning - Music producer, Photographer
  • William Sanderson - (CHS ’62; 'Larry' on the Newhart show)
  • John Farris - (CHS ’55; author “Harrison High”, a fictional account of Central High)
  • William G. Leftwich, Jr. - (Marine killed in Vietnam)
  • William F. Barnes - (Football coach at UCLA)
  • Peter Taylor - (short-story writer and novelist)
  • Lester Hudson - Professional Basketball Player
  • William Poduska (CHS '55) - electrical engineer, businessman, and professor
  • Edward L. Stanton III - United States Attorney & Federal Judicial nominee
  • References

    Central High School (Memphis, Tennessee) Wikipedia

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