Crestview High School (also known as CHS) is the only high school in the city of Crestview, Florida. It is the largest in Okaloosa County. The mascot of the school is the bulldog. In January 2007, Ed Coleman replaced Andy Johnson as principal after serving as vice principal at Niceville High School. Crestview High School is known for its curriculum in several career choices such as the Aviation and Aerospace program, sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Information Technology Institute, Army JROTC, mechanical and electrical engineering classes, culinary arts, music and drawing.
The boys' basketball team won a state title in basketball in 1985. The cheerleading squad won a state title in 2010.
The first school in Crestview was a two-story frame building. It opened in 1879 on Highway 85, where the cemetery is today. The family names of some of the students who attended this school are still familiar today, among them Lance Richbourg, the Ferdon brothers, Opal Clark, R.D. Bush, and Alice Hart. At that time, the students went to school only four months out of the year. They learned the three "R's" during school and battled hogs at lunchtime.
In 1916, the original school was destroyed in a fire. Okaloosa County had just been formed and had appointed its first Superintendent, W.G. Prior. Until they had a new school, the students were taught in a room at a small church. The church stood were the Harris Building and the Church of Christ are today.
In 1917, the school was replaced by a small building across from the courthouse. It had only five rooms and 70 students. At that time, there was only two people in the faculty - Carey Rice (who was a principal, teacher, and general handyman) and her assistant principal. This school had increasing enrollment until it was destroyed by fire in 1920. After that, the students then crammed into an old Baptist Tabernacle for classes.
For the next six years, the county consolidated its school system. The schools went from 64 one-room buildings to 14 larger institutions with varied equipment and curriculum. The first seniors graduated from Crestview in 1924. There were only three - Purl Adams, Julia Adams, and Alton Clary.
In 1926, there was another new Crestview School, this one located at U.S. Route 90 and State Road 85. In 1928, Crestview High School became an accredited institution. By 1937, Crestview High School contained 200 students from grades one to twelve. The population of Crestview had reached 3000.
During World War II, Eglin Air Force Base was built. The money from the national defense effort helped Okaloosa County progress. Education facilities were expanded and re-built. In 1942, Northwood Elementary School was built and grades one through eight were moved there. Crestview High School housed ninth through twelfth grade.
In 1953, disaster struck again, in the form of another fire. It was only a few hours before the students were going to be released for Christmas break. So, another new school was built - what is now the former Richbourg Middle School. It had 23 classrooms, a library, an office, a gym, a clinic and a lunchroom. The school cost $519,000 to build. There were 22 teachers that taught the 520 students enrolled there.
In 1969, Crestview High School had expanded so drastically that it was necessary to build another school building. This new campus is the present day school.
The Crestview High School Chorus Chorus features five different choirs: Chanticleer, Destiny, Chorale, Women’s Choir, and Men’s Choir. Over the years, CHS Choirs have performed on the steps of the United States Capital in Washington D.C., at the Delores Basillica in San Francisco, at the St. George Cathedral in London, three times on the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York, and the Grand Ole Opry stage in Tennessee.
Chanticleer and Destiny Show Choirs have frequently been featured at Walt Disney’s EPCOT Center, Animal Kingdom, Grand Floridian Hotel,Downtown Marketplace, and regional show choir competitions. Since 1995, Chorale has been selected for eight performances of the Disney Candlelight Processional. For over a decade, CHS Choirs have consistently received Superior ratings at both Florida Vocal Association District and State level Music Performance Assessments.
They have earned Gold and Silver ratings in national competitions in Georgia, Mississippi,California and Tennessee, and at an international festival at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. The Crestview Choral program also performs locally throughout Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia counties.
Crestview High School Chorus has the following divisions:Chanticleer - Made up of ten male and ten female vocalists who perform 20 – 30 times during each school year, Chanticleer is our elite competitive show choir both locally and nationally.
Destiny- Made up of twenty-four female vocalists, Destiny is a competitive show choir that sings and dances both locally and nationally.
Chorale- This choir is our large mixed choir. Members must maintain a 2.0 gpa and master basic musicianship to be included. There are 70 – 80 members in this group each year.
Men’s & Women’s Choir- These choirs are where all students first start their vocal training. However all chorus students perform in these groups during concerts and District and State MPA.
The Crestview High School Band, nicknamed 'The Big Red Machine', was organized in 1938 and has become a major organization in Crestview. The band has traveled to many locations across the United States, with recent trips including the 1997 Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona, the 2000 Marshall Field's Jingle Elf Parade in Chicago, Illinois, the 2002 Hollywood Christmas Parade in Hollywood, California, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. and the 2016 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis, Indiana
In 2005 the Big Red Machine participated in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as the official "Santa band". In honor of this event, December 6, 2005 was proclaimed "Crestview High School Band Day" by Mayor George H. Whitehurst.Charles Chapman, County Administrator, Hendry County.
Terry Taylor, class of 1982, former Major League Baseball player.
Tom Hammonds, class of 1985, former NBA player.
John Bale, class of 1992, Major League Baseball player.
Blake Dean, class of 2006, Major League Baseball player.