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Hampton High School (Virginia)

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Title: Hampton High School (Virginia)  
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Subject: Bethel High School (Virginia), Educational institutions established in 1875
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Hampton High School (Virginia)

Hampton High School
1491 West Queen Street
Hampton, Virginia, 23669
United States
School type Public high school
Founded 1875
School district Hampton City Schools
Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith
Principal Tiffany Hardy
Kevin Davis
Assistant principals Patrina Jenkins
Kimberly Sharpe
Anthony Grimes
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,606 [1] (2013-14)
Language English
Color(s)           Red and White
Mascot Crabbers
Rival Bethel High School
Phoebus High School Kecoughtan High School

Hampton High School is a public secondary school located in Hampton, Virginia. It is the oldest of the four current high schools in Hampton Public Schools, built in 1956. It is an International Baccalaureate World School with the Diploma Programme. Hampton High is the first high school in the Hampton city high school division and the second largest district in Hampton. Hampton High School is the oldest public school in the U.S.A. as it evolved directly from the Syms-Eaton Academy, which combined two of the earliest schools in America.


  • History 1
  • Feeder pattern 2
  • Accreditation and rankings 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Athletics and extracurricular 5
    • Football 5.1
    • Basketball 5.2
    • Scholastic Bowl 5.3
    • Drama club 5.4
    • Concert and Marching bands 5.5
    • State championships 5.6
  • Notable alumni 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Hampton High School traces its roots to the first free school founded in the American Colonies, the Syms-Eaton Academy, which opened its doors on February 12, 1634 as the Syms Free School. Syms is the oldest free school and the first endowed educational institution in the United States. In 1634 Benjamin Syms left 200 acres (0.81 km2) and 8 cows to provide a free school for children of the parish. In 1659 Thomas Eaton, a 'cururgeon' (surgeon), left 500 acres (2.0 km2), buildings, livestock, and two slaves for a school to serve Elizabeth City County. The schools were so popular that in 1759 an act was necessary to provide for the attendance of only poor children at Eaton School. In 1805 the schools were merged by act of the General Assembly and called Hampton Academy, which in 1852 became part of the public school system. Its building was burned in 1861 and rebuilt after the war, finally taking the official name of Hampton High. The first graduating class was in 1896, consisting of two students: Miss Bessie Birdsall and Miss Blance Bullifant. From the early 20th century, Hampton High was ranked in the top ten of schools in Virginia, and the West Point Military Academy acknowledged that it accepted Hampton graduates without requiring them to take the West Point entrance exam. The current building for Hampton High dates to 1956; due to the layout of the building, it earned the nickname "Little Pentagon" because of its "seemingly endless hallways."

Feeder pattern

  • Hunter B. Andrews School
  • Bassett Elementary School
  • Armstrong Elementary School
  • Cooper Elementary School
  • Tyler Elementary School
  • Davis Middle School
  • Eaton Fundamental Middle School
  • Lindsay Middle School
  • Jones Magnet Middle School

Accreditation and rankings

Hampton High School is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education based on its performance on the Virginia SOL Tests. It was included in Newsweek Magazine's "Top 1200" high schools in 2008 and 2009 and the "Top 1600" (top 6%) in 2010.[2]


In the 2005-2006 school year, Hampton was 81% Black; 14% White; 3% Hispanic; and 2% Asian.

Hampton High is also the oldest public school still in use. The school was featured in national news in the summer of 1995 for the celebration of the centennial graduating class (1996). There is a section of seating at football games for the alumni that are in their 70s and 80s.

Athletics and extracurricular

The school's official mascot is a crab, although athletic teams are referred to as the "Crabbers." Occasionally, Freddie the Crab can be found on the sidelines at football games. The Crabbers compete in Group AAA, the largest group in the state, Peninsula District and Eastern Region of the Virginia High School League.


In the 1980s the Crabbers went to 10 straight state championship games, winning 8. The Crabbers have the Peninsula District/Eastern Region/State Record for most consecutive wins. Before the 2005 season, their most recent title was in 1998, which was the last of a string of four straight AAA championships. The Crabbers have won 18 state titles and 2 National High School titles. Hampton High School is also ranked the #9 dynasty in the country in the history of football 1


Hampton is also known for its basketball teams. The girl's team is a perennial contender within the district, winning the district title more often than not in the last decade, including all of the last seven. The Lady Crabbers are the 2006-07 Eastern Region Champions and the VHSL Group AAA State Champions. Also, the Hampton High boys' team finished first in the district in the 2011-2012 season going on to win the AAA state championship.

Scholastic Bowl

The 2006-07 season marked Hampton's first trip to the VHSL Eastern Region Scholastic Bowl. After finishing second in both the PD Regular Season and Tournament, the Crabbers advanced to the regional meet and surprisingly placed third, losing to frequent regional-champion Princess Anne High School of Va. Beach by a mere 15 points - one question away from qualifying for the VHSL State meet.

Drama club

In 2011, the Hampton High School Drama Club competed in the District One Act Play competition, where they were second only to Menchville. They then went on the Regional level and took sixth place there.

Concert and Marching bands


In 2010-2011, the Hampton High School Band earned their first VBODA Virginia honor band title, which is the highest award any school in the state of Virginia can earn. In 2012 the Hampton High School band once again earned the title of Virginia Honor Band for the second year in a row, becoming the second school in Hampton to earn the title twice. In 2010 the band, for the first time in school history, attended State Marching Band Assessment. The bands earned superior ratings in their first attempt at assessment. In the spring, the concert bands performed grade 2 and grade 4 literature at State Concert Assessment and earned unanimous superior ratings.

In 2011, the marching bands earned 16 high awards and the Grand Championship award at the first annual Warhill Classic. In 2012, the Crabber Band earned 29 first place awards, and the second place "Grand Champion" at the Warhill Classic, while going undefeated in class throughout the season. The Crabber marching band at the Hanover Hawk Invitational competed in the "AAA" class and earned Grand Champion, competing against 24 bands across the Commonwealth ranging from members 40-180. In Spring 2012, The Symphonic Band earned straight superior ratings at State Concert Assessment in all categories from all four judges for the second year in a row. The band traveled to the Kings Dominion Festivals of Music concert band competition and earned "Best High School Band", and "Grand Champion" of the event.

In 2012 The Crabbers once again continued their success in competitive marching band, earning over 26 first place awards, two grand championships and superior ratings with the concert groups at State Concert Assessment. Hampton Hosted VBODA District 8 Concert Assessment. Hampton was only one of seven groups to earn superior ratings, and only one of two schools (Grafton HS and Hampton HS) to have all performing groups earn unanimous superiors.

In 2013, the Crabbers earned VBODA Virginia Honor Band again. Both of the concert bands earned Superior Ratings in grade 4/5 and 3 music respectively. The marching band earned a combined score of 98 at State Marching Assessment, as well as all "A"s in all captions. The Percussion section went undefeated for the second year in a row in class. The bands earned Grand Championships at the Menchville Monarch Competition, the Hermitage Classic, and the Hanover Hawks Marching Invitational. This is in addition to winning their class at every competition in the 2013 season. The Band also participated in a concert band clinic at The University of Virginia, prior to State Concert Assessment.

For five consecutive years, from 2010 to 2014, the Pride of the Peninsula has been the highest scoring band out of the City of Hampton at the annual Holiday Parade.

The bands are currently under the direction of Mr. Steven Kunka[3]

State championships

Hampton has won 35 state championships, which are:

  • 2 High School Football National Championships (1996, 1997)
  • 17 in football {10 in AAA (1936, 1942, 1948, 1950, 1969, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1985); two in AAA Division 6 (1986, 1988); five in AAA Division 5 (1995–1998, 2005)}
  • 7 in boys outdoor track (six in the now defunct Division B in 1926-30 and 1932; one in IA in 1961)
  • 5 in boys basketball (one in the now defunct Division I in 1939; one in the now defunct IA division in 1969; two in AAA in 1989 and 1997 and also one in 2012)
  • 3 in AAA boys cross country (1957, 1962, 1967)
  • 2 in AAA girls basketball (2001, 2007)

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Hampton High School Report Card". Virginia Department of Education. Retrieved 2015-07-19. 
  2. ^ Hampton High, is a Fully Accredited high school serving approximately 1600 students in grades 9-12. It is an International Baccalaureate World School and has been recognized in Newsweek Top 1200 High Schools for the past three years.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Alfred Bernard Vandeweghe obituary. Retrieved on March 24, 2014.

External links

  • Hampton High School - Official website.
  • VHSL-Reference
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