High Schools

Additional historical information about a school may be found on its school website. Visit the "About Us" section of a school's website to read more about its history.

Bayside High
Opening Date: 1964
First Principal: Norman W. Morris
Interesting Facts:

Bayside High opened in 1964, housing grades eight through 12. Currently, Bayside houses grades nine through 12. In September 2002, the Health Sciences Academy was implemented at Bayside High.

Cox High
Opening Date: 1961 (original bldg.); 1983 (present bldg.)
First Principal: Walter Carroll (original bldg.); Lottie Waters (present bldg.)
Interesting Facts:

The original Frank W. Cox High opened in 1961, with an enrollment of 1,673 students in grades 8-12. Frank W. Cox High was named after a former superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools who served as the school division's leader from 1932-1968. The first senior class graduated from Cox High June 11, 1965. In 1968, Cox graduate Bill Bruner, was the first National Merit Scholar from Virginia Beach.

The present Cox High building opened in the fall of 1983 and the original building located at 1848 North Great Neck Rd. presently serves as Great Neck Middle. The present Cox High building is located on 2425 Shorehaven Rd.

First Colonial High
Opening Date: 1966
First Principal: James C. Mounie
Interesting Facts: First Colonial is the first high school in the area to have a Demonstration Library, one of four in the state.

First Colonial High opened in 1966 serving the Lynnhaven and Beach Boroughs. The Legal Studies Academy has been housed at First Colonial High since 2002.

First Colonial’s school mascot is the Patriot. The school seal incorporates the mascot along with a waterline which represents the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean along with the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse which was commissioned by George Washington. There are also three ships, the Discovery, the Susan Constant and the Godspeed, which are representations of the first landing in 1607 of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

Green Run High
Opening Date: 1979
First Principal: Wylie French
Interesting Facts: Green Run is one of three Virginia Beach schools built on land that can be traced back to the Algonquin Indian settlements.

The school opened in September 1979 as the largest high school in Virginia with 247,000 square feet. The facility was constructed with 75 classrooms and laboratories along with 8 industrial shops. The site for the school was previously used for fox hunting by the Princess Anne Hunt Club and later used as a garden farm for the Norfolk City Jail. The site was owned by a Mennonite farming family until it was sold in the late 1960’s as part of the Green Run planned development.

In 1985, portable classrooms were needed to accommodate the large student body. By 1988, Green Run High had an enrollment of 3,000 students. Salem High opened in 1990 and Green Run’s student population dropped to 1,500.

Kellam High
Opening Date: 1962 (original building); 2014 (present building)
First Principal: Jefferson Davis
Interesting Facts: The knight and school colors – black, white and gold, were taken from the Kellam family’s coat of arms, which the school adopted.

Floyd E. Kellam High opened in 1962, serving the largest geographical area of any school in Virginia Beach. The school is named after Judge Floyd Eaton Kellam, who practiced law in Princess Anne County until 1946. The Governor of Virginia appointed him to take the 18th Judicial Circuit of Virginia and he remained on the bench until his death in 1958. Kellam’s first graduating class of 176 students received their diplomas in June 1965. A new two-story wing was completed in 1967.

In 1994-1995, with the opening of Ocean Lakes High, attendance areas were rezoned, causing an enrollment drop of 450 students with a proportional loss of teachers, counselors and administrators.

Enrollment increased to a student population of 2,300 from 1998 to 2001. With the opening of Landstown High in 2001, Kellam High underwent another rezoning and an enrollment drop of nearly 300 students. Following the opening of additions at Landstown High and Ocean Lakes High during the 2006-2007 school year, a rezoning alleviated overcrowding.

The Virginia Beach School Board approved the acquisition of the Manchester Station property Jan. 5, 2010. This 108-acre property serves as the replacement site for the new Kellam High, located at 2665 West Neck Rd. The new Kellam High School opened in January 2014.

Kempsville High
Opening Date: 1966
First Principal: Norman W. Morris
Interesting Facts: Kempsville High has been used as a high school and an elementary school.

Kempsville High was built in 1941. It served the community as a high school until 1954, at which time it became an elementary school. A new school opened in the fall of 1966 with approximately 1,800 eighth and ninth grade students. Tenth grade was added in the fall of 1967, eleventh grade in the fall of 1968, and finally a senior class in the fall of 1969. Today, Kempsville High houses grades nine through 12.

The history of the Kempsville area is depicted by symbols on the school seal and the seal is emblematic of a new history in the making. The Chief, who is the dominant figure on the seal, represents the early settlers, hence the explanation of the "Kempsville High Chiefs." The fact that industry produces reward is symbolized by a plowshare and crops. The tomahawk crossed with the peace pipe shows the acceptance of human differences and the compatibility that comes through the untied effort of all.

Landstown High
Opening Date: 2001
First Principal: John Frossard
Interesting Facts: Landstown High was the first Virginia Beach high school built in the 21st Century.

Landstown High is a state-of-the-art facility designed for 2,000 students. The school is built on a 65-acre campus covering 274,701 square feet. It features two identically designed two-story academic wings which house classrooms, a 1,800-seat gymnasium, media center, cafeteria and a 665-seat auditorium. The facility is also the site of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools' first Technology Academy. Additional amenities include a performing arts complex, a physical education complex and cutting-edge technology systems that include the most complete complement of voice, data and video.

The Technology Academy has been housed at Landstown High since 2001. In December 2005 construction was started on a twenty-classroom addition, which was completed in January 2007 with a dedication ceremony held May 2, 2007.

Ocean Lakes High
Opening Date: 1994
First Principal: Jerry Deviney
Interesting Facts: In 1997, Ocean Lakes hosted the inaugural Virginia High School League Student Leaders Conference.

Ocean Lakes High opened in 1994. The 330,525 square foot building is one of the largest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In September 1996, Ocean Lakes High became the site for Virginia Beach’s first magnet school with 196 students enrolling in the Mathematics & Science Magnet Program. It is now known as the Mathematics & Science Academy.

In December 2005 construction was started on a twelve-classroom addition and completed in January 2007 with an addition dedication May 30, 2007.

Princess Anne High
Opening Date: 1954
First Principal: J. Warren Littleton
Interesting Facts: Princess Anne High School is the oldest secondary school in Virginia Beach. In June 2013, the school celebrated its 60th graduating class.

Princess Anne High opened in August 1954, with 1,558 students and 62 teachers. It was formed from the consolidation of the three high schools that served Princess Anne County. The student population peaked in the early 1970's to approximately 2,800 students.

As of September 2014, the school serves approximately 1,800 students in grades 9-12, including the West Building, which serves secondary level severely handicapped special education students from the entire city. The school houses an International Baccalaureate Program which opened in 1995.

The school was modernized several times beginning in 1985. The most recent changes occurred during the 1995-1997 period. A fire destroyed about one-third of the building in September 1995, four days before the new school year began. After the fire, the majority of classes were held in Celebration Station, a vacant shopping mall approximately two miles east of the main campus for the entire 1995-1996 school year. Buses "shuttled" students from classes at Celebration Station to portable classrooms at the main campus in the fall of 1995, and then to classes in a new wing which had been under construction prior to the fire. The new wing (the 900 hall), consisting of 26 science classrooms and labs, opened in January 1996. Meanwhile, the entire front of the 2-story building known as the 200 hall was completely rebuilt. The second floor library, where the fire originally started, was rebuilt and expanded over a first floor "multi-purpose" addition. A new wing for art classes/studios was added behind the renovated administrative offices in the front of the building.

The school reopened in January 1997. A dedication was held May 4, 1997.

Salem High
Opening Date: 1989
First Principal: Wyley French
Interesting Facts: A student/parent committee selected the name SunDevils to represent Salem High in the spring of 1989. A SunDevil is a weather phenomenon much like a Dust Devil, in which unusual weather is caused by a high amount of sunlight.

Salem High opened in September 1989 and is a 258,862 square foot facility. The Salem High seal was designed in 1996 and displays a scalloped circle that depicts the various aspects of the school: the book and pen for academics; the mask, lyre and paintbrushes for the fine arts; and the torch and rings for athletics (also to denote that the seal was designed in an Olympic year). The sun is representative of both the SunDevils and the seven boroughs that comprise Virginia Beach. The lighthouse is a symbol of Virginia Beach, and the clasped hands are characteristic of unity and harmony in the school and within the community.

The Visual and Performing Arts Academy has been housed at Salem High since 2004.

Tallwood High
Opening Date: 1992
First Principal: Bernard E.Morgan III
Interesting Facts:

Tallwood High opened its doors in 1992 with a population of 1,748 students. The unique design of the building provides students with lots of large windows, columns, a courtyard area, arched walkways and a general atmosphere of openness. In 2004, the Global Studies and World Languages Academy was implemented at Tallwood High.

The History of the "Tallwood" Plantation
Nathaniel Nicholas House (Tallwood) is currently standing at 1676 Kempsville Road in Virginia Beach. William Nicholas came to Kempsville in 1642. His grandson, Nathaniel Nicholas, inherited the family plantation south of Kempsville in 1746, on which he had already built the "Tallwood" house in 1740.