School Spotlight: Lee High Magnet School

As part of our Education posts each Tuesday, RCM is featuring a monthly “School Spotlight” to help our readers learn more about private and magnet schools in Madison County. We will continue to highlight the happenings at area public schools, and are excited to expand our education coverage to include more options for local students and their parents.

The original Lee High School was built in 1957, but Huntsville City Schools constructed a new 250,000 square foot facility on Meridian Street designed for 1,200 students that includes a new Lee Lyric Theatre. This beautiful building also houses New Century Technology High School, which was previously a virtual entity at Columbia High School since the mid-1990s.

Lee High has produced some amazing talent throughout the years, recently the two Huntsville City School’s Outstanding High School Choral Students for the 2013-14 school year were both students from the Lee High Magnet Program. The region’s Best Actress Award also went to a LHS student, Bryna Toland.

The School

Name: Lee High School Magnet Program for the Arts
Phone: 256-428-8150
Location: 2500 Meridian St. Huntsville, AL 35811 (map)
Website: www.leehigh.org

Grades/Ages of Students: Grades 9-12

School Mascot & Colors: Lee Generals, light & dark blue

Current Enrollment: 811 students

Student/Teacher Ratio: 16:1

Religious affiliation: None

School Mission The mission of Lee High School is to provide equal opportunity for all students for the best possible education in an effective learning environment.

Lee High students performed "The Wiz" last year at Lee Lyric Theatre.

Lee High students performed “The Wiz” last year at Lee Lyric Theatre.

Rocket City Mom recently interviewed Adam Landingham, Art Teacher & Coordinator for the Magnet Program for the Arts at Lee High School in Huntsville.

What is your school’s predominant educational philosophy? In the magnet program, we provide intensive study in many different areas of the fine arts, including vocal performance, theater, visual arts, creative writing, dance, photography, video broadcast journalism, and orchestra. We believe in the importance of the arts to creating a well-rounded, creative, and successful student, and we prepare our students to pursue both academic and creative endeavors after high school.

What extracurricular opportunities exist for your students? Students can participate in all of the extracurricular opportunities available to both Lee High and New Century students. These include, but are not limited to, all of the athletic teams, cheer leading, Beta Club, Academic Team, Robotics, Anime Club, JROTC, Choir, Creative writing, Dance, Engineering, Orchestra, Student government, and other school organizations here.

Lee Collage final

What advice do you have for parents looking for a school for their child(ren)? Don’t be afraid to explore different options. I am always happy to speak to students and parents about our program so they can see if what we offer is right for them. And don’t feel like the choices you make in the 9th grade have to be the choices you make for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.

Describe your admissions process. Any student who is zoned for Huntsville City Schools is eligible to apply. Applications can be found at www.leemagnet.org, or with middle school counselors. Applications are submitted to me, along with a copy of your latest report card and a letter of recommendation from a related studies teacher. Recommendation letters can also be found at our website. We then have auditions for all applicants on February 1, or auditions can be arranged with students who can’t make it on that day.

Making props in class.

Making props in class.

What sets your program apart from other local schools? What sets our program apart is that students in the magnet classes take those classes for two consecutive periods a day, and can take them for all four years of high school. Magnet classes are smaller, which allows for more one-on-one instruction, and also creates closer relationships between both students and teachers and the students themselves. We call ourselves a FamiLEE, and we take that seriously. Speaking for myself, I love teaching the students, and I love being able to see them grow as artists, as students, and as people over the four years of high school.