Reynolds High School

R.J. Reynolds High School

Reynolds High SchoolR.J. Reynolds High School
301 N. Hawthorne Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Phone: (336) 727-2061
Fax: (336) 727-2053
Website: Reynolds High School
Hours: 8:55 am – 3:40 pm
Principal: Art Paschal
Assistant Principal: Tony Mills
Assistant Principal: Saundra Scales
Assistant Principal: David Small

R.J. Reynolds High School is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and is a part of the WS/FC School System.  It is the oldest high schools in the local school system and has an interesting and rich heritage of educating some of the finest students in North Carolina.

Reynolds High School Mission Statement:

reynolds high school mascotThe mission of R.J. Reynolds High School is to graduate students capable of meeting life’s challenges by providing a positive and safe learning environment conducive to the varied needs and abilities of its students. We believe that

  • Students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community share the responsibility for advancing the school’s mission.
  • Students should be provided a safe and comfortable environment conducive to learning.
  • Students are valued as individuals with unique needs and abilities.
  • Student self-esteem is enhanced by positive relationships and mutual respect among students and staff of all races and cultures.
  • Students learn in different ways and should be provided with a variety of instructional approaches to support their learning.
  • Students learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process.
  • Students should be able to produce quality work which demonstrates their understanding of essential knowledge and problem-solving skills.
  • Students must be provided with continuous improvements in the area of technology to meet the challenges of a changing society.

Reynolds High School: Arts Magnet

Since 1923, Reynolds High School has celebrated a proud tradition of academic excellence. Its graduates have served in state, local and national leadership roles in government, industry and the arts.

From the beginning, the arts have been an important part of Reynolds High School’ academic offerings and a source of pride for students, parents and alumni. As a magnet school, Reynolds High School will expand its arts offerings, providing students with a range of opportunities from exploring the various disciplines to extensive experiences in preparation for careers in the arts.

The magnet program is open to students from throughout Forsyth County, with transportation is provided through Magnet Express Bus Runs. Students are assigned to Magnet Express Stops near home and buses transport them to Reynolds High School. Tuition students from neighboring counties are also welcome to apply.

Reynolds High School Snapshot

  • Average class size 25
  • Faculty members & administration 130
  • Freshman English classes 20
  • Student enrollment 1850

R.J. Reynolds High School History

reynolds memorial auditoriumR.J. Reynolds High School is located in the heart of Forsyth County and has proudly served the community of Winston-Salem since its opening in 1923.

The school fulfilled the need for a new city high school after fire destroyed Winston High School on Cherry Street. The site for the school was made possible through the generosity of Katherine Smith Reynolds Johnston.

The original school building and auditorium have been extensively renovated and because of their architectural significance and continued contribution to public and cultural education, they are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Students at Reynolds High School have a wide range of academic choices, providing a niche for every talent and interest. We strongly believe in the education of the whole child and encourage participation in extracurricular activities.
Among our strengths are a high academic tradition, a diverse student population, strong parental support and an active alumni association.

Important Historical Events of R.J. Reynolds High School

Reynolds High School in the 1910′s

  • 1918: Richard J. Reynolds dies at age 68.
  • 1919: Charles Barton Keen, the architect of the Reynolda House, designs the school.

Reynolds High School in the 1920′s

  • 1922: Construction begins on the school building early in the year. Construction on the Auditorium doesn’t start until July.
  • Jan. 9, 1923, Tuesday Evening: After reopening from Christmas vacation that day, the old Winston High School (a.k.a. Cherry Street High) is gutted by a great fire.
  • Jan. 15, 1923: The news, yet uncompleted, school building holds classes for the first time.
  • June 1923: Volume 12 of the Black and Gold is printed. This time, however, the yearbook carries the R.J.Reynolds High School name instead of Winston High School.
  • May 8, 1924: The Richard J. Reynolds Memorial Auditorium is dedicated. A few weeks later, it holds its first commencement exercises.
  • May 24, 1924: Katharine Reynolds Johnston dies in a New York hospital after giving birth to a son. On May 26, a public memorial service is held-standing room only–in the Auditorium which she had built but never saw completed. Area offices, stores, and businesses are closed in memoriam.
  • Nov. 17, 1924: The first issue of the Pine Whispers newspaper is distributed.
  • Nov. 24, 1924: Harry Houdini performs in the Auditorium. (The trapdoor on the stage is still “nicknamed” in his honor.)
  • 1926: Field Hockey team wins state championship.

Reynolds High School in the 1930′s

  • Spring 1933: B.C. Dunford, Jr. ’33 composes the school song “Her Portals Tall and Wide”.

Reynolds High School in the 1940′s

  • December 8, 1941, Monday: The student body gathers in the gym to hear President Roosevelt’s Declaration of War speech.
  • 1945: Golf team wins state championship.
  • January 1948: Key Club is founded. On May 21, they host the school’s annual “Variety Show” – a predecessor to the Key Club Follies.
  • 1948-49: Senior Service Club’s (SSC) first year.
  • 1949: Basketball team wins state championship
  • Spring 1949: Tommye Ring ’49 composes the new Alma Mater “Amid the Pines”. The old song “Her Portals Tall and Wide” becomes school hymn.

Reynolds High School in the 1950′s

  • 1951: Golf team wins state championship
  • Dec. 3, 1952: Football team wins state championship
  • 1953: Track team wins state championship
  • 1955: Track team wins state championship
  • Nov. 28, 1957: The Dancing Boots give their first performance at the Piedmont Bowl in Bowman Gray Stadium.
  • 1958: Football team wins state championship
  • Dec. 6, 1959: The Band and Boots perform at the Washington Redskins game.

Reynolds High School in the 1960′s

  • 1962: Track team wins state championship
  • 1963: Winston-Salem and Forsyth County consolidate schools into one system.
  • 1964: Football team wins state championship
  • Spring 1968: The nickname “Society Hill” surfaces from rival schools. The golf team wins state championship.
  • Fall 1968: New girls’ gym and history building are opened. History building is attached to cafeteria built in the late ’50′s. Girls’ gym is to the right of the old gym.

Reynolds High School in the 1970′s

  • Fall 1971: Due to a court ruling on required busing, the school system creates a two-year junior high-school, high school and senior high-school system. Reynolds becomes an 11th and 12th grade senior high school with graduating classes often numbering more than 800.
  • Spring 1973: The Black and Gold staff produces a commemorative 50th Anniversary history of Reynolds.
  • 1974-1978: Cross Country team’s reign of the state championships.
  • 1975: Basketball team wins state championship.
  • 1976: Tennis team wins state championship.

Reynolds High School in the 1980′s

  • 1982-83: Reynolds observes its 60th Anniversary with assemblies, guest alumni teachers, and a special Homecoming Parade.
  • Spring 1984: Swimming team wins state championship.
  • Fall 1984: RJR opens for the first time as a four-year high school due to school system’s restructuring. (Mount Tabor returns to being a rival school.)
  • June 1985: The boy’s gym is named for retiring athletic director Herman Bryson.
  • 1985: Girls tennis team wins state championship.

Reynolds High School in the 1990′s

  • 1991: Girls Tennis team wins state championship.
  • Summer 1991: Major renovations begin on the third floor.
  • Spring 1992: The R.J. Reynolds High School Alumni & Friends, Inc. is organized.
  • Oct. 31, 1993: The main school building, after a $6.5 million renovation, is rededicated in a service that also commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the school.
  • Sept. 9, 1994: The Reynolds-Parkland stadium on Clemmonsville Road is dedicated as the Deaton-Thompson Stadium in honor of former RJR principal Bob Deaton and former Parkland football coach, Homer Thompson.
  • Spring 1997: The 75th class graduates from R.J. Reynolds High School.

Reynolds High School in the 2000′s

  • May 2000-September 2002: Reynolds Auditorium is closed for renovations. Graduation Exercises are held at the Coliseum.
  • 2000-2002: The men’s basketball teams reign as state championships. The three consecutive trophies is an N.C. record.
  • 2000: The Women’s track teams wins the state championship.
  • Sept. 14, 2001: All college and professional football games for the weekend have been postponed due to the national crisis. However, high school football is allowed to play. Reynolds plays at East Forsyth.
  • Spring 2002: RJR’s 80th class graduates in the Coliseum.
  • May 2003: Class of ’03 donates the portrait of Principal Stan Elrod.
  • December 2004: The granite obelisk monument to Katherine Smith (Reynolds) Johnston is relocated to the school campus.
  • Stan Elrod leaves Reynolds to become principal at Reagan, a newly created high school in Pfafftown. Tony Mills is named interim principal.
  • 2005: Dr. Art Paschal becomes Reynolds High School’s 6th principal.
  • October 2007: Reynolds becomes a Magnet School for Visual and Performing Arts.
  • May 2008: Reynolds inducts 12 into its inaugural Sports Hall of Fame class.

Directions to R.J. Reynolds High School


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12 Responses to Reynolds High School


    Hello, Reynolds was that school where I learned English from 1992 to 1994. Those wonderful years…….. And ma esl class was the best, I would like to know about that teacher, but right now I do not remember her name.

  2. C. Peter Deane, Jr. says:

    I am a member of the class of ’68. I befriended one of the co-editors of “Pine Whispers” during her graduating year: 1965. I have been able to find her year book, but “Whispers” was a newspaper and not included.

    I also have a copy of the 1968 year book which is not included on the “” website, but would be interested in up loading it, now that I have a new scanner.


    • denny hughes says:

      Did you happen to know any of the Hughes brothers? Dennis, Melvin or Fred? My father was Dennis and he recently passed away without telling me anything about my ancestry. I know about his two brothers and actually saw Melvin in the 1965 year book so I know he attended. He looks just like my father – it’s haunting. Anyway, thanks in advance for your help – if you are able to at least.

  3. Stephen Headen says:

    Reynolds high school was the best high school ever that i’ve been to it was so so amazing omg. i wrestled their too and everytime when they have a meeting we go to the audtourm and i see that every amazing stars came to that school and now theirs people coming their and talking about how it was great to be in front of a idle a star but that gave me an idea to become a star like them to but im goin to be a chef and do everything that i want to do like make a brand new school and get rememberd by alot of people by doing great things real talk lol omg i can’t wait until i graduate from high school and be a star lol. byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  4. Wiliam says:

    I wish I was at Reynolds but I’m stuck in Jacksonville Florida!

  5. Robin Clarke McBride says:

    I attended in 1970 and 1971 during a time when marijuana was taking over. A lot of my classmates dropped out and became fulltime hippies. I dropped out in 10th grade, got my GED immediately and left for Colorado. I turned out OK, but hope students today are more responsible than we were. Dont drop out if at all possible. Seek guidance first. I would like to attend theatre productions in the newly restored auditorium but dont see a schedule of events here.

    • Winston Salem Schools says:

      Hi Robin,

      Here’s a link the the school calendar. That should give you what you need. Otherwise you’ll need to call the school office at (336) 703-4145 where the hours are 8:55am – 3:40pm.

  6. Lucille (Holt) Trimble says:

    In June of 1937 I graduated from this beautiful High School. I am wondering
    how many of the ’37 graduates are still living, Mr. Joyner was our Principal
    and Miss Mary Wiley was my English teacher – wonderful memories!

  7. Jasmar Wagner says:

    I am looking forward to coming to this school in 2012-2013′s school year.

  8. William Boyle says:

    From the some of the above comments, it is obvious that RJR needs another English teacher like Miss Stephenson. She was “old school” and she taught ENGLISH! I went directly to the advanced English class my freshman year at W&L, thanks to her insistence that we learn the language!

    My best to any members of the class of ’61 who happen upon this site as well as to any other Nam vets! We’re getting old, it seems, and perhaps irrelevant to those who followed us in later years at RJR . . . as our parents and grandparents often seemed to us!

    BTW, Is there a roster anywhere of RJR war vets?

    Bill Boyle ’61

    • J D Parks says:

      I am trying to locate an M. Richard Jones who went by “Dick”. I don’t know that he attended this school but he did work for R J R at their Puerto Rico plant during the early 1970′s. Might you know of him or perhaps others that might have attended during the late 50′s or early 60′s?

      Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated in this endeavor.

      J D Parks
      Fairbanks, AK

  9. Shinika Austin says:

    RJR was a great experience for myself. Class of ’94!!! I am very proud that my son now attends there and he has the same Number I had while there. He had No. 11 for JV football, and No.11 for JV Basketball. I am so proud and excited because No.11 was my number on Varsityt the last year I played for RJR. I am very pleased that the coaches saw the needs of the students and communicated effectively with the other staff for turoting. This means alot to myself and my son, for his previous transitinoto highschool was bumpy but now he at my old school and the communication is better.

    Where is Class of 1994!! We have not had a reunion yet and we need one!!

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