McMinn County High School is a student-centered learning community committed to cultivating academic and personal success for all students.
Be Good. Be Kind. Go Tribe.
The first McMinn County High School was a result of the purchase of the Athens Female Academy on April 20, 1903, by the county court. The building was a two- story frame building and was situated on five acres of land in Athens. County students arrived at the new high school on September 7, 1903. The school graduated only seven students the first year, and for several years the graduating classes remained small. However, because the school was experiencing growing pains in 1913 with a graduating class of thirty students, school officials determined that the frame school was entirely too small. Finally, plans were made in 1923 to build a large, brick school. McMinn established itself in a new school in 1926 on West Madison Street, which was also the route of old Highway 11.
In 1951 McMinn County High suffered a fire that destroyed the wing opposite Madison Avenue. Classes were held at nearby Keith Memorial Methodist Church and at the National Guard Armory. Another minor fire in a part of the building over the school library delayed the opening of the school year to August of 1952.
Throughout the life of this brick structure, many additions were made to accommodate more and more students. These additions included a new library, cafeteria, band room, and gymnasium. By the year 1969, as the student body continued to increase and the building showed signs of aging, plans for a new school were made. In 1980, construction was completed on the current building.
McMinn County High School has had many outstanding principals throughout the years. B.L. Hale became principal in 1928, serving a long tenure during the Depression and through World War II. Many other outstanding principals include:
J. Will Foster, R.E. Childers, Don Weir, Ralph Nunley, Jim Parris, John Forgety, Oran Creasman, J.C. Burris, Johnny Grubb, John W. Burroughs, David McDonald, and our current Principal Joe Young.
McMinn County High School is proud to be the oldest high school in East Tennessee and the second oldest high school in the state of Tennessee.