The S9 Legacy

The S9 Legacy

Sparkman 9th grade was established in 2006. The history of the school is an unknown topic to most students within S9. There is a history behind our school and it is important to know. Throughout the years many things have changed. 


To find out how things have changed I interviewed S9 English teacher Beth Knight. She has been teaching here since before the separation of S9 and SHS. She has experienced most of the important events and decisions throughout S9’s history. Here’s what she had to say about the school’s history.


“During the last three or four years prior to S9 being built, the SHS student population was in the top 3 for the state of Alabama. The current SHS was built in 1997, but it was basically too small for its student population when the building opened. By 2000-2001, the building was adding new areas to help alleviate the growing population. Around this time, there were several schools around the country that merged more than one middle school that were separating the 9th-grade students from the upper-grade levels” says Knight


The building of S9 was a historic moment in the schools’ history. It allowed freshmen within the high school to get a more direct learning experience. This allowed them to prepare for 10th, 11th and 12th grade. While this helped the freshman it also allowed the high school as they were given a solution to overcrowding.


“Moving the 9th graders to a new school would not only help the students develop as a cohesive high school class, but it would also help alleviate the overcrowding at SHS,” says Knight.


The solution seemed crazy when it was first mentioned and many teachers questioned the construction of a separate building. They found the concept difficult to grasp but it has since been proven successful. The building has since allowed 9th graders to immerse themselves in the high school experience in their following years.


“Personally, I believe it is a good format. It helps organize classes and it gives the freshmen students time to form a cohesive group after being in separate middle schools. Ninth graders didn’t really get an opportunity to know one another or have a chance to bond as a class when the schools were together.” says Knight


The overall effect of the separation can be interpreted in many different ways but most will conclude that it has been a positive separation allowing the freshmen students to bond before what will surely be some of the best days of their lives.