LearnBoost welcomes Lee High School
Lee High School is a four-year public high school that serves students in grades 9-12 from Huntsville, in Madison County, Alabama in the United States, as a part of Huntsville City Schools.
Lee High School was named after General Robert E. Lee and for a long time, his painting, mounted on his horse and holding the Confederate flag, was on the Gymnasium wall. Years later the flag was painted over, and today the more politically correct story goes that, Lee High School was named for the Lee Highway, which runs in front of the current school location. (And down Andrew Jackson Way until 1963) The current facility for Lee High School was constructed in 1958. (its first few years it operated as a Jr. High School as Rison was closing and Chapman was opening.) 1964 was the first graduating class.
In 1986, the Huntsville City Schools created the Lee Arts and Pre-Engineering Magnet programs. This program draws students from other schools in the city to Lee for study and opportunities in specific areas. The arts magnet has been rather successful, attracting talented students for theater and vocal music opportunities.
Currently, the Huntsville City Schools are planning to construct a new facility for Lee High School next to the current location. Similar to the reconstruction of Huntsville High School in 2003-04, the current building will remain in use until the new facility is completed, and then will be torn down. The new building is 250,000 square feet and designed for 1,200 students. One issue in construction has been the Norfolk Southern railroad that is next to the school, and plans include a raised bridge to allow students to access playing fields that will be across the track from the classrooms.
The school sponsors a number of clubs and organization in which students may participate. 
On November 21, 2006 a school bus transporting Lee High School students to a local trade school careened over a retaining wall on an elevated part of Interstate 565 at the U.S. highway 231 exit and plummeted 30 feet.
Killed in the initial crash were Nicole Ford, 19, Christine Collier, 16. Tanesha Hill, 17, died later at Huntsville Hospital. A fourth victim, Crystal Renee McCrary, 17, died the day after the crash. Anthony Scott, the bus driver, and 14 students were hospitalized, according to Huntsville Hospital spokeswoman Pam Sparks.
Huntsville Police spokesman Wendell Johnson said a 1990 Toyota Celica apparently hit the Laidlaw Education Services-contracted school bus. The bus driver apparently attempted evasive action, and a reaction sent the right tire climbing up the protective barrier. The bus's momentum caused it to teeter on the wall briefly, flipped upside down, careening headlong onto the ground below. It was unclear if the driver jumped or was ejected, though National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Debbie Hersman said the bus driver was found on the overpass, and that, "We are trying to determine why the bus driver was on the overpass."
Investigating agencies at federal, state and local levels include the NTSB, Alabama State Department of Transportation, Alabama Department of Public Safety, and Huntsville Police Department.
Thad Sokolowski, a 17-year-old Lee High School eyewitness said, "The orange car was going to pass the bus. He thought something was wrong with the car, like his tire got blown out because it started fishtailing." He added that the orange Toyota hit the bus, "but not hard. It was a bump," adding that the bus "skidded down the rail and it was gone."
His description of the wreck was given to his mother, Bonnie Sokolowski, and published in the Huntsville Times, because he did not want to speak with reporters.
Police Chief Rex Reynolds said evidence will be presented to a Grand Jury, as is required by state law for fatalities involving minors, and added that charges have not yet been filed against the 17-year old Toyota driver. Chief Reynolds said the bus driver had a clean driving record.
Mass chaos ensued and Crestwood Medical Center and Huntsville Hospital, the two local hospitals, both activated their Mass Casualty action plans. Emergency response personnel from throughout the area were called upon to assist in rescue efforts. Huntsville Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Sherrie Squyres said all off-duty hospital medical and nursing personnel were requested to return to work, and that three trauma surgeons and one neurosurgeon were committed exclusively to accident response.
Among the problems facing hospital and rescue personnel was the absence of personal identification among the victims. Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said that the Lee High School principal had initiated a student ID card program, "but not every student carried the ID."
Brad Holley, Field Director for Alabama Department of Education, noting the tragedy said "We have not had a student killed while riding a school bus since 1969." Huntsville's last school bus related fatality was November 19, 1968 when a bus transporting students from Lee High Chapman Junior High Schools careened off Bankhead Parkway on Monte Sano Mountain above Tollgate Road. Faulty brakes caused that wreck.
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