Dobyns Bennett High School

Dobyns Bennett High School
Dobyns-Bennett High School
Kingsport, Tennessee, United States

36°32′13.5″N 82°31′47.8″W / 36.537083°N 82.529944°W / 36.537083; -82.529944Coordinates: 36°32′13.5″N 82°31′47.8″W / 36.537083°N 82.529944°W / 36.537083; -82.529944

Type Public
Established 1918
School district Kingsport City Schools
Principal Dr. Chris Hampton, EdD
Enrollment 1822
Color(s) Maroon      and Grey     
Mascot Indian

Dobyns-Bennett High School is a high school (grades 9-12) in Kingsport, Tennessee. It is estimated to have around 1,800 some students.

As a part of Kingsport City Schools, students must be city residents paying city taxes to attend. Students that are not residents of the city may pay a tuition fee to attend. This tuition is considered to be a good value as Dobyns-Bennett features a variety of programs for students of all academic levels. The many classes offered cater to many types of students who may want to attend technical schools or universities across the nation.



Dobyns-Bennett High School was first organized as a regular standard high school in 1918-19. Before that date some high school work had been done as advanced work in the elementary schools. The high school was approved by the State Board of Education in 1919 and was accredited by the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges in 1922.

The first organized high school was housed in a wooden building located where the First Presbyterian Church now stands. The Central High School building was completed in 1918 and was used until 1926 when the high school was moved to new quarters at the present John Sevier Middle School. To honor the first mayor of the city, J. W. Dobyns, and the first Chairman of the Board of Education, W. M. Bennett. The name was changed in 1926 to Dobyns-Bennett High School.

Because Dobyns-Bennett included both junior high school and high school, the building soon proved inadequate, and in 1934. the junior high was moved to Lincoln, and a new Lincoln School was built. In 1946-47 it became evident that Dobyns-Bennett was again being outgrown. Some of the freshmen had classes and home rooms at the junior high. In July 1947, disaster struck Dobyns-Bennett when the auditorium burned, and the shop and home economics department were destroyed. A new auditorium and a cafeteria below it were completed in December 1948. Construction also began on additions to the building in the fall of 1948, which were completed a year later. From the late 1920s until desegregation was achieved in 1966, Kingsport's Black students attended Ted Williams School at the corner of Center Street and East Sevier Avenue. By 1958, D-B was beginning to outgrow its facilities again and, when one looked ahead, there was a need for a still larger, more comprehensive, school structure.

In 1965 construction was begun on the new school. It was completed and in use by the fall of 1967. Since that time, both the curriculum and the student body have continued to grow. Highlights of the expansion included the new opening of the vocational wing in 1976, an event which introduced new shop programs to the D-B curricula. At the same time, the ninth grade was added to the school for the first time in twenty-five years while Kingsport's two junior high schools were converted to middle schools. Presently Dobyns-Bennett serves all the students in the City of Kingsport grades nine through twelve.[1]


The Dobyns-Bennett campus includes the Buck Van Huss Dome, a local landmark and the largest non-industrial facility in Kingsport and surrounding area. The Dome is the home of the Dobyns-Bennett boys basketball team and the DB Lady Indians. The dome is adjoined to Dobyns-Bennett and is used for sporting events, wellness classes, as well as student spirit events. The school also has an artificial turf football field that was installed in 2008.


On June 4, 2009, the Kingsport City School Board announced the former Andrew Johnson Elementary School principal, Lenore Kilgore, as the new principal.[2] Mrs. Kilgore was replaced in June 2011 by former assistant principal, Dr. Chris Hampton. The school's assistant principals are Eric Lyons, Brian Tate, Randy Quillen, Beth Cohen, and Brian Cinnamon with Athletic Director Cary Daniels[3] rounding out the administration.[4]


Dobyns-Bennett has a long tradition of excellence in sports. The boys basketball team is the winningest basketball program in the country with over 2100 wins. The Baseball progam is the 3rd winningest program in the country and the football team is the winningest football program in the state of Tennessee. Also longtime baseball coach Mike Ritz and longtime basketball coach Buck van Huss both rank in the top ten in wins in the country in their respective sports.[5]

Thanks in part to the school's long history, in January 2007, a boys basketball team's victory made Dobyns-Bennett the first basketball program—high school, college or professional—in the country to win 2,000 games.[6]

Music and the Arts

Dobyns-Bennett is also home to the largest marching band in the state of Tennessee with over 330 members. The band is under the direction of Lafe Cook, Ryan Gilbert, and Jason Walsh. The Band has a tradition of excellence and has performed on the national stage at such venues such as Lucas Oil Stadium, University of Phoenix Stadium, and the Georgia Dome. The band has performed twice in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade and will make its sixth appearance in the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade this November. The Dobyns-Bennett Wind Ensemble also has a long tradition of excellence and has performed at the Midwest Clinic twice, last in 2009.[7] The Dobyns-Bennett Music and Performing Arts Department also includes the orchesta and Chamber orchestra under the direction of Ross Bader, multiple chorus ensembles under the direction of Beverly Shuck and the Drama/Theatre program "The Dramahawks."

Radio station

Local radio station 90.3 FM WCSK is broadcast from the Career and Technical Building at Dobyns-Bennett.[8]

Notable alumni

  • Blair Fowler - YouTube Celebrity who left the school after being bullied when classmates found out about her rise to fame
  • Bobby Dodd - Hall of fame quarterback at University of Tennessee and coach at Georgia Tech

Four Dobyns-Bennett alumni have played Professional Football:

  • Ed Cifers - End, Tennessee (1941–1942, 1946 Washington Redskins; 1947-1948 Chicago Bears)
  • Bob Cifers - Back, Tennessee (1946 Detroit Lions; 1947-1948 Pittsburgh Steelers; 1949 Green Bay Packers)
  • Hal Miller - T, Georgia Tech (1953 San Francisco 49ers)
  • Gerald Sensabaugh - S, East Tennessee State and North Carolina (2005-2008 Jacksonville Jaguars; 2009-2010 Dallas Cowboys)


External links

See also

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