Indian Springs School
Indian Springs School is a private school
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

 that includes grades eight
Eighth grade
Eighth grade is a year of education in the United States, Canada, Australia and other nations. Students are usually 13 - 14 years old. The eighth grade is typically the final grade before high school, and the ninth grade of public and private education, following kindergarten and subsequent grades...

 through twelve
Twelfth grade
Twelfth grade or Senior year, or Grade Twelve, are the North American names for the final year of secondary school. In most countries students then graduate at age 17 or 18. In some countries, there is a thirteenth grade, while other countries do not have a 12th grade/year at all...

 with both boarding
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 and day
Day school
A day school—as opposed to a boarding school—is an institution where children are given educational instruction during the day and after which children/teens return to their homes...

 students. It is at the base of Oak Mountain
Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama's largest state park at . It is located in Pelham, Alabama and is convenient to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city....

, in Indian Springs Village
Indian Springs Village, Alabama
Indian Springs Village is a town in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 2,225....

, Shelby County
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama and a part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. It is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky. The county seat of Shelby County is Columbiana. As of 2010 U.S. Census the population was 195,085. Shelby...

, Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, near Pelham
Pelham, Alabama
Pelham is a city and suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 14,369, but has grown to 21,352 recorded by the 2010 census. It was named for famed Confederate American Civil War officer John Pelham...

 and just outside Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...



Indian Springs School was founded in 1952 by Birmingham-born, MIT-educated businessman Harvey G. Woodward, who left in his will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 the funds and instructions for creating the school at his death in 1930. In some ways, his vision was progressive. Woodward wanted to make the school available to both upper-class and lower-class people. He instructed that the school should champion a holistic approach to learning (the school's motto is "Discere Vivendo", or "Learning through Living"). During its first years, the school was a working farm, which the students tended, although this element was shortly eliminated. However, Woodward also stipulated that the school could admit only whites
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

, non-Jews
Religious segregation
Religious segregation is the separation of people according to their religion. The term has been applied to cases of religious-based segregation occurring as a social phenomenon, as well as to segregation arising from laws, whether explicit or implicit....

, and boys
Sex segregation
Sex segregation is the separation of people according to their sex.The term gender apartheid also has been applied to segregation of people by gender, implying that it is sexual discrimination...

, limitations that all were eventually challenged and abolished. The school is now praised for its wide diversity.

Indian Springs opened in 1952 with ten staff members and sixty students. The first director of the school was Louis "Doc" Armstrong. He made several changes to Woodward's original plans for the school, most notably Woodward's request that the school not be preparatory
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...


By the 1970s, the school had grown to include equal numbers of day students and boarders. An eighth grade was added, and the school began admitting girls in 1976.

Indian Springs School was the first school in the Southeast
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

 to be recognized by the Malone Family Foundation, with a $2-million grant to underwrite tuition and other expenses for gifted students whose families could not otherwise afford an independent school.


Indian Springs School's campus is on 350 acres (1.4 km²) in northern Shelby County, 15 miles (24.1 km) south of downtown Birmingham. Through the 1970s, the school was remote and surrounded by woodlands, with Oak Mountain State Park abutting its southern boundary. In the late 1970s, facing increasing debts and possible bankruptcy because of decreased enrollment, the school sold hundreds of acres surrounding the campus.

Instruction takes place in seven academic buildings, which house 23 classrooms, a new science center, a concert hall, a theater, two student lounges, a college center, a technology lab, a 19,000-volume library, and special studios for chorus, art, photography, and drama. The athletic facilities include two gymnasiums, with two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, and two weight rooms. The campus has four tennis courts, a competition soccer field, a baseball field, a softball field, a cross country track, and a practice field/track. A new organic orchard, Fertile Minds, complements the greenhouse in producing food for the students. In 2006, new dorms for both boys and girls were opened.


In 2010, ISS had 269 students from nine U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s and seven countries, 73% of whom were day students and 27% of whom were boarders..

The school competes in the Alabama High School Athletic Association
Alabama High School Athletic Association
The Alabama High School Athletic Association , based in Montgomery, is the agency which oversees interscholastic athletic programs for public schools in Alabama....

 in all sports except football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

. It is the only member school whose teams do not have a nickname or mascot. The school has a long-running rivalry, especially in basketball and soccer, with The Altamont School
The Altamont school
The Altamont School, located in Birmingham, Alabama atop Red Mountain, is a college preparatory day school with coeducational enrollment of grades 5-12. In 2005-2006, The Altamont School enrolled 425 students, with 188 in the Lower School and 237 in the Upper School...


Notable alumni

  • Rob Henrikson, Chairman, President, and CEO of MetLife,Inc., the largest life insurer in the U.S.
  • George A. LeMaistre, Alabama civil rights activist
  • John Badham
    John Badham
    - External links :...

    , director
  • Michael McCullers
    Michael McCullers
    Michael McCullers is an American comedy film screenwriter.-Biography:A native of Indian Springs Village, Alabama, McCullers is a former writer on Saturday Night Live and is best known for co-writing the script for two Austin Powers movies, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers...

    , director and screenwriter
  • John Green
    John Green (writer)
    John Michael Green is an American author of young adult fiction and a YouTube vlogger.-Early life and career:...

    , best-selling young adult author. His debut novel, Looking for Alaska
    Looking for Alaska
    Looking for Alaska is the first young adult novel by John Green, published in March 2005 by Dutton Juvenile. It won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association...

    , contains several elements influenced by his high school experiences.
  • Daniel Alarcón
    Daniel Alarcón
    Daniel Alarcón is an author who lives in Oakland, California; he has been a the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College and a Visiting Writer at California College of the Arts...

    , author
  • Russell Williams, one of the chief architects of Adobe Photoshop
    Adobe Photoshop
    Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems Incorporated.Adobe's 2003 "Creative Suite" rebranding led to Adobe Photoshop 8's renaming to Adobe Photoshop CS. Thus, Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the 12th major release of Adobe Photoshop...

  • Neely Harris, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine mental floss
    Mental floss
    Mental Floss is a bi-monthly American magazine, launched in 2001 in Birmingham, Alabama, that presents facts and trivia in a humorous way...

  • Stuart Whitehurst, appraiser on Antiques Roadshow
    Antiques Roadshow
    Antiques Roadshow is a British television show in which antiques appraisers travel to various regions of the United Kingdom to appraise antiques brought in by local people. It has been running since 1979...

  • Phil Stone, Jr., teacher at ISS, novelist, and son of the lawyer on whom the William Faulkner
    William Faulkner
    William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

     character Gavin Stevens is based
  • Alan W. Heldman, developer of the drug-eluting stent
  • Joel L. Shin
    Joel L. Shin
    Joel L. Shin is a specialist in international trade matters, government affairs and national defense. He is an associate of The Scowcroft Group and a senior fellow with The Forum for International Policy. Shin previously served on the policy staff of the campaign of President George W...

    , specialist in international trade matters, government affairs and national defense
  • Preston Haskell
    Preston Haskell
    Preston Hampton Haskell, III is founder and chairman of The Haskell Company, the largest privately held construction company in Florida and a top design/build firm in the United States. He is also a minority owner of the National Football League Jacksonville Jaguars.-Education:Haskell was born in...

    , construction magnate in Jacksonville, Florida, and part-owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Charles I. Plosser, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • Howard Cruse
    Howard Cruse
    Howard Cruse is an American alternative cartoonist known for the exploration of gay themes in his comics.Cruse was raised in Springville, Alabama, the son of a preacher and a homemaker. His earliest published cartoons were in The Baptist Student when he was in high school. His work later appeared...

    , cartoonist
  • Robert Smith Vance, Jr., Alabama State Judge.
  • Grace Lee, broadcaster, news anchor KGMB
    KGMB is the CBS-affiliated television station for the state of Hawaii that is licensed to Honolulu. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 23 from a transmitter in Palehua....

    9 TV

External links

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