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J.O. Johnson High School
6201 Pueblo Drive
Huntsville, Alabama, Madison, 35810
United States
Type Public
Motto Sum Quae Credo
("I am what I believe I am.")
Established 1972
Opened 1972-73 school year
School district Huntsville City Schools
Principal Eric T. Jones
Assistant principals Dr. Teresa Littrell McDaniel
Grades 9-12
Campus Suburban (42 acres)
Color(s) Blue and Gold         
Athletics AHSAA Class 5A
Sports Basketball, Football, Cheer, Dance, Soccer, Baseball, Softball, and Volleyball
Mascot Jaguars
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Newspaper Jaguar Journal
Yearbook Harmony

Coordinates: 34°47′57.4″N 86°36′33.56″W / 34.799278°N 86.6093222°W / 34.799278; -86.6093222

James Oliver Johnson High School, more commonly referred to as J.O. Johnson High School or J.O.J., is a public high school located in the northwest area of Huntsville, Alabama. The school serves grades 9 through 12. It is home to an International Education Magnet Program, and the school also features a Marine JROTC program.[1]


The school was named for former Huntsville educator James Oliver Johnson, and served as a Brigadier General in the United States Army. Johnson commanded one of the first all black combat battalion in WW II, leading to the integration and racial diversity of the US Army. Johnson lead men who constructed airplane infrastructure on the ground in North Africa and Mediterranean region, for Army Air Forces including the Tuskegee Airmen.

True to the legacy of its namesake, JO Johnson is the first new High School in Huntsville, Alabama built as a racially integrated high school. Black and White Students had no strife, and became the model High School throughout the state shortly after the Civil Rights era.

The road actually leading to the campus, Cecil Fain Drive, is named after another long term educator. J.O.J. opened in 1972 at 6201 Pueblo Drive, Huntsville, Alabama, to ease the overcrowding of Lee High School and to meet the needs of an area of Huntsville that had just begun to grow in population. Its primary feeder schools are the Academy for Science and Foreign Language, Edward H. White Middle School, and Davis Hills Middle School.

In August 2012, the Huntsville City Schools announced plans to build a new school, and retain the name JO Johnson.

In 2013 it was announced the school would receive a new building, but retain it's name in 2016. The latest statement is that the Johnson name will not transfer to the new school (unlike the 4 other High Schools rebuilt over the years) The school name will close and be changed to Mae Jemison High School and for the middle school that will share the campus, Ronald McNair Junior High School. These school names are named after the NASA Astronaut Mae Jemison who had no connection to the community, and only connection to Alabama is being born in Decatur, AL but permanently leaving for Chicago at age 3.

A protest, against the decision and misinformation of the name change has ripped the community, and was the subject of a peaceful protest of over 500 people in 2013; the largest civil rights protest in the history of Huntsville, AL. The protest was lead by the students and alumni, plus the elected officials who represents the JO Johnson community.

Johnson High rival, Lee High School,is named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and is located nearby. Incredibly, unlike Johnson, the Lee High School is retaining their school name after a recent new facility was constructed. In opposite of Johnson High legacy of diversity and racial harmony. Lee High, represents the Confederate Flag as part of the school pride, heritage, tradition and pageantry as late as the 1980s, and the Confederate Flag bearing General on a horse is still rated by Lee Alums as the official insignia of Lee High School.

Lee High School was opened as a school only for whites, and desegregation did not occur until federal courts stepped up, in the late 1960s. The school until a few years ago was located on Confederate General Farris Drive. Farris also is one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.

JO Johnson other rival, also retained it's name and confederate symbols, albeit Johnson High a school opened on the principles of diversity is forced to change its name. Butler High School was closed in 2015. However, it's mascot was the racist Colonel Rebel character, the same as the one recently abandoned by the University of Mississippi due to its overt racist nod to the colonial south. Butler High was opened as a school only for whites students, and never abandoned it's pageantry of confederate mascots and symbols which included a massive confederate flag on its gymnasium wall.

The current principal is Eric T. Jones, who resigned in December 2015, the 4th to resign in 6 years.

Notable Alumni[edit]

Journalism and Media Personalities[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Kym Richardson Thurman 1988 Newsanchor for Mobile, Alabama NBC-affiliate LOCAL 15
Harrell T. Wells 2003 Screenplay Writer and Journalist

Film, Theater, and Television[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Reginald "Reg" E. Cathey 1976 The Wire (1998), Se7en (1995), The Machinist (2004) and American Psycho (2000)
DeRon "Hollywood" Shepherd 1996 Drumline: A New Beat (2014), Faith Evans "You Get's No Love (2001), The Parkers TV Series (2001-2002)


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Sharon Johnson Coleman 1977 United States District Judge (United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)

United States Armed Forces[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Charles Kenneth Carodine 1977 Rear Admiral United States Navy Reserve


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Bobby Cattage 1976 NBA player, Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets
Donnie Humphrey 1979 NFL player, Green Bay Packers
Joey Kent 1992 NFL player, Tennessee Oilers/Titans, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings
Chris Martin 1979 NFL player, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams
Rashad Moore 1998 NFL player, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Atlanta Falcons
James Willis 1990 NFL player, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks; XFL player, Birmingham Thunderbolts


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Janet Emerson Bashen 1975 Inventor of LinkLine (Inventor)

Notable Faculty[edit]

Former Faculty[edit]


  1. ^ Seeley, Scott R. (August 12, 2009). "Marine JROTC leader sets winning example". Redstone Rocket. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.O._Johnson_High_School — Please support Wikipedia.
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36382 videos foundNext > 

MaxPreps 2015-16 Basketball Early Contenders - J.O. Johnson (AL)

MaxPreps 2015-16 High School Basketball Early Contenders presented by Dick's Sporting Goods and Under Armour - J.O. Johnson (AL)



J.O.Johnson 74, Sparkman 41

Want to know how the J.O.Johnson Boy's Basketball team did in its season opener against Sparkman on Friday night? Check out the highlights here.

J. O. Johnson High School, Huntsville, AL - 2011 Southern Explosion BOTB Field Show

The J.O. Johnson High School "Mighty Sounds of the South" Marching Band from Huntsville doing their field show at the 2011 Southern Explosion Battle of the ...

Homecoming Parade AAMU 2013 - Jo Johnson High School Marching Band.

Video by Keshia Maddox, @ AAMU homecoming Parade 2013, downtown Huntsville....

J.O. Johnson v.s. Anniston High School Marching Band - 2015

WATCH IN 1080p!! Headphones are suggested for full surround sound. Please Subscribe!! Thanks for Watching!!


HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA -- Getting stronger was the main goal of the off season for Head Coach Jack Doss. After reaching the finals in Class 4A the past two ...

JO Johnson High School 102812

2012 Southern Regional National Championship High School BOTBs Baton Rouge, LA October 28, 2012.

J O Johnson 70, Madison Academy 28

Take a look at the SportsCenter Highlight Fest.

J. O. Johnson High School Marching Band

J.O.J. band in Alabama A&M University homecoming parade.

36382 videos foundNext > 

453 news items


Fri, 15 Jan 2016 20:21:30 -0800

J.O. Johnson 70, Madison Academy 28: Jaguars crush Langford-less Mustangs in battle. Johnson's John Petty (23). Columbia vs. Johnson at J.O. Johnson High School Tuesday Jan. 12, 2016. (Bob Gathany/bgathany@al.com). By Zach Eccher | preps@al.

Montgomery Advertiser

Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:53:30 -0800

The 2015 list of failing schools included the now closed SR Butler High School, JO Johnson High School, James Dawson Elementary School, Lakewood Elementary School, and Westlawn Middle School. PDF: 2016 AAA Failing Schools List. This marks the ...


Thu, 29 Oct 2015 10:32:43 -0700

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Alabama High School Athletic Association says J.O. Johnson High School is eliminated from the playoffs and must forfeit four wins after determining a player was ineligible to compete on this year's team. This is a blow to Johnson ...


Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:32:19 -0700

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The actions of one inspired teacher at J.O. Johnson High School brought excitement and free backpacks to the entire student body on Thursday. Johnson High School Teacher Nicole Franklin submitted an application to Teach for ...


Sun, 17 Jan 2016 19:34:45 -0800

Jack Doss (J.O. Johnson High School, Huntsville, Alabama) and Dale Mabrey (Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Louisville, Kentucky) will coach the East and West teams, respectively. Overall, seven of the top 24 players in the ESPN 100 were omitted, ...


Wed, 13 Jan 2016 05:30:00 -0800

Columbia's Travion Hardin (5). Columbia vs. Johnson at J.O. Johnson High School Tuesday Jan. 12, 2016. (Bob Gathany/bgathany@al.com). Bob Gathany | bgathany@al.com. By Daniel Boyette | dboyette@al.com on January 13, 2016 7:31 AM. comments.


Sun, 17 Jan 2016 20:02:07 -0800

Madison Academy's Josh Langford (5) and Hazel Green's Anthony Bell (23). 2015 Huntsville Times Classic basketball tournament third place game. Hazel Green vs. Madison Academy at Huntsville High School Wednesday Dec. 30, 2015.


Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:23:20 -0700

After the Alabama High School Athletic Association forced the team to forfeit four wins over an ineligible player, it was disqualified from the playoffs. But that player's family and the community are fighting back to reverse the decision. A friend of ...

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