Located on the the west side of Carter County is where you will find the county's oldest four year school outside the Elizabethton city limits. The Happy Valley High School has become a highly recognized county school in both academics as well as sports. Perched atop "Warrior Hill", this school is built on was once sacred ground occupied by the Cherokee Indians. This was made apparent during the 1962 excavation of the current facility when Indian artifacts were unearthed. The school which was originally named "First School" serves around 550 students each year which is a significantly higher number than the original graduating class of 12 students.
The school has the capability of Virtual Learning and Field trips which links the school with classrooms all over the world. There is also a highly recognized sports program which includes high school football, basketball,baseball, track, golf, softball, and other sports. The school also has a high school band program.
At Happy Valley High, students have the opportunity to take Advance Placement course work and exams. The AP participation rate at the school is 4%. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female. The total minority enrollment is 4 percent. Happy Valley High School is one of four high schools in Carter County.
(Editor's Note: the following historical information was submitted by Caleb Perhne and is from the Happy Valley High website) In 1923 the original Happy Valley School was built on six acres of land purchased from Nate Nave for $2,500. This building was the first county four-year high school but also housed grades one through eight. The first graduating class of 1925 had twelve members. For a brief period, the school was known as First High School. However, the people of the community wanted to change the name to Happy Valley, a name given to the area by the Taylor family, whose sons Robert and Alfred, had served as governers of Tennessee. The name was officially changed in 1926. The original site, which fronted on the Milligan Highway, is now occupied by Happy Valley Elementary School.
As the community grew, there was a real need for a larger facility. Land overlooking the original site was purchased from Dr. A.E. Miller in 1962. The new location, once known as the "Indian Fields," was deemed especially appropriate since the school's mascot was "Warriors" and since Indian artifacts were unearthed during the excavation of the new high school, which opened in 1963. Students and teachers later designated the area "Warrior Hill."
Continued progress led to the completion of Happy Valley Middle School in 1972 and the vocational wing of Happy Valley High School in 1978. Today, this modern school complex houses over 1,000 students.
Other significant improvements include: Football bleachers (1964), Fieldhouse (1978), Driveway blacktopped (1985), New Football bleachers (1987), New addition (including library and band room) (1988), Trees and shrubbery (dontated by the vocational Industrial Clubs of America) (1989), New fieldhouse (1992), New field house addition and ball field improvement as well as purchase of new property (1993). New bleachers on visitors side (2008)
We are proud of Happy Valley High School and its history. Ever conscious that it is the past that shapes the present, we pay tribute to all those of our past-settlers, soldiers, community leaders, parents and teachers--whose efforts contributed to the comprehensive school plant we enjoy today. Our history is truly rich in heritage.