School Details

Smoky Mountain High

100 Great Smoky Mountain Expressway, Sylva, NC 28779
(828) 586-2177

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 757 students 14 students/teacher (NC avg is 15)

Test Scores by grade


End of Class Tests (EOC)

In 2011-2012 North Carolina used End-of-Course (EOC) tests to assess high school students in Algebra I, English I, and Biology. The EOC tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of North Carolina. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Jackson County Schools average
  • North Carolina state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Smoky Mountain High is a public high school in Sylva. The principal of Smoky Mountain High is Jacob Buchanan, who can be contacted at 757 students attend Smoky Mountain High and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; American Indian/Alaskan Native; and Native American or Native Alaskan. 49% of the 757 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Smoky Mountain High is 14:1. Jackson County Early College is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Rock climbing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 86% 77%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 8% 9%
Native American or Native Alaskan 8% 11%
Hispanic 4% 9%
Black, non-Hispanic 0.8% 1%
Multiracial 0.8% 2%
Asian 0.8% 1%
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.7% 1%
Pacific Islander 0% 0.2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 49% 60%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (2 years ago)

    Excellent teachers. Great school. I really enjoyed being at SMHS. It was a great experience and I won't forget it.

  • (4 years ago)

    I had two daughters graduate from Smoky Mountain and I was extremely pleased with their educations. They were both involved with extracurricular activities which I believe is a key to a high school student feeling school spirit and a sense of belonging to the school community. As in all schools everywhere some teachers were more involved with the students than others but both daughters were given opportunities to meet with teachers for extra help if needed and in some cases extra credit. Both girls felt safe at school and respected by the staff. I feel very grateful for the high expectations and caring attitude my daughters experienced at Smoky Mountain High.

  • (5 years ago)

    Im a junior this year and i've been here since i was a freshman. I dont really like smoky mountain too much. I think that the staff here expects too much out of the students. I think that they think we are all suppossed to be perfect. There is a few things i would change about the school.

  • (5 years ago)

    This school is AWESOME! I was the new kid my freshman year and everyone was so welcoming! Alot of the teachers are really good and dedicated.

  • (5 years ago)

    I think Smoky Mountain has the potential to be an outstanding high school given some much needed parental and community support.

  • (5 years ago)

    I am a junior this year at Smoky Mountain and feel that although this school could definitely use a lot work it's no doubt still a great place learn. As far as academics go it doesn't offer a lot in fact this year we only offered two AP courses. However this makes it all the easier to stand out. With fewer high achieving students your rank will really soar. The school could not be better placed next to WCU which offers TONS of opportunities for students like camps scholarships concerts workshops etc. Smoky Mountain High School is truly a school that is what you make of it. If you work yourself and seek out new opportunities you'll find rewards but if you only do what you see then you'll just be like all the other who complain about it.

  • (5 years ago)

    I am in agreement with everyone who believes that SMH is in serious need of reform. The administration cannot handle the students I understand there are fights occuring frequently too much attention is paid to sports and not enough on academics the building is filthy class size is too big and student support from social workers guidnace counselors..etc is just not there. I am also concerned that illegal drug use on campus might be a problem. Where is our SRO and what does he do when he is there?

  • (5 years ago)

    Except for a very very very poor guidance department in helping us prepare for college admissions/scholarships I have felt good about the rest of my child's experience at SMHS.

  • (6 years ago)

    I will be graduating from Smoky Mountain High School next year in the spring of 2009. I am currently a junior there and in my 3 years I have felt pretty content in the school. I believe that particularly on the newly assembled administration with Principal Grisson our school has overall gained a lot of respect become more organized (well more so than the absolute mess that it was before) and the students are better disiplined. I am and honors student and take a majority of higher-level classes that I have never had a problem with them not being available to me. However I do feel as though there were some classes with a few select teachers that I feel a student could get a better education in. The students for the most part are pretty well behaved and the school is pretty well maintained and cleaned. Overall I LOVE IT.

  • (7 years ago)

    I have 2 children in this high school and find it very disappointing. I believe academics should come before atheletics. I notice everyone commenting on all of the extra curricular activities. Yes they are there but they are at all schools this is nothing special.

  • (7 years ago)

    The Principal's Staff Coaches Teachers and some of the parent's and student's are doing an outstanding service to my son! My son loves SMHS. Anytime someone has asked him how school is going he replies 'Great!' Although the grades that I have seen are not that great he has the option to excell; however no one can do it for him. And I know for a fact that students are offered every opportunity to meet with teachers before school after school and obtain assistance if needed! To my knowledge the staff teacher principals coaches are educated and truly care about the students education welfare and extra curricular opportunites! We must respect each other and work together! I hold my son accountable for his poor grades not the school or anyone else! Thank You and Have a Lovely Day!

  • (7 years ago)

    I am a current student at Smoky Mountain and must say there is nowhere else I would rather be. If you act in an appropriate manner during school you will earn respect from authority and therefore not have any problems. I have had so much fun in my past 3 years at SM with all of the homecoming activities many extracurricular clubs and gatherings sports dances and just regular days at school. Every teacher I have had has cared about each individual student. Despite what others have said on this site the administration really does care. They are honestly great! SM also has a great choral program. The Show Choir group which is an honors class travels to New York in the spring. Concert choir and chorus are also available. Smoky Mountain is a fantastic high school.

  • (7 years ago)

    SM offers many extracurricular activities classes with respectable teachers and a strong sports program with great coaches. I love the atmosphere here at SM. Someone posted that the principal doesn't even know the students but that is far from the truth. I love Smoky Mountain and I am grateful for such a school.

  • (7 years ago)

    I am set to graduate from SMH in June '07 and frankly I am very disappointed in this school's overall performance. Our administration is very distant from my fellow students and our principal is doubly so. There are a select few teachers who actually have the students' best interest in mind. However their teaching capacity is almost crippled by the administrators' apathy as well as precious funding that is practically thrown away on new sports uniforms and unnecessarily restrictive computer software every year. Furthermore SMH's nutrition is appalling. The only time that parents really contact any faculty is during Open House night once per semester.

  • (7 years ago)

    Smoky Mountain is a wonderful school. The students are always friendly and the teachers are excellent. Not to mention the huge list of extracurricular activities there for kids to get involved in!!! Smoky Mountain is a wonderful wonderful school!!!!

  • (8 years ago)

    I graduated from SMHS in 2006 and didn't want to leave. High school no matter where you go is what you make of it. The students who were involved tried hard and did well in their classes did receive the respect they deserved from the teachers and administration. Respect goes both ways when the students respect the authorities the authorities respect them. I can honestly say that every teacher I had in that school was inspiring to me and the administration was very helpful. If you want to make change in that school get involved in the activities where you have a voice. Earn your respect by showing respect to everyone else. It's a great school if you let it be.

  • (8 years ago)

    I attend smoky mountain high school. This year will be my second year here. On a scale from 1-10 I would give this school a 2. Some of the teachers are really great and don't stereotype students. Those teachers were the one's that kept me in that school. Other teachers treated their students poorly but of course the students were being disrespectful to the teachers also. I think that smoky mountain high school needs major changes.

  • (8 years ago)

    I attend smokey moutain and i feel that this high school could use some improvement. Overall the staff doesnt not care about the students. The athletics are not properly funded. The only athletic programs that are noticed are football cheerleading basketball and baseball. That all there is. Anyone thinking of attending I strongly encourage you to find a better school.

  • (8 years ago)

    As long as you are a popular student or a child of a staff member you are treated fairly. If you are neither of these then you don't matter to anyone. If you are looking for a school where you can get an education and get the support you need when you need it then you should look elsewhere. This is NOT the school for you.

  • (8 years ago)

    The principal doesn't listen to kids or parents. Some of the teachers are outstanding.....others are totally rude and unfair to the students and the parents!!

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 42 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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