Discover the Largest High School in South Carolina (And Notable Alums)

Written by Kathryn Koehler
Updated: September 28, 2023
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High school is a transformative period. It’s a time of self-discovery, academic growth, and the forging of lifelong friendships. Students navigate an array of subjects, play sports, and engage in extracurricular activities that define their interests and passions. Socially, high school is where individuals form their identities, learn life skills, and face challenges. It’s a period filled with milestones, like prom and graduation. The 3,500 students who attend Dorman High School in Spartanburg County are living this reality every day. Continue reading as we discover the largest high school in South Carolina and its notable alums.

Paul M. Dorman High School at a Glance

QuestionAnswer
What is the largest high school in South Carolina?Paul M. Dorman High School
Where is the largest high school in South Carolina?Roebuck, South Carolina
When was it established?1964
What type of school is it?Cavaliers
How many students are enrolled?4-year public high school with a separate freshman campus
What is its team mascot?Caviliers
What are the school colors?Navy, Columbia blue, and white
What is the student/teacher ratio?19:1
What is the graduation rate?86%

Roebuck, South Carolina

Roebuck (pop. 2,768) is an unincorporated community located in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. It was named after the Roebuck family, who were early settlers in the area. Roebuck is home to Dorman High School, the largest high school in South Carolina. Roebuck is a suburb of Spartanburg. Many residents of Roebuck commute to Spartanburg for work, shopping, and other amenities. The community of Roebuck is largely residential, and its character is closely tied to its relationship with the larger city of Spartanburg.

Spartanburg County, South Carolina

Spartanburg (pop. 38,401), located in the northwestern part of South Carolina, was named after a local militia called the Spartan Regiment. The regiment fought in the American Revolutionary War. Spartanburg played a significant role in textile production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As the textile industry declined, Spartanburg’s economy diversified. Today it is home to several major corporations and industries, including BMW which has a significant presence in the area. The city has become a hub for manufacturing, healthcare, and education. Spartanburg is home to several colleges and universities, including Wofford College and the University of South Carolina Upstate.

The city offers a range of cultural attractions, including museums, theaters, and music venues. The Chapman Cultural Center is a focal point for the arts in Spartanburg, featuring galleries, performance spaces, and cultural organizations. The region around Spartanburg provides ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Nearby natural attractions include the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests. Spartanburg is home to the Carolina Panthers’ NFL training camp at Wofford College during the summer, attracting football fans from across the country.

Drone Aerial of Downtown Spartanburg South Carolina Skyline

Spartanburg offers a range of cultural attractions, including museums, theaters, and music venues.

©Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

Dorman High

Paul M. Dorman High School opened its doors in the fall of 1964. The original building contained 15 classrooms, a study hall, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium which could accommodate up to 2,000 spectators. By the turn of the 21st century, the need for a larger and more modern campus became apparent. In 2004, the new campus opened its doors. A separate freshman academy welcomes approximately 1,000 9th graders, bridging their transition from middle school to high school. The freshman campus has 34 classrooms and:

  • Seven science labs
  • IT lab
  • JROTC classroom
  • Multipurpose room
  • Four business labs
  • Two art rooms,
  • Home Economics room
  • Food lab 
  • Band room
  • Chorus room
  • Orchestra room
  • Gym
  • Weight room
  • Cafeteria

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors have their own building complete with 79 state-of-the-art classrooms, as well as:

  • Two JROTC classrooms
  • 15 science labs
  • Four business labs
  • Four art rooms
  • Drama room
  • Chorus room
  • Band room
  • Orchestra room
  • Gym with arena-style seating
  • Practice gym
  • Weight room
  • Wrestling room
  • Media center
  • Cafeteria

The new campus was built with an eye toward continuing the foundation of excellence created in the 20th century through the 21st century.

Academics at Dorman High School

The academics offered at Dorman are designed to meet the needs of a changing and growing world. From remedial classes to Advanced Placement (AP) courses, offerings at Dorman run the gamut. From technical, college preparatory, and honors level courses, students choose their areas of study. If they are not available, programs are designed to meet the needs and talents of individual students. Students can focus on fine arts or business and technology. There are dual-enrollment options for college-bound students. Dorman also has a four-year Junior Reserve Offices Training Corps (JROTC) program. Cadets who successfully complete the program are eligible for college scholarships. Those who choose to enlist in the military, enter at a higher rank.

Athletics

A successful high school balances academics and athletics. While academics develop the mind, athletics develop the physical body, teach cooperation and teamwork, and forge lasting friendships. Dorman High values its athletics and its athletes. The school offers all of the usual high school sports like baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track and field, tennis, and wrestling. And the not-so-usual bass fishing. From securing the state baseball championship in 1970 to bringing home the state boys’ basketball championship in 2023, Dorman has garnered over 50- fifty!! state championships. The school’s teams are called the Cavaliers, and their colors are navy, Columbia blue, and white.

Extracurriculars at Dorman High

While academics and athletics provide for mental and physical growth, clubs and extracurriculars allow students to discover their special talents and passions. The largest high school in South Carolina offers students 40+ clubs and activities from which to choose. From E-Sports and Chemistry Club to Ethics Bowl and Songwriting Club, students have plenty of choices.

Notable Alums

Dorman High School has a rich history of producing notable alumni who have left an indelible mark in the world of athletics. From football players to basketball players and golfers, Dorman’s sports programs have consistently nurtured talent. The school has also produced other talents including writers, musicians, and politicians. Herewith is a list of Dorman’s notable alums:

  • Noah Clowney, class of 2022 is a professional basketball player. After playing one year at Alabama, Clowney entered the 2023 NBA draft. He was a first-round pick, selected by the Brooklyn Nets.
  • Amber Brock is the author of two novels, A Fine Imitation and Lady Be Good. This 1998 graduate currently teaches at The Atlanta Girls’ School.
  • J. J. Arcega-Whiteside was a celebrated football player while at Dorman, with 38 touchdowns, 207 receptions, and 3,779 yards. After an equally successful career at Stanford University, Arcega-Whiteside was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He has also played for the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons. Arcega-Whiteside graduated from Dorman in 2015.
  • Lee Bright, class of 1988 is a former South Carolina State Senator.
  • Toy Caldwell was a founding member of the Marshall Tucker Band. The band enjoyed a string of radio hits in the latter 20th century. Caldwell graduated with the class of 1966.

More Notable Alumni

  • Shane Martin, class of 1990, is a South Carolina State Senator.
  • Charone Peake graduated from Dorman in 2011. He is a wide receiver who has played for the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Ottawa Redblacks.
  • Marcus Rowland, a 2008 graduate, is a world-class sprinter who holds the South Carolina State High School records for the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Rowland, who attended Auburn University, has won several awards, including a gold medal in to 100-meter dash at the 2009 Pan-American Games.
  • Brandon Thomas, class of 2009, Thomas has played NFL football for the San Francisco 49ers, the Detroit Lions, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. after retiring from the NFL, Thomas took up coaching at his alma mater, Clemson University.
  • D. J. Trahan, Dorman class of 1999 is a professional golfer. He has won two major PGA tournaments, the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in 2006, and the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 2008.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kathryn Koehler is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her focus is on unusual animals, places, and events. Kat has over 20 years of experience as a professional writer and educator. She holds a master's degree from Vanderbilt University. When she is not writing for A-Z-Animals, Kat enjoys puttering in her garden, baking deliciously healthful treats for her family, and playing with her two rescue mutts, Popcorn and Scooter. She resides in Tennessee.

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