Our mission is to "Raise the Bar" so that ALL students will be well prepared for college and the world of work. This will be accomplished through rigor, relevance, and relationships between all Granby stakeholders.
Granby Street High School, now officially Granby High School, is located in Talbot Park, on the west side of Granby Street. Both the street and the school are named after John Manners, Marquess of Granby, a British Soldier who was seen as a hero of the Seven Years' War. The twenty-four-acre tract on which Granby was built was donated to the City of Norfolk by Winton W. Talbot. This land is part of what was once the historic Talbot Plantation which extended northward from the Granby Street Bridge.
The school first opened in September 1939 with Lemuel E. Games as principal and E.L. Lamberth as assistant principal. They were faced with the task of welcoming and orienting 1200 new and confused students, who were easily accommodated in a school with a capacity of 1500. The first years brought the establishment of a school newspaper, the development of a successful football program, the broadcast of a weekly radio show and statewide recognition on a major radio station. The manager of that station noted, “Granby was chosen not because it is a good school, but because it is an unusually progressive institution, doing things in an unusually interesting manner.”
In later years, Granby garnered national recognition for its wrestling program. Billy Martin, teacher and wrestling coach, won 21 state titles and was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. Martin’s “Granby Roll” wrestling move is internationally known and utilized even today.
In 1954 the US Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in schools was unconstitutional. On September 27, 1958 the Governor of Virginia opposed integration and used the Massive Resistance policy to shut down Norfolk schools, until being overruled on January 19, 1959, when the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the US District Court overturned the governor’s decision. On February 2, 1959, 17 brave African American students, known as the “Norfolk 17” were admitted to Norfolk Public Schools. Betty Jean Reed was the only African American student in the Granby School District, a trailblazer that epitomized the definition of courage.
In 1996, the school system invested $21 million in a construction project in order to expand and renovate the 57-year-old building. Because of this construction, the entire student body could not stay in the original building. To fix this problem, the 1100 freshmen and sophomores were sent to the former Norfolk Catholic High building a half-mile away from the building. Catholic High was vacant at the time since Catholic High moved to Virginia Beach. The Catholic High building was nicknamed “Granby 2″ while the original building was “Granby 1.” Under Principal Michael Caprio, the school had to double everything including scheduling, busing, orientation, and lunches. Several headaches later, the 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) expansion was complete with comprehensive voice, video, and high-speed data network and a media resource management system for 110 classrooms and laboratories. In addition, the building gained three multimedia presentation rooms and an innovative CCTV security system.
Soon after opening the newly renovated building, Granby applied for and became a fully authorized International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme School in 1997. There are only 38 authorized IB Diploma Programme Schools in Virginia.
The history of Granby High School can be measured by the success of its many students. Ushered in during the New Deal Era, the school immediately took on the responsibility of educating tens of thousands of our nation’s finest youth. Many of Granby’s alumni have grown to prominence. Graduate Joe Leafe served as Mayor of Norfolk. Tom Moss served in the Virginia House of Delegates as Speaker of that body. Other famous alumni include at least two superintendents of school systems, a renowned artist, a national newscaster and a Space Shuttle astronaut. For more information on the alumni, see the alumni pages and the Granby Hall of Fame by selecting their web page link HERE.
Navy Blue, Las Vegas Gold, and Silver are the school colors. You will commonly see the Navy Blue and Gold Together, and Silver as an accent color. Blue representing the color of the Chesapeake Bay, which is in Granby’s vicinity. The gold and silver are derived from the proverb: ”A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” This quote is also hung on a plaque in the hallway. Granby’s school symbol and mascot is the comet. Granby often uses the "G" logo which is similar to the University of Georgia logo used for athletics.
It also has a newspaper entitled “The Spectator,” and annually publishes a literary magazine called “The Cupola,” named after the structure on the top of the school’s roof. The weathervane on top of the cupola was bent as a result of tropical storm Ernesto, but was fixed within six months.
Granby High School Principals 1939-2020
Lemuel Francis Games 1939-1944
Edwin L. Lamberth 1944-1949
Herman M. Williams 1949-1951
Elmer Tarrall 1951-1957
William L. Harrell 1957-1962
Donald G. Griffin 1962-1969
John W. Brown, Jr. 1969-1981
Theodore R. Smith 1981-1994
Michael J. Caprio 1994-2002
Edward Daughtrey 2002-2016
Lynnell Gibson 2016-2020
Thomas Smigiel 2020 - Present
The Granby High School Alma Mater was created in 1942 by John W. W. Comming. Comming is a retired commander of the United States Navy. The Alma Mater is sung by the school’s elite choir, The Granby Singers.
Granby High, our Alma Mater, let the joyful welkin ring;
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater, ever praise to thee we’ll sing.
We all love thee, Alma Mater, thou hast led our steps aright.
Come weal, come woe, wherever we may go,
Will our memories of thee be bright.
O Granby High, O Granby high,
O morning star of life in our sky,
May our lives ever be pride and honor to thee,
O God bless thee, Granby High.
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SCHOOL QUALITY PROFILE
A detailed report of Granby High School’s Academic Success can be found HERE.