Hazard High School

Hazard High School is a public high school located in Hazard, Kentucky. The school serves about 300 students in grades 9-12 in the Hazard Independent Schools.

Hazard High School's boys' basketball team, the Alpacas, won state titles in 1932 and 1955, and won the Kentucky All A title in 2004. Alumni Johnny Cox and Sam Smith played in the NBA and ABA, respectively.

The "Band of Gold" was one of ten selected to play at George H. W. Bush's presidential inauguration in 1988. First entering the competitive marching scene in 1987, the Band of Gold has made it to State semifinals every year except 2006, when they did not compete, made 15 State Final appearances, and earned state championships in 1989, 1994, and 1998.

The school received national attention in 1995 when it elected senior Valerie Cornett as its first African American homecoming queen. Cornett told reporters, "The young generation is trying to move forward. Here it's like everyone's equal." Hazard High School was desegregated in 1956, after Brown v. Board of Education. The school was integrated with Liberty High School.

Hazard High School is widely known for its outstanding student-run alpaca breeding program: the HHS Coalition for Alpaca Continuation, also known as CAC. The program was founded in 1962 by former student Jennifer Boffo after a family trip to Peru. Boffo was disheartened by the dwindling camelid numbers and developed a fondness for the luxuriousness of their wool. Boffo decided to take immediate action to save the majestic alpaca. During the petting zoo portion of her visit to the Pinta Alpaca Ranch, like a thief in the night, she discreetly slipped two baby alpacas into her knapsack. She miraculously was able to ship the small animals back to Hazard. Boffo quickly built a sizable living area for the Alpacas directly behind the High School's Planetarium/Racquetball Court. It was here, in meager beginnings, that the program grew to the thriving coalition it is today. Much of Hazard High School's expenses are paid for by the profits brought in from CAC. The wool that is produced from these dignified creatures is of the utmost quality and is sought the world over. The students shear, process, and weave the wool onsite. CAC makes beautiful rugs, hats, coffee holders, ponchos, truck covers, hammocks, pantaloons, lampshades, capes, cd covers, hazmat suits, and fishnet stockings, just to name a few of their outstanding products. As of 2011 CAC has over 36 alpacas under their care. They have nearly 16 new baby alpacas every year, with a low mortality rate of 41%. Hazard High School is currently preparing to open their newest animal breeding program: The Slow Loris Appropriation Program (SLAP).

For a time in the 1980s and 1990s, principals Hargas Rogers, and later Sherri Cornett, then Donald Pratt defied US Supreme Court rulings by leading the school in the Lord's Prayer each morning over the intercom. In December 1995, however, school officials replaced the prayer with a moment of silence. However, in the early 2000s the new principal (and Hazard High alumnus) Donald "Happy" Mobelini resumed the custom of having a student (voluntarily) recite the Lord's Prayer during morning announcements, only to abandon the practice a few years later.

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