The city of Athens is located in Limestone County in North Alabama surrounded by the nearby cities of Madison, Huntsville, Decatur, and Florence. The city of Athens is comprised of an approximate population of 23,000 people. The demographic makeup of Athens is 77% White, 17% Black, 4%Hispanic and 2% other races (Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander, or two or more races). According to the 2010 Census, the median income for a household in the city of Athens is recorded as $45,827.00
On November 19, 1818, Athens, Alabama, was incorporated. Browns-Ferry, the nation’s largest nuclear plant, is located outside the city of Athens. Athens and Limestone County have successfully attracted a variety of businesses to a once agricultural area. Athens has one hospital and three libraries: Houston Memorial Library, Athens/Limestone Public Library, and Athens State University Library. Athens State University is also located in Athens, Alabama. It is the only two-year upper level university in the state of Alabama.
There are four elementary schools that serve grades K-4, an intermediate school that serves grades 5-6, a middle school that serves 7-8 and a high school that serves 9-12.
Athens High School was built in 1973. There are approximately 961 students and there has been an increase in the student population within the last three years. The demographic makeup of the school is 59% White, 29% Black, 11% Hispanic and 1% American Indian, Asian and other races. Athens High has a free and reduced lunch rate of approximately 47%. AHS has 65 certified teachers (including counselors and Library Media Specialist). There is one principal, Christopher Bolen, and three assistant principals on campus. There are also 22 support staff members, which include office personnel, instructional support aides, lunchroom personnel, school nurse and custodians. The demographic composition of the faculty is as follows: 85% White, 14% Black and 1% Asian. Sixty-nine percent of the faculty is female and 31% is male. Athens High School has been fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its existence. For the past several years, students have scored above the state and national averages on standardized tests, such as ACT and Advanced Placement.
A distinguishing feature unique to Athens is the small town atmosphere in contrast to the close proximity to large cities. Athens High School is the only high school that serves the community of Athens. Because of this small town atmosphere, students have ample opportunity to work with community organizations and engage in worthwhile community service.