Hillcrest High School has been a source of pride for the Simpsonville-Fountain Inn Community for almost six decades. The school, which is in sight for all who travel down I-385 to Columbia, is the largest in Greenville County and one of the largest in the state. The student enrollment of approximately 2,217 students in grades 9-12 is highly diversified culturally, ethnically, and racially. Over 21% of our student body is African American, and we have a steady growing Hispanic population.
Hillcrest High is proud of the accomplishments of its students and of the programs offered here. The enrollment in AP classes has increased from 227 students in 2002 to 946 students this year. The agricultural program is one of the largest and most diverse program sin the state. The business department is viewed as a model for other schools throughout South Carolina as well as being the largest in Greenville County. Our Speech and Debate Team placed in the top one percent of National Forensic League Chapter nationwide. The average SAT scores at Hillcrest jumped 23 points with the average composite score of 1000. We have one of the most highly decorated choral departments in the state, as well as an outstanding band program. Hillcrest continues to implement a ninth grade academy and received a $130,000 federal grant to support this initiative. The school's Renaissance Organization recognizes the students' academic excellence and boasts a membership of fifty-one percent of our student body. Six teachers have received their National Board Certification and many others are pursuing this certification.
Hillcrest offers a variety of opportunities for students involvement. We field a complete selection of sports teams which recently have been expanded to include swimming and lacrosse. Our athletic accomplishments are numerous, including a third straight state championship for Girl's Softball and conference championships in volleyball and boy's soccer. Our Youth in Government program has tripled in size over the past three years. Last year Hillcrest began a Youth Court Program that has been highly successful.
The facility at Hillcrest has expanded to add an auxiliary gymnasium, nine classrooms, and two science laboratories. The agricultural department renovated the outdoor courtyard this summer and was featured in the state Agricultural Science Magazine. A greenhouse has recently been constructed and provides plants and Christmas trees for sale to both the faculty and community. Improvements have been made to the outdoor athletic facility, including a new softball practice field.
The local community strongly supports Hillcrest High School. Both athletic and academic booster clubs are strong and actively involved in providing support in the form of time and money for our students. Hillcrest is dedicated to providing a safe, positive learning environment which brings together the resources of the staff, family and community to create the best future possible for our students.