Ben Davis High School

Ben Davis High School (BDHS) is a three-year high school in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ben Davis High School
1200 North Girls School Road

, ,

United States
Coordinates39°47′5.00″N 86°17′27.00″W / 39.7847222°N 86.2908333°W / 39.7847222; -86.2908333
TypePublic high school
MottoEvery Child Everyday Achieving Success in Every Way
LocaleLarge city
School districtM S D Wayne Township
PrincipalSandra Squire
Faculty192.57 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment3,236 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio16.80[1]
Athletics conferenceMetropolitan Interscholastic Conference
Team nameGiants


Ben Davis was first established in 1892. The current school building was constructed in 1965. The school underwent extensive construction and renovation from 1998 to 2002 and experienced another addition of more classrooms which was completed prior to the 2007/2008 school year. With the newly opened Ninth Grade Center, the school boasts over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) under one continuous roof.

The school is named for the 1880s Vandalia Railroad executive Benjamin Davis. He was instrumental in getting a stop on the railroad for a small community that would come to bear his name. The community members were so appreciative of Davis's efforts that they named the stop after him. The community around the stop became known as "Ben Davis".

The first Ben Davis High School was built in 1892. That school was replaced in the early 20th century by a bigger building at the corner of what is now Morris Street and High School Road. During the Great Depression, a larger school was built just up the road as part of the Works Progress Administration. Ben Davis High School remained in that location until the current building was established in 1965. The old Ben Davis Junior High School was renovated and now serves as Ben Davis University High School.

Ben Davis High School has received the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award[2] from the United States Department of Education.

The school is part of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township.


Ben Davis High School football/track stadium

Ben Davis High School has won multiple state championships under the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA). They have won a total of 30 IHSAA state championships:

  • Nine in Football (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2014, 2017[3]);
  • Four in Cross Country (1962, 1989, 1990, 1995);
  • Three in Girls' Swimming (1978, 1979, 1980),
  • Four in Girls' Basketball (2000, 2001, 2009, 2010);
  • Four in Boys' Basketball (1995, 1996, 2017, 2023);
  • Three in Boys' Track and Field (2008, 2009,2010);
  • Volleyball in 1979;
  • Baseball in 1981;
  • Boys' Golf in 1992[4]

Ben Davis High School is a member of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, which is known as one of the most competitive conferences in the Midwest. The team's nickname is the Giants. The 2008/2009 Lady Giants basketball team finished the season ranked number one in the nation by USA Today's Top 25 poll and ESPN's Rise Poll. This marks the third team national championship in school history. Boys' Track and Field 2009 being the second and the 1991 football team was national champion in the former ESPN/Scholastic Sports America poll, as well as the National Prep Poll and National Sports News Service Poll.[5]

In 2023, The boys basketball team become the 14th team in state history to finish the season undefeated finishing with a 33–0 record.[6]

Academic clubsEdit

The school also has a speech, debate, journalism, and communications program. Ben Davis is home to WBDG Giant 90.9 FM, a 400-Watt FM radio station operated by students. WBDG went on the air in 1966 and continues to broadcast today 24 hours, 7 days per week. BDHS publishes a student yearbook called Keyhole, Giant Visions, a literary magazine, and a student newspaper, Spotlight. In 2003, the school re-launched BDTV, a video production house, within the Area 31 Career Center where students produce a weekly school newscast and a variety of other video productions for the township.

Ben Davis provides a career center which provides vocational training and serves ten regional schools, (Avon High School, Brownsburg High School, Cascade High School, Danville Community High School, Decatur Central High School, Monrovia High School, Mooresville Consolidated High School, Plainfield High School, Speedway High School, Tri-West High School).

The school has been authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Performing artsEdit

The Ben Davis Marching Giants have traveled across the country on invitation to march in various parades and festivals, including the King Kamehameha parade in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California and The Inaugural Parade for President Reagan Jan. 1985 in Washington DC. The band has also won numerous Indiana state titles, finishing first in the Indiana state competition in 1976, 1977, 1982, 1984–88, and 1993. Also, the band has had success on the national level, finishing ninth in the Bands of America National Marching Band Competition in 1981 and second in 1982, and finishing ninth and tenth in the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 2004 and 2008, respectively. In 2012, the Marching Giants traveled to Pasadena to again represent Ben Davis High School in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The Marching Giants were also the champions at the Indiana State Fair Band Day five times in 1960, 1961, 1964, 1966, and 1967.[7]

In 2014, the Ben Davis Winter Guard won the school's first IHSCGA Open Class State Championship. The guard were repeat champions in 2015.

Ben Davis has three competitive choirs. "Purple-Aires" is an advanced concert choir that has been named grand champion at numerous competitions throughout the years. "Premiers" is a mixed show choir which consistently places in the top five at area competitions. In 2010, the "Premiers" attended the ISSMA Choir State Championships where they placed 2nd overall and won the best vocal sound caption award. "Sounds," formerly known as "Soundsations," is a women's show choir. "Sounds" placed second at the 2010 ISSMA State Show Choir State Championships. Sounds were named ISSMA Women's Show Choir State Champions at the 2011 and 2013 championships.

Ben Davis' Theatre Department is expanding, increasing their season to include four shows throughout the year. In the 2008–2009 school year, they were invited to perform in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in 2009, they performed for the first time in the Indy Fringe Festival.

Notable alumniEdit

School partnershipsEdit

Country School Name Partner since Comments
Germany   Gymnasium Letmathe Iserlohn 2009 First visit from Germany: October and November 2009. First stay in Germany: March and April 2010.
USA Vincennes University 2007 Ben Davis University High School was formed through a partnership between Vincennes University and the Metropolitan School district of Wayne Township. Ben Davis University High School students have the opportunity to earn both their Core40 high school diploma and their associate degree from Vincennes University.[23]

Degrees Offered include:

  • Associates of General Studies Degree - Liberal Arts
  • Associates of General Studies Degree - Business Management
  • Associates of General Studies Degree - Information Technology
  • Associates of General Studies Degree - Health Careers[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Ben Davis High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "List-1982 (Archived copy)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
  3. ^ "Ben Davis overpowers Carmel for Class 6A state football title". Retrieved 28 Nov 2014.
  4. ^ Ben Davis Athletics Archived September 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ nationalchampions Archived 2012-02-14 at the Wayback Machine,
  6. ^ Neddenriep, Kyle (March 26, 2023). "Ben Davis goes 33-0 on way to IHSAA immortality: 'That's a history-breaking team". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  7. ^ "Ben Davis".
  8. ^ "WNBA Bio - Alex Bentley". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Indiana State government Bio - Carolene Mays". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  10. ^ "NFL Bio - Corey Harris". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  11. ^ "So you want to become a sportscaster?". 17 April 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Bob and Tom - Kristi Lee exits Bob and Tom Show". 11 January 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  13. ^ "FIFA Tournaments - Lauren Holiday". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  14. ^ Layden, Sarah (2021-07-09). "Leah Johnson Is Back With Another Hit Novel". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved 2023-02-15.
  15. ^ "So You Want to Become a Sports Broadcaser". 17 April 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Randy Wittman Bio". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Robert Behning". Indiana House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Ryan Vaughn". Staff. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  19. ^ "WNBA Bio - Shyra Ely". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  20. ^ "All About Jazz: Steve Allee". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  21. ^ "NFL Bio - Tandon Doss". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  22. ^ UMW Announces Tenth President
  23. ^ "Ben Davis University - Vincennes University". Archived from the original on 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  24. ^ "Ben Davis University High School News and Events". Ben Davis University High School. Retrieved 2017-02-12.

External linksEdit