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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Archer High School

Fast Facts


Prior to being officially named by the Gwinnett Board of Education, the school was called the Grayson/Dacula Relief Cluster, emphasizing the clusters from which the new school's students would come. Through the school district's school naming process, it was determined that the new school would be named after beloved coach and longtime Gwinnett teacher Benjamin Vernon (B.V.) Archer who taught and coached basketball for 35 years.

Born in Gwinnett County, B.V. lived his entire life in the Harbins community. One of 14 children, he attended Oak Grove School and graduated from Dacula High School in 1936. He was one of a long line of Archers who played basketball at Dacula, as members of the family played on school teams from the early 1930s until 1954. B.V. lettered in basketball all four years of his high school career.

After high school graduation, B.V. attended Young Harris College. Working his way through college, he earned his degree from Piedmont College. B.V. began his teaching career at Sunny Hill School in 1940. He taught for several years before being called into active duty with the U.S. Army. After serving his country for nearly four years, he came home. He returned to teaching and coaching, and, while he served in many schools, he spent most of his time at Dacula High School. Interestingly, he actually coached four of his siblings— Hazel, Dorothy, Jean, and Billy.

B.V. was well-respected by his students and players. Some recalled him as being “the best math teacher.” He was tough and strict in the classroom, as well as on the basketball court. His love for coaching and the game of basketball was recognized by all, including his players. Several of his teams won county and district championships, and his 1954 Girls’ Basketball Team won the state championship. He loved children and enjoyed seeing the ones he taught and coached do well. Key to his students’ success were the lessons regarding high expectations and mutual respect that he taught. He expected respect from his students and the teams he coached and he taught them to respect others.

Archer High School was formally dedicated on October 4, 2009. Dr. Charles “Buck” Buchanan welcomed guests to the festive community event. As part of the ceremony, individuals who served on The Crest Committee gave the inspiration, sharing about the creation of the Archer Cluster community. A highlight of the day were the remarks shared by Jean Archer Sikes, the sister of B.V. Archer.

As a new school, Archer focused on building a tradition of both academic and athletic excellence. A few of examples of the school’s achievements include:

  • A focus on ensuring students have opportunities to participate in the Advanced Placement (AP) program which as resulted in strong AP participation, students honored as AP Scholars, and recognition time and again as an AP Honor School.
  • A Technical Education Department that earned industry certification through the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.
  • Student representatives in the prestigious Governor’s Honors Program.
  • Superior ratings and top awards for the school’s band, choral, orchestra, and wind symphony programs.
  • A wide array of athletic teams— basketball, wrestling, cheerleaders, cross country, swim and dive, softball, tennis, football, soccer, and track and field— that have qualified for state playoffs
  • State championships in softball and wrestling with the wrestling team holding multiple state titles;
  • A gold medal earned in Special Olympics by the school’s bocce team
  • Millions of dollars in scholarships earned by Archer High School graduates
  • A commitment to community service that is evidenced by the thousands of hours accumulated by students each year.

As a new high school, Archer focused on creating a sense of community. Key to that was the creation of the Archer Academic Foundation which exists to provide resources that promote academic enrichment beyond the scope of daily education for students in the Archer Cluster. The foundation’s priorities are to provide grants to our teachers and schools in the Archer Cluster. Additionally, scholarships are awarded each year to graduating seniors at Archer High School. The grants are intended to provide academic enrichment to the students beyond the scope of daily educational instruction. The support of the Foundation and the surrounding community is evident in the support they provide students, educators, and the school.

Archer High School, which serves more than 2,800 students, anchors the Archer Cluster which includes McConnell Middle School, Cooper Elementary School, Harbins Elementary School, and Lovin Elementary School. Overall, the cluster takes pride in its focus on students and on preparing students to be successful in college and careers, but more importantly in life.