High School

Due to restrictions set forth in response to the COVID Pandemic, some activities listed below may be delayed or suspended. Please visit O'Neal's COVID-19 page for more information. 

The high school experience at O’Neal remains positively ingrained in the lives of many who have graduated from this more than 45 year old college preparatory private school.  Nationally accredited, O’Neal is one school that serves students Pre-K3 through 12th grade in three divisions - Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. Though in separate buildings with activities and curriculum to suit each age group, O’Neal finds this all –in –one community to be the best of both worlds in nurturing, understanding and supporting the age groups above and below the individual student rendering a quality character trait to stay with the individual student for a lifetime.
The student-teacher relationships at O’Neal are very strong in and outside of the classroom. Teachers and coaches will support students with their high school experience whether it be on the sporting field or the theater stage in addition to teaching them in the classroom. The most successful way to teach or coach the student is to know the individual.

Students take overnight class trips at the beginning of the school year as a way to bond with each other, get to know their advisors/teachers and experience real life places that are included in their high school curriculum.

School Spirit
High School life at O’Neal is unlike any other. Falcon Pride is strong and it is very common to see many students from surrounding high schools attend sporting events and performances to soak in the spirit, energy and atmosphere of the moment. Although there isn’t a football team, O’Neal’s homecoming during basketball season is an experience like none other.

Honor Code
O’Neal is governed by an honor code and a student-elected honor council. Students are required to sign such honor code yearly. No locks are on the lockers and students are trusted to do their own work.

Leadership Opportunities
There are many opportunities for leadership. O’Neal has a student forum comprised of elected class officers and an elected executive board. Service clubs such as O'Neal Volunteers/Key Club are mainstays in the school. New clubs are created each year by the students.  O'Neal Clubs and Activities

O’Neal calls itself college preparatory for a reason. 100% of O’Neal’s graduates are accepted to colleges and universities across the nation and beyond. The 30-member Class of 2020 was awarded $1.8M in scholarships. Please see O’Neal’s College Profile for the Upper School curriculum. PSAT’s are given to high school students in grades 9-11 every year. Learn more about scholarships offered for the high school years at O'Neal. 

2019/2020 SAT and 2018/2019 ACT comparisons with surrounding public high schools.

SAT Average
ACT Average Score 2018-2019
North Carolina Average
O’Neal (30 students)
Hoke County  High
Sandhoke Early College High
Lee Early College
Lee County High 
Southern Lee High 
East Montgomery High
West Montgomery High
Montgomery County Early College
North Moore High
Pinecrest High
Union Pines High
Richmond Senior High
Richmond Early College High
Scotland High School
Scotland Early College High

Note: Public School scores are collected from the NCDPI website. The highest scores are used for all ACT tabulations (O'Neal and public schools). Scores for other area private schools are not published.

Advanced Placement Testing in 2019 Compared to Area Public Schools  

# of Test Takers
# of Exams Taken
% of Exams with Scores of 3 or higher
North Carolina
Hoke County High
268 365 19.5
Lee County High  
Southern Lee High
East Montgomery High
West Montgomery High
North Moore High
Pinecrest High
Union Pines High
Richmond County High
Scotland High
Note: AP scores for other area private schools are not available.
80% of Upper School students at O’Neal participate in athletics. Many play 2 or 3 sports seasons. The School is a part of the Triangle Athletic Conference (Tri-TAC) and is the 2018-2019 Wells Fargo Cup Winners for Excellence in Division 2 Athletics as part of the North Carolina Independent School Athletics Association (NCISAA). 2019-2020 brought Girls Golf State Champions and Girls Basketball State Runners Up. O’Neal has Falcons in golf, basketball, track and field, swimming, and tennis collegiate teams.

JV/Varsity Sports Offered: Volleyball, Cross Country, Soccer, Tennis, Cheerleading, Swimming, Basketball, Golf, Baseball, Track and Field

The Arts
In the Upper School, varying levels of drama class, chorus, as well as 2D and 3D art classes are offered. The School has participated in regional One Act Play competitions with recognitions in one or more areas of the production. O’Neal Upper School students perform a winter musical every year.

Community Service
Graduation requirements include 36 hours of community service, which is additional to any National Honor Society and ONV/Key Club service hour requirements. Students at the high school level have many ways of physically supporting efforts within the School as well as that of local organizations such as the Sandhills/Moore Coalition for Human Care, The Sandhills Childrens Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sandhills, St. Joseph of the Pines and other assisted living facilities, USO, the Red Cross and more.

Global Awareness
Students at the high school level are given opportunities to travel to other countries for language immersion as well as cultural understanding. 

College Counseling
College counseling starts in the 8th grade as students prepare to enter the Upper School and plan for what courses they take. A dedicated college counselor follows the paths of each student throughout their high school years. The counselor consults and assists them and their parents with the many facets of applying for college. In addition to North Carolina’s excellent colleges and universities, much of the graduating class attends colleges and universities out of state. Below is a list of notable institutions for which O’Neal students have matriculated over the past 4 years:
American University Baylor University Boston College Case Western Reserve University
Clemson University Colorado School of Mines Davidson College Georgetown University
Loyola University North Carolina State University Pennsylvania State University Rensselaer-Polytechnic Institute
Texas Christian University Trinity College United States Coast Guard Academy United States Military Academy West Point
University of Aberdeen - Scotland University of Georgia University of North Carolina Chapel Hill University of Washington
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Wake Forest University Washington & Lee University Wofford College
"At O’Neal you are expected to test your limits and grow as an academic, but also as an individual. In addition to being the source of much of your work, teachers are inspirations. All of the teachers that I have had at O’Neal have a true passion for the material they teach and they choose to teach because they genuinely seem to love it. I believe that the atmosphere at O’Neal, where learning is valued for its own sake. has enabled me to grow into a lifelong learner."

William Schirmer
Valedictorian Class of 2016
Johnson Scholar - Washington & Lee University
Morehead-Cain Semifinalist

The Classroom:
Average Class Size: 15
Student:Teacher Ratio: 8:1
The Teachers:
Number of Faculty Members: 22
Advanced Degrees: 50%
More than 15 years of service at O’Neal: 18%
The Students:
High School Enrollment: 151
Towns/Cities of Residence:
Southern Pines, NC Whispering Pines, NC Seven Lakes, NC Rockingham, NC
Aberdeen, NC Vass, NC Cameron, NC Pinehurst, NC
Laurinburg, NC Sanford, NC Wagram, NC Biscoe, NC
Troy, NC Star, NC Carthage, NC Jackson Springs, NC
Raeford, NC Fort Bragg, NC Candor, NC Robbins, NC
Ellerbe, NC Pinebluff, NC West End, NC Foxfire, NC
The Facilities:
The O’Neal School is nestled on a 40-acre wooded campus located in Moore County, NC across from Sandhills Community College. The five building campus has the following facilities that cater to the high school students:
Classroom Building Senior Room Student Center Robotics Lab
Dining Commons Library/Media Center Swimming Pool Science Laboratories
Art Studio 2 Gymnasiums Theater Fitness Center
Soccer Field Baseball Field Pottery Kiln Tennis Courts
The O'Neal School admits students of any race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by law to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by law in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.