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North High Background and History


North High School was built with funds from the Public Works Administration and opened its doors in the fall of 1939. At that time, its location at 1101 East Thomas Road was at the northeastern outskirts of the city. It was first named North Phoenix High School and was the second school in the Phoenix Union High School District, which today has nine other comprehensive high schools. North High is the oldest school remaining in the district.

Over the years North High has faced many changes. In the late 1950s or early 1960s, a central plant was added with chillers and cooling towers to cool the school. In 1949, the student body raised enough money to build the Corral, where students gathered for fun, games and dancing. The Corral burned down sometime in the 1970s. In 1962, the school's name was officially changed to North High, dropping the explicit reference to Phoenix as its home city. During the late 1970s, North and other district schools were impacted by declining enrollment. In 1981, budget shortfalls forced the district governing board to close North High. Shortly after that, lawsuits were filed by inner city parents, and the U.S. District Court ruled that the Phoenix Union High School District must restore educational opportunities to inner city high school students. The district chose to reopen North High in order to satisfy the court's concerns. In the fall of 1983, after a $1.2 million renovation, North was opened once again. However, North would receive further improvements to ensure that inner city students had access to a quality education. The North gymnasium was added in 1979 and a track storage building 1993.

In order to fully desegregate the school population, the Phoenix Union High School District created a plan for many district-wide, magnet programs. This meant that individual schools would have special programs that would attract students from the entire district. Therefore, an International Baccalaureate program was established at North High.

In the early 1990s, North High and many other district schools were faced with yet another problem, the removal of asbestos from their buildings. Building by building, over a three year time period, the school was torn apart, rebuilt, and remodeled. At that time, (1993) a new administration building was constructed, and a new art wing was added to the science building. The large student eating area and covered ramada in the center of campus were also added at that time. The original brick exterior of the school was replaced with stucco and a Southwestern trim.

Unlike the 1970s when the school saw a declining enrollment, the 1990s were a time of continuous growth for North's student body. On March 17, 1995, the North High School Alumni Association was formed (NHSAA). The purpose was to preserve the heritage of the North High School campus and its place in the history of Arizona, to create awareness in the community of the campus and its benefits, and to encourage preservation restoration of the campus and surrounding community. In the school year 1998-1999, the NHSAA awarded 6 scholarships worth $4000 to students who attended Phoenix College. Since that initial group, the NHSAA has awarded scholarships to 65 students. Twenty-seven of those have graduated with either a 2-year degree or a 4-year degree. There are currently (2010) 15 students attending a college or university on scholarships worth $6000 over a 4-year period.

In December, 1998, construction was completed on an addition to the language arts building. This addition was part of continued efforts to ease crowded conditions. At its highpoint, student population of the 1998-1999 school year was over 2700.

As students began the 2001-2002 school year, at the dawn of a new millennium, they followed in the footsteps of thousands of alumni and alumnae who have enjoyed all North High has to offer its students. During the early days of North High's existence, it was called the Honor School of the West and was considered one of the finest high schools in the United States. Today, North High continues to lead in academic excellence. North High continues to grow adding a liberal arts wing in 2008, and currently has a total square footage of 336,081 on 25.96 acres of land.

Student enrollment for the 20092010 school year was over 2500, and this year also marks the 70th anniversary of North High. There have been many changes over the years, some good and some not so good, but it still remains one of the top schools in the country.
 

School Traditions

Mascot                                 Fighting Mustang
Colors                                  Royal Blue & Fire Engine Red
School Fight Song
    Fight, Mustangs, Fight!
    And We Are Sure To Win The Game
    Drive, Mustangs, Drive!
    And We Will Win Our Way To Fame.
    Go, Mustangs, Go!
    Whether Leading Or Behind.
    If You're A ~ M-U-S-T-A-N-G
    Get Out And
    Fight, Mustangs, Fight!

 

 

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Jim Johnson
 
 

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