Located in Downtown Puyallup in the Valley you’ll find the Puyallup High School. The school is part of the Puyallup School District. The district includes 3 other high schools as well which are Rogers High School, Emerald Ridge High School, and Walker High School. PHS is the home of the Vikings and one of the biggest high schools in the state of Washington. The colors of the school are purple and gold.
The Principal of the school is Eric Fredericks (2015) and between the years of 2013-2014 there were 1,589 students enrolled. PHS provides education for the 10th-12th grade levels.
History of the School:
Puyallup High School was originally named Central High School. The school was founded in 1890 and it’s first graduation class had 9 students in 1983. Remember Puyallup was first incorporated in 1980 as well so everything was brand new for this small town. The building went through a construction period in 1928 which cost between $30,000 – $35,000. When the construction of the new school was completed, the school changed it’s name from Central High School to Puyallup High School. During the graduation year of 1926, PHS had a graduating class of 112 students. In 1956, the population of Puyallup was growing at a very fast rate and enrollments were very high making it difficult for the facility to support everyone.
The Fire at PHS:
Unfortunately during the year of 1927, the school had a fire and the graduating class that year held their graduation ceremony at the Liberty Theater.
After many years another event literally shook the school. The Olympic Earthquake of 1949 caused great damage to the school building as well as the auditorium. Several years later in 1965 yet again another earthquake caused damaged. Due to the earthquake and damage, Puyallup High School felt the most damage and in fact was the only school closed in the Pierce County area. To make matters even worse and unthinkable happened again in 2001. In addition to all the other earthquakes, the school felt another shake which caused more damage.
There has been lots of construction projects at the school. The first major construction of the building happened at the classroom building during 1971. The gym was remodeled during 1984 and then a few years later the Library Science building (1986) was remodeled. At his point, the school has grown very large with student enrollment. Approximately 1600 students were moved to portables and extra rooms to just make it work during all the construction that was happening. They even used other areas around the City of Puyallup, Washington. The school really needed more room due to growth and the construction projects helped enhance the layouts so learning could happen more smoothly and efficiently. Even though there was a lot of construction over the years at the school, they always made an effort to try to keep some of the original school structure as it was back in the day.
School Performance & Academic Scores:
Comparing the student performances during the years of 2005-2006, Puyallup High School 2nd in the entire district. The school out performed Rogers High School and Walker High School.
During September of each year, qualifying seniors can apply for a scholarship. These scholarships are funded and created by the community through donations, auctions, raffles, and philanthropy efforts. The Association also has a yearly annual dinner and a live auction. The events started in 1993 and have been very successful each year. They are managed and provided by the Puyallup High School Alumni Association. The Washington State Fair (previously known as the Puyallup Fair) holds the event in the Expo Hall which is right in the middle of the fairgrounds.
High School reunions are put together by the many alumni volunteers as well as with the help of the Viking Booster Club. For many years, reunions were being held at the Varsity Bar & Grill in Tacoma, however, the location closed several years ago. The Viking Booster Club has a long history and is a non-profit that was created over 25 years ago. They are very involved in the PHS raising funds to support the staff and students with planning and school events. They often sell merchandise, provide the school Letterman patches, help with Homecoming, graduation activities, and of course scholarships which is noted above. Many of school yearbooks for Puyallup are held on display at the Library. The Puyallup Public Library has history days where you can review and discuss them.
Popular & Famous Alumni:
Puyallup High School has had there fair share of noble students. We’ve seen Gail Bruce, Billy Joe Hobert, Brock Huard, Damon Huard, Dane Looker, and Adam Grant all make it to the NFL playing professionally. On the topic of sports, we have Ryan Moore who is a professional golf player as well. We’ve even had political figures such as Jim Kastama and Frank Brouillet.
PHS Vikings Football:
The schools football team holds many records to be proud of. They were the state champs in 1987. The football team has been league champs 14 times from 1971-2006. Probably the most successful family related to football was the Huard students. All three boys played football and 2 or 3 went to play professional after. Brock Huard is often on TV discussing sports and the Seattle Seahawks. There has been so many great football players who got there start with the Puyallup Vikings Football Team. The mission statement for the football team is “Building Championship Attitude For A Lifetime Of Success”.
Over the many years at PHS, there have been many controversies. According to the Seattlepi.com, in 2002 there was a $7.2 million dollar settlement by the Puyallup School District over a civil rights suit. 36 students and 23 parents were involved in the lawsuit. The Viking Vanguard which is Puyallup High Schools student paper has faced some censorship over the years (as well as other Puyallup Schools). Students formed a group to address the issue with the school board. In 2008, the Seattlepi reported that several PHS students had their sex lives detailed in the Emerald Ridge Student Paper, JagWire, and ended up filing a lawsuit against the district as well.
I am so proud to be a Puyallup Viking graduate. My experience with Puyallup High School was positive. Sure there were a lot of students during my years, however, I felt the school was large enough to support everyone and provided the education we all were given. Portables were used for several of the classes and it wasn’t really a big deal for me personally. I’m a big fan of the schools in Puyallup and this high school in particular since I’m a proud graduate. If you’re considering relocating to the Puyallup area, then I would recommend the Puyallup School District as being a great choice. Puyallup was obviously growing and continues to grow every year not only in students but it’s population in general. The many events, friends, and football games were my highlights.
Puyallup High School 105 7th St. S.W. Puyallup, WA. 98371
Phone: (253) 841-8711