Desert Mountain High School

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Desert Mountain High School
12575 East Via Linda
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Coordinates 33°35′19″N 111°48′37″W / 33.588573°N 111.810184°W / 33.588573; -111.810184Coordinates: 33°35′19″N 111°48′37″W / 33.588573°N 111.810184°W / 33.588573; -111.810184
Type Secondary Public School
Established 1995
School district Scottsdale Unified School District
Principal Ms. Nichole Wilfert (2013-2014)
Grades 9-12
Number of students 2,285 (2012-2013)[1]
Color(s) Maroon and Gray
Mascot Wolves
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary School Systems
Newspaper Wolf's Print
Yearbook Archives

Desert Mountain High School (DMHS), opened in 1995, is in northeast Scottsdale, Arizona and serves a community which strongly supports the school system. The school has a joint-use city library facility, four computer labs, media studio, theater, college/career center, yearbook/newspaper production labs, child development department, business-regulated curriculum, off-school campus medical education facilities and extensive athletic facilities.

Desert Mountain has a two-semester scheduling format to serve its student population of almost 2,300 students in grades nine through twelve. In 1998, Desert Mountain became an International Baccalaureate Member School and is a magnet program for the Scottsdale Unified School District. Desert Mountain offers students the choice of standard, honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes.

Special programs are available for gifted (including Advanced Placement), English Language Learners and Special Education students. Extensive vocational programs are available through a partnership with the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT).[2]


The school's library is shared with the Scottsdale public library system as the Palomino Branch Library. It opened with the rest of the school in August 1995. The library features 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) of space. At the time of its opening, the then-50,000-volume collection was 60% owned by the library and 40% by the school. It was the district's first such combined library.[3] Library hours when school is in session are Monday- Thursday 7:15 am to 7 pm, Friday 7:15 am to 6 pm and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm.

Academics, honors and awards[edit]

The Desert Mountain faculty includes five administrators, nine professional support staff members and one hundred twenty-three teachers, of whom seventy-five hold Master's degrees and seven hold doctorates.

Desert Mountain High School is accredited through North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Desert Mountain is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors and complies with the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice.

Desert Mountain High School was named, for the second consecutive year[when?], as one of the top 1300 high schools in the country according to Newsweek's Web site. DMHS is one of a handful of public high schools in Arizona to make the list and was ranked 867th.[4]

U.S. News 2013 Best High Schools which listed 22,000 of the nations best high schools has listed Desert Mountain among the best in the nation. In Arizona, Desert Mountain ranks 18 on the list.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Desert Mountain students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including Student Council, National Honor Society, performing arts, athletics at the freshman, junior varsity, and varsity levels, as well as over fifty student clubs and organizations.

Desert Mountain's drama club, DMHS Players, was the only Arizona high school invited to perform at the world's largest arts festival, the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland, nominated for their production of Urinetown: The Musical. The DMHS Players also received numerous awards at the 2008 Center Stage Awards including Best Play, for their production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Desert Mountain's Invisible Children Club has been the recipient of multiple awards, including multiple club of the quarter/year awards and three Schools for Schools awards. Since its inception, it has raised over $50,000.


Although Desert Mountain has won many minor titles in high school athletics, their first major state title was earned in 2007 when the boys' basketball team became 5A-II state champions by defeating Paradise Valley High School 65-55.[5] In 2010, the girls soccer team won a 5A-II championship title as well. They defeated Horizon High School, after 3 OT's and winning 5 to 4 in PK's. The 2006 girls volleyball team also won the 2006 state championship. Desert Mountain students won eight varsity team championships and twelve individual state championships in 2007.

Angela Duckworth was the 2007 Wendy's High School Heisman national winner. She excelled in swimming. [6]


In 2006, Desert Mountain High School was featured on the MTV program My Super Sweet Sixteen. [1]

Notable alumni[edit]

The actress who plays Brittany S. Pierce on Glee, Heather Morris, was a graduate of Desert Mountain High School class of 2005.[7]

MLB outfielder Peter Bourjos attended Desert Mountain for his freshman year in 2001-2002. He later transferred to Notre Dame Prep.

Brent Bailey, class of 2001, stars in multiple commercials including Taco Bell, Web-series Emma Approved, and many more.

Some of the members of Chronic Future were graduates of Desert Mountain High School.

External links[edit]