Gig Harbor High School

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Gig Harbor High School
5101 Rosedale St NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335 USA

Type Public
Established 1979
Principal Tom Leacy[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,603[2]
Mascot Tide Guy
Nickname Tides
Rivals Peninsula High School and South Kitsap High School
Information (253) 530-1400
Colors              Navy Blue, Columbia Blue, and White

Gig Harbor High School is a public high school in the Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor, Washington.

The school was created in the summer of 1978 and originally was a 2A school, but is now 4A. During its first year, the school enrolled eighth through eleventh grades while seniors remained at Peninsula High School. The school's rivals are Peninsula High School (Purdy, Pierce County, Washington) and South Kitsap High School (Port Orchard, Washington).

Facility addition and remodel[edit]

In 1990, the school was renovated. "WPC completed this 120,000-square-foot, three-phase addition and remodel while occupied, two months ahead of schedule, and at a savings of one-half million dollars from value engineering ideas. Phase 1 consisted of a new Masonry classroom building, new concrete tilt-up gymnasium, and a new science addition. Phase 2 was the complete renovation of existing space, including upgrading portions of the food service area and a new administration area. Phase 3 consisted of renovation of the old administration area into classrooms and music area." [3]

Athletics and activities[edit]

Speech & Debate Team The speech and debate team attends both state and national tournaments yearly. It is one of the most successful teams of the school[citation needed], and won the statewide tournament in the 2007-2008 season. The team participates in policy debate, LD (Lincoln-Douglas), Congressional Debate, Public Forum, various interpretation events, platform speaking and limited prep events. They have been coached by Chris Coovert (commonly known as Coov) since September 2000.[4]

Band The Gig Harbor Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Pep Band, and Orchestra are all directed by Eric Swanson, starting in the fall of 2009. The bands have become more and more successful in the last few years, performing three concerts per school year, and at different festivals and competitions throughout the year. They visited Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in May 2011 and performed there, winning three awards as a group and multiple individual student awards at a competition. In April 2012, they performed at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The Pep Band is present at each home football and basketball games, performing short songs in between game plays and at half times.

Cross-Country The Tides Cross-Country team is coached by Mark Wieczorek. The Tides girls' team has won numerous state titles, most recently a string of three 4A titles from 2005–2007, with the 2005 team finishing 7th in the nation. The boys' team has been successful as well, winning the state AA title in 1995 and placing they placed 2nd at the state 4A meet in 2007, only four points away from the title. In 2011, the boys' team took first in state, and went on to compete at the Nike XC Nationals in Portland, Oregon. In 2013, the boy's team won Nike XC Nationals.

Football The Tides football team has won the Narrows League numerous times. In 2008, Gig Harbor lost to their cross town rival, Peninsula 33-0 and their league rival, South Kitsap 33-13. They finished 2nd in their league and were Coached by Darren McKay. Darren McKay was let go April 2012. In May 2012, Aaron Chantler, former quarterbacks coach at Woodrow Wilson High School was hired as new Head Coach of the Football team. In 2013, Gig Harbor beat Peninsula 27-20.

Tennis Both men's and women's teams are have been very successful in the Narrows league in the past few years. The boys team is coached by Kevin Davis and has sent players to state every year since 2004. Kristy Sipes won the state singles title as a sophomore in 2008.

Baseball State Champions in 1997, the Tides baseball team is competitive every season. Coached by Peter Jansen, the 2010 Tides won the Narrows Bridge Division and have advanced to the League title game. A trip to Safeco Field for the State Semi-finals and Championship is in the near future.

Wrestling In 1995 under coach Raoul Ancira and in 3A, they had their one and only state champion, Mike Hayden at the 189-pound weight class. The Riptide wrestling team is now coached by Leonard Spadoni. In the 2007-2008 season, Jesse Chunn took 3rd in state at 152, making him the highest State placer since 2001, when Jen Easton took 2nd. Also in the 2007-2008 season, Gig Harbor upset Peninsula High School in a 42-33 dual meet victory, despite having 3 forfeits which totaled 18pts against them. Peter Haas(until his death) and Grant Hillard were the captains of the 2008-2009 season. In the 2009-2010 season, Senior Davey Browne took 4th at state. The captains of the 2010-2011 season are Jacob Spadoni (junior) and Ryan Olson (senior). In 2011-2012 season the captions are Phillip Olson (Senior) Kyle Iverson(Senior) Jacob Spadoni(Senior) and Ben Small(Senior).

Track & Field In the 2007 season, both genders won the state 4A team title. Both genders have won state many times in the past years. They are coached by Kevin Eager.

Newspaper The schools newspaper, The Sound, has won various awards and is well known. The newspaper just added the magazine and a website as new publications.

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Ken Brown's team of US Government and Politics students, which no longer exists at Gig Harbor High School, have placed in the top three of the Washington state competition every year they have attended, with a first place win in both 2006-2007 and 2008-2009. From 1994-2006, Gig Harbor finished in the top three at state, behind Tahoma High School, which were named Washington State Champions during that time. Gig Harbor took another spot behind Tahoma during the 2007-2008 school year, when Tahoma tied in the top 10 at the national competition after winning state for the 14th time.

Water Polo The Tides water polo team has won three consecutive state champion titles as of 2012.[5]


On April 23rd 2007, the Dean of Students Keith Nelson released surveillance footage of LGBT students kissing to their parents [6] who also attended the same church as him; one of the parents subsequently pulled their daughter out of school.

This raised the question as to whether the employment of security cameras to monitor public displays of affection is a valid use of school resources, and whether or not reporting it to their parents was a violation of their rights. After an internal investigation the Peninsula School District concluded it would now only use security cameras for monitoring activities such as trespassing, bullying, and vandalism, and that school employees will now be barred from sharing security tapes with parents.

Keith Nelson later commented in an interview defending his actions stating "They're paying good money for us to make their kids good citizens. Whatever that means to the parents, I'll do it." [7]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°19′51″N 122°36′18″W / 47.330741°N 122.604981°W / 47.330741; -122.604981