Liberty High School (Issaquah, Washington)

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Liberty High School
Liberty2.png
Location
16655 SE 136th St
Renton, WA 98059

Information
Type Public
Established 1977
School district Issaquah S.D.
Principal Dr. Josh Almy
Enrollment 1,205 (As of 2011)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Silver, Green, and Royal Blue
              
Mascot Patriots
Rivals Issaquah, Skyline, Hazen, Lake Washington
Information (425) 837-4906
Awards National Blue Ribbon School Award
Website

Liberty High School is a secondary school located in the East Renton Highlands in King County, Washington, United States. Founded in 1977, LHS anchors the southern region of the Issaquah School District in the areas of Mirrormont, Issaquah, Four Lakes, May Valley, East Renton Highlands, East Lakemont, and the city of Newcastle. The school was named Liberty because of the U.S. bicentennial celebration in 1976. After being named Liberty, the bell from the research ship USS Liberty was acquired and is currently on display at the school.[1]

Liberty works congruently with the University of Washington's "College in the High School" program in Psychology, Spanish, and French, which allows students to earn both high school and college credits through a different means than AP courses.[2]

National Blue Ribbon School[edit]

In the 1998–1999 school year, Liberty received the award of National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, the highest award an American school can achieve. Liberty was recognized at the national level in Washington DC on April 21, 1999. Representatives Edmonds, Kagi, Dickerson, Wensman, Ballasiotes, Pflug, Kenney, McIntire, Thomas, Hankins, Esser and Fortunato proclaimed,

"Whereas, Liberty High School encapsulates the ideals and beliefs that lie at the heart of the community it serves, and embraces core beliefs honoring personal dignity, quality and excellence in performance, moral and ethical courage, and individual capacity for flexibility and growth.BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives encourage every student, parent, teacher, school, and community throughout the State of Washington to emulate the outstanding example and national recognition achieved by our National Blue Ribbon School." See the Resolution

School achievements[edit]

Technology: Liberty is home to the Technology Information Project (T.I.P.), a nationally recognized educational program promoting the use of computers in the high school setting. Due to the work of Michael Booky and Donald Robertson, this program promoted the teaching of computer science and information technology by having students run the district's network. See The Issaquah Miracle for more information.

Performing Arts: The Patriot Players Drama Club is very active at Liberty High, typically performing four major productions per year: two plays, a musical, and Liberty's own Student-Directed One Acts Festival.

Libertys Drama Department received top honors in 2006, as one of the best schools for theater productions in the state. The Patriot Players—Liberty’s talented group of student actors—received numerous accolades at the 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards for their production of "Seussical."[3] Designed as a high school version of the Tony Awards, the 5th Avenue Awards program honors high school students throughout Washington who put on quality musical theater entertainment. All nominees are invited to the annual awards show at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. In addition to being asked to perform on stage during the ceremony, the Patriot Players won Best Chorus and Best Costume Design. Teacher Katherine Klekas took home Best Director. Seussical was also nominated in eight other categories: Outstanding Overall Musical Production, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Group, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Orchestra, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Hair and Makeup Design, and Outstanding Stage Crew.

  • More recently, the Patriot Players received ten nominations and two honorable mentions for their Spring 2010 production of "Into the Woods.".[4]
  • In 2012, the Liberty drama program was recognized as the best musical program in the state by the 5th Avenue Awards Program. Liberty High School won for Outstanding Overall Musical Performance, Outstanding Music Direction (Robin Wood), Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Jeremy Dodd), and Outstanding Scenic Design for their production of Little Shop of Horrors.
  • In 2013 the Patriot Players received 9 nominations, winning Outstanding Scenic Design for their production if The Wizard Of Oz at the 5th Aves.

Culinary Arts: Liberty was also named the top culinary art school in the State of Washington during the 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007 and 2009–2010 school year. Liberty's culinary program went on to compete at the national level in North Carolina and became a well-known program around the nation. The team defended their title in March during this year's state championship. The Culinary Arts Program follows the ProStart curriculum designed by the National Restaurant Education Foundation. Students are eligible to earn 15 college credits through the Tech Prep program as they learn culinary techniques and business skills, then practice those skills by running a restaurant in the school. Students have earned top honors and scholarships at local, state, and national competitions. See the Liberty Culinary School at state

Patriot Press: Liberty's newspaper, "The Patriot Press", has been ranked as the best high school newspaper in the state of Washington during the 02-03, 03-04, 04-05, 05-06, 06-07 and 07-08 school years. The Patriot Press Staff recently won two scholastic journalism awards: Honorable mention in the overall excellence category of the Edward R. Murrow journalism contest at Washington State University and first place for overall newspaper excellence in the Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists contest.[citation needed]

Liberty Band: In February 2009 the Liberty High School Marching Band competed in the KZOK and Rock Wood Fired Pizza sponsored Battle of the High School Bands, featured on the Bob Rivers Show. With over 40 other schools in the puget sound area competing, their music video entry won the Grand Prize of $10,000. Bob Rivers referred to the Liberty Band as "One of the top, elite band programs in the state".

Volleyball

Academics[edit]

Test Scores:

2012-13 MSP/HSPE Results[5]
Reading Math Writing Science
10th Grade Meeting Standard 94% 94% 96% 94%

US News and World Report:

  • In 2014, the US News and World Report ranked Liberty in the silver category as the #768 best high school in America and #15 best in the state.[6]

School Digger:

  • Rated in the top 2% of Washington high schools, Liberty is ranked the 13th out of 433 schools in 2012 by Schooldigger.com. Rankings are based on public and private school test scores.

Business Week:

  • In 2009, Businessweek and Greatschools.org recognized Liberty as the #1 "parents choice" high school in the state of Washington. Parents write reviews and give ratings for schools on greatschools.org. For this award, a school is chosen with the highest average parent rating that also had at least 10 parent reviews.[7]

Evergreen Foundation:

  • According to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, Liberty ranks 20th of 346 public and private high schools in the State of Washington. Rankings are published by the Fraser Institute, which compares test scores, curriculum, and graduation rates.[8]

Athletics[edit]

Liberty Football Player

Liberty High School is a member of the 3A Kingco Athletic Conference and Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Liberty's traditional rivals are Bellevue, Issaquah and Skyline. Hazen High School has also been a traditional rival due to its close proximity to Liberty. Liberty's most recent state title came in both 2007 and 2011 when Liberty's 4×400 men's Relay team took first place at the State Track and Field meet in Pasco and set a school record. In 2003 the Patriot's were also state champions when Liberty's baseball team beat West Valley High School of Yakima.[9] Liberty's most recent individual state champion was Josh Gordon, who won the long jump title in 2012.[10] In all, the Liberty Athletic program holds 6 state titles in Football, Baseball, Soccer, Track and Softball. Football: For the better part of the last decade, the Liberty football team has competed in the upper tier of the 3A Division. In 2009 the Liberty football team went 12-2 with a second place finish in the 3A state championship. Additionally, Liberty defeated cross-town rival and three-time defending 4A State Champion Skyline on September 3, 2010.[11] The football team's last 3A state title came on December 3, 1988 where they defeated Cheney 30-0. [2]

Track & Field: Liberty's Track & Field team has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. Most recently the 2011 Liberty T & F team placed 2nd in state, most notably as a result of a 1st place finish in both the Men's 4×400 Relay as well as the Long Jump. In 2010 the Men's team placed 1st in the district and second in the state, and in 2011, the Women's Team placed 1st in Kingco. Liberty has consistently outperformed many nearby 4A teams, and has continued to be a powerhouse in Track & Field in recent years.

Baseball: Liberty's Baseball has seen success in recent years with a state title in 2003. The team's most recognized alumnus, Tim Lincecum, was the 2008 and 2009 Cy Young Award recipient as the top Major League pitcher in the National League. He currently plays for the San Francisco Giants.

Women's Soccer: Liberty's Women's Soccer team has statistically performed above many of the Kingco teams in recent years, winning the 3A State Title in 2013. In 1998, 2000, & 2001, Liberty finished 3rd in State. Recently, in 2010, the Patriots took 1st in Kingco, going undefeated in league play. Additionally, the Lady Patriots again went undefeated in league play during the 2011 season, repeating as KingCo league champions. During the 2011 season, Liberty finished 2nd in State, marking the first time the Women's team was able to reach the State Championships- they lost 2-3 to the defending champions Seattle Prep. The team took 4th in State in 2012.

Softball: The Liberty softball program has a long storied tradition of attending the state championships. The softball team holds a record for state championship appearances at 12 years in a row, the most out of any sport of any school in the states history. Liberty holds the 1993 state title in softball where they beat longtime-rival Hazen 13-1.

Mens Soccer: In 1999, the Liberty men's soccer team was ranked 12th in the nation by CBS Sports. Though the team only came in 2nd in state that year, they have won a state title in 1986 where they defeated Fife 3-2. [3]

Notable alumni[edit]

LHS cheerleader performing Grease Lightning

History and facilities[edit]

Liberty opened in 1977 as a senior high school (grades 10-12, although without a senior class the first year), and became a four-year high school (gr. 9-12) in 1984. The school was completely renovated in 1999 and is currently undergoing reconstruction. The school colors of silver, green, and blue were chosen to replicate those used by the Seattle Seahawks, whose first season was in 1976. The colors were selected over red, white, and blue by a vote from the student body. The school is home to the Ray Reeves Gymnasium.

2011–2015 renovation[edit]

In the summer of 2011, a 70 million-dollar multi-phase renovation project began, targeted for completion in four years. When finished, Liberty will be one of the most eco-friendly schools in the state of Washington that will consist of a large green roof and two live green walls (Phase III). Phase I includes a $20 million addition and modernization project which passed the February 7, 2006 ballot measure for the Issaquah School District (see construction projects). The master plan for the campus is a series of buildings set around four exterior courts. By the fall of 2015, Liberty will have added two classroom wings, two science classrooms, an additional auxiliary gym, weight room, tennis courts, expansion of the core facilities, an expanded cafeteria with a kitchen, administration and counseling wings, an entry courtyard/lobby, and a 600-seat state-of-the-art performing arts center that includes a 100-seat black box, music, band and orchestra rooms. Phase I includes constructing a new performing art center (PAC) at the entrance to the school. As part of the master campus plan, a $45 million phase II and phase III will demolish most of the northern portion of the campus (including the library, 500 and 600 wing, art and technology wing) and replace them with two new wings with an open exterior court. The gym area of the school will be the only portion of the original campus left intact. See Phase I, II, and III of the Schematic Plans as of April 2010 prepared by the architects for the expansion, Bassetti Architects. Construction on Phase II began in July 2012, which will be followed by Phase III that will begin in the summer of 2013.

2011 Athletic facilities renovations[edit]

In addition to the complete school remodel, the football stadium will have a new home-side facility with 2,000 seats, a covered roof, team meeting rooms, press box, restrooms, and concessions. It is proposed that the existing home-side stands will become the visitor side and the new stands will be built on the hillside to the west. Total seating for the stadium facility will reach 3,100 spectators at a cost of $5 million. See the football Stadium Plans as of May 2011. These plans were dropped due to the cost of building into the existing hillside and were modified to include new concessions at the south end of the field.

The Liberty baseball field underwent renovations in the summer of 2011. The existing infield sand was replaced with artificial turf and the surrounding stadium also received renovations.

As part of the school renovation project, the sports teams will gain a new auxiliary gym as well as a new weight room and Athletic Training Room.

Green Technology School[edit]

On May 4, 2010, science teacher Mark Buchli introduced Liberty High’s new solar panel to an audience that included state legislators, Puget Sound Energy and Issaquah Schools Foundation officials and school board members. In addition to providing the school clean energy, the solar panel will allow classrooms to conduct hands-on experiments and demonstrations—and perhaps inspire a new generation of scientists to better harness the vast energy potential of the sun. The grants to Liberty will provide an opportunity for students to compare the efficiency of tracking solar arrays, which have the ability to turn and follow the sun. The panel was funded by a grant from Puget Sound Energy with additional funding for the revolving pedestal from the Issaquah Schools Foundation. See PSE's News Release

As part of the currently planned renovation, Liberty's new facilities will include features like reusable water from green/planted roofs, geothermal heating, usable fans in all classrooms, composting, and light shelves on the building's exterior windows.

Feeder schools[edit]

Within the past 5 years, the Liberty attendance area has seen a tremendous amount of growth, most notably in the Newcastle area. Recently, the Issaquah School Board purchased the Winterbrook Farm site in the May Valley area near Sunset Valley Farms for $3.33 Million. See land purchases. With expansive growth, a new middle and elementary school are planned for the site. Maywood Middle School is the only main feeder school.

Secondary schools:

Elementary schools:

  • Apollo Elementary School
  • Briarwood Elementary School
  • Maple Hills Elementary School
  • Newcastle Elementary School
  • Clark Elementary School (open enrollment)
  • Winterbrook Elementary School (proposed)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USS Liberty Memorial". Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  2. ^ "2008 Annual School Performance Report for Liberty" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  3. ^ 5th Avenue Awards Nominees & Recipients 2006.
  4. ^ 5th Avenue Awards Nominees 2010.
  5. ^ "Washington State Report Card". Reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  6. ^ "America's Best High Schools: Washington - US News and World Report". Images.usnews.com. Retrieved 2015-05-07. 
  7. ^ "America's Best High Schools: Washington - BusinessWeek". Images.businessweek.com. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  8. ^ "Compare academic rankings and ratings of Washington schools". Washington.compareschoolrankings.org. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "2005 WIAA 3A Girls Star Track-Pasco". Jcrawford.net. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  11. ^ 39-34 http://lhspatriotpress.com/2010/09/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°28′47″N 122°07′06″W / 47.47972°N 122.11833°W / 47.47972; -122.11833