Madison East High School

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For schools of a similar name, see East High School (disambiguation).
Madison East High School
Madison East High School.jpg
Diversity and Pride.
Type Public secondary
Established 1922
Oversight Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD)
Principal Mary Kelley
Grades 9–12
Number of students 1,580 (2011-2012)
Color(s) Purple and Gold
Athletics conference Big 8
Mascot Purgolders
Accreditation AdvancED[1]
Newspaper Tower Times

Madison East High School is one of four comprehensive four-year high schools in Madison, Wisconsin. It was established in 1922, making it the oldest high school still operating in Madison. The school mascot is the "Purgolder", an animal resembling a puma. Madison East athletes compete in the WIAA Big Eight Conference. Its girls' swim team won the WIAA Division 1 state championship in 2007.


More than 50% of East's graduates go on to a four-year college, with a large number of additional students attending two year colleges, such as the Madison Area Technical College. Academically motivating honors and advanced classes are part of the curriculum. Advanced Placement (AP) courses include calculus AB, calculus BC, Environmental Science, Statistics, French 5, Spanish 5, music theory, psychology, macroeconomics, microeconomics, European history and computer science. Courses are available in advanced physics, advanced chemistry, anatomy, aviation, literature, composition, creative writing, speed reading, and computer programming.

The school also has a music program. The band program includes Freshman Band, Concert Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Orchestra and the highest level, Sinfonietta. The orchestra program includes the Concert Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra. The choir program has both concert choirs and show choirs. The concert choirs include Chorale, Women's Choir and Concert Choir. The Show Choirs include Mad City Swing and Encore Show Choir.

Madison East has an inside "mall", which was built from bricks from the older building before the school was expanded. This area is home to most of the lockers in the school, but also serves as a hang-out place for students. The forum is normally reserved for freshman, but upperclassmen are also allowed to recreate in this location. Above the freshman forum is the 'Sophomore Wall'; closer to the cafeteria are the 'Junior and Senior' walls.


East's sports include softball, volleyball, football, baseball, track and field, soccer, tennis, golf, gymnastics, wrestling, cross country, basketball,ice hockey and swimming. Hockey was a school success for many years, with the team winning several state championships. More recently, the hockey team has been combined with the team from La Follette, another high school on the east side of Madison, because of a lack of funding and participation.

The girls' swim team won the WIAA Division 1 state title in 2007, and was runner-up in 2008, despite having a small state-qualifying team consisting of fewer than 10 swimmers.

The boys' tennis team competed in the state tournament in the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 seasons.

The girls' tennis team competed in the state tournament in the 1995, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2011 seasons.

The boys' basketball team won three straight regional titles (2009,2010,2011), were ranked 10th in the midwest by USA Today in 2010, and the teams point guard Nimrod Hilliard IV was named Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin following the 2010-11 season. The Purgolders won their only state title in 1958.


The Margaret Williams Theater in East High School was once magnificent, with an upper balcony, a back section under the balcony, and an enormous chandelier. However, in the 1970s, the theater was renovated and the upper balcony was walled up to allow for the creation of the Barrett and Randall rooms as study halls. The chandelier was removed and the theater's seats were replaced with desks for more study halls. Currently, there is an effort to raise funds to renovate the theater.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Institution Summary, AdvancED, Retrieved 2012-07-08
  2. ^ "Jerry's bio on". Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2007-02-01.