Franklin High School (Seattle)

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Franklin High School
3013 South Mt. Baker Boulevard
Seattle, Washington 98144
United States
School type Public, Coeducational
Motto Truth, Unity, Honor
Established 1912, 105 years ago
Status Open
School district Seattle Public Schools
Principal Jennifer Wiley
Asst. Principals Keith Smith
Amber Fileds
Athletic Director Cara McEvoy
Faculty 65.1 FTEs[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,315 (as of 2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 20.2:1[1]
Classrooms 42
Campus Urban
Campus size 12.7 acres (5.1 ha)
Color(s)           Green, Black
Fight song On, Wisconsin![2]
Athletics 18 Varsity teams
Athletics conference Sea-King: Metro 3A
Nickname Quakers
Newspaper The Tolo
Yearbook The Tolo
Budget $7,440,714
Communities served Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Columbia City
Feeder schools Washington Middle School
Mercer Middle School
Seattle - Franklin High School 01.jpg
FHS from Cheasty Boulevard South

Franklin High School is a public high school in the northwest United States, located in Seattle, Washington, and administered by Seattle Public Schools.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,315 students and 65.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 20.2:1. There were 676 students (51.4% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 206 (15.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[1]

History and facilities[edit]

Franklin High School was Seattle's second purpose-built high school after Seattle High School. It first opened its doors 105 years ago in September 1912. Designed by architect Edgar Blair in a neo-Classical style, it was constructed of reinforced concrete and sited on 2.2 acres (0.9 ha). Expansions in 1925 by school district architect Floyd Naramore saw the site expanded to 10.6 acres (4.3 ha), in 1942 to 12.7 acres (5.1 ha), and in 1958 with a major addition by architect John W. Maloney that obscured the front facade of the building.[3]

In 1986 the Seattle School Board voted to tear down the building, in part due to the cost of required seismic upgrades, which resulted in major protests by students, alumni, and the public. The Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board designated the school as an official landmark which prevented its demolition.[3][4]

As part of a major renovation by Bassetti Architects in 1988-90, the 1958 addition was demolished, the school was seismically upgraded and historically restored. New additions and renovations included a new student commons, classrooms and science labs, art studios, vocational tech labs, an auditorium and stage, and a media center. Awards for this renovation included the 2001 Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Award of Merit; 1991 AIA Seattle, Award of Commendation; and 1991 Association of King County Historical Organization, Project Award.[5]


Franklin High School's curriculum is divided into 5 academies, the 9th Grade Academy and four Small Learning Communities) for the 10-12th Grade students: Academy of Finance (AOF), and John Stanford Public Service Academy (PSA), Humanities, and CREATE Academy. Each academy specializes in a particular study with their own mission statement and required classes.[6]

The Academy of Finance is an integrated social studies and language arts program supported by the nationally recognized and represented National Academy Foundation. Students study world history and literature from the point of view of trade and economic development. By combining accounting, social studies, and language arts, the Academy of Finance develops skills needed in the business environment. Mastery of technology, knowledge of available resources, and good communication are prioritized.

The John Stanford Public Service and Political Science Academy (PSA), founded in 2000, is a college preparatory small learning community (SLC) that offers students a rigorous 3 year academic program that meets and exceeds state standards for Language Arts and Social Studies. State standards in LA and Social Studies are overlaid with an emphasis on the role of the public sector in societies, past and present. PSA students are challenged to develop their critical thinking skills and to develop their own vision of the role that they and their government should take in confronting the opportunities and problems of their local, national, and international communities. The PSA combines Public Service and Political Science (the study of law, government and NGOs, history, political systems, etc.).

The Humanities is also a college preparatory academy. This academy is considered the best academy in Franklin High School's history. The classes consist of integrated Language Arts and Social Studies classes with special emphasis on project-based learning, the history of art and culture, and rigorous skills and content development. The Humanities program covers history through the lens of humanism starting in the Italian Renaissance and following through to modern times.

The CREATE Academy focuses on three subject: math, language arts, and woodshop. The approach is to relate these subjects to the different aspects of the building trades to prepare students for both university studies and work in the trades.

Notable alumni[edit]


Performing arts[edit]

  • Kenny G - Jazz musician, 25th-highest selling artist in America by the RIAA (as of 2003) and the 1994 recipient of a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for "Forever in Love". He jokes that it was in Franklin that he had his first sax solo and his first kiss and it is hard to decide which was more important.[8]
  • Amy Hill - Actress
  • John Keister - Comedian, writer, commentator and motivational speaker
  • Dave Lewis - Key figure in the creation of the Northwest sound in the rock'n'roll years; popularized Louie Louie and played a key role in desegregating the Seattle music scene.
  • Keye Luke[9] - Actor known for playing Lee Chan in the Charlie Chan films, the original Kato in the 1939-1941 Green Hornet film serials, and Master Po in the television series Kung Fu
  • Mark Morris - Modern American dancer, choreographer and director, founder of the Mark Morris Dance Group; Director of Dance at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Belgium's national opera house; co-founder of the White Oak Dance Project. A Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation (1991), 2010 recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society, recipient of eleven honorary doctorates.
  • Total Experience Gospel Choir - Founded at Franklin in 1973, still active as of 2008, probably Seattle's best-known gospel group


Larry Gossett addressing a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day rally at the Franklin High School gymnasium (2006).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d School data for Franklin High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ School athletics webpage, retrieved 2012-04-09
  3. ^ a b Seattle Schools historybook
  4. ^ "Landmarks List". Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Bassetti Architects, Franklin High School Archived 2010-09-17 on Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ School Academies webpage, retrieved 2012-04-09
  7. ^ "Fritz Greenlee". Retrieved March 6, 2016. 
  8. ^ FHS Alumni Association, retrieved 2014-06-16
  9. ^ Flint, Peter B. (January 16, 1991). "Keye Luke, Actor, Is Dead at 86; 'No. 1 Son' and 'Kung Fu' Master". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  10. ^ Alan J. Stein, College and high school students sit-in at Seattle's Franklin High on March 29, 1968, HistoryLink, June 14, 1999. Accessed online 27 April 2008.
  11. ^ Bell Masayuki Shimada (1922-1958), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed January 4, 2017. "Born in Seattle, WA of Japanese immigrant parents, Bell Shimada excelled as a student at mathematics and science and graduated from Franklin High School in June 1939."
  12. ^ Mcomber, J. Martin. "He's Seattle's `Law-And-Order Guy' -- Sidran Is OK With Being Hailed As Hero, Condemned As Heartless", The Seattle Times, July 30, 1999. Accessed January 4, 2017. "That's not far off the mark: Sidran was senior class president at Franklin High School in 1969."
  13. ^ Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl. Shaping Seattle Architecture: A Historical Guide to the Architects, Second Edition, p. 302. University of Washington Press, 2017. ISBN 9780295806891. Accessed January 4, 2017. "Victor Eugene Steinbrueck (1911-1985) was born December 15, 1911, in Mandan, North Dakota, and moved with his family to Seattle in 1913. He grew up in Seattle and graduated from Franklin High School."

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°34′34″N 122°17′34″W / 47.57611°N 122.29278°W / 47.57611; -122.29278