Central High School (Traverse City, Michigan)

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Central High School
Traverse City Central crest.gif
1150 Milliken Drive
Traverse City, Michigan 49686
United States
Coordinates 44°46′4″N 85°35′19″W / 44.76778°N 85.58861°W / 44.76778; -85.58861Coordinates: 44°46′4″N 85°35′19″W / 44.76778°N 85.58861°W / 44.76778; -85.58861
Type Public, Coeducational high school
Established 1884
School district Traverse City Area Public Schools
Principal Jessie Houghton
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1445 (2015)
Color(s) Black & Gold         
Athletics conference Big North
Team name Trojans
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools [1]

Traverse City Central High School is a public high school in Traverse City, Michigan, located at 1150 Milliken Drive. The principal is Jessie Houghton as of 2016.

It is one of six high schools in Traverse City, with over 1,400 students each year. Central is located in the Traverse City Area Public Schools school district, which is part of the larger Traverse Bay Area intermediate school district. Central offers classes for students in grades 9–12. Additionally, students are given the option to dual enroll and attend classes at Northwestern Michigan College. In addition to the dual enrollment program, a wide variety of honors and AP classes are offered. These include AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP World History, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, AP Psychology, and AP Statistics

Arts and music[edit]

Central has an active music program, with multiple choirs, bands, and orchestras. In addition to the larger groups, there are also numerous small ensembles, including a jazz band, three small vocal groups, and some student-led chamber ensembles. In 2003, the chorale performed at Carnegie Hall; in 2006, the Choral-Aires participated in Mozart's 250th birthday celebration, touring Vienna and Salzburg, and in 2012 the Vocal Majority participated in Distinguished Concerts International New York's concert "Eternal Light...Shining Bright".

The choir annually performs a show entitled "Rendezvous at the Jazz Club," which, in addition to featuring all school-sponsored vocal groups, also includes a large number of soloists and group acts. "Rendezvous" departs from traditional choral music to offer the audience a unique blend of rock, pop, country, jazz, and other styles.

The school puts on an annual musical which involves students from all fields. In the recent past, the musicals have been such classics as Guys and Dolls, Singin' in the Rain and Hello, Dolly!. In 2004, the musical Beauty and the Beast sold over 6,000 tickets, with two encore performances, due to overwhelming demand. The more modern show Disney's "High School Musical" was performed there in 2007 and held two encore performances and was standing room only selling well over 7,000 tickets. Central was the first High school in the area to do that particular show.

The Theater Arts classes put on five different shows for the public each year; in addition, the Thespian club puts on a performance and competes at drama festivals.


Central's most intense sports rival is neighbor school West Senior High; Central competes in figure skating, baseball, basketball, bowling, debate, cheerleading, cross country, cross-country skiing, dance, downhill skiing, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, rowing, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. In boys' skiing, Central has been particularly dominant, winning 17 Michigan High School Athletic Association state championships from their inception in 1975 through their last in 2008. Central has won three football state titles in 1978, 1985 and 1988.

Before the split into Central High School and West Senior High School in 1997, Traverse City Senior High was the largest high school in the state and had more students in grades 10 through 12 than any other Michigan high school. It had over twice the enrollment of Cadillac High 40 miles away, and was eight to fifteen times larger than all other high schools within a forty-mile radius; hence, it had no close-by rivals. At one point in the 1970s and 1980s, Traverse City's nearest conference opponent was in Muskegon, nearly 150 miles away. Since the split, Central competes against West, Petoskey, Cadillac, Alpena, Gaylord, Ogemaw Heights High Schools, the seven largest high schools in Northern Michigan, as a member of the Big North Conference, while still scheduling many contests per season against powers in both southern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. While travel to and from Central games as of 2005 is not as long as it was in past decades, Central's teams, and their opponents, must log hundreds of miles more than most other Michigan schools each year.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Tom Kozelko". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Dan Majerle". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Suzy Merchant". msuspartans.com. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "Zach Redmond". ferrisstatebulldogs.com/. Retrieved March 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]