David Douglas High School

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David Douglas High School
A place where connections are made[citation needed]
David Douglas High School is located in Portland, Oregon
David Douglas High School
David Douglas High School
1001 SE 135th Ave
Portland, Oregon, Multnomah County 97233
 United States
Coordinates 45°30′56″N 122°31′38″W / 45.515681°N 122.527229°W / 45.515681; -122.527229Coordinates: 45°30′56″N 122°31′38″W / 45.515681°N 122.527229°W / 45.515681; -122.527229
Type Public
Opened 1954
School district David Douglas School District
Principal John Bier[1]
Grades 9-12[2]
Number of students 3080[2]
Color(s) Scarlet and gray   [3]
Athletics conference OSAA Mt. Hood Conference 6A-3[3]
Mascot Scots[3]
Newspaper The Highlander
David Douglas High School - Portland Oregon - pic2.jpg

David Douglas High School (DDHS) is a public high school in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is a part of the David Douglas School District.

In 1998 Lynn Olson, author of The School-to-work Revolution: How Employers And Educators Are Joining Forces To Prepare Tomorrow's Skilled Workforce, said that David Douglas was "a clean, orderly, comfortable school, the kind that sprouted up all over the country in the baby boom years of the 1950s and 1960s."[4]


The school is named after 19th-century Scottish botanist David Douglas, namesake of such Pacific Northwest species as the Douglas-fir. Originally established in 1954, enrollment at DDHS increased quickly in subsequent years as development in suburban Portland expanded, eventually becoming one of the largest high schools in the area.

In 2009 around 20 students at David Douglas, all a part of the East Precinct Youth Advisory Council, created a traffic enforcement mission at the campus in cooperation with the Portland Police Department east precinct.[5]


The school has seven buildings. The first, referred to as the North Building, is dedicated to academic courses. Second is the South Building, a place for vocational fine arts. Next to the North is the pool building where health and financial classes are taught, along with a few strays. The social studies building was opened in 2007. The PAC is across from the South Building where music and theatre courses are held along with two theatres. One is a standard stadium seating theatre and the other, downstairs, is referred to as the "black box theatre". The East Campus is where the public and students with children are offered daycare. This provides the tools for the child development classes. East Campus is several blocks away from the main building. David Douglas also has a garage for the automotives students located in the far corner of the parking lot behind the football stadium. The school is within a neighborhood that consists of small single-family houses.[6]


In 2008, 67% of the school's seniors received their high school diploma. Of 748 students, 500 graduated, 141 dropped out, 19 received a modified diploma, and 88 are still in high school.[7][8]

Project STARS[edit]

In 1991 the school district introduced the Project STARS (Students Taking Authentic Routes to Success) "school-to-work" program after a survey concluded that, of the recent graduates of the school, 20% went to four year colleges. Anthony Palerimini, the superintendent, said "We were doing an excellent job of providing a well-rounded college prep education. But it wasn't relevant to 25 to 30 percent of our students."[9] The program introduced students to various career fields. The Oregon Business Council, an organization representing forty chief executive officers from the largest companies in the State of Oregon, partnered with the David Douglas district in implementing the program.[9]

When each student was in high school, he or she selected one of six "constellations" (concentrations) in which he or she would concentrate his or her electives in. Each constellation requires a student to take a capstone course, related courses, job shadows, and work experience. The Oregon Business Council implemented committees, together with 12 members, to develop a business and administration certificate of advanced mastery and a production and technology certification of advanced mastery. In the northern hemisphere fall of 1994 the district planned to begin offering courses in these areas. The district planned to add four more certificates in the 1995-1996 school year.[9]

In 1994 the Associated Press referred to the David Douglas School District as "a leader in Oregon's movement toward more career-oriented schools" due to the school-to-work program courses.[9] The Associated Press added that "It may serve as a model for other districts as they forge new ties with the world of work."[9]


As of 1998, the school has 1,850 students. The students were mostly White and mostly of lower-middle and middle class. During that year, Lynn Olson, author of The School-to-work Revolution: How Employers And Educators Are Joining Forces To Prepare Tomorrow's Skilled Workforce, said that "typifies the demographics of Oregon as a whole."[6]

The Highlander[edit]

The Highlander is published monthly by the Advanced Journalism class, and has a circulation of 2,000. It is printed by the Gresham Outlook.

The Highlander has won the following awards:

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1996, David Douglas was honored as one of the ten original New American High Schools "showcase site", serving as a model for other public schools around the nation, in part due to the David Douglas Model District Partnership and the "academic constellations" created through Project STARS (Students Taking Authentic Routes to Success).[11][12][13]


State championships[edit]

  • Boys' Swimming: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985 2008
  • Girls' Swimming: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 1980, 1981
  • Dance Team:1983, 1997, 2000
  • Boys' Baseball: 1977
  • Boys' Basketball 1967
  • Football: 1960, 1965
  • Wrestling: 1961, 1966, 2013
  • Track and Field: 1973, 1987 cheerleading: 2015[14]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Olson, Lynn. The School-to-work Revolution: How Employers And Educators Are Joining Forces To Prepare Tomorrow's Skilled Workforce. Da Capo Press, August 28, 1998. ISBN 0738200298, 9780738200293.


External links[edit]