General William J. Palmer High School

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This article is about the high school located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For the high school located in Monument, Colorado, see Lewis-Palmer High School.

General William J. Palmer High School
William J Palmer High School Colorado Springs.jpg
301 North Nevada Avenue Colorado Springs, Colorado
Coordinates 38°50′20″N 104°49′12″W / 38.839°N 104.820°W / 38.839; -104.820Coordinates: 38°50′20″N 104°49′12″W / 38.839°N 104.820°W / 38.839; -104.820
Type Public Secondary
Motto A Tradition of Excellence
Established 1875
School district Colorado Springs School District 11
Principal Lara Disney
Grades 9 to 12
Enrollment 1,976 students
Color(s) Brown and white         
Mascot Terrors
Affiliation Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Nickname Terrors
Newspaper The Lever
Yearbook Terror Trail
TV Terror TV

General William J. Palmer High School is a secondary school located in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. The school has a student population of approximately 2,000 students, and attracts enrollment from all over the city. The flagship high school of School District 11, Palmer has the oldest International Baccalaureate (IB) program in the area, founded in 1991.


Palmer High School is located at 301 North Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs. The present building was built by the Works Progress Administration under Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940. Originally named Colorado Springs High School, Palmer High School was renamed in 1959 after the city's founder, General William Jackson Palmer. At that date, the city had expanded enough to warrant the building of a second high school, Roy J. Wasson High School.


In 1945, a Native American student, Don Willis, designed Eaglebeak, a caricature of a fictitious Indian chieftain, and the school's teams became the Terrors. In 1985 a local political hopeful criticized the mascot as racist, making Palmer one of the first cases of controversy over a Native American mascot in the United States. Despite the fact that the politician, having lost the election, later publicly apologized to the student body and retracted the charge of racism, the damage was done and Eaglebeak was not to return. In the following years, Palmer experimented with a variety of mascots, to include a two-month flirtation with the Tasmanian devil from Warner Brothers, which nearly led to a lawsuit.[1][third-party source needed]

In the early 1990s the high school chose an eagle as its mascot, naming it "Eaglebeak", but without the historical background of the original.[1][third-party source needed]

Mock Trial[edit]

Palmer's Mock Trial program won the Southern Colorado Regional Competition in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015; the Colorado State Competition in 2009 and 2013;[2] and took 14th place in the National High School Mock Trial Tournament in 2013.[3]

Gender-inclusive bathrooms[edit]

In 2016 senior Doe Schall, a genderqueer student, along with others from the school's Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance, lobbied school officials for gender-inclusive bathrooms due to the discrimination experienced by transgender students. Palmer was the first high school in Southern Colorado to have gender-inclusive bathrooms.[4][5][6][7]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of Palmer High School include:


External links and references[edit]