Gig Harbor High School

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Gig Harbor High School
5101 Rosedale St NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335 United States
Type Public
Established 1979
Principal Tom Leacy[1]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,603[2]
Mascot Tide Guy
Nickname Tides
Rivals Peninsula High School and Bellarmine Preparatory School
Information (253) 530-1400
Colors              Navy Blue, Columbia Blue, and White
Gig Harbor High School, main entry. September 2015

Gig Harbor High School is a public high school in the Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor, Washington. The school opened in September, 1979. The school enrolls 1611 students (2017) in ninth through twelfth grades.

Facility History and Remodel[edit]

Gig Harbor High School (GHHS) opened its doors in the fall of 1979 as the second high school in the Peninsula School District. The first graduating class was in 1981. In an effort not to split up the senior class from cross-town Peninsula High School during the first year of operation, GHHS enrolled grades 8-11 during the inaugural 1979-1980 school year. As a result, the graduating class 1984 had the distinction to attend the school for five years.

The initial design concept of GHHS was based on the co-teaching model in which the classrooms offered flexibility to expand or sub-divide their spaces to accommodate large or small class groups.

In 1990, the school was renovated with a 120,000-square-foot, three-phase addition and remodel while occupied. Phase 1 consisted of a new Masonry classroom building, gymnasium, and a new science addition. Phase 2 was the complete renovation of existing space, including upgrading portions of the food service area and a new administration area. Phase 3 consisted of renovation of the old, remaining administration area into classrooms and a music area.[3]

Athletics and activities[edit]

Speech & Debate Team The speech and debate team attends both state and national tournaments yearly. It won the statewide tournament in the 2007-2008 season. The team participates in policy debate, LD (Lincoln-Douglas), Congressional Debate, Public Forum, various interpretation events, platform speaking and limited prep events. They have been coached by Chris Coovert since September 2000.[4]

Band The Gig Harbor Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Percussion Ensemble are all directed by Eric Swanson starting in the fall of 2009. The bands perform around three concerts per school year at different festivals and competitions throughout the year, along with being required to perform in the Pep Band. The Pep Band is present at each home football and basketball game, performing short songs in between game plays and at half time. They visited Coeur D'Alene, Idaho in May 2011 and performed there, winning three awards as a group and multiple individual student awards at a competition. Every other April, they perform at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, most recently in April, 2018.

Cross-Country The Tides Cross-Country team is coached by Mark Wieczorek. The Tides girls' team has won numerous state titles, most recently a string of three 4A titles from 2005–2007, with the 2005 team finishing 7th in the nation. The boys' team has been successful as well, winning the state AA title in 1995 and placing 2nd at the state 4A meet in 2007, four points away from the title. In 2011, the boys' team took first in state, and went on to compete at the Nike XC Nationals in Portland, Oregon. In 2013, the boys' team won Nike XC Nationals.

Football The Tides football team has won the Narrows League numerous times. In 2008, Gig Harbor lost to their cross town rival, Peninsula 33-0 and their league rival, South Kitsap 33-13. They finished 2nd in their league. In May 2012, Aaron Chantler, former quarterbacks coach at Woodrow Wilson High School was hired as new Head Coach of the Football team. In 2013, Gig Harbor beat Peninsula 27-20.

Tennis Both men's and women's teams have played in the Narrows league in the past few years. The boys' team is coached by Kevin Davis and has sent players to state every year since 2004. Kristy Sipes won the state singles title as a sophomore in 2008.

Baseball The Tides baseball team were state champions in 1997. Coached by Peter Jansen, the 2010 Tides won the Narrows Bridge Division and have advanced to the League title game. The Tides won their second title in 2017, beating Southridge in the championship game 5-1.

Wrestling In 1995, under coach Raoul Ancira, and in 3A, they had their one and only state champion, Mike Hayden in the 189-pound weight class. The Riptide wrestling team is now coached by Leonard Spadoni. In the 2007-2008 season, Jesse Chunn took 3rd in state at 152, making him the highest State placer since 2001, when Jen Easton took 2nd. Also in the 2007-2008 season, Gig Harbor upset Peninsula High School in a 42-33 dual meet victory, despite having 3 forfeits which totaled 18pts against them. In the 2009-2010 season, Senior Davey Browne took 4th at state.

Track & Field In the 2007 season, both genders won the state 4A team title. Both genders have won state many times in the past years. They are both coached by Kevin Eager.

Newspaper The school's newspaper, The Sound, has won various awards. The newspaper just added a magazine and a website as new publications.

Water Polo The Tides water polo team has won three consecutive state champion titles as of 2012.[5]


On April 23, 2007, the Dean of Students Keith Nelson released surveillance footage of LGBT students kissing to their parents [6] who also attended the same church as him; one of the parents subsequently pulled their daughter out of school.

This raised the question as to whether the employment of security cameras to monitor public displays of affection is a valid use of school resources, and whether or not reporting it to their parents was a violation of their rights. After an internal investigation the Peninsula School District concluded it would now only use security cameras for monitoring activities such as trespassing, bullying, and vandalism, and that school employees will now be barred from sharing security tapes with parents.

Keith Nelson later commented in an interview defending his actions stating "They're paying good money for us to make their kids good citizens. Whatever that means to the parents, I'll do it." [7]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Welcome to Gig Harbor High School
  2. ^ School Report Card. Retrieved 2011-10-30
  3. ^ WPC Archived 2013-02-09 at
  4. ^ Google Drive Viewer
  5. ^ Gig Harbor claims third consecutive state title Archived 2013-02-04 at, The News Tribune, May 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-28
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°19′51″N 122°36′18″W / 47.330741°N 122.604981°W / 47.330741; -122.604981