Henry Foss High School

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Henry Foss High School
Location
2112 South Tyler Street
Tacoma, Washington 98405

(Pierce County)
USA
Information
Type Public, Coeducational high school
Established 1973
Status Open
School district Tacoma Public Schools
CEEB Code 481383
Principal Lysandra D.M. Ness
Asst. Principal Renee Bailey and David Jones
Faculty 140
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,085 (2011)
Campus type Closed
Color(s) Green and Gold and White
              
Mascot Falcons
Newspaper Foss Focus
Yearbook Calypso
Website

Henry Foss High School is an American high school in Tacoma, Washington. Named after civic leader and tugboat tycoon Henry Foss, the school first opened in 1973. It is currently a part of the Tacoma Public School District.

History[edit]

In 1982, Foss became the first high school in Washington State to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.[1][2]

In the spring of 2001, the school was selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an Achiever High School in Washington State. The school received a $9 million grant to restructure college preparation efforts, as well as an additional $100 million in scholarships.[3] Among the efforts funded by these grants was a restructuring of the school into smaller "academies", a move unpopular with some faculty and students. In April 2004, a group of Foss sophomores threatened to boycott Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) standardized tests if the school board did not promise to retain pre-IB honors courses in English and history. The principal and school board promised to offer these honor classes in the academies, and the boycott was called off. However, the school ultimately removed the pre-IB classes and replaced them with Honors courses.[4]

In March 2006, the faculty voted by a 60-40 margin not to apply for a renewal of the Gates Foundation grant; those opposed argued that the grant "destroyed good programs" in the school, including the IB Program and the "team teaching" structure.[5] Shortly after, Tacoma Schools Superintendent Jim Shoemaker directed the school's principal to override this decision and apply for a grant extension.[6]

Traditions[edit]

Daffodil Festival[edit]

Each year, Henry Foss High School participates in the Pierce County Daffodil Festival, a regional tradition since 1933. Each year a competition is held in the fall within the school, for the title of Henry Foss Daffodil Princess. Once selected, the Henry Foss Princess joins other area school representatives in competition for the title of Daffodil Festival Queen. A prestigious regional award, Henry Foss princesses often return to the parade as area celebrity alumni. At Henry Foss High School, every princess is professionally photographed, and her portrait is displayed alongside every other Henry Foss Princess in the school hallway.

Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps[edit]

Henry Foss High School is host to an AFJROTC program. It develops leadership, self-discipline, citizenship, and patriotism within students.


January 2007 shooting[edit]

On January 3, 2007. 17-year-old student Samnang Kok was shot to death in the school's hallway as classes were about to resume after Winter break. The 18-year-old student Douglas Chanthabouly was convicted of Kok's murder, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Eduardo Peñalver, 1990 graduate, Dean of Cornell Law School
  • Dr. Thu Ament, 1987 graduate, Director of Leadership Development with Tacoma Public Schools
  • Lia Bardeen, 1997 graduate, contestant on Top Chef, Season 3[citation needed]
  • Dorian Boose, 1992 graduate, 1998-2001 NFL Defensive End
  • Brent Goulet, 1983 graduate, professional soccer player, 1988 US Olympic Soccer Team
  • Jesse Jones, 1982 graduate, Seattle KIRO newsman
  • John Jones, 1982 graduate, Principal at Oakland High School for the Tacoma Public Schools
  • Jo Koy, 1989 graduate, stand-up comic, often a panelist on E!'s late night show Chelsea Lately.
  • Doug Miller, 1975 graduate, Tacoma City Council 2000-2004, and CEO of Candu Ventures (1992-present)

Scott Lunde, 1985 graduate

References[edit]

  1. ^ "International Baccalaureate". Ibo.org. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  2. ^ "Tacoma Public Schools". Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  3. ^ "Gates opens college doors Education grants - 7 South Sound high schools among 16 in state to share $109 million for restructuring & scholarships publisher=Pqasb.pqarchiver.com". Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  4. ^ "Threat to boycott WASL test defused". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  5. ^ "Faculty at Foss like the old way". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived May 20, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Foss High School killer gets 23-year prison term". KOMO News. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 

Coordinates: 47°14′22″N 122°29′43″W / 47.23944°N 122.49528°W / 47.23944; -122.49528