Hillsboro High School (Oregon)

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Hillsboro High School
Hilhi Gym - Hillsboro, Oregon.JPG
3285 SE Rood Bridge Road
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
United States
Coordinates 45°29′42″N 122°57′32″W / 45.494917°N 122.958984°W / 45.494917; -122.958984Coordinates: 45°29′42″N 122°57′32″W / 45.494917°N 122.958984°W / 45.494917; -122.958984
School type Public, high school
Motto "Be Think Live Blue"
Opened 1913 (current campus completed in 1969)
School district Hillsboro School District 1J
Principal Lou Bailey
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1195[1]
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Royal blue, white, and red
Mascot Spartans

Hillsboro High School (known to students as "Hilhi") is a public high school in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States, and is the oldest high school in the Hillsboro School District. The current campus was built beginning in 1969. Prior to this, the senior high school was located downtown on Lincoln Street at 6th Avenue, where J.B. Thomas Middle School stood until 2009. That campus was built in 1928. Currently 1,515 students attend the school in grades 9-12. The official school colors are blue, white and red, and the mascot is the Spartan.

The athletics and activities of the school compete in category 5A's Northwest Oregon Conference under the Oregon School Activities Association.

Alumni include professional soccer player Tiffeny Milbrett, hall of fame coach Ad Rutschman, and former professional baseball player Bob Beall.

Hillsboro High's most recent team state championship came in 2009 for football.

As of 2016, the school's graduation rate was 79%.


In September 1908, tenth grade was added to the Hillsboro school district, with classes held on the top floor of the school.[2] Eleventh and twelfth grades were soon added, and in June 1911 the first students to complete four years of high school graduated.[3] This class totaled five students, consisting of four girls and one boy.[3] In September 1911, the school added manual training and domestic science courses to the curriculum.[4] That same year, voters approved of a $50,000 bond measure to pay for constructing a high school building,[5] with construction completed in 1913 at a cost of $40,000 for the three story building.[6][7] In 1913, the school graduated eight students.[6] A gymnasium was built beginning in 1915.[8] The school grew in size, with the 1920 graduating class totally 36 students, the largest number up to that time.[9]

In 1929, a new high school building was completed, with additional buildings and the wings added in later years.[10] Located near downtown Hillsboro, at NE Sixth Avenue and Lincoln Street, the site became a junior high once the current campus was built beginning in 1969.[10] In 1970, the new senior high school campus opened on 48 acres (190,000 m2) on the south side of Hillsboro, with enrollment of the high school district reaching 3,621 students that year.[10] Students complained that the new layout that consisted of classrooms spread out over the campus instead of a single central building was a poor choice for Oregon’s rainy and cold winters.[10]

The former campus served as Thomas Jr. High/Middle School from 1969 until it was demolished in 2009.

The school has been remodeled several times since opening in 1969. The first time was around 1980, when some minor updates such as the covered walkways were added. During the summer of 1999 the school received further updates. Blue and beige paint replaced the old brown colors on the buildings, the commons area was built adjacent to the cafeteria, a new auditorium was constructed, a new building was built to house technology related classes, and the main office was remodeled. After the expansion Hilhi had a total of 256,652 square feet (23,843.8 m2) of space spread out among eleven single-story buildings on campus.[11] During the summer of 2008 the locker rooms were remodeled, improving the lighting, showers, and bathrooms. Future plans included the replacement of aging HVAC units and controls by 2011.[12]

In 2003, the school, along with all schools in the district, made national news when 17 days of classes were cut from the school year, which allowed students to begin summer break in May, due to budget cuts to education in Oregon.[13]

Teacher Don Domes won the Software Association of Oregon Foundation's Oregon Technology Educator of Year in 2004.[14]

Since 2006 the school has participated in the MIT-Lemelson InvenTeam program. Through the program, the school has received a $10,000 grant for a team of students to invent a self-installable heads-up display for automotive use and a $4,000 grant to invent an industrial sized robotic vacuum/floor cleaning system.[15]

The former campus near downtown was demolished in 2009.[16]

In the fall of 2015, the school became the first in the district to implement a mariachi band program into the curriculum.[17]


Administration building

Hillsboro High School has offered the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme since 2003, and in 2009, began offering the Middle Years Programme.[18] The school also has an ASPIRE program[19] and a robotics team.[20]

2004-2005 SAT scores[21]
Category HHS State Country
Critical Reading 519 523 503
Math 528 529 518
Writing 496 503 497
Percentage tested 46% 55% NA

In 2008, 80% of the school's seniors received a high school diploma. Of 364 students, 293 graduated, 39 dropped out, three received a modified diploma, and 29 were still in high school in 2009.[22][23]

The school's 2015-2016 graduation rate was 78.5%.[24]


Hilhi, known as the Spartans, competes in the Northwest Oregon Conference at the OSAA class 5A level.[25] School colors are royal blue, white, and red, and the athletic director is Steve Drake.[26]

Cross-town school Glencoe has been Hilhi's arch-rival since Glencoe became the second high school in the district in 1980. The football rivalry was featured on the Great American Rivalries series in October 2007. Teams play for bragging rights at the shared Hare Field.[27][28] The 2009 game featured a 61-yard Hail Mary pass at the end of the game caught by Colt Lyerla for a touchdown after time expired to give Hilhi the victory.[29] The play was named as ESPN's top play of the day and of the week.[29] That season the team finished ranked number one in their classification and won the state title, the first in football since 1973.[30]

Mouse Davis, an early proponent of the run and shoot offense, coached Hillsboro High to the 1973 football state championship.[31] Oregon Sports Hall of Fame coach Ad Rutschman coached the baseball team from 1955 to 1968 before moving on to Linfield College.[32] Rutschman also led the Spartans to a state championship in football in 1966 with a 17–2 victory over South Salem.

Since 1965, the school has used Hare Field for football, baseball, and track.[33][34]

OSAA State Championships[edit]

Team titles[edit]

  • Wrestling: 1952, 1990[35]
  • Baseball: 1962 (tie), 1966, 1968, 1993[36]
  • Football: 1966, 1973, 2009[37]
  • Girls' basketball: 1979, 1980[38]
  • Girls' cross-country: 1979[39]
  • Boys' soccer: 2006[40]
  • Boys' swimming: 2017[41]

Student life[edit]

The school previously held a homecoming king and queen ceremony, but this was terminated by the student government in 2016.[42] Beth Graser, the chief of communications of the school district, stated that the move was made to prevent a popularity contest from occurring, while the class president of the 12th grade and the student government adviser stated it was done to make student culture more inclusive for genderqueer individuals.[43]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.osaa.org/schools/classifications-districts
  2. ^ "Hillsboro Adds Tenth Grade". The Oregonian. September 21, 1908. p. 13. 
  3. ^ a b "Five Students of Hillsboro High School Complete Four Year Course". The Oregonian. June 6, 1911. p. 5. 
  4. ^ "School Courses Added". The Oregonian. September 15, 1911. p. 7. 
  5. ^ "Hillsboro to Vote on Bond Issue". The Oregonian. May 6, 1911. p. 6. 
  6. ^ a b "Hillsboro Exercises Held". The Oregonian. June 1, 1913. p. 12. 
  7. ^ "Development of Oregon Counties in 1913 Reviewed in Brief". The Oregonian. January 1, 1914. p. 4. 
  8. ^ "Hillsboro High School Notes". The Oregonian. December 19, 1915. p. 10. 
  9. ^ "Hillsboro High Class 36". The Oregonian. May 25, 1920. p. 10. 
  10. ^ a b c d Philpott, Betty. Hillsboro school began in one-room log cabin in 1854. Hillsboro Argus, October 19, 1976.
  11. ^ "Hillsboro High School" (PDF). Rapid Visual Screening - Senate Bill #2 - Seismic Needs Assessment. Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. June 13, 2006. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  12. ^ High School Projects. Hillsboro School District. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  13. ^ Oregon schools cutting class. CNN.com, May 24, 2003.
  14. ^ Blackmun, Maya. Teaching technology. The Oregonian, November 9, 2006.
  15. ^ MIT: High School Invention Grants: Hillsboro High School InvenTeam. Lemelson-MIT. Retrieved on October 29, 2007.
  16. ^ Gordanier, Susan (July 19, 2009). "Recycling effort drives work behind the fence at J.B. Thomas site". Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  17. ^ Castillo, Andrea (29 May 2014). "HSD hears proposal for mariachi band, community service learning classes". The Oregonian. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Owen, Wendy (2010-01-12). "International Baccalaureate Middle Years a hit at South Meadows and Hillsboro High". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  19. ^ ASPIRE High Schools in Oregon. ASPIRE. Retrieved on August 4, 2008.
  20. ^ Owen, Wendy (April 2, 2010). "Hillsboro robotic teams build, program and battle robots". The Oregonian. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  21. ^ Oregon Department of Education: 2007 Reportcard
  22. ^ "State releases high school graduation rates". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  23. ^ "Oregon dropout rates for 2008". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Archived from the original on 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  24. ^ "Hillsboro School District Graduation Rates Rise, Despite Official Results". Hillsboro School District. January 26, 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  25. ^ Beseda, Jim (September 16, 2010). "Tualatin at Hillsboro". The Oregonian. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  26. ^ "Hillsboro High School". Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  27. ^ "Great American Rivalry Series". Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  28. ^ Forbes, Ron (2007-10-02). "Rivalry football series will shine at Hare Field". The Hillsboro Argus. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  29. ^ a b Ulmer, Jerry (October 5, 2009). "Colt Lyerla, Hillsboro go nationwide on ESPN thanks to radio broadcaster's efforts". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  30. ^ Binder, Doug (December 12, 2009). "Spartans end a title drought of their own by defeating Democrats". The Oregonian. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  31. ^ Delkin, Fred. "Mouse Returns to Join PSU Football Revival". Oregon Magazine. Retrieved on August 4, 2008.
  32. ^ Hillsboro to honor baseball coach Rutschman. The Oregonian, March 7, 2007.
  33. ^ McKinney, Dick. Sparts win first game at Hare. The Hillsboro Argus, October 19, 1976.
  34. ^ Gaynair, Gillian. Hillsboro thinks things will go better with Coke. The Oregonian, May 21, 1998.
  35. ^ "OSAA Wrestling Championships" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  36. ^ "OSAA Baseball Championships" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  37. ^ "OSAA Football Championships" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  38. ^ "OSAA Girls Basketball Championships" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  39. ^ "OSAA Girls Cross Country Championships" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  40. ^ "OSAA Boys Soccer Championships" (PDF). Oregon School Activities Association. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  41. ^ Evanson, Wade (February 21, 2017). "Spartan boys conquer state!". Hillsboro Tribune. Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  42. ^ "Hillsboro High School ending tradition of crowning homecoming king, queen". KGW-TV. 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  43. ^ Hammond, Betsy (2016-10-06). "Hillsboro High ends tradition of homecoming court, king, queen". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  44. ^ Sowell, John (June 5, 2008). "Dancing away from politics". The News-Review. Retrieved 2009-09-07.