Houghton High School

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Houghton High School
Houghton Gremlins.gif
1603 Gundlach Road
Houghton, Michigan 49931
United States
Coordinates 47°06′29″N 88°33′58″W / 47.108°N 88.566°W / 47.108; -88.566Coordinates: 47°06′29″N 88°33′58″W / 47.108°N 88.566°W / 47.108; -88.566
School type Public high school
School district Houghton-Portage Township School District
Principal Patrick Aldrich
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 438[1] (2013)
Campus type Rural
Color(s) Orange and Black
Mascot Gremlin
Rival Hancock Central High School (Hancock, Michigan) Bulldogs
Houghton High School Addition.jpg
Portion of 2010 addition

Houghton High School is a high school located in Houghton, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. It shares the same building as Houghton Middle School. 2012 enrollment was 407 students in Grades 9 through 12,[1] with a 17/1 student to teacher ratio.[citation needed] In 2002, it was the 12th best public high school in the state of Michigan.[2] As of 2010-2011, it was ranked 4th best in Michigan. A variety of courses are offered, including three foreign languages, a dual enrollment program with Michigan Technological University, and five AP classes.[3]

The school mascot is the Gremlin, and the school colors are orange and black. There is a small controversy on what the mascot should be represented by as the word represents multiple symbols and can be seen in different forms on different parts of the school.


Three high schools predate the current building, all located on the same site in downtown Houghton. The Houghton School, also called the Rock School for its external appearance, was built before 1881.[4] The Portage Lake High School was built to replace the undersized Rock School, but was gutted by fire in 1921. A replacement Portage Lake High School was completed in 1924.[5]

The current building was constructed in 1989[6] up the hill from the previous site. The Portage Lake High School was demolished in 1999.[5][7] An addition was approved in 2008 and completed by 2010 that included a second gym, band room, and various energy efficiency upgrades.[8]


The school has been slowly implementing a new system of academic standards. It has included changes in required classes for the classes of 2010 and on, which were changed a second time for the incoming class of 2013 and following years. In 2010 extra credits were added in math and science, giving the students two more years, 4 semesters, of math and one more year, two semesters, of science classes. This took away 3 years, 6 semesters, of elective classes to make up for the change.

For the class of 2013, the school has removed the requirement for having a year of computer education and has instead implemented another year in social science classes, requiring two years of world history.


As of 2012, Houghton's sports are Class C in the Michigan High School Athletic Association.[9] Basketball, volleyball, swimming, diving, Alpine skiing, cross country, track and field, softball, ice hockey, golf, and football are the competitive sports programs.[10]

The Varsity Girls' Basketball team won the 2005 state championship.[11] Boys' basketball won the State Championship in 1955.[12]

The girl's ski team has seen success in recent years, winning the 2010 State Championship.[citation needed]

The Varsity girls' swimming and diving team were the Upper Peninsula State Champions in 1985, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.[citation needed] The Varsity boys' swimming and diving team was Upper Peninsula State Champions in 2011[13] and 2012.[14]

The Varsity hockey team were the State Champions in 1982.[15]

The Boys Varsity Cross-Country team won the Division 1 U.P finals in 2007[16] and 2011.[17]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Houghton High offers a variety of extracurricular activities including:[18][19]

  • Drama: The drama department has put on multiple productions nearly every year for over a decade, including "Playing for Time by Arthur Miller, and The Curious Savage by John Patrick.[citation needed]
  • Model United Nations: The members of the Model UN club take the school year to prepare for the Mid-American Model United Nations conference in February. Throughout the year, they fundraise for the trip to Kalamazoo, and research topics for the conference.[20]
  • Key Club: The Houghton High School Key Club is very active. It performs community service such as highway cleanups and story time sessions for children.[21][citation needed]
  • National Honor Society
  • FIRST Robotics (Team 857 Superior Roboworks)[22]
  • Junior Statesmen of America
  • Quiz Bowl: The Houghton High School Quiz Bowl team is powerful, having taken second place in the 2007 Class C state finals and winning Class C state championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998.[23]
  • Math Team: The Houghton High Math Team began competing in 2010, with great immediate success. The team has won the NMU Challenge, the Houghton Math Jam, and the new Upper Peninsula Math Championships each year since. In addition, they have placed someone on the State of Michigan All-Star Team to compete at the national ARML competition each year, including a B-class National championship in 2012. The team has also had a representative at USAJMO, and placed students in the top 100 at MMPC several times.

School events[edit]

There are two major sporting events at Houghton High School: Copper Bowl, which celebrates the school's football and cross country teams and takes place in the fall, and Wing-Ding, celebrating the basketball, skiing, swimming & diving, and ice hockey teams, taking place in the winter. Both include a week of dress-up days and other activities, and an assembly that takes place on the last day of the week, meant to pep up the school's student body for the night's game(s). The weeks culminate with a sporting event between the Houghton Gremlins and their rivals, the Hancock Bulldogs.


  1. ^ a b "Houghton-Portage Township School District" (PDF). Copper Country Intermediate School District. Retrieved December 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Houghton High School". Ranking of High Schools in Michigan. psk12.com. Retrieved August 30, 2007. 
  3. ^ AP English, Chemistry, Calculus AB, Biology and US History. "HPTS : Course Offerings". Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Rock School, Houghton". Michigan Tech Archives. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Great Buildings In Memoriam (p3)". Copper Country Explorer. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Houghton High School alumni donates $10,000". The Daily Mining Gazette. August 8, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Picture P23A". Keweenaw Photography. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ Hauglie, Kurt (January 18, 2010). "H-PT Schools holds dedication". The Daily Mining Gazette. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ "MHSAA Enrollment List 2011-12" (PDF). Michigan High School Athletic Association. p. 11. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Houghton Athletics". Houghton-Portage Township Schools. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ "The 2000s in Copper Country sports — Nos. 2-10". The Daily Mining Gazette. December 26, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Boys Basketball Champions 1925-2011". Michigan High School Athletics Association. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ Veale, Brandon (February 16, 2012). "Showdown in the Sault: Gremlin boys take U.P. swim title to Devils' home tank". The Daily Mining Gazette. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ Pietrangelo, Peter (February 20, 2012). "Gremlins repeat ... by a hair". The Daily Mining Gazette. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ Julien, Connie. "1980s". Copper Country Hockey History. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ "MHSAA UP Cross Country Finals". Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  17. ^ "MHSAA UP Finals 2011". Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Academics". Houghton-Portage Township Schools. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Student Affairs". Houghton-Portage Township Schools. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Model United Nations". Houghton-Portage Township Schools. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Houghton Key Club members share bunny tales - MiningGazette.com | News, Sports, Jobs - Houghton, Michigan - The Daily Mining Gazette". www.mininggazette.com. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  22. ^ "Index". FRC Team 857. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Previous Quiz Bowl State Tournament Winners". Michigan High School Quizbowl State Championship. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]