I. C. Norcom High School

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I. C. Norcom High School
Norcom High.jpg
I. C. Norcom High School is located in Virginia
I. C. Norcom High School
I. C. Norcom High School
1801 London Boulevard
Portsmouth, Virginia 23704
Coordinates 36°50′9.9″N 76°19′11.1″W / 36.836083°N 76.319750°W / 36.836083; -76.319750Coordinates: 36°50′9.9″N 76°19′11.1″W / 36.836083°N 76.319750°W / 36.836083; -76.319750
Former name High Street School (1913- )
Type Public High School
Founded 1913
School district Portsmouth City Public Schools
Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy III
Principal Dr. Laguna Foster
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,460 (2006–07)
Language English
Campus City
Color(s) Maroon and Grey         
Athletics conference Virginia High School League (3A East Region)
Mascot Greyhounds
Rival Wilson High School and Booker T. Washington High School

I. C. Norcom High School is a public high school in Portsmouth, Virginia. It is administered by Portsmouth City Public Schools. The school colors are maroon and grey, and the mascot is the Greyhounds. The school was named after Israel Charles Norcom, its first supervising principal.

I. C. Norcom High School is at 1801 London Boulevard conveniently between the revitalized downtown and the Midtown Tunnel. It was opened September 1998 under the leadership of Walter Taylor. The first graduating class of the new location was the class of 1998, but the first graduating class that attended four years at this school was the class of 2002.


Third Building

The school, originally known as the High Street School, was founded in 1913 as the first high school for black students. It was in the True Reformers Building at 915 High Street. After World War I it was relocated at the corner of Chestnut and South Streets. A building on Turnpike Road opened in February 1953.

Israel Charles Norcom

The school was renamed I. C. Norcom High School in honor of its first supervising principal, Israel Charles Norcom (1856–1916). Norcom was described as a pioneer educator, leader of his people, churchman, civic leader, businessman, fraternalist, guidance counselor, and an outstanding citizen. It is said that Norcom guided with intelligence and wisdom, led with firmness, dignity and understanding, aimed high, and visualized expanding educational facilities for his race in Portsmouth. Mr. Norcom's contributions to Portsmouth's education heritage are acknowledged by all facets of the community.

Other principals have carried on the Norcom tradition. W. E. Waters, principal from 1942 to 1966, did not merely copy existing educational models, but rather tailored the school's operations to meet student needs. In 1966 A. T. Edwards succeeded Waters as the principal of I. C. Norcom which by that time had grown to an enrollment of 1,920 students in a facility built to accommodate 1,400 students. Upon his retirement, E. Blair was appointed principal. L. Wallace and V. Randall served as principals after Blair's tenure. Randall was succeeded by Dr. DeWayne Jeter. Walter Taylor became principal of I. C. Norcom High School in the fall of 1996. After his death in 2004, the new principal was Lynn Briley.

Norcom is known for their boys basketball team, which won the 2010 and 2011 VSHL State Championship in Division AAA. The Greyhounds won four straight championships from 2014 to 2017, the first two in division 4A, the others in Division 3A.[1]

They have the only High Stepping Marching Band to win back-to-back National Championships and being number one in the Nation for two years straight.

I. C. Norcom has a well-decorated NJROTC unit. They came in first place in the 2013 Fishbowl parade. They earned top spots in many current competitions and events.[2]

Academic classes, clubs and groups[edit]

  • Alpha Chi Xinos
  • Alpha Chi Kudos
  • Art
  • Business Education
  • Culinary Arts
  • Channel 47 (TV Productions I, II, and III)
  • English
  • Foreign Language (French, Spanish and Latin)
  • Health and Physical Education (PE 9, 10/Body building, 11 and 12/Sports training for juniors and seniors)
  • Information Technology
  • Magnet School for Science, Math and Aerospace Technology
  • Marketing
  • Math
  • Music
  • Job Education
  • Science
  • Sex Education
  • Shop
  • Social Studies
  • Technology
  • Youth Education

Alma mater[edit]

Written by Hortense Haith (Class of 1940) to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

For you, dear Norcom, we declare
A love that's ever true
Allegiance, Alma Mater dear
We justly swear to you.
Deep in our hearts you hold a place
No other school can hold.
Forever and a day we're yours,
Yes, yours a thousand-fold.
Instructions you have given us,
From us they'll ne'er depart
Intelligent you'll make us all,
To love you teach the heart.
To set our ideals high, you say
Will make us a success.
Our training all we owe to you,
The school that we love best.