I. C. Norcom High School

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I.C. Norcom High School
Norcom High.jpg
1801 London Boulevard
Portsmouth, Virginia 23704
United States
Type 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 located 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 located at 1801 London Boulevard conveniently located between the revitalized downtown and the Midtown Tunnel. It was opened September, 1998 under the leadership of Mr. 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 location 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 and was located 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). Mr. 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 Mr. 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 educational heritage are acknowledged by all facets of the community.

Future principals have carried on the Norcom tradition. Mr. W. E. Waters, principal from 1942 to 1966, did not merely copy existing educational models, but rather tailored the school's operations to meet the special needs of its students. In 1966 A. T. Edwards succeeded Mr. Waters as the principal of I. C. Norcom which by that time had grown to an enrollment of 1,920 students housed in a facility built to accommodate 1,400 students. Upon his retirement, Mr. E. Blair was appointed principal. Mr. L. Wallace and Mr. V. Randall served as principals after Mr. E. Blair's tenure. Mr. V. Randall was succeeded by Dr. DeWayne Jeter. Mr. 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 who won the 2010, 2011 VSHL State Championship in division AAA. In 2014 and 2015 in division 4A, and 2016 and 2017 3A Virginia State Championship.[1]

They are also Known for having 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 also has a well decorated NJROTC unit. They came in 1st place in the 2013 Fishbowl parade. They also earned top spots in many current competitions and events. They are known for their dedication, hard work and fighting spirit. They have top cadets officers and top cadet senior enlisted in leadership positions to lead and guide the unit. The leaders speak with the authority of the C.O. They are family to one another and treat each other with the proper respect and authority that comes with rank and position of leadership. Every cadet is taught to "Pay attention to detail" by their leadership in the unit. The unit has many leadership positions, including Squad leaders, Mustering Petty Officers M.P.O, Platoon Commanders P.C., and the unit Staff. Every leader has to be consistent with participation within the unit and representation of the unit in the way they do day-to-day activities.

Academic Classes, Clubs and Groups[edit]

  • 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 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.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°50′9.9″N 76°19′11.1″W / 36.836083°N 76.319750°W / 36.836083; -76.319750