Mercer Island High School

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Mercer Island High School
Mercer Island High School 01.jpg
9100 SE 42nd Street
Mercer Island, Washington
United States
Coordinates 47°34′19″N 122°13′07″W / 47.57194°N 122.21861°W / 47.57194; -122.21861Coordinates: 47°34′19″N 122°13′07″W / 47.57194°N 122.21861°W / 47.57194; -122.21861
Type Public
Established 1957
Principal Vicki Puckett
Asst. principals Henterson Carlisle
Jamie Prescott
Mark Jergens-Zmuda[1]
Faculty 69.6 FTEs[2]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1,416 (as of 2014-15)[2]
Student to teacher ratio 20.3:1[2]
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Maroon & White[3]          
Mascot Herbert the Snail[4]
Nickname Islanders
Team name Islanders
Rival Bellevue High School (Bellevue, Washington)
Newspaper The Islander
Affiliation Mercer Island School District
Awards National Blue Ribbon School Award

Mercer Island High School (MIHS) is a public high school located in Mercer Island, Washington in the United States, as part of the Mercer Island School District.

As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,416 students and 69.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 20.3:1. There were 54 students (3.8% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 10 (0.7% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]

Awards and recognition[edit]

During the 2006-07 school year, Mercer Island High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[5][6] the highest award an American school can receive.[7][8]


With average SAT scores of 635, 609, and 596 in the math, critical reading, and writing sections respectively, students who attend Mercer Island High School score just over one full standard deviation above the national average SAT score.[9] Mercer Island also features the highest Washington Assessment of Student Learning scores statewide.[10] Additionally, more than 90% of graduates pursue higher education, with 87% of those attending four-year institutions.[9]

Types of class offerings include special education, fine arts, honors, world languages, career and technical education, and AP classes. KMIH 94.5 FM is a student-run radio station and also an educational class at Mercer Island High School.

Music Program[edit]

The MIHS music program consists of an orchestra, four concert bands, a marching band, a pep band, several jazz ensembles, a steel drum band, a Jazz Choir, and a Bel Canto Choir. Over 400 students annually participate in at least one of these groups, making up over a quarter of the MIHS student population.

The band programs and their affiliated students have been recognized for their skill in a number of different venues.[11][12] In 2011, the MIHS marching band traveled internationally to participate in the 2011 London, England New Year’s Day Parade & Festival upon royal invitation.[13][14][15][16][17][17][18][19][20][21] The following year, the marching band performed in the 2012 Rose Parade.[22]

Other notable performances and honors are listed below:

  • Selected as one of 50 Grammy Signature Schools in recognition for exceptional achievement in arts education 1998-99 & 2002-03
  • Competitor & performer, Tournament of Roses & Parade; Pasadena, California 1993, 2006, & 2012
  • Invited performer 2011 London New Year's Day Parade
  • Invited performer 2010 WMEA State Convention
  • Completed a successful ten-day cultural and musical exchange in China during 2008
  • Sugar Bowl; New Orleans, Louisiana 1991
  • Superior Ratings at national festivals including the Dixie Classic Invitational in Washington, DC, and the Heritage Concert Band Festival in Chicago, Illinois
  • Consistent superior ratings in local and regional festivals
  • Over 50 students selected to participate in the All-State and All Northwest honor ensembles during the last 5 years
  • 4 Students Selected to the National Wind Ensemble under the direction of H. Robert Reynolds
  • Performed with world-class musicians such as composer/conductor, Hummie Mann, and composer/performer, Allen Vizzutti (both parents of students), in addition to Frank Ticheli and Wycliffe Gordon.
  • Featured performer at Seattle Seahawks gridiron football games
  • Invited performer at the 2009 MLS Cup
  • Marched in 2005 and 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade (Pasadena, California).
  • Performed at Seattle Seahawks halftime show on 11/4/2012 as well as on 12/14/14.
  • Invited to march at the 2014 Victoria Days Parade (Victoria, British Columbia)
  • Invited to compete in the 2015 Centenary of Anzac Australian National Band Championship (Sydney, New South Wales)



Mercer Island High School was honored by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association as the 3A Wells Fargo Scholastic Cup Champion for the 2005-06 school year, based on State championship victories in boys' track and field, boys' golf, boys' swimming and diving and boys' tennis.[23]

Boys' Lacrosse has been to 10 out of the last 11 state championships and has won six of them.[24]

Girls' Swim and Dive had an undefeated season in 2009 ending it by winning the State Championship. Boys' Swim and Dive also went undefeated in the 2009-2010 season, and went on to win their fifth consecutive State title.

The girls' and boys' tennis teams have won a combined 41 State championships since 1972. Both teams are current state champions. [25]

The basketball team, formally coached by all-time Washington state wins leader Ed Pepple,[26] recorded its first losing season in 38 years in 2006.

In 1981 Mercer Island Basketball Team lost the AAA State basketball final game to Shadle Park in a controversial decision. At 64-65 to Mercer Island, a last-second shot by Shadle Park "depending on who you are listening to, either clearly did or clearly didn’t beat the air horn."[27][28] Though Shadle Park won the game, it is recorded as a "win" in the Islanders' official school records.

Boys' swimming was rated first in its class by the 2006-07 NISCA National Dual Meet Team Rankings.[29]

The sailing team was Olympic medaled silver on two occasions. The championships are only a fraction of the total historical county, State, and national championships that Mercer Island High School has achieved. Those are listed on the walls of the primary sport courts, id est: drill team won State of Washington and King County championships during 2006; water polo & lacrosse are ranked nationally and have won national and international championships consecutive years; sailing; track & field; cross country; golf; baseball; basketball; gridiron football; tennis; squash; wrestling; soccer football; cheerleading; volleyball; gymnastics; softball.

There is no longer a school mascot. The “tropical warrior” Islander mascot of the ‘70’s was deemed to be offensive and has not been used since. The Snail Pound, a pep club made up of Junior and Senior male students adopted the "island logo" (a logo consisting of an island, water, and a sun, resembling the letters "MI") as a snail and used it as their own, having been used by the school for decades. However, the Snail Pound is not affiliated with the school.[30]

Notable alumni[edit]

[citation needed]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Gillian d'Hondt, women's basketball coach, professional European women's basketball player.


  1. ^ Profile 2016-2017, Mercer Island High School. Accessed June 6, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d School data for Mercer Island High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 12, 2016.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Staff. "A snail sighting", Mercer Island Reporter, January 14, 2011. Accessed June 6, 2017. "Mercer Island High School senior Teddy Trimble is ‘Herbert the Snail,’ the Islander mascot never before seen in physical form, at its very first appearance on Friday night at the boys and girls basketball games."
  5. ^ Tuinstra, Rachel. "3 Eastside schools get top honor; "Blue Ribbon" designation - Mercer Island High, Wellington, Pine Lake get national recognition", The Seattle Times, September 23, 2006. Accessed October 16, 2007.
  6. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 Through 2007 (PDF) Archived 2009-03-26 at the Wayback Machine., United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  7. ^ CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  8. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  9. ^ a b Mercer Island High School Profile 2013-2014: " Mercer Island High School Class Profile." Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  10. ^ The Seattle Times: "Eastside WASL scores mirror state's, including dips"
  11. ^ [2] 21 July 2015
  12. ^ [3] 30 December 2010
  13. ^ [4] 30 December 2010
  14. ^ [5] 30 December 2010
  15. ^ [6] 30 December 2010
  16. ^ [7] 30 December 2010
  17. ^ a b [8] 30 December 2010
  18. ^ [9] 30 December 2010
  19. ^ [10] 30 December 2010
  20. ^ [11] 30 December 2010
  21. ^ [12] 30 December 2010
  22. ^ [13] 21 July 2015
  23. ^ "WIAA 4A/3A Scholastic Cup Champions", Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Accessed October 16, 2007.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-05-23. Retrieved 2010-03-12. . Accessed May 14, 2012.
  25. ^ WIAA State Championship History Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Accessed February 28, 2008. See Classifications 3A and 4A, boys and girls tennis.
  26. ^ The Final Score: "Washington basketball coaches career win-loss records." Retrieved March 22, 2007.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "2006-07 NISCA National Dual Meet Team Rankings" retrieved December 28, 2007.
  30. ^ [14] retrieved May 14, 2012.
  31. ^ Jones, Tim. "Family portraits: Strong personalities shaped a future senator, Barack Obama.", Chicago Tribune, March 27, 2007. Accessed May 21, 2008. "For Wall and a few dozen others, Obama on the campaign trail often brings to mind Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama's mother and a strong-willed, unconventional member of the Mercer Island High School graduating class of 1960."
  32. ^
  33. ^ Steve Hawes, Accessed November 28, 2007.
  34. ^ David Kirtman, CSTV. Accessed December 10, 2007.
  35. ^ "'Scandal' actors: Then and now". Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  36. ^ "Darby Stanchfield". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  37. ^ "'Scandal' actors: Then and now". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  38. ^ Brodeur, Nicole. "From Mercer Island, jumping into "The Soup"", The Seattle Times, August 22, 2004. Accessed October 6, 2007.
  39. ^ Annemarie Cancelmi, As the World Turns. Accessed December 10, 2007. "Graduated from Mercer Island High School, near Seattle, WA."
  40. ^ Popper, Steve. "PRO FOOTBALL; Fledgling Punter Steps Forward After Six-Year Layoff to Do the Kicking for the Giants", The New York Times, November 10, 2001. Accessed November 28, 2007. "Owen Pochman remembers the last time he stood behind the line of scrimmage waiting for the ball to be snapped to him for a punt. It was at Mercer Island High School in Washington, where, a proud Pochman says, he never had a punt blocked."
  41. ^ a b via Mercury News. "Penny-pinching entrepreneurs changing world of venture capital", Mercury News, August 10, 2007. Accessed March 22, 2012. "Levie and Smith were 15-year-olds at Mercer Island High School near Seattle who teamed up on class projects and later made a film for fun."
  42. ^ Macdonald, Moira (January 25, 2011). "Mercer Island's Anne Rosellini receives 'surreal' Oscar nod for 'Winter's Bone'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  43. ^ via Associated press. Also as of 2014 became the coach of the Utah Jazz (Basketball team) "Missouri coach Quin Snyder resigns", The Seattle Times, February 10, 2006. Accessed May 20, 2008. "Snyder, a graduate of Mercer Island High School, spoke to his team before practice today and said he was leaving."

External links[edit]