Murray High School (Utah)

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Murray High
Murray High School's main entrance and plaza
5440 S. State Street
Murray City, Utah
United States
Coordinates 40°39′15″N 111°53′20″W / 40.65417°N 111.88889°W / 40.65417; -111.88889Coordinates: 40°39′15″N 111°53′20″W / 40.65417°N 111.88889°W / 40.65417; -111.88889
Type Public
Motto Striving for excellence past, present, and future.
Established 1916 (Hillcrest location)
1954 (current location)
School district Murray City School District
Principal Scott Wihongi
Faculty 79
Grades 10–12
Number of students 1,465 (2016–17 school year)[1]
Campus size 21 acres (85,000 m2)
Color(s) Orange and black
Athletics conference 5-A Region 6
Mascot Spartan

Murray High School is the only high school in the Murray City School District in Murray, Utah. Murray High School is one of the smallest high schools in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area with 1,465 students enrolled in the 2016–17 school year. The school enrolls students in grades 10–12.[citation needed] The school's mascot is the Spartan, and the school colors are orange and black. Murray High is a 5-A school in Utah's 6 Division high school sports leagues (1A being the smallest, and 6A being the largest). The Disney Channel reality show High School Musical: Get in the Picture was shot on the Murray High campus in 2008,[2] and American Idol season 7 runner-up David Archuleta attended the school.[3] The school also offers the highest number of Salt Lake Community College Concurrent Enrollment classes in the state of Utah.[4]

Building history[edit]

Murray High School was originally located on the east side of State Street at the current Hillcrest Junior High location, another Murray City School District School, at 126 East 5300 South Murray, UT. From 1916-54 Murray Junior High was named Murray High and Junior High. It was rebuilt and moved across to the west side of State Street in 1954.[5]


  • Salt Lake Community College Concurrent Enrollment offers over 120 classes which students can take and earn SLCC credit and also in-state college credit. Murray High ranks #1 in the state for the number of SLCC (Salt Lake Community College) associate degrees earned by high school seniors.[6]
  • Murray High School has historically been the venue for the Salt Lake Region Solo and Ensemble. It has also been the venue for the State Jazz Ensemble. Both programs allow students from all over the state to compete and attend clinics to improve their playing. This status as host for the Region Instrumental Solo and Ensemble has been postponed due to the battle with cancer, and later passing, of Murray High's beloved director of instrumental music, Rob Wilson.
  • In 2008 the Murray High School Advanced Culinary Arts students were awarded the title of "Best New School" in the ProStart State Culinary Competition.
  • Murray High School will be one of the few schools in Utah piloting the Utah State Office of Education U-PASS & criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) online. The school has received $100,000 to purchase new laptops and upgrade current computers. The administration of Spring 2008 criterion-referenced tests (CRTs) through computer-based testing (CBT) was performed through Pearson’s assessment systems.[7] In recent years, SAGE testing has taken over the role that CRT testing once held in the school.
  • Graduation rate is 95% (as of 2009).[6]
  • Murray has historically done well in a variety of academic competitions. In 2015 they came in second place at the Utah Academic Olympiad's trivia bowl. They have also had strong performance in the Utah Sterling Scholar competitions, with several students from the school generally making it to the state-level competition. The only statewide winner in recent memory is Max Adams, who won the State Sterling Scholar competition in Business and Marketing.[8]
  • Historically, Murray has achieved high scores in standardized testing, especially the PSAT and the ACT. Several students each year generally do well enough on the PSAT to get State National Merit Scholar Status. Murray has also had two students achieve perfect scores on the ACT in the last decade, Max Adams (see Sterling Scholar above) in 2014 and Peter Rosen in 2013.[9]

Going green[edit]

At the beginning of the 2007-2008 year, administrators, along with MHS's Environmental Club, started a program to save energy and money. Adjustments at the school, and other schools and offices in the district, included changes to the thermostats, and turning off running water in the restrooms and unplugging machines during weekends and long breaks. This has caused difficulties for the instrumental music programs at Murray High, since instruments can sustain harm when temperatures are allowed to drop drastically over long school breaks. Recycling bins have been placed throughout the school. Students are sent to detention if they are found to have wasted excessive amounts of water.[10] Since its beginnings, the district has saved $405,000, all of which went into teachers' budgets. It is projected that in four years the district will have saved one million dollars, or a twenty percent savings per month.[11]


In 2004, Murray High School prohibited same-sex students from participating in the promenade of their prom. Press coverage noted the similarity to Aaron Fricke vs. Richard B. Lynch, a landmark case in high school student LGBT rights.[12] Using Fricke as a precedent, the ACLU threatened to sue the high school on behalf of its gay and lesbian students. The high school reversed its policy and allowed 17-year-old lesbian Heather Johnston to dance with her girlfriend at the prom.[13]

Films and other productions shot at Murray[edit]

Disney has donated generous funds[quantify] to help and thank Murray High for having them film inside and outside the building, and is expected to film more films at the school. So far, however, this expectation has gone largely unfulfilled.[citation needed]

Sports state titles[edit]

  • Men's Cross Country: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985
  • Men's Track: 1947, 1948, 1998
  • Baseball: 1979, 1989, 1991, 1993
  • Men's Basketball: 1931, 1996
  • Football: 1954,1975,1977
  • Women's Softball: 1990, 2005, 2007
  • Men's Swimming: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2006,
  • Men's Water Polo Club: 2008 [17]
  • Women's Swimming: 1983, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2000,
  • Men's Soccer: 2001
  • Ice Hockey Club: 1998, 1999, 2005 [18]
  • Men's Tennis: 1990
  • Women's Tennis: 2005 [17]
  • Men's Lacrosse Club: 1997, 1998, 2007 [17]
  • Women's Lacrosse Club: 2008, 2010 [17]

NOTE: State championships for all sports can be viewed at the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA)[19] website.

Sports national titles[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]