North High School (Phoenix, Arizona)

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North High School
Phoenix-North Phoenix High School sign-1939.jpg
1101 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85014
United States
Coordinates 33°28′47″N 112°03′29″W / 33.479614°N 112.05802°W / 33.479614; -112.05802Coordinates: 33°28′47″N 112°03′29″W / 33.479614°N 112.05802°W / 33.479614; -112.05802
Type Public secondary school
Motto Empowering all students to be global citizens as they pursue success.
Established 1939 (Initial)[1]
1983 (reopening)[1]
Status Operational
Closed 1981[1]
School district Phoenix Union High School District
NCES District ID 0406330
NCES School ID 040633001244
Principal Vanessa Casillas[2]
Teaching staff 135[3]
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,667[3]
Color(s)          Blue and Red
Mascot Mustang
The original building built in 1939, of the once North Phoenix High School, now North High School (1954)

North High School (Formerly known as North Phoenix High School[4]) is a high school that forms part of the Phoenix Union High School District in Phoenix, Arizona.


North Phoenix High School opened its doors in 1939,[1] becoming the first high school built after George Washington Carver High School, a school that was built for segregation purposes.[5]


By 1981, the school's enrollment has fallen to 814.[6] As a result, North High was closed in 1981,[1] and would become one of four schools to close during the 1980s.[1]

As a result of the closures, two lawsuits were filed, accusing the Phoenix Union High School District of discriminating against ethnic minorities and low-income students by closing schools in their neighborhoods, in addition to unfair resource allocations.[7] The lawsuits were later consolidated into the Castro v. Phoenix Union High School District lawsuit,[7] in which a federal judge ruled against the school district.[4] That ruling resulted in the reopening of North High, as well as, among other measures, the establishment of magnet programs across the district.[7]

Phoenix Union High School District's website makes no reference to the controversy surrounding the school's closure and eventual reopening, merely stating that the school closed, due to declining enrollment, and later reopened.[1]


The school reopened in 1983, and in 1984, 875 students were enrolled at the school.[6]


The school's campus was built using funds from the Works Progress Administration and Public Works Administration, both established as part of the New Deal.[4]

The school is noted for having built-in lockers in the hallways, at a time when every other school within the Phoenix Union High School District has removed theirs.[4] Film and commercial producers have said the school reminds people of a traditional high school.[4]

The school's football field contains lattice tower light poles and a concrete grandstand.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Charles Barkley filmed his "I am not a role model" commercial for Nike at the school's gymnasium.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Information / History". Phoenix Union High School District. Retrieved 30 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Administrative Team / Campus". Phoenix Union High School District. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "School Information / School Profile". North High School. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Creno, Cathryn (1 July 2014). "17 historic schools in metro Phoenix". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  5. ^ Arroyo Rodriguez, Nadine (18 October 2013). "Did You Know: George Washington Carver High School Has Rich History". KJZZ-FM. Retrieved 2 December 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Arizona High School Enrollment Figures (1912-2005)" (PDF). 
  7. ^ a b c "Phoenix Union High School District Desegregation Funding: History and Impact" (PDF). Morrison Institute for Public Policy. November 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  8. ^ "Retired Navajo Nation district judge dies". Albuquerque Journal. Associated Press. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 

External links[edit]