Plano East Senior High School
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|Plano East Senior High School|
Outlook of Plano East Senior High School
Still Winning With Class
|3000 Los Rios Boulevard
Plano, Texas 75074
|School type||Public High School|
|School district||Plano Independent School District|
|Grades||11-12 (High School) and 9-12 (The IB World School) and 11-12 (Health Sciences Academy)|
|Color(s)||Black and gold|
|Feeder schools||McMillen and Williams|
Plano East Senior High School (commonly East, Plano East, or PESH) is a secondary school in Plano, Texas (USA) serving high school juniors and seniors, as well as freshmen and sophomores as a part of the IB World School (beginning with the 2013-2014 school year). It is part of the Plano Independent School District, and enrolls students based on the locations of students' homes. Students at Plano East attended one of two high schools: McMillen or Williams.
The school colors are black and gold, and the school mascot is the panther. Plano East has been awarded the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Best High School in Texas designation by Redbook magazine, Texas Education Agency Blue Ribbon School, and State and National Academic Decathlon Championships.
Plano East's graduating classes are among the largest for high schools in the United States. Plano East's Class of 2005, with 1220 graduates, was the largest high school graduating class in the U.S. that year. The Class of 2014 was also the largest high school graduating class in the U.S., with 1561 graduates.
Plano East is the only senior high school in Plano ISD to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Students who would normally attend either Plano or Plano West are allowed to transfer to Plano East to participate in the IB Programme without forfeiting UIL eligibility.
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Plano East became the 2nd campus to host part of the Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy for Juniors and Seniors. The Health Sciences Academy was also established in the 2013-2014 school year at Williams High School for Freshmen and Sophomores.
- 1 History
- 2 Rivalries
- 3 Athletics
- 4 Academics
- 5 Fine Arts and Performing Arts
- 6 Recognition
- 7 Alumni
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
To meet the demand of the growing population in Plano, Plano East Senior High School opened in 1981 as the second senior high school in the city. The school opened with 3 academic buildings connected by second floor walkways, a fine arts building, and a gymnasium. The athletics complex was added as a result of Title IX laws which require equal space for male and female athletics. In 1987, a new student activity center was constructed for indoor athletic practice. Eventually, fourth and fifth buildings were also added. The construction project for building five (the science wing) concluded the fall of 2010, preceding the 2010-2011 academic school year.
The school has had a rivalry with the oldest high school in the city, Plano Senior High School. However, in the 21st century Plano West Senior High School has become the nemesis to both Plano and Plano East. As a result, Plano East has developed a fierce rivalry with their cross town counterparts, the Plano West Wolves.
Plano East also maintains a rivalry with Allen High School to the north because they are the two largest schools in the state, but the football aspect of this rivalry has weakened in recent years as Allen has continued to compete for multiple state championships, while Plano East has struggled to qualify for the postseason. However, this rivalry was reignited during the 2015-2016 school year, when Plano East had a nominally good season, though lost to Allen.
District Champs: 1985 12-5A, 1988 12-5A, 1994 11-5A, 1998 9-5A, 1999 9-5A, 2000 9-5A
In 1994, Plano East was on the losing end of a wild and memorable regional semi final game against John Tyler High School in which five touchdowns were scored in the last two and a half minutes (courtesy of three consecutive successful onside kicks, followed by a regular kickoff returned for a touchdown). The game received the 1995 Showstopper of the Year ESPY Award and in 2006, ESPN ranked the game among its top 10 premature celebrations of all-time.
The Plano East Swim Team is a Division 6A swim team in Texas, part of UIL Region 2, District 7 for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 swim seasons. The district comprises the following programs:
|6A - Region 2, District 7|
Plano East placed 7th at State in 2005, the highest placement ever for the Plano East swim program. Representing the Panthers that year were seniors Tim Sablick, Steven Lazar, and PJ Giovannini and junior MacKenzie LeBlanc. The group competed in various individual events and relays and set multiple Plano East records. MacKenzie LeBlanc would go on to become the most decorated swimmer in Plano East history.
In the fall of 2006 after the group of stellar swimmers graduated, the Plano East swim team became rather weak. However, new coaches Amanda Valentini and Colin McGrane took over, completely changing the direction of the team. After a few down years, the team went from being one of the worst teams in its district to becoming a competitive swimming powerhouse. Plano East's most recent accomplishments include finishing 1st at Dallas Cup in 2010 and 1st at the JV District Championships in 2011.
In the 2012-2013 season, the Boys team finished 25th at the UIL State Championships, the 2nd highest position of any team from its district (behind only rival Plano Senior).
In the 2013-2014 season, the Boys team placed 12th out of 40 total teams at the North Zone TISCA Invitational, behind district members Plano (3rd), Allen (5th), Plano West (6th), and Dallas Jesuit (9th). The Girls team placed 26th out of 36 total teams, behind district members Allen (3rd), McKinney (17th), Plano (20th), and Plano West (24th). Plano East also sent 6 swimmers to the UIL state competition.
In March 2014, UIL Texas released the new alignments for the 2014-2015 season. Plano East was classified in the new "6A" qualification, and was aligned into the same district as Southlake Carroll, widely regarded as the best swim team in the state.
In May 2014, coaches Amanda Valentini and Colin McGrane both announced that the 2013-2014 season would be their last.
In June 2014, coach Lena Harrington, former assistant swim coach at Plano West Senior High School, was named the head coach of the Plano East swim team.
The Plano East bowling team began in 2001, winning the state title in 2006 and 2010. In the 2005-06 season, Plano East qualified fourth (behind Allen, Plano Senior and McKinney) during district play to qualify for regionals. At the Region II playoffs, East finished second to Allen and qualified for the state playoffs in Houston, Texas. In Houston, Plano East swept Sachse (2-0), Killeen (2-0), Ellison (2-0) and, finally, defeated the defending champions Garland Lakeview 2-1. This was Plano East's first team state title since its creation in 1979. Members of the team include: Kevin Bresson, Brandon Brown, Ryan Darley, Jonathan Kim, Thomas Dollin, Hunter Hooper, Peter Josephs, Andrew Smith and Kody Woods. Coaches include: Hieu Du and David Smith. Bowling is not an officially recognized sport by the Texas University Interscholastic League. In 2009 the girls team won 2nd in state. In 2010 the Plano East boys varsity bowling team won the state championship for the second time, defeating defending champion San Antonio Madison in San Antonio. Members of the team include Kevin Blake, Tommy Davis, James Dean, Brad Rodda, Tyler Samsell, Adam Smith, and Brandon and Corey Wesley. They have also won the title of the most winning games of all high schools. In 2011, the girls team won the state championship, defeating Katy High School in the final round. The team consisted of Kelsey Potts, Torrey Brown, Kelly McEvoy, Allison Blakley, Sabrynna Gibson, Jac Burchell, Sarah Pillars, and Katie Leslie.
Plano East Panthers JV won the AT&T Silver Division championship in 2006-2007 defeating Plano West 3-1 in the championship. Plano East Panthers JV also won the AT&T State Championship in 2014-2015 defeating Lovejoy High 3-1. Hockey is also not an officially recognized sport by the Texas University Interscholastic League
Plano East's lacrosse team has played since 1997, reaching the THSLL Division 2 Final Four in 2001, 2004, and 2005. In 2005, the team lost to Plano West 13-12 in the State Championship game. Lacrosse is governed by the Texas High School Lacrosse League and is not a University Interscholastic League-recognized sport.
1998-1999 Muhammed Lawal won the 171 weight class state championship. 1999-2000 Lucas McElyea won the 140 weight class state championship. 2004-2005 Andre Taylor won the 112 weight class state championship.
Plano East is home to PISD's only orienteering team. Hosted by the ROTC program, the orienteering team won the North Texas Orienteering Association championship for the competitive year of 2005-2006 as well as the 2006-2007 school year. Members of the team also represented the city of Plano at the National competition both years, in North Carolina and in Maryland where they ranked 4th in the nation on the varsity, and junior varsity level. The Plano East Panther Battalion JROTC Orienteering Team earned a spot at the 2010 United States Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Batavia, Ohio. The Freshman and Junior Varsity Teams took first place in their respective divisions while the Varsity Team placed 4th overall.
Plano East Senior High School operates on an 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. schedule, which includes seven periods and an off-campus lunch where students may leave the campus. Most students attend from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., but the school offers students the option of attending a "Zero Hour" class at 8:00 a.m. This allows students the option of leaving early at 3:19 p.m.
Plano East offers International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Honors, Regular Level, Special Education and Remedial classes. The school offers 6 foreign languages including American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish. There are JROTC programs, English as a Second Language classes, and vocational and career track programs.
Plano East Senior High has a JROTC program that currently holds the Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD). It has held the HUD for more than 17 years. It is currently headed by LTC Bernard Aikens (Ret.) and had MSG Darrell Crews (Ret.) teaching the 9th grade and CSM Michael Franklin (Ret.) teaching the 10th graders. The various extracurricular teams consist of Rifle Team, Orienteering, Drill, Color Guard, Leadership, Academic Team, and PT (Physical Training) team.
Health Sciences Program
Plano East offers a CNA and Pharmacy Tech. program.
Fine Arts and Performing Arts
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The Plano East Band consists of four concert bands (The Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Varsity Band), the Plano East Marching Band, and a jazz ensemble.
The band is one of the most decorated bands in Texas. In 2000, the band was named the winner of the Dale C. Harris Exemplary Band Program Award by the American School Band Directors Association. This distinction is annually awarded to the top band program in the United States. In addition, the band has 34 consecutive years of Superior Ratings and Sweepstakes Awards in the University Interscholastic League (UIL) for marching, concert and sight-reading competitions. In 2006, the Wind Ensemble was named honor band runner up at the State TMEA Honor Band competition. The Plano East Senior High Marching band has been a finalist in the Duncanville Marching Invitational six times since 1999, and was named Grand Champions in 2001. Additionally, the Plano East marching band was awarded the prestigious Sudler Shield award by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation in 2012.
The Plano East Orchestra is also among the top programs in the state. The orchestra under direction of Betsy Thomas was as recently as the 2010-2011 school year, named as the High School String Orchestra Honor Orchestra for the state. The orchestra has received the award of Honor Orchestra from the Texas Music Educators Association 6 times in the last 12 years, more than any other school in Texas. TMEA restrictions allow the school to participate in the honor orchestra contest only every other year after if they win. The PESH orchestra also won a national competition in 2003 and 2005. Starting in the 2008-2009 school year, the orchestra was no longer allowed by the school district to compete in both the state and a national competition.
The Choir Program consists of three main choirs: Mixed Choir and the Men's and Women's choirs. Plano East Choir also has two audition-only groups called Sound Invention and Treblemakers. The choirs put on both a fall and a spring show during the academic year, and Sound Invention and Treblemakers also put on their own themed fall and spring shows. In March 2016, the Plano East Men's Choir was selected to perform at the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association in Kansas City, Missouri.
Plano East offers multiple distinct theatre-related programs, including: an advanced Technical Theatre (AT) program, a Theatre Major Studies (TMS) program, a Theatre Honors Production (THP) program, a Musical Theatre Production (MTP) program, a Drama Intensive (DI) program, and an IB Theatre program.
The Plano East Drama Department is headed by Gavin Mundy, the director, and Brian Grunkowski, the technical director. 
All students are able to take advantage of experts that are brought in for workshops, particularly professionals from neighboring Southern Methodist University, UT Dallas and Collin College, as well as attend the North Texas Drama Auditions if they are in the 12th grade.
The Advanced Technical Theatre students participate in all department productions while learning lighting, set design, stage managing, and sound design. All advanced tech students send submissions into the annual state UIL design competition. In the 2012 season, under the direction of Zachary Elms, the technical theatre department received six nominations at the state UIL design competition, scoring wins with fifth place in publicity, and fifth place in set design. Plano East also took home the top prize in set design. All Technical Theatre students are led by Brian Grunkowski, who stepped in as technical director after Zachary Elms left at the end of the 2014-2015 year.
Theatre Major Studies is a double block, audition only class, where students focus primarily on performance and script analysis. Students are taught the techniques of Stanislavski, while also learning various movement based skills, such as Viewpoints.
Theatre Honors Production is a single period, audition only class and is similar in structure to the TMS class.
Brand new to Plano East, the Musical Theatre Production class was established in 2016 by Brian Grunkowski. Students learn about the history of musicals from script to Broadway, while learning choreography from different musicals, singing various showtunes, and exploring the musical side of theatre. This class is also audition only and takes place for one period (5th).
The Drama Intensive program is an audition only program set up for IB World School students in the 9th and 10th grade. Geared to help students get ready for either TMS, THP, or IB, the DI class is involved in the Plano 9th/10th One Act as well as producing their own, unique Drama Intensive show utilizing these students.
Set up for students involved in the IB World School the IB Theatre program allows to earn their SL or HL in this class by learning about Dramaturgy and various styles of theatre across the globe which ultimately culminates in a performance in the Courtyard Theatre at the end of the year, allowing students to showcase their talents by demonstrating a piece they've written by themselves after researching a style of theatre.
The theatre department produces twelve major productions each school year: A Theatre Major Studies show (limited to students in the program), a Theatre Honors Production show (limited to students in the program), the 9th/10th One Act, an open audition musical, a Drama Intensive show (limited to students in the program), six senior-directed one act plays, and the open audition one act.
Plano East's one-act competes annually in the state UIL One-Act Play Competition every spring. In 2006, under the direction of Lisa Hale, Plano East won the state championship for their production of The Marriage of Bette and Boo. 
- U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1992-1993 and 1997-98
- Texas State and U.S. National Academic Decathlon Champions
- Redbook magazine Award for the "Best High School in Texas", 1994, 1996
- Texas Education Agency Blue Ribbon School, 1997
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- Lance Armstrong, former professional cyclist and founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation
- Jake Arrieta, starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs
- Wes Bankston, first baseman for the Oakland A's
- Justin Blalock, offensive guard for the Atlanta Falcons and the 2005 National Champion Texas Longhorns, recipient of the Watkins Award, recently inducted into the Plano Athletic Hall of Honor
- Stefani Carter (Class of 1996), Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives from Dallas County District 102 since 2011
- Jimmy King, University of Michigan basketball star and part of the "Fab Five". Played in the NBA for the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets, and in the Continental Basketball Association for the Quad City Thunder.
- Lauren King, childhood actress on infamous public broadcasting TV show Barney
- Muhammed Lawal, mixed martial arts fighter and 2010 Strikeforce light heavyweight champion
- John Leake, linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons
- Thomas Mann, actor
- Guy Mezger, (former Plano East Wrestler) known as the "sandman" mixed martial arts fighter and UFC champion
- Lee Nguyen, 2005 Gatorade High School Soccer Player of the Year and current New England Revolution midfielder in Major League Soccer
- Charlie Peprah, free agent defensive back in the NFL
- Keenan Robinson, linebacker for the Washington Generals
- Cara Santa Maria, science educator
- Amanda Swafford, fashion model and former contestant of America's Next Top Model Cycle 3
- Nicolas Valcik, 1989, author, researcher, director of Institutional Research at West Virginia University and former associate director in the Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis at The University of Texas at Dallas
- Terrence Wheatley, defensive back for the Tennessee Titans
- Dave Williams, lead singer of Drowning Pool
- Gary Wiseman, drummer of Bowling for Soup
- Matt Young, MLB outfielder
- Spencer Boldman, actor, best known for playing the role of Adam on Disney XD's Lab Rats (U.S. TV series)
- Toben Opurum, NFL running back, currently a free agent, signed as an undrafted free agent from the University of Kansas
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- "America's Best High Schools". Newsweek. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- http://www.tmea.org/060_band/hbresults.html 2006-2007 Honor Band Results
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