Plano East Senior High School

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Plano East Senior High School
PESH Building 1.jpg
Outlook of Plano East Senior High School
3000 Los Rios Boulevard


Coordinates33°02′23″N 96°38′44″W / 33.039586°N 96.645621°W / 33.039586; -96.645621Coordinates: 33°02′23″N 96°38′44″W / 33.039586°N 96.645621°W / 33.039586; -96.645621
School typePublic High School
MottoWinning With Class
School districtPlano Independent School District
PrincipalGeorge King
Grades11-12 (High School and Health Sciences Academy) and 9-12 (The IB World School)
Enrollment3,007 (2016-17)[1]
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Black and gold          
Feeder schoolsMcMillen and Williams

Plano East Senior High School (commonly known as 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,[2] Texas Education Agency Blue Ribbon School, and State and National Academic Decathlon Championships.[3]

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.[4] The Class of 2014 was also the largest high school graduating class in the U.S., with 1561 graduates.[5]

Plano East is the only senior high school in Plano ISD to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.[6] 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 after the Health Sciences Academy was established in the 2013-2014 school year at Williams High School for Freshmen and Sophomores.


Buildings B2, B3, and B4 as seen from the bridge

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.[citation needed] 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. An extension to Building 1 was completed in the fall of 2018 and included 19 classrooms, 4 smaller rooms, a large meeting room, and several collaboration spaces. [7]


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.



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. It was added to the 6A category when the category was formed in 2014.

Plano East placed 7th at State in 2005, the highest placement ever for the Plano East swim program.


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. 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. In 2011, the girls team won the state championship, defeating Katy High School in the final round.


Plano East Panthers Varsity won the AT&T Silver Division championship in 2006-2007 defeating Plano West 3-1 in the championship. Plano East Panthers JV won the AT&T State Championship in 2014-2015 defeating Lovejoy High 3-1 then repeating another championship the JV Panthers won the City Championship 5-1 Against McKinney High in the 2016-2017 season . 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.


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. at the end of sixth period.

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 and Health Sciences programs, English as a Second Language classes, and vocational and career track programs.

Plano East ranked 866th in U.S. News [8] 461st in Newsweek's "America's Best High Schools"[9] in 2011.

The Plano East journalism department houses the school focused student-run newsmagazine and website, Panther Prints.

IB program[edit]

The IB World School at Plano East is a 4-year program that starts in 9th and ends in 12th grade. Students from several Plano ISD middle schools come to PESH to attend the IB program. The 4 years consists of the International Honors Preparatory Program for 9th and 10th grades and the IB Diploma Program for 11th and 12th graders. The IB World School is housed at Building 1 (B1). The IB program consists of a new approach to learning. In 9th and 10th grade, students take a two period class that uniquely combines English and Social Studies: Humanities I (combination of AP Human Geography and English I) in 9th grade and Humanities II (combination of AP World History and English II) in 10th grade. Juniors and Seniors are required to take one subject from each of the six groups:[10][11]

The IB Diploma Program also requires students to take Theory of Knowledge (TOK) starting in their junior year, participate in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), an extra-curricular program, and write an extended essay of 4,000 words in their senior year. IB Students have the choice of taking certain AP courses instead of IB courses.[12][13]

JROTC program[edit]

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, and as of 2016, the battalion ranks 1st in the state of Texas. The various extracurricular teams consist of the Rifle Team, Cybersecurity Team, Armed Drill Team, Color Guard, Leadership team, Academic team, and PT (Physical Training) Team.

Health Sciences program[edit]

The Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy is a health and science program offered at Plano East Senior High School for grades 11 and 12 at Building 4 (B4) for students interested in pursuing a job in the medical field. Students from the Williams High School Health Sciences Academy come to Plano East for the second half.[14] With a partnership with Collin College, students gain many opportunities: college credits, workforce certifications, working with real medical equipment and communicating with the local medical professionals (through field trips and clinical placements in skill-based classes). [15][16]

Plano ISD Career and Technical Education offer additional medical courses in Plano ISD Health Sciences Academy than any other school. Extensions of the following classes that are taught at the Health Sciences Academy include:

Fine Arts and Performing Arts[edit]

PESH Building "A" houses its fine arts department.


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 37 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.[17] 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. Under the direction of Evelio Villarreal, John Brennan, and Ryan Albert, the Plano East Senior High School bands have grown and risen to become among the best in the State of Texas, while maintaining a standard of excellence.


The Plano East Orchestra is one of the top programs in the state, receiving multiple state and national awards.[18] The chamber orchestra under direction of Betsy Thomas was named as the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) High School String Honor Orchestra for the 2010-2011 school year.[19] The orchestra has received the award of Honor Orchestra from TMEA 6 times in the last 12 years, more than any other school in Texas.[20] 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. As of 2019, the Plano East Orchestra is under the direction of Ann G. Smith and associate director Kelton Burnside.[21]


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 Brian Grunkowski, the director, and Zizi Wright, the technical director.[22]

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. [1]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Plano East Sr H S". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Weiss, Michael J (April 1996). "America's Best High Schools". Redbook p.66
  3. ^ a b "Taft Places 2nd in U.S. Academic Decathlon". Los Angeles Times. April 26, 1993. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Some Numbers from NEWSWEEK's Best High Schools List - Newsweek America's Best High Schools -". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2006-07-10.
  5. ^ "Plano East boasts largest graduating class in US with 1,561". Murphy Monitor. 19 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  6. ^ "International Baccalaureate: Plano ISD". Plano Independent School District. Archived from the original on 2006-07-09. Retrieved 2006-07-10.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Plano East Senior High School".
  9. ^ "America's Best High Schools". Newsweek. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ 2006-2007 Honor Band Results
  18. ^ "Music Program in Plano". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  19. ^ "Music Program in Plano". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  20. ^ "Music Program in Plano". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  21. ^ "Plano East Orchestra Directors". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Archived: Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002 (PDF)
  24. ^ McMahon, Daniel (2 March 2016). "Lance Armstrong visited a college class and blasted the antidoping agency that took him down". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  25. ^ McMahon, Daniel (1 September 1999). "An Inside Look at 26 of Dallas' Top Schools from the September 1999 Issue". D Magazine. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  26. ^ Dylan O'Brien (2011-06-11). "THOMAS-ABOUT". Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  27. ^ "Faculty Author Event Celebrates Profs in Print". Retrieved October 23, 2012.

External links[edit]