Roosevelt High School (Seattle)

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Roosevelt High School
Roosevelt High School-1.jpg
South entrance in February 2008
1410 NE 66th Street
Seattle, Washington 98115
United States
Coordinates 47°40′37″N 122°18′47″W / 47.677°N 122.313°W / 47.677; -122.313Coordinates: 47°40′37″N 122°18′47″W / 47.677°N 122.313°W / 47.677; -122.313
Type Public
Motto "What I am to be I am now becoming"
Established 1922, 95 years ago
Principal Brian Vance
Faculty 116
Grades 912
Enrollment 1,753[1]
Color(s) Green & Gold            
Athletics WIAA Class 3A,
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association
Athletics conference Metro 3A Sound Division
Mascot Rough Riders
Rivals Ballard, Garfield
Newspaper The Roosevelt News
Yearbook Strenuous Life
Information (206) 252-4810

Roosevelt High School (RHS) is a public secondary school located in the Roosevelt neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Opened 95 years ago in 1922 and part of the Seattle Public Schools, Roosevelt continues to be one of the largest schools in the greater Seattle area.

The school offers a wide variety of academic courses as well as extracurricular activities. In a yearlong series of reports on RHS, NPR described it as "an above-average school in a below-average school district."[2]


The school is named after President Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919); the school's team, the Rough Riders, is named after Roosevelt's famous military regiment. It subsequently gave its name to the Roosevelt neighborhood and nearby Roosevelt Way Northeast.[3]


The school was designed by the Seattle School District's architect, Floyd Naramore, and constructed in 1921–22. From 2004 to 2006, the building was seismically retrofitted, modernized, and expanded while many of the school's original architectural elements were preserved. During this time classes were held in Lincoln High School. Architects for this work were Bassetti Architects.

Programs, groups, and clubs[edit]

Roosevelt High School has the only full-time drama program in the Seattle School District.[citation needed] Eight periods of drama are offered per day including directing, acting, technical theater, production, design, and a complete musical theater program. There are four private voice teachers, a vocal director, and a choreographer for the annual musical.

Roosevelt High School remains one of the last two public schools in the Seattle Metropolitan area that offers Latin.[citation needed] The Latin Language Club is affiliated with the National Junior Classical League, and remains one of the largest local chapters.[citation needed]

In the Hands for a Bridge program, students choose to travel either to South Africa or Northern Ireland, where they help foster dialogue about diversity, prejudice, and social change. This group was created in 2001 by teachers Tom Nolet, Francene Watson, and Danny Rock with assistance from the University of Washington's Comparative History of Ideas Program and the Jackson School of International Studies. Each student accepted to this program is enrolled in the HFB class, where an intensive year-long study of literature, history, and the arts focuses on cultures in conflict.[4] The Northern Ireland travelers visit Oakgrove Integrated College in Derry which is led by John Harkin, while the South African travelers visit Isilimela Comprehensive School and Bellville High School (Hoërskool Bellville) in Cape Town.[5]

In 2006, students and teachers designed a robot to fly in a weightless environment. When a sensor on the spherical robot perceived a beam of infrared light, it stopped its rotation and, with the force caused by a set of motors spinning heavy flywheels, rotated the "front" to face the source of light.[citation needed]

Roosevelt High School was home of the first successful program in Seattle oriented around students with Asperger's syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism.[citation needed]


Marching band[edit]

The marching band performs halftime shows at all home football games, basketball games, and occasionally volleyball games. Known as "The Pride of Seattle," this group of students also travels to and performs in multiple parades in the Northwest region each year.[6]


The Roosevelt Orchestra program includes the Concert Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra. The orchestras perform annually at various concerts and competitions, including the annual Northwest Orchestra Festival in Gresham, Oregon. In the 2013 festival, three groups out of the five (including a quintet and a sinfonia group) took first place in their divisions.

Jazz band[edit]

The Roosevelt Jazz Band performs and competes all over the nation, and it has traveled internationally. The band has been a finalist many times in the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City, receiving Honorable Mention in 2010 and winning third place in 2000, second place in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, and 2012, and first place in 2002, 2007 and 2008.[7] Besides its renowned Jazz Band, Roosevelt has a vocal jazz group and multiple after-school jazz bands: Jazz Bands II, III, and IV. Jazz Band III was introduced at the beginning of the 2006–07 school year because of an increased number of jazz musicians arriving at Roosevelt. At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, a fourth jazz band was added due to an even greater amount of jazz musicians entering the program.

Concert bands[edit]

Besides the jazz bands and orchestras, student musicians have the option to be in one of two concert bands. One band is called the Cadet Band, predominantly consisting of freshmen. The second concert band is the award-winning Symphonic Band, which competes in several local competitions.[citation needed]


Roosevelt High School is well known for its drama program.[8] Each year Roosevelt holds its "Dramafest" (a series of twelve student-produced plays), a Winter Production, and a Spring Musical.


Roosevelt athletics has traditionally participated in the Metro League since its opening until the 1997–98 school year when Roosevelt, Garfield and Franklin High Schools moved to the Kingco 4A conference. Ballard High School moved to Kingco 4A in 2000. In 2014–15, Roosevelt, Garfield and Ballard High schools returned to the Metro 3A Conference.[9]

Girls' Basketball[edit]

The girls' basketball team has won one state championship[10] and had a wide-release theatrical movie, The Heart of the Game, based on their experiences.[11]

Boys' Basketball[edit]

The boys' basketball team has won three state championships: in 1946, 1973 & 1982 and placed 2nd in 1965 & 1987.[12] The most recent state playoffs appearance occurred in 2009.

Boys' Football[edit]

The Rough Rider football team lays claim to one state championship, as crowned by the Associated Press in 1950.[13] Since the start of the official state playoffs in 1974, Roosevelt has made it to the state playoffs five times, most recently advancing to the quarterfinals in 2012 and to Round of 16 in 2014.[14]

Girls' Soccer[edit]

The girls' soccer team has been to the state playoffs eleven times, placing 3rd in 1990, and 2nd in 2000.[14] Notable players include Meghan Miller, who at Kansas was named 2004 NSCAA Second Team All American,[15][16] and Wynne Mcintosh, 1993 Metro League MVP and Portland Pilot.[17]

Ultimate Frisbee[edit]

Organized as a club sport, the ultimate program at Roosevelt fields single-gender teams for boys and girls in both fall and spring, and coed teams during the winter and at tournaments. The boys team entered the national stage with impressive wins over Summit, Monarch, and Northwest to win the 2015 Westerns High School Ultimate tournament.[18] They followed up with a 2nd-place finish at the 2015 Seattle Invite Tournament, once again defeating Northwest but losing to Franklin in the finals. At the 2016 Western High School Regional Championships the boys placed first and the girls took 6th place. In the winter of 2016-2017, varsity and junior varsity teams began participating in the new mixed winter high school league offered by Disc Northwest.


Roosevelt offers Latin, Spanish, Japanese, and French, and it is the only school in Seattle Public Schools that offers American Sign Language.


The Roosevelt News is a National Pacemaker Award-winning paper[19] produced monthly by students and overseen by a staff advisor.


As of Fall 2016 the student demographics were:[1]

68% - Caucasian
11.6% - Asian
7.1% - Hispanic
4.4% - African American/Black
0.3% - American Indian/Alaska Native
7.5% - Multiracial

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of Roosevelt High School include:


External links[edit]