Sammamish High School

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Sammamish High School
Sammamish High School. logo.png
100 140th Ave. SE
Bellevue, Washington
Type Public High School
Established 1959, 2004 (renovated)
School district Bellevue S.D. (#405)
Principal Scott Powers
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,007 (October 2016)
Color(s) Red, Black, & White
Athletics WIAA Class 2A,
SeaKing District Two
Athletics conference KingCo 2A
Mascot Thunderbird
Nickname Totems
Rivals Interlake, Bellevue
Newspaper Totem Talks Blog
Yearbook Thunderbird

Sammamish High School (commonly Sammamish or SHS) is a public secondary school in Bellevue, Washington, USA, serving students in grades 912. Opened in 1959, the school was the second of the four traditional high schools in the Bellevue School District, with admission based primarily on the locations of students' homes. The school's nickname is the Totems, the mascot is the Thunderbird, and its colors are red, black, and white. The current principal is Scott Powers, with Thomas Gangle and Anecia Grigsby as assistant principals.

Sammamish generally serves students from the east zone of the district, but students from outside its attendance area can enroll at the school through its open enrollment policy. Sammamish High's feeder elementary schools are Cherry Crest, Stevenson, Lake Hills, Phantom Lake, and Spiritridge. Its feeder middle schools are Odle and Tillicum.[1]


In the 2016-2017 school year, the total student enrollment was 1,007. The racial demographics are: 5% Black/African American, 21% Asian, 18% Hispanic, 8% Multi-Ethnic and 47% white. 32% of students speak a first language other than English and 38% qualify for free or reduced lunches[2]


Sammamish is well known for its magnet programs (Sammamish Visual and Performing Arts Center), Advanced Placement classes, and career and technical programs.[1] Sammamish was named the Washington state recipient of 2006-07 Siemens Awards of Advanced Placement.[3] This award recognizes the excellence of Sammamish's Advanced Placement instruction and student performances.[4]

Starting with the 2007-08 academic year, Sammamish switched from a 4-period daily block schedule to a 7-period schedule. Then-principal Laura Bang-Knudsen and Program Delivery Council Facilitator George Westergaard cited the need for a waiver, lack of sufficient faculty, parent or student support to get the waiver and inability to come up with a schedule that would not require a waiver and would not sacrifice curriculum coverage time.[5]

Advanced Placement[edit]


Sammamish offers Advanced Placement classes. 9th graders are required to take AP Human Geography. From 2002 through 2006, Sammamish students' scores counted for over 50% of all the passing exams in AP Calculus BC for the entire state.[6]

Sammamish was ranked as #168 in 2008, #108 in 2007, #193 in 2006, #225 in 2005, and #141 in 2003[7] out of all the high schools in United States by Newsweek Magazine. The ranking is based on the number of Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests taken divided by number of graduating seniors. All five high schools[8] in the district are consistently ranked as the top five high schools in the Washington state since the inception of the Newsweek ranking. The validity of these rankings is disputed for various reasons, such as that Sammamish's lack of an IB program deflates its rating as compared to its neighbor Interlake High School.[9]


Sammamish is a member of the Kingco Athletic Conference,[10] in WIAA Class 2A (formerly 3A and 4A). Twenty two sports are played over the course of three seasons at Sammamish, with Cheer and Drill active year-round. Past statistics can be found at the WIAA website.[11]

Sammamish High School State Championship Games
WIAA State Tournament History, inquire by selecting Sammamish HS
Year Sport Winning Team Losing Team Location (all in Washington) Class
1964 Boys' Golf Everett 310 Sammamish 294 4A
1970 State Frisbee Championship Sammamish 3 gms O'Dea (Seattle) 2 gms Bellevue 4A
1976 Girls' Basketball Sammamish 45 Walla Walla 34 Pacific Lutheran University 4A
1977 Girls' Basketball Sammamish 53 Garfield 30 Pacific Lutheran University 4A
1977 Girls' Track and Field Sammamish 64 Roosevelt 56 4A
1978 Boys' Basketball Garfield 58 Sammamish 56 Seattle Coliseum, Seattle 4A
1978 Boys' Soccer Shorewood 2 Sammamish 0 Seattle 4A
1978 Girls' Track and Field Sammamish 55 Roosevelt 26 4A
1978 Girls' Cross Country Bellarmine Prep 106 Sammamish 80 4A
1979 Boys' Soccer Sammamish 6 O'Dea 2 Seattle 4A
1979 Girls' Track and Field Sammamish 44 Lincoln (Tacoma) 38 4A
1981 Boys' Soccer Highline 2 Sammamish 0 Seattle 4A
1985 Boys' Cross Country Redmond 111 Sammamish 51 4A
1989 Girls' Tennis Sammamish tie-breaker[12] Bellarmine Prep 4A
1989 Girls' Soccer Jefferson 3 Sammamish 1 Renton 4A
1990 Girls' Tennis Sammamish tie-breaker[12] Bellarmine Prep 4A
1990 Girls' Track and Field Sammamish 74 Lake Washington 54 4A
1990 Girls' Soccer Sammamish 1 Federal Way 0 Shoreline 4A
1992 Girls' Soccer Federal Way 3 Sammamish 0 Shoreline 4A
1995 Boys' Basketball Evergreen 64 Sammamish 59 (OT) Kingdome, Seattle 4A
1996 Girls' Tennis Sammamish 4A[13]
1999 Boys' Football Prosser 42 Sammamish 38 Tacoma Dome 3A
1999 Boys' Water Polo Sammamish 11 Mercer Island 10 King County Aquatics Center 3A[13]
2000 Boys' Water Polo Mercer Island 16 Sammamish 8 King County Aquatics Center 3A[14]
2002 Drill Team Sammamish S Sun Dome, Yakima 3A
2015 Boys Golf Sammamish Liberty Lake Golf Course 2A

This list only includes school championship games and does not include the 55 individual and group first place championships and 11 second-place finishes in track and field, cross country, swimming, golf, gymnastics, tennis, and wrestling.


Sammamish High School is home to a variety of extracurricular activities.[15] Associated Student Body and administrators coordinate these throughout the schoolyear. Academically, the school houses chapters of the National Honor Society, National Arts Honor Society, Tri-M (Music Honor Society), Mu Alpha Theta (National Math Honor Society), and as of the 2006-07 school year, a successful and competitive Policy/Lincoln Douglas Debate team, which has competed at the semi-final level of the Auburn Regional Forensics Invitational. An active Multicultural Club conducts events to demonstrate the diversity of the student body and coordinates the annual "Taste of Sammamish" culinary festival. Also, the Arts Magnet Program creates opportunities for students to participate in actual production. Other clubs include the Black Student Union and the LGBTQ club. Sammamish is very supportive of all communities. Sammamish is home to Thespian Troupe 2241. The school's theater, opened in early 2005 and cost the district $4.5 million[16] and is now home to at least two student productions each year. It contains professional equipment and is sometimes available to outside groups for rent, making it the third professional-quality theater in King County, Washington.[17] Sammamish Graphic Arts students often participate in state and regional graphics competitions. The school offers a fully functional hot glass studio and extensive programs centered on healthcare. The jazz choir has won numerous awards,[18] and along with jazz band competes in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival each year. Jazz choir was recently featured in Bellevue Community College's Vocal Jazz Invitational with its award-winning vocal jazz ensemble Celebration!. In February 2007, Sammamish won 1st Runner-up in the most competitive Multi-Mic Division at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.[19]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sammamish High School Home Page". Archived from the original on 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  2. ^ "About - Sammamish High School" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
  5. ^ "Letter to Sammamish Students, Parents and Staff, Dec. 13, 2006" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 6, 2007.
  6. ^ "Sammamish Senior High". The Seattle Times. 2006-08-26. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
  7. ^ "America's Top Public High Schools".
  8. ^ Bellevue High School (Washington), Newport High School, and Interlake High School, International School
  9. ^ Education Sector: Analysis and Perspectives: Challenged Index Archived 2007-06-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "KingCo Home Page".
  11. ^ "WIAA Schedules". Archived from the original on 2006-11-14.
  12. ^ a b Won via tie-breaker having defeated Bellarmine Prep
  13. ^ a b c Peterson, Matt (September 17, 2002). "Spotlight: Sammamish High School". The Seattle Times.
  14. ^ MIKE McLAUGHLIN (8 November 2000). "Preps Beat: Power shift complete in water polo". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 21 January 2008.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  16. ^ Bain, Lara (2005-05-06). "New theater ready to take stage at Sammamish High". The Seattle Times.
  17. ^ "Mahlum: Sammamish High School Performing Arts Center". Archived from the original on 2005-10-18.
  18. ^ "BSD\fowlers's Home". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26.
  19. ^ Today@Idaho - News Article Archived 2007-04-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Owen, Rob (January 29, 2012). "'Smash's' Megan Hilty 'obsessed' with singing". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  21. ^ "ACE Awards List". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Whatever Happened to the Video Stars?". July 25, 2006.
  23. ^ Puget Sound Community School
  24. ^ Seattle Times: Kindness taught in Seattle school's online class Archived December 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′29″N 122°09′07″W / 47.608°N 122.152°W / 47.608; -122.152