Tahoma Senior High School

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Tahoma Senior High School
18200 SE 240th Street
Covington, Washington 98042
United States
Coordinates 47°23′14″N 122°05′55″W / 47.3873°N 122.0986°W / 47.3873; -122.0986Coordinates: 47°23′14″N 122°05′55″W / 47.3873°N 122.0986°W / 47.3873; -122.0986
Type High School
Motto One School
Established 1927
School district Tahoma School District
Principal Terry Duty
Teaching staff 90
Grades 10-12
Enrollment 1,768[1] (May 2015)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Nickname Bears

Tahoma Senior High School (or more frequently Tahoma (High) School or THS) is part of the Tahoma School District #409. THS is a public high school serving grades ten through twelve, adjacent to Tahoma National Cemetery, and mainly provides for students from the city of Maple Valley, Washington. The school's class schedule features six periods that alternate in three-period blocks every other day (known as Blue and Gold days).


The front of Tahoma Senior High School

Tahoma Senior High School is a suburban school located where the borders of the cities of Maple Valley, Covington, and Kent come together. It is generally viewed as having high academic standards. The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction reported the school's graduation rate as 87.8% for the 2005-06 school year with a 3.3% dropout rate,[2] while the statewide graduation and dropout rates were reported as 75.0% and 5.7%,[3] respectively, for the same year. Additionally, Tahoma High School consistently outperforms the state average on the tenth grade WASL examination by a wide margin. A table illustrating the percentage of students who passed the 2007 tenth grade WASL is shown below.[2][3]

Statewide Tahoma High School
Reading 80.8% 90.7%
Mathematics 50.4% 62.9%
Writing 83.9% 91.7%
Science 36.4% 55.5%

The school offers a wide variety of tech prep, honors, Advanced Placement, and University of Washington "college in the high school" courses, in addition to the district's school board-approved curriculum. Students may take courses in automotive repair, video production, theatre, culinary arts, woodworking, metalworking, and business and marketing. These classes take advantage of the school's fully furnished autoshop, advanced video editing equipment, wood and metal shops, student store, and up-to-date computer labs. Advanced Placement classes offered by the high school include Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Computer Science A, Computer Science AB, European History, US History, US Government and Politics, Environmental Science, Literature, Studio Art, and Psychology.[4] These classes are usually offered at no cost to the student, and Tahoma High School encourages all students in AP classes to take the Advanced Placement exams corresponding to the classes they are enrolled in. The exams are given in early May. UW "college in the high school" courses that are offered include classes in Spanish, French, geology, English composition, and literature. These classes allow students to earn credits from the University of Washington, and a fee for each class is required. Tahoma High School's Outdoor Academy program which integrates Health and Fitness, Science, and Language Arts, has received recognition statewide for its work in changing the concept of Physical Education.[5]


TaHoMa High School, 1926. Now Tahoma Middle School.

The first large public school building in the Maple Valley area to serve secondary students was the Maple Valley Grade School, which opened in 1920 and housed grades one through twelve (now home to the Tahoma Transportation Center and the Maple Valley Historical Society).[6] In 1926, not long after the building opened, the Taylor, Hobart, and Maple Valley school districts merged to create a cooperative high school district and purchased a parcel of property for the construction of a dedicated local secondary school. This school, known as TaHoMa High School, opened in 1927 and held both junior and senior high students of the area for many years. After several remodels, this first TaHoMa High School building still exists today as Tahoma Middle School.[7]

The present day high school building opened in 1974 as an open concept school, while the previous building remained as the district's junior high. The open concept design proved unsatisfactory to the faculty at the time, and temporary walls were constructed early in the school building's life.

The next major change came in 1999 when an intensive remodel of the Tahoma Senior High School building commenced. Despite gutting most parts of the building for modernization, the project was done in phases so that the facility could remain open as the district high school. Notable changes made to the campus during this remodel included construction of the present-day 100 wing, installation of an all-weather athletic track, expansion of the administrative offices, brightening of the commons area, application of an exterior brick facade, and complete renovation of the interior of the school, making it aesthetically appealing and technologically up-to-date.[8]

Following voter approval of a $10 million, four-year Instructional Technology Levy in 2006, the Tahoma School District has started to outfit the campus with wireless internet service, Activboard digital whiteboards, and upgraded computer labs.

Throughout its history, the school has been assigned to three different cities without ever changing its physical location. At one time or another, the school building's address has included the cities of Kent, Covington, and now Maple Valley.

On June 5, 2015, ground was broken on a new Tahoma High School. Completion is scheduled for May 2017 and will be the largest high school in Washington State. The current Tahoma High School will be converted to a Middle School.[9]


The following extracurricular clubs and activities are active at Tahoma: Anime Club; Art/Photography Club; Band; Choir; Drama; Destination Imagination; Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); Fashion Design Club; Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA); Future Farmers of America (FFA); Future Filmmakers Club; Gaming Club; Green Team; Guitar Club; Hands Up Club (for students of American Sign Language); Interact Club; Japanese Club; Key Club; Mu Alpha Theta Math Club; Multicultural/Diversity Club; National Honor Society (NHS); Newspaper; Orca Bowl (participants in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl); Outdoor Club; Robotics Team (participants in the FIRST Robotics Competition); Spanish Club; Speech and Debate; Street Rats; Technology Student Association (TSA); We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution; Yearbook; and Young Authors Club.


THS has been a part of the Cascade Division of the North Puget Sound League since the 2016-17 school year.[10] They were previously members of the South Puget Sound League.

Tahoma students participate in the following sports and athletic activities:

  • Fall Sports: Boys' Tennis, Cross Country, Football, Girls' Soccer, Girls' Swim and Dive, Golf, and Volleyball.
  • Winter Sports: Boys' Basketball, Boys' Swim, Dance, Girls' Basketball, Gymnastics, and Wrestling.
  • Spring Sports: Baseball, Boys' Soccer, Fast Pitch, Girls' Tennis, and Track.


Tahoma's main rivals include Kent-Meridian, Kentridge, Kentlake, Kentwood, Auburn Riverside and Gig Harbor. One of Tahoma's oldest rivals is Enumclaw, but the rivalry lost some of its intensity when Enumclaw moved down to the SPSL Division 3A. It may be reignited now that the schools are part of the Olympic Division of the NPSL as of 2016.[11]

Tahoma's fiercest rivalry is perhaps that with Kentwood High School, owing partly to the mere three-mile separation between the schools. Tensions increased further when Kentwood desecrated the street in front of Tahoma by spray painting the letters "K-DUB" before a football game held on October 14, 2005. The two schools have been a part of some memorable football games in the past couple of years, with Tahoma winning four years in a row, ending with KW winning a last minute thriller in 2009, 21-14. Kentwood won the last meeting 49-3, the largest margin in over 10 years.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b groupLevel=District&schoolId=112&reportLevel=District&orgLinkId=112&yrs=&year=2006-07 Washington State Report Card
  3. ^ a b Washington State Report Card
  4. ^ Tahoma High School Course Catalog, 2007-08
  5. ^ [2] Seattle Times:"Phys-ed Classes Changing Course
  6. ^ K. Patterson, personal communication, October 10, 2006
  7. ^ Tahoma School District. (2004). Tahoma Middle School Dedication [Brochure]. Maple Valley, WA: Kevin Patterson.
  8. ^ K. Patterson, personal communication, October 6, 2006
  9. ^ "Groundbreaking set for June 5 - Tahoma High School". Maple Valley Reporter. 
  10. ^ http://www.kentreporter.com/sports/367006581.html?mobile=true
  11. ^ http://www.npslathletics.org/index.php?district=3&league=53&school=0&sport=0
  12. ^ Scanlon, Tom (January 20, 2005). "Brandi Carlile: ready for her breakthrough". The Seattle Times
  13. ^ Walker, Erick (August 20, 2008). "Seahawk Omare Lowe is back home with new team". The Covington Reporter
  14. ^ Walker, Erick (February 23, 2007). "World champ's life has been a fight for survival". The Seattle Times

External links[edit]