Thurston High School

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For the school in Redford, Michigan, see Lee M. Thurston High School.
Thurston High School
333 N 58th Street
Springfield, Oregon, Lane County, 97478
Coordinates 44°02′58″N 122°55′32″W / 44.049419°N 122.925484°W / 44.049419; -122.925484Coordinates: 44°02′58″N 122°55′32″W / 44.049419°N 122.925484°W / 44.049419; -122.925484
Type Public
Opened 1965
School district Springfield School District
Principal Chad Towe[1][2]
Grades 9–12[2]
Number of students 1584[2]
Color(s) Red, black, & White               [1]
Athletics conference OSAA Southwest 6A[1]
Mascot Colts[1]
Newspaper The Pony Express

Thurston High School is a public high school located in the Thurston area of Springfield, Oregon, United States.


In 2008, 80% of the school's seniors received their high school diploma. Of 338 students, 271 graduated, 30 dropped out, 11 received a modified diploma, and 26 are still in high school.[3][4]


In football, Thurston has won the Midwestern League title six times: 1969, 1988, 1989, 2007, 2008, and 2009. As of the 2010 season, they compete in the 6A Special District 1 in football. Thurston has beaten cross town rival Springfield High School every year since 1988 until 2014, when they were defeated by Springfield after a 5-year break in the series, losing 30-10. In 2008, Thurston finished 12–1, losing in the 5A state championship game 35–28 to West Albany.

In basketball, Thurston has won the Midwestern League title seven times: 1965, 1966, 1967, 1975, 1982, 2002, and 2011.

In baseball, Thurston has won the Midwestern League titles four times: 1996, 2008, 2009, and 2011. In 2009, Thurston won the 5A state championship 5-1 over Corvallis. In 2008, Thurston lost the 5A state championship game 4–3 to Ashland.

Thurston has also won state in wrestling (2002), girls track and field (1970), boys cross country (1961), and girls soccer in (2012).

Thurston's Co-Ed varsity Cheerleading team has placed in the top 3 in State for the last twenty years. Last year Thurston won 1st place at State in the large co-ed division and took home 1st place and the People's Choice Award at the 2009 Pac West National competition. Thurston Cheer also set the record for the most medals won at the All State competition. In 2010 Thurston cheer won 2nd place at State and third place at the USA Spirit Nationals in Anaheim, California.

1998 shooting[edit]

On May 20, 1998, 15-year-old student Kip Kinkel was expelled from Thurston High School for bringing a firearm into school. After returning to his home from the police station, he got his father's semiautomatic rifle, using it to shoot and kill his parents. The next day, on May 21 Kinkel drove his mother's car to the school. Wearing a long trenchcoat and armed with the rifle and two pistols, he entered the cafeteria and began shooting at students with the rifle.[5]

As he was reloading the rifle, Kinkel was subdued by seven other students, who held him until the police arrived. The arresting officer searched the suspect's trench coat, discovering knives, cartridges, and gun magazines. Kinkel had killed two students and wounded 25. He was charged with four counts of aggravated murder. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 111 years in prison.[6] His case has become one of the standard case studies in profiling students who bring guns to school for purposes of murder. It has been seen as a precursor of the Columbine High School massacre.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ a b c "Oregon School Directory 2008–09" (PDF). Oregon Department of Education. p. 139. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  3. ^ "State releases high school graduation rates". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  4. ^ "Oregon dropout rates for 2008". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  5. ^ Lefevre, Greg (May 22, 1998). "Suspect called short-tempered, fascinated with explosives". CNN. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  6. ^ Clark, Tony (May 21, 1998). "Teen jailed after Oregon high school shooting spree". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  7. ^ "Frontline: The Killer at Thurston High". WGBH educational foundation. Retrieved 2007-07-31.