Wasilla High School
|Wasilla High School|
701 East Bogard Road
|School type||Public secondary school|
|Motto||To Strive, To Seek, To Find and Not To Yield!|
|School district||Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District|
|Faculty||50.01 (FTE) (2015)|
|Enrollment||1072 (September 2015)|
|Student to teacher ratio||21.44 (2012)|
|Color(s)||Red and white|
Wasilla High School (WHS) is a public secondary school in Wasilla, Alaska, United States, serving students in grades 9–12. The school is part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, with admission based primarily on the locations of students' homes.
The school earned widespread media attention in 2008 following former pupil Governor Sarah Palin's nomination as the Republican vice-presidential running mate to John McCain in the 2008 United States presidential election.
As of 22 February 2018, there are fifteen AP classes offered. WHS also participates in the University of Alaska Anchorage's Tech Prep program, which allows students to receive college credit for automotive technology classes.
WHS is a 4A member school of the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), the governing body for high school athletics in Alaska. The fall sports offered at WHS are cross country running, football, cheerleading (football), swimming and volleyball. The winter sports offered are basketball, hockey, Native Youth Olympics, cross country skiing, cheerleading (basketball) and wrestling. The spring sports offered are baseball, soccer, softball, and track and field.
In 2000, Wasilla High School received a $5000 environmental education grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The school worked in partnership with local government agencies and businesses to raise awareness of groundwater issues in the school and the community. Then they worked on many projects to tell their community to save the environment.
Close-Up is a program that takes students to study in Washington D.C. for one week. The Sister School Exchange program is a one-week student exchange program between students in urban and rural Alaska.
A Johns Hopkins University study named Wasilla High School as a "dropout factory". Wasilla's dropout rate was 6.5 percent in 2006, a number that was much higher than most of the schools in the Mat-Su district. The study was conducted by finding the difference between a class with 400 freshman students which ended up with 260 seniors four years later. However, the Johns Hopkins study did not follow specific students. If a student started school at Wasilla High and then graduated from another high school, the study would consider him or her a dropout. Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has an open enrollment policy and it is fairly common for students to transfer from one school to another if their parents find new jobs in other areas. School Board President Sarah Welton said that the study was flawed and that the false impression made on others in the country would be unfortunate. Only 58 percent of incoming freshmen graduate as seniors.
In the spring of 2009, the students of Wasilla High School took a qualifying exam for graduation. The subjects tested were math, writing, and reading. In math, 87 percent of Wasilla's students received a proficient score. Statewide, 80.2 percent of tenth graders received a proficient score. In writing, 78.1 percent of Wasilla's students received a proficient score. Statewide, 78.8 percent of tenth graders received a proficient score. In reading, 94.1 percent of Wasilla's students received a proficient score. Statewide, 90.0 percent of tenth graders received a proficient score. As of the 2008-2009 school year, Wasilla's graduation rate is 77.8 percent, higher than the statewide graduation rate of 67.6 percent.
In September 2008, Wasilla High had 1300 students.
Notable students and faculty
- John Gourley, lead singer of the indie band Portugal. The Man
- Levi Johnston, former fiancé of Bristol Palin; left after his junior year, never graduated from Wasilla High
- Alfred Ose, principal of Wasilla High School and member of the Alaska House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979
- Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin
- Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and former Republican vice presidential nominee
- Todd Palin, husband of Sarah Palin and a former champion snowmobile racer
- "Alaska Public Schools Database". National Center for Education Statistics.
- Michael Rovito (29 August 2008). "McCain taps Alaska gov. Palin for VP". Today's News Herald. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- "Wasilla High School: Courses Offered". Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Other Educational Opportunities" (PDF). University of Alaska Community & Technical College. 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "ASAA 2017-2018 Handbook" (PDF). Alaska School Activities Association. 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Wasilla High School: Sports Schedule". arbiterlive.com. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "EE Grants Awarded in Alaska". Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- "Sister School Exchange" (PDF). Alaska Humanities Forum. 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Lori Tipton (30 October 2007). "Study gives Wasilla High School failing grade". KTUU. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- John R. Moses (2007-10-03). "WHS not 'dropout factory'". Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
- "Dropout Factories: Take a Closer Look at Failing Schools Across the Country". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2008.
- "Wasilla High School: School Report Card for 2008-2009 School Year". Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "2008-2009 Report Card to the Public" (PDF). State of Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District 2007 – 2008 Adopted Budget p. 11
- Kyle Hopkins (21 January 2012). "Portugal. The Man singer tends his Alaska roots". Anchorage Daily News.
- "Bristol Palin gives birth to a boy". Seattle Times. 30 December 2008.
- "As the GOP turns: Sarah Palin's daughter's baby's father to attend convention". Los Angeles Times. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
- "100 Years of Alaska's Legislature: 'From Territorial Days to Today'". The Alaska State Legislature. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
- Jim Tankersley (2 September 2008). "Surprise pregnancy has Republicans off balance". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2008.
- "National Governors Association: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Tom Kizzia (30 August 2008). "'Maverick' McCain pulls off surprise". The Charlotte Observer. Archived from the original on 14 November 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
She (Sarah Palin) eloped in 1988 with her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin.