Jefferson High School (Portland, Oregon)

Jefferson High School (Portland, Oregon)

Jefferson High School is a public high school in North Portland, Oregon, USA, administered by Portland Public Schools. The school was founded in 1909.

Jefferson's Academies

*Academy of Arts And Technology concentrated training in the performing and visual arts.
*Academy of Science And Technology, a college preparatory program with an emphasis in science, math and technology.
*Young Men's Leadership Academy, an all-boys academy focused in business entrepreneurship, sports/entertainment management and law/forensics.
*Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy, an all-girls college prep academy focused on math and science.

Jefferson High School dance program

In the mid-1970s, in an attempt to integrate the student body, Jefferson High School introduced the magnet arts program and the dance program, which allowed for students from other districts to be bused into the school to take part in the arts and dance programs. Rather than integrating the student body to any profound degree, what this led to was many white students from other districts being bused in for the programs and having nothing to do with the rest of the school. In addition, though Jefferson High School was predominantly a black high school, the percentage of black students enrolled in the dance and other arts programs remained relatively low.

Jefferson High School became well known in the local community for its magnet arts dance program, which was founded in the late 1970s by Mary Vinton Folberg, sister of Will Vinton (creator of Claymation). Folberg modelled the Jefferson Dance Department after the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

In the early 1980s, Folberg founded the student dance company The Jefferson Dancers. Julane Stites followed Folberg as the artistic director of the company, and the current director is Steve Gonzales. Gonzales was himself a Jefferson Dancer in the 80's and danced professionally with Momix before returning to Portland. Many internationally recognized artists and choreographers work with The Jefferson Dancers. The company performs in many local venues, and on a few occasions tours internationally.

Jefferson High School basketball

The men's basketball team has been coached by Marshall Haskins since 1998 and has been one of the most successful programs in Oregon. In 1999-2000, they went undefeated,cite news
title=Jeff boys take 5A, hold bragging rights
work=Portland Tribune
date=March 18 2008
] were nationally ranked, and won the state championship. The program has graduated NCAA Division I players Aaron Miles (basketball) and Michael Lee of Kansas, Thomas Gardner of Missouri, Brandon Lincoln of Oregon, Jon Tinnon of Idaho, Antone Jarrell of UTEP/Portland State, and Brian Morris of SMU. Ime Udoka of the Portland Trail Blazers also graduated from Jefferson, as did James Allen (American football) of the New Orleans Saints. Ironically, Udoka got his chance with the Blazers when Miles failed a physical in pre-season.

The Democrats also won the 2008 5A state championship, and were defeated only once in that season.

Prior to Haskins, Jefferson was coached for 21 years by Bobby Harris. Jefferson won a state championship in 1972 coached by Jack Bertell.

Other Information

On January 7, 2008, the City of Portland announced that Mayor Potter will be relocating City Hall to Jefferson for the week of January 14-18 where he will hold a City Council meeting and deliver State of the City address. The aim was stated to be to "give students, parents and educators a first hand lesson in how government really works - and to showcase the opportunities, successes and challenges facing every school in Portland's six public school districts". [ [ Mayor Potter moving office to Jefferson High School for week of January 14-18; will hold City Council meeting and deliver State of the City on campus (01/07/08) ] ]

Reflecting its urban location, the school's demographic distribution of the students is 66% black, 13% white. The data for the entire State of Oregon is 80% white, 3% black. Fact|date=October 2007

The school previously hosted a color television studio. With recent financial cuts, the school has been unable to continue to offer the program in the curriculum. Grassroots efforts have been made by teachers and students to bring back the TV program.


In an effort to boost test scores, Portland Public Schools has reorganized Jefferson several times in the last 15 years. In the summer of 2007 the school district created the most recent plan for Jefferson without due process and without input from students, teachers and the community.Fact|date=July 2007

Notable alumni

* Terry Baker, football player, Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL St. Louis Ram
* Aaron Miles, basketball player, former Kansas Jayhawk and Golden State Warrior, current Cajasol Sevilla point guard
* Mel Renfro, football player, former Dallas Cowboy, Football Hall of Fame inductee, Oregon Sports Hall of Fame inductee
* Ime Udoka, basketball player, San Antonio Spurs
* Pete Ward, baseball player, former Chicago White Sox, New York Yankee, Oregon Sports Hall of Fame inductee


James Allen Football player Oregon State University, New Orleans Saints.

External links

* [ Jefferson High School]
* [ Jefferson High School] description at Homes101

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