Plano Senior High School

Plano Senior High School

Infobox School
name = Plano Senior High School

imagesize = 275px| caption = The pond at Plano Senior High School
motto = "A Tradition of Excellence"
established = 1891
schooltype = Public high school
district = Plano Independent School District
grades = 11-12
principal = Dr. Doyle Dean
address = 2200 Independence Parkway
city = Plano
state = Texas
zipcode = 75075
country = USA
information = 469-752-9300
campus type = Suburban
campus size = convert|96|acre|ha
enrollment = 2,558 (as of 2005-06)
faculty = 148.5 (on FTE basis)
ratio = 17.2
mascot = Wildcat

colors = Maroon and white color box|maroon color box|white
homepage = [] |
Plano Senior High School (commonly Plano, Plano Senior High, or PSHS) is a public secondary school in Plano, Texas, USA, serving students in grades 11–12. The school is part of the Plano Independent School District, with admission based primarily on the locations of students' homes. Plano is a two-time Blue Ribbon School and a Texas Exemplary School.

Founded in 1891 as Plano Public School, serving both primary and secondary students, the school was, by the mid-1910s, sending a majority of its graduating students on to college. Plano High School, created in 1952 by separating the primary students into Mendenhall Elementary School, was immediately accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, allowing its graduates to enter college without taking an entrance exam. In 1964, Plano High School integrated with the Frederick Douglass School (formerly Plano Colored School), and the integrated football team won the first of the school's seven state championships in 1965.cite book | last = McLeroy | first = Sherrie S. | year = 1999 | title = A Century of Excellence, Plano Independent School District: An historical perspective | publisher = Taylor Publishing | location = Dallas, Texas] In 1975, the school moved to a new convert|96|acre|ha|sing=on campus with five buildings, very similar to the layout of a junior college, where it has remained since.

Plano administers more Advanced Placement tests each year than any other school west of the Mississippi River and all but one school in the United States.The College Board. (2004) "The College Board Annual Report". Out of print.] The school is accredited by the Texas Education Agency as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Plano's graduating classes are among the largest for high schools in the United States; its Class of 2005, with 1,112 graduates, was the second-largest high school graduating class in the U.S. that year, behind only that of Plano East Senior High School. [cite web|url=|title=Some Numbers from NEWSWEEK's Best High Schools List - Newsweek America's Best High Schools -|publisher=Newsweek|accessdate=2006-07-10] dead link|url=|date=March 2008 Plano's mascot is the Wildcat. [cite web|url = | title = Plano Senior High School: General Information | accessdate = 2006-03-17]

As of the 2005-06 school year, the school had an enrollment of 2,558 students and 148.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 17.2. [ Plano Senior High School] , National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed March 18, 2008.]


Plano Public School

In the 19th century, various private institutions existed within Plano for the education of children. One of these, the Plano Institute, was a private school founded in 1882 that offered an Artium Baccalaureatus degree. On June 9, 1891, the people of Plano determined by a vote that the city should assume control of the schools. In July of that same year, the citizens approved a fifty cent tax for school purposescite book | last = Sigler | first = E.A. | coauthors = Wells, Frances | title = Plano, Texas: The Early Years | origyear = 1985 | edition = 2nd ed. | year = 1996 | publisher = Henington Publishing | location = Wolfe City, Texas | chapter = Education | id = ISBN 0-9651841-0-2] and for the purchase of the Plano Institute's land and building.cite news | first=E.A. | last=Sigler | title=Three Buildings Lost By Fire—School Now Ranks as One of Best In State | work=Plano Star Courier | date= February 22, 1940] The building was used for the new Plano Public School, from which Plano Senior High School would develop. Thus, 1891 is generally considered the school's foundation year. The original school grounds would later become the Cox Administration Building. In 1892, Plano graduated its first class of five people.

In 1899, the Plano Independent School District became a separate entity from the city. Because of this separation, 1899 is cited by the district as the establishment date for Plano Senior High School. Starting in 1901, the school was affiliated with the University of Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Southwestern in order to ensure that graduates could secure entrance to college. Unfortunately for students, official affiliations eventually ended due to budget restrictions. However, the affiliations, coupled with the high standards of Plano schools, led to a large number of graduating students going on to attend college. By the mid-1910s, a majority of the graduating class (as much as eighty percent) matriculated to an institute of higher learning, such as the University of Texas at Austin or Baylor University. According to the 1915 Plano Review, "The University of Texas probably draws more students from Plano than any one other institution." The Review goes on to state that "no town in Texas, in proportion to its size, has more students in higher institutions of learning than Plano." [cite news | first=T.H.B. | last=Blalack | title=College Students from Plano | work=The Plano Review | publisher=Plano Star Courier | year=1915]

The original building burned down in 1894 and was reconstructed on the same site. The rebuilt Plano Public School again burned down in the spring of 1903, leading to the construction of yet another new building. The students went to classes in the local Opera House until the completion of the new building, often called the "Spanish School" because of its Moorish architecture. Following its construction, the district built various new facilities to support its students, including a new band hall, gymnasium, and auditorium. In 1922, the Texas Department of Education informed the district that the Spanish School was "inadequate ... for high school work." By 1924, the district had constructed a new building to house the Plano Public School. In 1935, while the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, the WPA offered to build the district a much-needed new gym. The $125,000 USD (1.61 million 2005 dollars)cite web | url = | title = The Inflation Calculator | accessdate = 2006-03-17 ] building, completed in 1938, was used as a gym, auditorium, classroom, and laboratory, allowing new subjects to be taught, including agriculture, business, and home economics. At the time, Texas required that students complete 16 credits, or full semester courses, to graduate. This expansion allowed Plano students a choice of 30 credits with which to fulfill the requirement.

Plano High School

In September 1952, Mendenhall Elementary School was created, allowing primary students to be separated from secondary students. That same year, the newly created Plano High School was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, allowing its graduates to enter college without taking an entrance exam. In 1961, Plano High School moved to a new location on the east side of town, now the site of Williams High School, and the new building was constructed at a cost of $993,590 (6.2 million 2005 dollars). [cite web|url = | title = T.H. Williams High School: General Information | accessdate = 2006-05-30 ]

Following the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision "Brown v. Board of Education", the Plano school board considered the issue of integrating Plano High School with Plano Colored High School. The school board formed a committee of "colored citizens" to address the concern. Twice, in 1955 and 1957, when asked if they favored integration, the citizens on the committee stated they "were perfectly happy with their school and would like to be left alone." In 1964, the issue was raised again when the school board voted to let students of the Plano Colored School, by then renamed the Frederick Douglass School, decide if they wanted to integrate with Plano High School. The students voted to integrate, and Douglass School became a primary facility. The 1964–1965 football team, the first integrated team for the school, won the first state championship in school history, helping to ease racial tensions. By 1968, Douglass School was closed. The Texas Education Agency later praised the district for its handling of integration, calling it "an exceptional job."

Plano Senior High School

In the 1970s, in response to massive growth and with a desire to lower dropout rates and increase college readiness, then Superintendent H. Wayne Hendrick began a search for a new way to organize the school system. After touring several successful systems across the country, including those in Flint, Michigan, Cherry Creek, Colorado, Evanston, Illinois, and Hillsboro, Oregon, Hendrick found none of their systems suitable for Plano's needs. He instead decided to create a new senior high system. While the majority of American high schools serve students from grades nine through twelve, Plano's high schools serve only ninth and tenth graders, while senior high schools serve eleventh and twelfth graders. Two high schools feed into each senior high school, such as Plano Senior High. [cite web|url = | title = Feeder Schools Chart | work = Plano ISD Website | accessdate = 2006-03-17 ] This system allows students to complete most of their required credits in high school and specialize with vocational classes at the senior high.

A plan was created for a convert|96|acre|ha|sing=on campus with five buildings, very similar to the layout of a junior college. The campus now contains six buildings with the addition in 2002 of an indoor workout facility. The buildings are interconnected by greenspace, which features a man-made pond as the central element. The campus was constructed at a cost of 10.3 million U.S. dollars (38.6 million 2005 dollars). The school opened for the 1975–1976 school year with only two buildings completed. By Christmas of 1975, all five buildings were completed, and the school was dedicated on March 7, 1975. The new senior high school offered a broad variety of studies previously unseen in the district. The new facility offered courses in social studies, drama, art, and journalism as well as vocational studies in clothing design, professional childcare, cosmetology, air conditioning repair, and metalworking.

Due to high population growth rates in Plano, Plano East Senior High School was built in 1979 to alleviate overcrowding. In 1999, Plano West Senior High School was built for the same purpose. Plano Senior High students currently feed from Vines and Jasper High Schools. In 2002, Plano completed an $18 million renovation, making ADA compliance upgrades, and renovations to the science department, HVAC, fire sprinkler, and security systems, and site lighting. [cite web | url = | title = PSHS Site Improvements | work = Plano Independent School District Website | format = PDF | accessdate = 2006-05-30 ]


Plano operates on an 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. schedule, which includes eight periods and a break for off-campus lunch during which all students may leave campus to eat lunch, provided the student's parents sign a permission form upon registering the student. Although there are eight available periods, students may only take a maximum of seven. [cite web | url = | title = Bell Schedule | work = Plano Senior High School Website | accessdate = 2006-03-17 ]

Plano offers 31 Advanced Placement courses, which is all of the 34 courses possible [cite web | url = | title = List of AP Subjects | work = College Board | accessdate = 2008-03-08] with the exception of Latin Literature, Italian Language and Culture, and Japanese Language and Culture.cite web | url = | title = Class of 2007 Profile | format=PDF | work = Plano Senior High School Website | accessdate = 2008-03-08 ] Yearly, the school administers more Advanced Placement tests than any other school west of the Mississippi River, and the second most tests in the United States (2,237 total exams in the year 2005). The school also offers many vocational courses, as was Superintendent Hendrick's intent when it was built. Plano currently offers vocational courses including those in agriculture, family and consumer science, journalism, fashion design, advertising design, drafting, automotive technology, automotive paint and body, clinical rotation, and criminal justice.

In the 2007 graduating class, 97% of graduates went onto college or university: 80% went on to four-year universities, while 17% went to two-year colleges. Students in the class achieved an average composite SAT score of 1163 out of 1600 and a mean composite ACT score of 24.7 out of 36. Many Plano students received National Merit Scholarship accolades in the 2007 school year, including 46 finalists, 54 semi-finalists, and 62 commended students. These individual class statistics are indicative of previous years' performances. [cite web | url = | title = Plano ISD Celebrates Selection of 115 National Merit Semifinalists | work = Plano ISD News Archive | accessdate = 2008-03-08 Concerning 2006–2007 National Merit results]

Extracurricular activities

The extracurricular activities offered at Plano Senior High School are many and varied due to the school's large size. There are chapters of national organizations, such as the National Honor Society, and clubs founded by Plano students, such as Acoustical Word, in which students play guitar and recite poetry. Service organizations such as Key Club coexist alongside clubs which have a primarily social or recreational purpose. The usual range of athletic and music organizations are there for students to join, in addition to Plano's other clubs. [cite web|url=|title=Plano Senior High School: Clubs|accessdate=2006-07-09]

Plano Senior High School teams currently compete in UIL competitions in District 9 of the 5A Class, the class designated for the largest schools. For the 2008–2010 school years, Plano will be competeting in District 8-5A. [cite web | url = | title = 2008-10 Official Football and Basketball District Alignment | format=PDF | work = University Interscholastic League | accessdate = 2008-03-08]

Plano's 2007 enrollment for competitive purposes is officially listed as 5215. [cite web | url = | title = 2008-10 Official Football and Basketball District Alignment | format = PDF | work = University Interscholastic League | accessdate = 2008-03-08] This is the number used by the UIL when determining what other schools Plano competes against in all UIL-sponsored athletic and academic competitions. This number exceeds the on-site enrollment of Plano Senior High because the official enrollment of each senior high school also includes the enrollment of each of its feeder schools. Ninth and tenth graders who are good enough to compete at the varsity level of a sport may be bused to the senior high school to compete in varsity sports, therefore becoming part of the senior high's talent pool. The number can be fractional because Jasper High School, one of Plano's feeder schools, is also a feeder school for Plano West Senior High School, and therefore the enrollment is split.



A small group of Plano boys formed an unofficial football team in 1898. In 1900, the first official high school team was formed. In 1909, Superintendent C. F. Walker complained to the local paper, "Do you sleep well at night when you know your boy is on the streets kicking a football?" Despite his concerns, by 1914 Plano fielded a football team and a men's and women's basketball team. However, the First World War cancelled all athletics, as there were not enough men to field any teams.

By 1925, athletics programs had been re-established, and a mascot had been chosen: the Wildcat. The 1925 football team completed an undefeated season, and the resulting fervor led to the increased funding of athletics in Plano. The district allocated funds to purchase a cow pasture for the purpose of playing football and other sports. The pasture was renamed Guy M. Rice Field, after the team's first football coach. By 1939, a "modern" stadium had been built at this site. With the construction of Plano High School in 1957, an accompanying stadium was built, and Rice Field was abandoned. In 1977, Plano completed construction on John Clark Field at a cost of $2.75 million ($8.92 million 2005 dollars). Clark Field, with a capacity of 14,224, is the facility used for most varsity football games today. Kimbrough Stadium, a new stadium in 2004, is also occasionally the site for home games. [cite web|url = | title = Area High School Football Stadiums | work = | accessdate = 2006-05-24 ]

Following the integration of Plano High School with Plano Colored School, the football team made its first run at the Texas state championship in 1965. Most of the town shut down to make the drive to Austin and see the Wildcats win their first state championship. After the Wildcats won the championship again in 1967, the team was voted Texas Outstanding Football Team.

The Plano Varsity football team has gone to nine Texas state championships, as detailed below, and won seven. Plano's seven championships were tied for most in the state along with Brownwood, Celina, and Southlake Carroll until Celina won its eighth in the 2007 season.cite web | url= | title=UIL State Football Champions | work=University Interscholastic League | accessdate = 2008-03-08]

Following the creation of Plano West Senior High School in 1999, Plano lost much of its player base to the new school, and the 2003 Plano Varsity football team suffered a winless season for the first time in the history of the school. The tenth graders who were recruited to play at the varsity level during the dismal 2003 season became twelfth graders in the 2005 season. Partly due to this extra experience, the 2005 team completed a perfect 10–0 regular season and went 3–1 in the playoffs, finally being defeated by the eventual state champions, Southlake Carroll Dragons. [cite web|url = | title = Plano | work = Texas Prep Xtra | accessdate = 2006-03-17 ]

During the 2007 season, a team led by quarterback Carson Meger and running back Rex Burkhead, advanced to the state semifinals, until getting beaten in double overtime (27-30) by eventual State Champion Euless Trinity. [cite web | url= | title = Football Conference 5A Division I 2007 Playoff Bracket | work = University Interscholastic League | format=PDF | accessdate= 2008-03-08 ]

Other sports

Plano has also had state titles in boys' golf in 1989 and 1994. Plano lost in the team tennis state finals in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1998. [cite web|url=|title=Plano Wildcats - Sports History|accessdate=2006-10-25] The Plano swim team has been very successful. The boys won state titles in 1991,1992 and 1998. The girls won in 1988 and 1998. Since the 2000–2001 season there have been 2 national champions, 7 state champions, 1 Texas 5A State Record Holder, 4 Texas 5A Male Swimmers of the Year, and 63 All-Americans. [cite web | url = | title = UIL State Swimming & Diving Meet Records | work = University Interscholastic League | accessdate = 2008-03-08] The Plano boys' and girls' cross country teams have both seen success, including sending Scott McPherson to the 2004 Locker Championship.



An unofficial band was first organized in 1935. In 1955, Plano hired University of Arkansas graduate Emmitt Clem, who led the band for twenty-one years and wrote the school song. The band quickly became widely acclaimed under his direction. The band performed pre-game for the first Dallas Cowboys season and at a nationally televised Cowboys game at the Cotton Bowl in 1962. After Clem retired, Charles Forque took over as the band director. Forque brought close friend Doc Severinsen, band leader of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", to the high school every year to play with the band. The band has performed in Carnegie Hall and at The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. The Plano band is currently under the direction of Plano alumni Jeremy Kondrat, Andy Rein, and Michael A. Hernandez. [cite web|url = | title = Plano Band Directors | work = Plano Band Website | accessdate = 2006-03-17 ] Plano Senior High was named by the Grammy Foundation as a "2005 Grammy Signature School Gold" school for their achievement in the arts. [cite web|url = | title = The Grammy Foundation names 42 high schools as the 2005 Grammy Signature Schools | accessdate = 2006-03-17 ] In 2007, The Plano Wind Ensemble was named a 5A National Wind Honor Band, ranking them fifth in the nation. [cite web | url = | title = National Wind Band Honors 2007 Results | work = National Wind Band Honors Project | accessdate = 2008-03-08] In 2008, the Fine Arts Department was again awarded with a "Grammy Signature School Gold" award. [cite web | url = | title = THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2008 GRAMMY SIGNATURE SCHOOLS | work = The Grammy Foundation | accessdate = 2008-04-14]


The Plano Senior High Full Orchestra (composed of the best winds and strings at the school) was named Texas' Honor Full Orchestra in 2007. [cite web | url = | title = 2006–2007 Honor Orchestra Results | work = Texas Music Educators Association | accessdate = 2008-03-08] Plano's String Orchestra was selected as the TMEA honor orchestra in 1993 and 1998, under the direction of Kathleen DeBerry.fact|date=March 2008


url =,,TCP_24434_4685483,00.html | title = North Palm Beach County school briefs: May 10 | accessdate = 2006-06-02 ] dead link|date=March 2008

Plano has been named a National Blue Ribbon School in 1984–85 and again in 1994–96. [ [ Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002] ]

Notable alumni

*Steve AndersonDisney animator, voice actor and director, most notable for his direction and voice work in "Meet the Robinsons" [cite web | last = Vognar | first = Chris | title = Animator draws on lessons learned early | work = Dallas Morning News (GuideLive) | date = 2007-03-30 | url = | accessdate = 2008-03-12]
*Chad DeeringMLS midfielder who played for the Dallas Burn and the United States men's national soccer team, appearing in the 1998 FIFA World Cup [cite web| url=|title=Profile: Chad Deering||accessdate=2007-01-14]
*Karith Foster – Comedian and national radio personality currently on "Imus in the Morning" [cite web | last = Maurstad | first = Tom | title = Plano native is Don Imus' new radio sidekick | work = Dallas Morning News | date = 2007-12-12 | url = | accessdate = 2008-03-09]
*Rick Hearst – actor and winner of Daytime Emmy Awards for his roles on "General Hospital" and "Guiding Light" [cite web | url = | title = Rick Hearst biography | work = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2007-12-11]
*John B. HerringtonNASA astronaut; first Native American to fly in outer space [cite web | year = 2005 | month = August | url = | title = Astronaut Bio: John Bennett Herrington (8/2005) | work = NASA | accessdate = 2006-06-14 ]
*Kristen Holt – host on "G4TV" and former "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader" [cite web | url = | title = Biography for Kristen Holt | work = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2008-09-09]
*Dr. Robbin Juhnke – German politician - attended PSHS in 1985 during a student exchange program | url =] | accessdate =
*Scott Mechlowicz – actor appearing in "Eurotrip" and "Mean Creek" [cite web | url = | title = Biography for Scott Mechlowicz | work = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2006-06-14]
*Malcolm Perry – first doctor to attend to John F. Kennedy at Parkland Hospital [cite web | url = | title = Testimony of Dr. Perry | work = Warren Commission Report | accessdate = 2006-06-15]
*Perri Reavis – News and traffic reporter currently working at KLTY-FM [cite web | url =|title=94.9 KLTY - #1 Christian Radio Station in America]
*Alan ReuberNFL tackle with the Arizona Cardinals, formerly at Texas A&M University [cite web|url=|title=#73 Reuber, Alan|work=Texas A&M Athletics Athlete Bios|accessdate=2006-07-24]
*Billy Ray Smith – former NFL linebacker and current Fox Sports personalitycite web | url = | archiveurl = | archivedate=2005-11-03 | title = PISD eNews | work = Plano Independent School District Website| format = PDF | date = 2005-04-29 | accessdate = 2006-06-15]
*Pat Thomas – former two-time All-Pro NFL defensive back
*Alan Tudyk – actor whose notable appearances include "Firefly", "A Knight's Tale", ', ', and the Broadway musical, "Spamalot" [cite web | url = | title = Alan Tudyk Information | work = | accessdate = 2006-06-15]
*Michael Urie – actor whose notable appearances include "Ugly Betty" and "Uptown Girls" [cite web | url = | title = TV press tour: Hayek and ABC get 'Ugly' | work = Dallas Morning News | accessdate=2006-10-03]
*Chris Valletta – former NFL offensive lineman, contestant on "The Apprentice" [cite web|url=|title=DBJ Confidential|work=Dallas Business Journal|last=Hunter|first=Glenn|date=2005-09-23|accessdate=2006-07-24]
*Jennifer Vasquez – contestant on reality television show "Big Brother 6" [cite web | url = | title = Biography for Jennifer Roxanne Vasquez (I) | publisher = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2006-06-14 ]


Further reading

*cite book |title=The best high school football in the country: A history of Plano, Texas, high school football from 1900 to the present |last=Benne |first=Bart |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1989 |publisher=Taylor Pub |location=Dallas |isbn=0878337121

External links

* [ Plano Senior High School website]
* [ Plano Senior High School report card]

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