Portland High School (Maine)

Portland High School is a public high school established in 1821 in Portland, Maine (Cumberland County), United States, which educates grades 9–12. The school is part of the Portland Public Schools district, and is one of three high schools in that district, along with Deering High School and Casco Bay High School. It is located at 284 Cumberland Avenue in downtown Portland. Along with its sister school, Deering High School, a family can choose which of the two to send their students to.[4]

Portland High School
Portland High School 3.jpg
284 Cumberland Avenue

United States
TypePublic secondary
Established1821; 201 years ago (1821)
School districtPortland Public Schools
PrincipalSheila Jepson
Teaching staff53.70 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment908 (2021-2022)[2]
Student to teacher ratio14.41[1]
Color(s)Blue and White   
RivalDeering High School
AccreditationNew England Association of Schools and Colleges
Portland High School
Portland High School (Maine) is located in Maine
Portland High School (Maine)
Portland High School (Maine) is located in the United States
Portland High School (Maine)
Location284 Cumberland Ave., Portland, Maine
Coordinates43°39′33″N 70°15′32″W / 43.65917°N 70.25889°W / 43.65917; -70.25889Coordinates: 43°39′33″N 70°15′32″W / 43.65917°N 70.25889°W / 43.65917; -70.25889
Area1 acre (0.4 ha)
ArchitectHarding, George M.; Multiple
Architectural styleClassical Revival, Italianate
NRHP reference No.84003879[3]
Added to NRHPNovember 23, 1984


The entrance to Portland High School.

Established in 1821 originally as a boys' school, Portland High School is one of the oldest high schools in the United States. Joseph Libbey was its first principal. A separate school for girls was added in 1850, and in 1863 the school moved to Cumberland Avenue, its present location. The original school building on that site, which is now the middle wing of the modern school, was originally divided into two by a brick wall running from top to bottom of the building to divide the girls from the boys. Much of the wall has been removed, but its remains can still be seen in the basement.[5]

The main school was constructed between 1915 and 1918, according to the plaque by the front entrance. On February 15, 1919 the new Portland High School along Cumberland Avenue, opened. It was designed by Miller & Mayo. The new school had a lecture hall and mechanical arts classrooms. It also had two kitchen classrooms, three sewing rooms and two classrooms for typing.[6] The school was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 23, 1984.[3]

In 1989 a new annex was opened containing more classrooms, a cafeteria, a theater/auditorium (named for John Ford) and an athletic facility.

Approximately 700-1000 students are enrolled each year. In June 2010, 174 students graduated from Portland High School.[7]


Portland High School uses the off-campus Fitzpatrick Stadium, Hadlock Field, Portland Expo, and William B. Troubh(Portland Ice Arena) for the school's sporting events.

The Deering High School and Portland High School football teams have played each other each Thanksgiving since 1911, except for 1920 and 2020.[8]

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Portland High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "Student Enrollment Data".
  3. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Writer, Rachel OhmStaff (2021-09-23). "Enrollment gap between Portland and Deering prompts new look at high school choice". Press Herald. Retrieved 2022-04-16.
  5. ^ School History -THE HERITAGE OF PORTLAND HIGH SCHOOL Archived 2004-11-08 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Back to School". Maine Memory Network. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  7. ^ Portland High Graduation: Class of 2010 represents its multicultural city well Portland Press Herald, June 3, 2010
  8. ^ Craig, Steve (November 25, 2020). "Coaches say local Thanksgiving football tradition is worth saving". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Mapping Black History in Maine". www.mainepreservation.org. Maine Preservation. Retrieved December 6, 2021. Lowry, who lived at several addresses in Portland including 999 Congress Street, attended Portland High School where he excelled at several sports.

External linksEdit