Roosevelt High School (Washington)

Roosevelt High School (RHS) is a public secondary school located in the Roosevelt neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States. Opened in 1922 to relieve overcrowding at Lincoln High School,[2] it ranks as the second-largest high school in Seattle Public Schools.[3] NPR described RHS as "an above-average school in a below-average school district"[4] based on test scores in 2001.

Roosevelt High School
Roosevelt High School (Seattle).jpg
South entrance in February 2008
1410 NE 66th Street


United States
Coordinates47°40′37″N 122°18′47″W / 47.677°N 122.313°W / 47.677; -122.313Coordinates: 47°40′37″N 122°18′47″W / 47.677°N 122.313°W / 47.677; -122.313
Motto"What I am to be I am now becoming"
PrincipalKristina Rodgers
Faculty83.46 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment1,867 (2017-18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio22.37[1]
Color(s)Green & Gold      
AthleticsWIAA Class 3A,
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association
Athletics conferenceMetro 3A Sound Division
MascotRough Riders
RivalsBallard, Garfield
NewspaperThe Roosevelt News
YearbookStrenuous Life


The school is named after President Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919); the school's team, the Rough Riders, is named after Roosevelt's famous military regiment. It subsequently gave its name to the Roosevelt neighborhood and nearby Roosevelt Way Northeast.[5]


The school was designed by the Seattle School District's architect, Floyd Naramore, and constructed in 1921–22. From 2004 to 2006, the building was seismically retrofitted, modernized, and expanded while many of the school's original architectural elements were preserved. During this time classes were held in Lincoln High School. Architects for this work were Bassetti Architects.

Programs, groups, and clubsEdit

Roosevelt High School has the only full-time drama program in the Seattle School District.[citation needed] Eight periods of drama are offered per day including directing, acting, technical theater, production, design, and a complete musical theater program. There are four private voice teachers, a vocal director, and a choreographer for the annual musical.

In the Hands for a Bridge program, students choose to travel either to South Africa or Northern Ireland, where they help foster dialogue about diversity, prejudice, and social change. This group was created in 2001 by teachers Tom Nolet, Francene Watson, and Danny Rock with assistance from the University of Washington's Comparative History of Ideas Program and the Jackson School of International Studies. Each student accepted to this program is enrolled in the HFB class, where an intensive year-long study of literature, history, and the arts focuses on cultures in conflict.[6] The Northern Ireland travelers visit Oakgrove Integrated College in Derry which is led by John Harkin, while the South African travelers visit Isilimela Comprehensive School and Bellville High School (Hoërskool Bellville) in Cape Town.[7]

FIRST Robotics TeamEdit

Roosevelt also is home to a highly renowned FIRST Washington FIRST Washington Team FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) 4180, the Iron Riders. The student run club offers students experience in a team environment constructing robots to compete in yearly competitions.The team has made a name for itself and is a valuable opportunity for students seeking a variety of career paths, including STEM fields, business, and administration.

Awards and AchievementsEdit

The team attended the FIRST Championship for the 2016 competitions in St. Louis. The team also won a District Innovation in Control Award in the same year for their image recognition and targeting system. In 2019 the Iron Riders were recognised with the a District Team Spirit Award. The Iron Riders were also on the winning alliance at the 8th Annual Washington Girls Generation FIRST Robotics Competition in 2019[8] and due to the season being canceled in 2020 are technically still the reigning champions at the event.[citation needed] The team also has a ‘borrowed’ Event Welcome sign from the 2018 season. All of these awards can be found displayed in trophy case on third floor of the school building.


Marching bandEdit

The marching band performs halftime shows at some home football games and basketball games. Known as "The Pride of Seattle," this group of students also travels to and performs in multiple parades in the Northwest region each year.[9]


The Roosevelt Orchestra program includes the Concert Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra. The orchestras perform annually at various concerts and competitions, including the annual Northwest Orchestra Festival in Gresham, Oregon. In the 2013 festival, three groups out of the five (including a quintet and a sinfonia group) took first place in their divisions. The Roosevelt Symphony Orchestra also performs yearly with the Seattle Symphony in the annual Side by Side concert.

Jazz bandEdit

The Roosevelt Jazz Band performs and competes all over the nation, and it has traveled internationally. The band has been a finalist twenty-one times (more than any other band) in the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York City, receiving Honorable Mention in 2010 and 2018, and winning third place in 2000, second place in 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, and 2012, and first place in 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2019.[10] Besides its renowned Jazz Band, Roosevelt has a vocal jazz group and multiple after-school jazz bands: Jazz Bands II, III, and IV. Jazz Band III was introduced at the beginning of the 2006–07 school year because of an increased number of jazz musicians arriving at Roosevelt. At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, a fourth jazz band was added due to an even greater amount of jazz musicians entering the program.

Concert bandsEdit

Besides the jazz bands and orchestras, student musicians have the option to be in one of two concert bands. Concert Band consists entirely of Freshmen, while older students can either be in the Symphonic Band, or the Wind Ensemble, which was created in the 2016-17 school year as a result of the expanding band program.[citation needed]


Roosevelt High School is well known for its drama program.[11] Each year Roosevelt holds its "Dramafest" (a series of twelve student-produced plays), a Winter Production, and a Spring Musical.


Roosevelt athletics has traditionally participated in the Metro League since its opening until the 1997–98 school year when Roosevelt, Garfield and Franklin High Schools moved to the Kingco 4A conference. Ballard High School moved to Kingco 4A in 2000. In 2014–15, Roosevelt, Garfield and Ballard High schools returned to the Metro 3A Conference.[12]

Boys' GolfEdit

In 2016, the boys' golf team capped off an undefeated season with a metro, district, and state championship.

Girls' GolfEdit

The girls golf team won the 2021 Metro League championship. Notable alumni Ruth Jessen

Girls' BasketballEdit

The girls' basketball team has won one state championship[13] and had a wide-release theatrical movie, The Heart of the Game, based on their experiences.[14]

Boys' BasketballEdit

The boys' basketball team has won three state championships: in 1946, 1973 & 1982 and placed 2nd in 1965 & 1987.[15] The most recent state playoffs appearance occurred in 2009.

Boys' FootballEdit

The Rough Rider football team lays claim to one state championship, as crowned by the Associated Press in 1950.[16] Since the start of the official state playoffs in 1974, Roosevelt has made it to the state playoffs five times, most recently advancing to the quarterfinals in 2012 and to Round of 16 in 2014.[17]

Girls' SoccerEdit

The girls' soccer team has been to the state playoffs eleven times, placing 3rd in 1990, and 2nd in 2000.[17] Notable players include Meghan Miller, who at Kansas was named 2004 NSCAA Second Team All American,[18][19] and Wynne McIntosh, 1993 Metro League MVP, Parade All-American, Youth National Team member, and Portland Pilot. McIntosh played professionally in Frau Bundesliga, WUSA, and semi-professionally in W-League, WPSL. 3rd Team All-American, NCAA All-Tournament Team, WCC First Team.[20]

Boys' SoccerEdit

The boys' soccer team has been to the state playoffs fifteen times, placing 4th three times in 1985, 1990, & 2005; 3rd in 2013, and placing 1st in 2017.[21] After finishing first in 2017, the boys' soccer team was ranked at the end of the year by MaxPreps as the 6th rated Boys Soccer team in the US.[22]

Ultimate FrisbeeEdit

Organized as a club sport, the ultimate program at Roosevelt fields single-gender teams for boys and girls in both fall and spring, and coed teams during the winter and at tournaments. The boys team entered the national stage with impressive wins over Summit, Monarch, and Northwest to win the 2015 Westerns High School Ultimate tournament.[23] They followed up with a 2nd-place finish at the 2015 Seattle Invite Tournament, once again defeating Northwest but losing to Franklin in the finals. At the 2016 Western High School Regional Championships, the boys placed first and the girls took 6th place. In the winter of 2016-2017, varsity and junior varsity teams began participating in the new mixed winter high school league offered by Disc Northwest.[citation needed]


Roosevelt offers Latin, Spanish, Japanese, and French, and it is the only school in Seattle Public Schools that offers American Sign Language.


The Roosevelt News is a National Pacemaker Award-winning paper[24] produced monthly by students and overseen by a staff advisor.


As of Fall 2016 the student demographics were:[25]

68% - Caucasian
11.6% - Asian
7.1% - Hispanic
4.4% - African American/Black
0.3% - American Indian/Alaska Native
7.5% - Multiracial

Notable AlumniEdit

Alumni of Roosevelt High School include:


  1. ^ a b c "Roosevelt High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "Seattle Public Schools, 1862-2000: Roosevelt High School". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  3. ^ "Annual Enrollment Reports". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  4. ^ Banks, David. "NPR : One Year in the Life at Roosevelt High School, A Special Report". Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  5. ^ "Roosevelt High School Rough Riders". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "Hands For A Bridge » About". Retrieved June 15, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Hands for a Bridge - Building community; educating global citizens". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  8. ^ brownma (November 13, 2019). "2019 Washington Girls Generation Robotics Competition". Bellevue School District. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "RHS Music Program". Archived from the original on December 16, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "EE Winners".
  11. ^ "Roosevelt High School Theatre Department". Roosevelt High School Theatre Department. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  12. ^ "Garfield, Ballard, Roosevelt will return to Metro League". January 8, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "WIAA History". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
  14. ^ The Heart of the Game at IMDb
  15. ^ "Roosevelt State Results".
  16. ^ "History of the 4A High School Football Championship Series". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "WIAA - Washington Interscholastic Activities Association". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  18. ^ "Once a Jayhawk, Always a Jayhawk: Meghan Miller". University of Kansas. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  19. ^ "2004 Women's D-I All-America Team". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  20. ^ "Sports - McIntosh Makes An Easy Pick For Metro League Soccer Mvp - Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "News". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  24. ^ "NSPA winners". Archived from the original on August 19, 2007. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  25. ^ 2016-2017 Roosevelt High School Profile. Retrieved February 24, 2017
  26. ^ "Lee Folkins". Archived from Lee Folkins the original Check |url= value (help) on April 2, 2015.
  27. ^ Smith, Craig (September 23, 2007). "Ruth Jessen, 1936-2007: LPGA Tour star started in Seattle". Seattle Times. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  28. ^ "William MacLeod Newman (1934 - 2015) obituary". Los Angeles Times. June 1, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  29. ^ "Tom Turnure". Archived from Tom Turnure the original Check |url= value (help) on September 29, 2012.
  30. ^ May, Rick. "Rick May". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 18, 2020.

External linksEdit