Washburn High School is a four-year public high school serving grades 9–12 in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. By enrollment, Washburn is the second-largest high school in Minneapolis Public Schools.

Washburn High School
Washburn from the air, 2007
201 West 49th Street


United States
Coordinates44°54′47″N 93°16′59″W / 44.91306°N 93.28306°W / 44.91306; -93.28306
School districtMinneapolis Public Schools
CEEB code241695[1]
PrincipalEmily Lilja Palmer
Teaching staff57.39 (FTE)[2]
Enrollment1,690 (2021-2022)[2]
Student to teacher ratio29.45[2]
Hours in school day8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)    Blue and Orange
SloganMiller Pride since 1924
Fight songWashburn Down the Field
Athletics conferenceMinneapolis City Conference
MascotThe Miller
RivalSouthwest High School[3]
National ranking3,337[4]
NewspaperThe Grist
Communities servedMinneapolis and surrounding areas.
Feeder schools4 elementary schools (Lyndale, Barton, Hale/Field, & Burroughs) feed into Justice Page M.S. and then Washburn H.S.

History edit

Washburn High School was built in 1925 to meet the demands of the growing South Minneapolis neighborhood. Construction for the new three-story building began in 1924 after the Minneapolis Board of Education purchased unused land in Washburn Park. Land next to the school was occupied by the Washburn Memorial Orphan Asylum, now torn down and replaced with Justice Page Middle School (formerly Ramsey Middle School). Washburn is in southern Minneapolis's Tangletown neighborhood, at 201 West 49th Street.[5]

Washburn opened on September 8, 1925, to 1,031 students. When it opened, it served grades 7–10 and added one year each year for the next two years. It served middle school and high school students until 1929.[6] It became very popular, and by 1931, 2,370 students attended the school built for 1,500.[7] The school has been expanded several times to meet the high enrollment.[6][8]

The school is conventionally named after Cadwallader C. Washburn. When the school was presented to the school board it was called William D. Washburn High School, in reference to Cadwallader's brother, but naming the school after William is thought to be an error.[6] The school has been heavily influenced by Minneapolis's milling empire. Its newspaper, The Grist, involves milling terminology;[5] the school's colors, blue and orange, were those of Gold Medal Flour, a company partly run by the Washburn family and a predecessor to General Mills;[9] and the athletic teams' nickname is the Millers.

Campus edit

Washburn is on a 4½-city block parcel bordered by West 49th and 50th streets on the north and south and Nicollet Ave. S. and Pleasant Ave. S on the east and west.[10] Justice Page Middle School shares this parcel of land, with Washburn taking 2/3 of the space. In between the schools is A. E. MacQuarrie Field, which hosts football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field competitions. In addition, the area between the school and field is a green space known as The Mall. Youth soccer teams, specifically the Fuller Soccer program from a neighboring park, use The Mall for games on weekends.

A tunnel under MacQuarrie Field connects the east side of Washburn and the west side of Page. It transports heating and air conditioning between the schools. During the winter, snow melts directly above the tunnel due to the steam pipes within showing the tunnel's location. Decades ago, students used the tunnel during the winter when overcrowding forced Washburn to hold classes in Ramsey.

Demographics edit

The demographic breakdown of the 1,960 students enrolled in 2021-22 was:

  • Male – 53%
  • Female – 47%
  • Native American/Alaskan – 0.9%
  • Asian/Pacific islanders – 3.5%
  • Black – 20.5%
  • Hispanic – 14.7%
  • White – 58.1%
  • Multiracial – 2.3%

31% of the students were eligible for free or reduced cost lunch. This is a Title I school.[2]

Staff edit

Emily Lilja Palmer, formerly of Sanford Middle School, was named the principal on July 2, 2018.[11]

During the 2020–21 school year, Washburn employed 139 staff members, of whom 81 were teachers. The student to teacher ratio was 20:1, with an October 1 student count of 1,689.[12]

Past principals edit

Washburn High School Principals
1925–44 A. E. MacQuarrie
1944–57 Leonard Fleenor
1957–72 Carl Anderson
1972–79 Dr. Roland DeLapp
1979–82 Dean Berntsen
1982 Wayne Nelson
1983–86 Don Burton
1986 (Spring) Ingve Magnusson
1986–87 Robert Lynch
1987–89 John Dyzacky
1989–91 Dr. Rosa Smith
1992–94 Dr. Andre Lewis
1994–98 Ronald Chall
1998–99 Debora Brooks-Golden
1999–2000 Dr. Joyce Lewis Lake
2000–2007 Dr. Steven Couture
2007–2013 (April) Carol Markham-Cousins
2013 (Spring) Craig Vana
2013–2014 Linda Conley (interim)
2014–2018 Rhonda Dean
2018- Dr. Emily Lilja Palmer

Curriculum edit

College-credit opportunities edit

Washburn has an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)[14] for juniors and seniors. It also offers Advanced Placement (AP) and Career and Technical Education (CTE)[15] classes for 9th- through 12th-grade students to earn college credit free of charge.[16] It uses schoolwide advisory programs to form relationships for each student. In addition, Washburn students can apply for and enroll in PSEO classes at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Concordia University, Normandale Community College, Dunwoody College of Technology, and North Central University.[15]

Bilingual support edit

Washburn offers bilingual support for students and families in Spanish and Somali, and English as a Second Language (ESL) support is also available.

World languages and fine arts edit

Washburn offers four world languages: Arabic, American Sign Language (ASL), French, and Spanish. The school also offers jazz band, concert band, orchestra, concert choir, and pop choir, as well as its varsity choir, Miller Voices.

Extracurricular activities edit

In line with Washburn's three pillars of academics, arts and athletics, there are many opportunities in these areas in and beyond the classroom.

Athletics edit

Washburn is a member of the Minnesota State High School League[17] and offers Boys and Girls varsity level sports, including:

Theater edit

Washburn offers Blackbox theater classes, which give performances of student-created works, and after-school productions that are open to all students. Washburn productions typically include a musical in the fall, a larger Spotlight production in the winter,[18] and a straight play or musical in the spring. Washburn also participates in the MSHSL One-Act Play competition.

Clubs edit

Washburn students have a variety of opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, which take place before and after school. Notable organizations include Model UN, ACE (Architecture-Construction-Engineering), Amnesty International, Art Club, Book Club, College Club, Community Service Club, Dare 2 Be Real, Debate, Feminism Club, Green Team, The Grist newspaper, GSA, Knitting Club, Math Team, Mountain Biking Team, National Honor Society (NHS), Native Club, the Odyssey magazine, Otaku Club, Philosophy Club, Washburn Esports, FIRST Robotics Team, Marine Scuba Club, Silver Ribbon Club, Student Council, Teen Council, TRiO Educational Talent Search, and Urban Farm.

Fresh start edit

In March 2008, the Minneapolis Board of Education announced that Washburn would be one of two high schools in the Minneapolis Public Schools Fresh Start program. Along with Edison High School, Washburn hired new teachers and staff and examined its curriculum.[19][20] These changes were part of a nine-point plan by the Minneapolis school board to alleviate budget problems and prepare 80% of graduates for college.[19][20] Principal Carol Markham-Cousins returned to lead the school, with the rest of the teaching staff required to apply for rehire or as new to the building.

On May 14, 2008, Markham-Cousins sent letters to students and family members explaining the reasons for the Fresh Start. She cited graduation rates and college preparation as two reasons.[21] The same day, students staged a walk-out in protest of the program.[22] Student drew with chalk on the sidewalk in front of the school in support of the teachers.[22]

Additional changes that came to Washburn in 2008-09 included an increase in the number of art classes and the introduction of the International Baccalaureate program.[19][20]

Notable alumni edit

References edit

  1. ^ "High School". SAT: Code List Search. The College Board. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  2. ^ a b c d "WASHBURN SENIOR HIGH". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "Top boys' games: Minneapolis Washburn, Southwest battle in city rivalry". mnsoccerhub.com. September 19, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  4. ^ "Washburn Senior High School in Minneapolis, MN - US News Best High Schools". Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  5. ^ a b M. Pennefeather, Shannon; M. Archabal, Nina; Roberts, Kate (2003). Mill City: A Visual History of the Minneapolis Mill District. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press. pp. ix. ISBN 0-87351-447-5.
  6. ^ a b c "Washburn Millers". WHS History. Washburn High School. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  7. ^ "Washburn High School" (PDF). Minneapolis Public Schools. 1931. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  8. ^ "Washburn Senior High School" (PDF). Minneapolis Public Schools. 1963. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  9. ^ "Blue and Orange". History. Washburn High School. 2003-09-07. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  10. ^ "201 W 49th Street Minneapolis, MN 55409". Maps. Google Maps. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  11. ^ "Washburn High has a new principal: Emily Lilja Palmer". Star Tribune.
  12. ^ "Minnesota Report Card".
  13. ^ "Principals". WHS History. Washburn High School. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  14. ^ "International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme". washburn.mpls.k12.mn.us. Archived from the original on 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  15. ^ a b Dobson, Jeanne (2016). "Advanced Academics" (PDF). washburn.k12.mn.us. Washburn High School. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  16. ^ Petersen, Joy (2008-02-19). "PSEO gives high schoolers a college experience". Minnesota Daily. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  17. ^ "Minneapolis Washburn H.S." Minnesota State High School League. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  18. ^ "Spotlight Education Program". Hennepin Theatre Trust. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  19. ^ a b c Nelson, Tim (2008-03-21). "Two Minneapolis high schools head for 'fresh starts'". News. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  20. ^ a b c Nelson, Tim (2008-03-21). "Teachers react to plans for a 'fresh start'". News. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  21. ^ Markham-Cousins, Carol (2008-05-14). "Letter to Students". 1. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-12. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  22. ^ a b Schugel, James (2008-05-14). "Students Walk Out To Protest Teacher Lay-Offs". WCCO News. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  23. ^ Arness, James; Wise, James E. (2001). James Arness: an autobiography. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1221-6.
  24. ^ Markoe, Arnie (2002). The Scribner encyclopedia of American lives. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. p. 74. ISBN 0-684-80665-7.
  25. ^ Walsh, Paul (2008-05-02). "Minneapolis native heading into astronaut Hall of Fame". Star Tribune. Chris Harte. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
  26. ^ Hicks, Dylan (October 24, 2003), "ATMOSPHERE'S SLUG CAN SLING HIS BANANA FRITTERS", Saint Paul Pioneer Press
  27. ^ Gural, Natasha (2004-01-02). "Shoppers flock to designer deals". Deseret News.
  28. ^ "Fashion's best blogs". Chicago Sun-Times. 2008-07-14. Archived from the original on 2007-07-30.
  29. ^ mode femme vetement fashion verbaudet at fashionnewssite.com Archived 2007-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ "13 Questions For A Fashion Blogger". Daily News. New York. 2007-10-13.
  31. ^ "About Kathryn Finney". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  32. ^ a b Riemenschneider, Chris (January 27, 2006) "Rock 'n' Roll High Schools Archived 2011-06-07 at the Wayback Machine" Star Tribune
  33. ^ Minnesota Legislators Past & Present-John B. Keefe, Sr.
  34. ^ Lemon, Ralph; Morris, Tracie (2000). Geography: art, race, exile. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press : University Press of New England. p. 32. ISBN 0-8195-6443-5.
  35. ^ Moore, Peter (1999). Gone writing: the poems of Moore on Sunday. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-8166-3432-7.
  36. ^ "Michele Norris". The Notable Names Database. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  37. ^ Stroozas, Sam; Cipolle, Alex V. (2023-07-19). "In 1963, she left Minneapolis for Mattel. She designed Barbie clothes for 35 years". MPR News. Retrieved 2023-08-06.
  38. ^ Mowbray, Nicole (2023-07-14). "Dressing Barbie: Meet the designer who created a miniature fashion icon". CNN. Retrieved 2023-08-06.

External links edit