History of Sehome High School

What's in a Name?

From Romance and Intrigue on Bellingham Bay; or The Story of Old Sehome and the Origin of its Name, by Jeffcott.

The first application of "Sehome" as a place-name was that made by E.C. Fitzhugh, agent of the Bellingham Bay Coal Company, C.C. Vail and James Tilton, when on May 8, 1858 they recorded the plat of the first townsite on Bellingham Bay as "Sehome". (1)

Roth's history (2) says it was so called after the Samish Indian Chief, Sehome, who was Fitzhugh's father-in-law; and then goes on to add that the Indian interpretation of the word means a "legend or story". Roth is well substantiated in the first premise by good authority, but the second is evidently incorrect, as will be seen later, since "Sehome" is not a pure Indian word at all, but the white man's corruption of a Clallam Indian name "S'-yah-whom," the pronunciation of which was beyond his linguistic capabilities.

(1) Plat record in the Whatcom County Auditor's Office. 
(2) Roth. History of Whatcom County, Washington, pp. 957.

A Brief Sehome Timeline:


September 1966 - School opened with concrete floors and no blinds on the windows. First Principal of Sehome was Ron Dahlin. Three classes in attendance: freshmen, sophomores, juniors. Traditions established:

Mariner Mascot - designed by students and Wes Priebe, art teacher.
Ships Wheel and Bell, donated by the Community Members

Sehome Alma Mater song
Words written by Carolyn Murray, student, and Dale Mattson, Choir Director. (sung to the tune of "Eternal Father, Strong to Save": [aka:, "The Navy Hymn"])

All hail to Sehome proud and true
Our Alma Mater we sing to you
O'er forest and bay the Mariners bold
Lift high the colors green and gold
Remember as each hour speeds past
This spirit will forever last

Fight Song (sung to the tune of Grand Old Flag), written by Bill Baker

You're a Sehome Mariner 
You're a High Flying Tackler
And Forever the Meanest on the Field.
You're the envy of, the Sport we love,
The heart of the strong and the brave.
Every heart beats true to the team in the green
And soon Number One we will be.
But, should all good Mariners be forgot,
Remember to Kick Off and Fight!
Beat (opponent name)!

June 1968 - First Graduating Class at SHS.
Sept 1968 - 1972 Brian Barker, second principal at Sehome. During this time, the school changed from semesters to the trimester schedule, 5 classes per day, each class 65 minutes long. Students changed classes three times during the school year.
Sept 1972 - 1984 Bob Player, third principal at Sehome. Technology & Fine Arts Wing added to Sehome. Computer classes worked with WWU to begin first computer network, 1977-1978. Trench dug to the college for network cabling by off-duty National Guard members, Paul Sadler, Jack Crandall and others. Change back from trimester to semester system.
Sept 1985 - 1993 Larry Young, fourth principal at Sehome. Century 21 Grant award awarded by State. Design and installation of the video network, satellite dish, and first computer "writing" lab from $50,000 bond money awarded. Passage of the Technology Bond Issue provides over 250 computers to students and teachers and teachers at Sehome, as well as to all other schools in the district. The Site Council was established in 1993.
Sept 1994-1999 Larry Brown, fifth principal at Sehome. School Improvement Legislation passed by legislature in 1993 is put into effect. School Mission, Objectives & Strategies were developed by a planning team of parents, students, teachers & administrators.
Sept 1999 - August 2000 - Steve Clarke, interim principal. Two high schools preparing to disseminate to three high schools in September 2000.
April 2000 - Jim Kistner, seventh principal at Sehome. Gates' grant award supports the development and implementation of school-wide strategic plan. Ninth grade support plan developed. Culminating Project planning completed and initiated. Peer mediation and peer mentoring programs begun. Video gaming and video production classes developed.
July 2005 - Phyllis Textor becomes Sehome's eighth principal.

School Colors are Forest Green and Gold.

Our Mascot is the Sehome Mariner.

Student Body Officers 1966 to present