Dimond High School

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A. J. Dimond High School
Dimond Lynx Logo.jpg
Location
2909 West 88th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska, 99502
United States
Information
TypePublic secondary
Established1967
School districtAnchorage School District
PrincipalCheryl Guyett
Faculty176
Grades912
Enrollment1,785
Color(s)maroon and gold          
Fight songDimond Fight Song
MascotLynx (Lynx canadensis)
Newspaper"Igaramkin"
Yearbook"The Spectrum"
Telephone(907) 742-7000
Website
 
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A. J. Dimond High School
Dimond Lynx Logo.jpg
Location
2909 West 88th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska, 99502
United States
Information
TypePublic secondary
Established1967
School districtAnchorage School District
PrincipalCheryl Guyett
Faculty176
Grades912
Enrollment1,785
Color(s)maroon and gold          
Fight songDimond Fight Song
MascotLynx (Lynx canadensis)
Newspaper"Igaramkin"
Yearbook"The Spectrum"
Telephone(907) 742-7000
Website

A. J. Dimond High School (DHS) is a public four-year high school in Anchorage in Alaska, and is a part of the Anchorage School District. It has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Dimond High operates on a traditional six period schedule, with a nine-month school calendar that is divided into two semesters. Its mission "is to facilitate optimal leaning for all students to empower them to lead fulfilling and productive lives in a rapidly challenging and increasingly complex society." Serving students in the Sand Lake, Kincaid, and Bayshore areas of suburban Anchorage, Dimond had an enrollment of 1,785 as of October 1, 2010.[1]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Named for the territorial-era Congressional delegate and judge Anthony J. Dimond, the school opened in 1967 and was the third high school in Anchorage. Constructed in and serving the Sand Lake section of Anchorage, the original structure was built with the plans for an open campus Southern Californian-style school, though obvious complications arose due to the differences in climate. Following its construction, causeways (referred to as "breezeways") between each of the building segments were created to allow for winter access to the different sections of the school. The original Dimond High School had over 160 exits due to these causeways. The design was single story (with the exception of the library) to reduce earthquake risk, as the construction occurred only a few years after the 1964 Alaska earthquake in which most of the second floor of West Anchorage High School was destroyed.

The original school contained gymnasiums, a pool, an archery range, a planetarium, a small and large theater, and a shared library. The original building housed both Dimond High and Jane Mears Junior High School. Mears, the sister of Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV, was a teacher in the early years of Anchorage's public school system. Her husband, Colonel Frederick Mears, headed the Alaska Engineering Commission during the construction of the Alaska Railroad and was the railroad's first general manager once it began operating. During a period of heightened governmental expenditures in the 1980s which led to the construction of numerous public facilities in Anchorage, a separate building for Mears was constructed on the opposite side of Campbell Lake, which opened in the fall of 1985. Prior to the completion of the separate junior high, the two schools shared the hours of operation. Mears students attended classes on the west side of the campus, with Dimond students attending school on the east side.

New building[edit]

In April 1999, Anchorage voters approved the construction of a new building for Dimond High School. The new building opened in the fall of 2003. During the 2003-2004 school year Dimond classes were held in the new building and a small west wing ("Casa Cinco", due to being a fifth wing to the new school and housing a large number of the foreign language classes) of the old building, with the rest of the building used for Wendler Middle School, dubbed "Camp Wendler" while its new construction took place. In the summer of 2004 the old building was demolished and in the location of the old Dimond High school is now the parking lot of the new building. However, the building that housed the gym, weight room, and swimming pool was not demolished and remains a part of the school. In the summer of 2008, its exterior was remodeled.

Academics[edit]

In 2005-06 A.J. Dimond High School was the Alaska State winner for the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement. As of 2009-10 Dimond offered 22 Advanced Placement courses, with 256 students successfully completing, with a total of 493 A.P. courses successfully completed. Listed from highest enrollment to lowest, the AP courses offered are: English Language & Composition, Calculus AB, Statistics, Psychology, English Literature & Composition, Macroeconomics/Microeconomics, Chemistry, Spanish Language, Environmental Science, United States History, Calculus BC, United States Government & Politics/Comparative Government & Politics, Physics B Mechanics/Physics C Mechanics/Physics C Electricity and Magnetism, Art History, Music Theory, Japanese Language & Culture, European History, French Language, Studio Art, Biology, German Language, and Computer Science A. Most A.P. courses are weighted, so that an additional mark point is added on the 4.0 scale. Honors classes are also offered for 9th and 10th grade English and history classes. Dimond has an attendance rate of 89.91% and a graduation rate of 82.84%. As of 2010-11, 105 students graduated with honors, and the graduating seniors were awarded a total of $3 million of scholarship money.

HSGQE - percent Proficient or above
Dimond High SchoolAnchorage School District
Reading90.10%83.95%
Writing77.40%74.99%
Math84.38%78.95%

[2]

Special programs and services[edit]

In 2008, Dimond began an Engineering Academy. This new program follows the curriculum of Project Lead the Way. Five classes are offered with the Engineering Academy: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Digital Electronics, and Computer Integrated Manufacturing. In April 2010, Dimond High School was certified as Alaska's first four-year accredited Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering program.[3] Dimond is also home to the last four years of the Japanese immersion program that began at Sand Lake Elementary and continued at Mears Middle School. An Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program is also offered at Dimond. In 2007-08, the Dimond JROTC unit received the highest Cadet Formal Inspection rating in Alaska. In 2005 a Freshman House was created in hall 2B. Freshman participate in Battle of the Books, National History Day, and the Poetry Slam. Beginning January 30, 2006, Dimond High incorporated a Professional Learning Community (PLC) every Monday morning with classes starting 45 minutes later and the school operating under a shorter schedule. Other programs and services include English as a second language (ESL), a District-wide Gifted Mentorship Program, career technology offered through the King Career Center (KCC), Cook Inlet Tribal Council courses, special education intensive-needs classes, a Career Resource Center, and 11 School Business Partnerships.

Athletics[edit]

4A division high school sports are offered at Dimond High School: Baseball (Boys), Basketball, Bowling, Cheerleading (Basketball, Hockey, and Football), Competitive Cheer, Cross Country Running, Cross Country Skiing, Football (Boys), Flag Football (Girls), Gymnastics (Boys), Ice Hockey, Riflery, Soccer, Softball (Girls), Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball (Girls), and Wrestling. Also, Dimond has a Debate/Drama/Forensics team, World Language Declamation Contest participants, and American Legion Oratorical Contest participants. In 2009, Dimond was named the top athletic program in the state of Alaska by Sports Illustrated[4] after winning that year state championships in girls volleyball, boys basketball, competitive cheerleading, girls track and field, and baseball. Since then, for a total of three consecutive years, the Dimond volleyball team has won the state championship twice more, each year producing a State winner for the Gatorade Player of the Year award. In 2006, the alumni foundation got 750-thousand dollars from the Alaska Legislature and 250-thousand dollars from the Anchorage School District to put in an artificial football field. Construction was halted in July 2007 after Governor Sarah Palin vetoed the final half million dollars in funding to finish the project. On July 6, 2007, the alumni foundation secured anonymous donor funding of $500,000 to finish it. 30,000 Nike shoes were recycled to create the rubber for the turf.

Student organizations[edit]

Extracurricular student-led activities at Dimond include National Honor Society,[5] Key Club,[6] Mu Alpha Theta - recently resurrected by Ryunho Kim, Model United Nations, and a FIRST Robotics team called "Nerds of the North[7]", that competes in FRC and FTC competitions.

Staff[edit]

The current principal is Cheryl Guyett who was the 2008 Alaska High School Principal of the Year.[8]

Traditions[edit]

Dimond holds several school dances each year such as Homecoming, Crystal Ball, the Dance of the Decades, Sadie Hawkins dance, and Prom (for juniors and seniors only). Each dance is preceded by a week of spirit days chosen by the Student Government. Students are chosen for each dance to be on the Court. Then two members of the Court are elected to be the King and Queen. Dimond chooses its prom court uniquely, based on academic excellence and extracurricular participation. Class colors are green, blue, gold, and maroon for freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors respectively. Another tradition is that at Crossover, the last assembly of the year, each class shifts to their new locations on the bleachers, and the seniors move to the floor. An event called Senior Fun Day is held each year. Also, on seniors' last day at school, they parade around the halls with the school band in front playing the Dimond Fight Song.

Demographics[edit]

EthnicityPercentage
White63.7%
Black4.3%
Hispanic4.8%
Asian/Pacific Islander15.4%
American Indian/Alaska Native11.8%

Source:[9]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 61°08′35″N 149°56′05″W / 61.14306°N 149.93472°W / 61.14306; -149.93472