Local education in Gresham began in 1858 with the construction of a 10-by-15 -foot "camp shed," a kind of one-sided shed located on the tract of land known as Campground. Local schools had to be within walking distance and West Gresham on Powell Blvd. was the place where many Gresham children received their grade school education (K-8) for nearly a century. In 1902, citizens of Gresham decided that the children of the community should have the advantages of higher learning and established a ninth grade. An additional grade was added in each of the next three years so the community would have a standard high school. There were two graduates in the "pioneer class" of 1906. The original Gresham High School building was erected in 1914. In 1915, Gresham High School became Gresham Union High School No. 2 with several other districts including Lynch, Powell Valley, Terry and Hillsview.
In 1922, a combination gym and auditorium was built. Then a south wing of classrooms extending eastward was added to the old building in 1936. Extensive alterations to the original buildings were made through the Works Progress Administration in 1940. The present gym, the auditorium, the north wing of classrooms and the agriculture building were constructed also at that time. Since then, a wrestling room, new cafeteria and four adjoining classrooms, an addition of music rooms on the south side of the auditorium, industrial arts shops, and an entire new wing of classrooms east of the cafeteria, a swimming pool and a library have been added to the complex of buildings.
The names Stapleton, Lawrence and Anderson stand out among many who have given distinguished leadership to Gresham school boards in earlier years. Gresham’s athletic field was named in honor of George W. Stapleton, chairman of the board, 1915-1921.
Prior to 1953, the Gresham High boundaries extended from the Columbia River on the north, 92nd street on the west, Damascus on the south and the Sandy School District on the east. In the fall of 1954, David Douglas started and included the area from Glisan north to the Columbia River; in 1959, Centennial, carved out an area approximately from 181st to the David Douglas School District; and in 1968, Sam Barlow took the students from Orient-Damascus and east of 242nd.
An extensive remodeling program was completed in 1971, which updated the main building and added a new Health and Physical Education unit—1972 saw the completion of the new grandstand.
In 1993 a new Physical Education building, located behind the grandstand was completed. The building contains an updated and expanded weight room, as well as three classrooms.
In November 2000, the school district patrons approved a $40.2 million capital improvement bond. From these community funds, Gresham High School experienced an extensive eighteen month remodeling project that provided an expanded library and counseling office, and six new classrooms in addition to a brand new cafeteria, kitchen, student store, snack bar, wrestling mat room, and auxiliary gymnasium complex that includes a new concession area, team rooms and storage closets.
The name “GOPHERS” was adopted for Gresham High in 1930-31. The Minnesota Gophers were very strong in football during that time, and no school in this area had the name. There was strong support on one side for a name, which would identify the district, and the name “Berrypickers” was suggested. The press, however, seemed pleased with the selection of Gophers, as it was not a long name, and it seemed to fit with the name Gresham very well.
The fight song was written in 1932 and first used during the year 1932-33. Harold Weber wrote the Alma Mater song in 1958, and David Ott harmonized it and made the glee club arrangement. The tradition of using it after games did not start until two years later.
GHS FIGHT SONG
March, march on down the field
Fighting for Gresham High
We’ll back the blue and white
With the spirit of do or die
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Cheer for her pep and fight
Cheer for her spirit free
Fight though the odds be great
and march on to victory.
Rah! Rah! Hail Gresham
Rah! Rah! Hail Gresham
GHS ALMA MATER
All hail to Gresham High, with love and faith in thee
Let all her sons in accents bold, proclaim their loyalty
In dreams again I see, classmates and faculty
And friendships formed, amid carefree days, return in memory
So raise your voices high, a pledge to days gone by
We’ll be to you forever true, all hail to Gresham High
All hail! All hail!