Established in 1936
“Enter to Learn . . . .Go Forth to Serve”
In 1935, a proposal was submitted and approved by the Board of Education of Oklahoma City Pubic Schools to build a high school in the northeast quadrant of the city. Northeast High School was erected on a plot of land at 3100 North Kelley, and opened its doors on September 7, 1937. Isolated in a location of few houses and no paved streets, surrounded by trees and oil wells, approximately five hundred students waded through mud to the boardwalk that led to the front door of the school to a building whose ceilings and floors were incomplete. Classes were opened and dismissed by use of a gong and board and under the direction of twenty-four faculty members.
Mr. J.B. Greene was the first principal of Northeast High School, and he served in this capacity from 1937 until 1958. Under his leadership, the gymnasium and several classroom additions were built in 1940-41.
The first edition of the Nordlys, which is a Norwegian term meaning Northern Lights, recorded that at this time Northeast, then a junior-senior high school, had four pep clubs; Norkets, Norse-Bans, Greyhounds, and the Ramblers. This yearbook commemorated the first full graduation class. The first graduating class consisted of 15 members.
The current colors of maroon and grey evolved from the original school colors of crimson and silver.
Northeast steadily expanded, but the war years rather poignantly imposed school activities that would seem rather strange to students today. In 1945, students were engaged in a War Chest Drive, Christmas decorations for Tinker Field hospital, and prayers dedicated to the Gold Star students who had lost their lives in World War II.
In the 1950’s the Vikettes, Northeast’s first junior high pep club was organized.
The next decade was a crucial time for the school in terms of expansion. During this period, Northeast began an important era of physical growth. Portable buildings, built to supplement the main building which was strained to accommodate 1,056 students, had been in use since 1955. This fact necessitated plans for a million dollar extension program which was initiated in 1959 and completed in 1961. Once again students found themselves attending classes with sawdust on the floor, and studying to melodious strains of saws in the background. The completed extension included new classrooms, the girl’s gymnasium, the band room, the teacher’s lounge and student planning center. The elevator was installed and Northeast added the services of IBM.
The late 60’s and early 70’s represented Northeast’s growth and maturity as an integrated school of progressive and innovative plans and ideals.
On June 12, 1984, Secretary T.H. Bell of the U.S. Department of Education recognized Northeast High School as one of the 202 outstanding secondary schools in the United States. This honor was awarded based on the demonstrated commitment to excellence by the faculty, students, and the community.
During the 1987-88 school year, Northeast celebrated its 50th Anniversary. It was a continuous event, beginning with the Football Homecoming activities on October 3rd, and culminating with a recognition banquet and graduation exercises. Also, during this school term, Northeast was selected as one of 27 high schools nationwide to be awarded membership in the Future Consortium sponsored by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
In addition to providing a college bound curriculum, Northeast was the home of the elite Bio-Medical Professions Program that was a partnership with the University of Oklahoma's Health Science Center. Also, vocational courses were offered on campus and at the Metro-Tech Vocational-Technical Centers.
Through the cooperative effort of faculty, student body, parents, and the community, the motto, "Enter to Learn...Go Forth to Serve" continues to serve as a vision in accomplishing academic excellence. This spirit has remained at Northeast until the present. Thus, the history of Northeast, through physical, academic, and even spiritual growth, has proven the school motto to be well chosen.
Although the history of Northeast does not address the determining of the school name, it is assumed that since the school is located in the N.E. quadrant of the city, that is probably why it was named “Northeast.”