HURRICANE HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY
345 West Tiger Blvd. (formerly 100 South)
Hurricane, UT 84737
High school instruction in Hurricane began in September of 1918, but grew very slowly until 1928. Classes were held in the old Hurricane Elementary School building. Between 1917 and 1936, Hurricane Elementary School
and Hurricane High School had the same principal and building. Hurricane’s first high school class graduated in the 1927-1928 school year.
A two-story red brick high school building was built during the Great Depression with help from the federal government’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). The building was started in the fall of 1935 and was
finished in November of 1936 at a cost of $100,000. Classes began in the new building after the Thanksgiving break in 1936. For a description of this building, click here.
In 1969, a new Fine Arts Building was added to the campus. In 1974, a new gymnasium and three classrooms were completed at the current high school site, the first phase of construction of the current facilities. Students
walked between the old high school building and the new building for classes. In 1978, classrooms and a cafeteria were added, and grades 9-12 moved to the new building. The old building remained in use for other
grades until it was demolished in the spring of 2004. A new auditorium, auxiliary gym, and administrative office areas were added in 1996. In 2001, a science hall was added and named for the outgoing principal, Robert
The school’s enrollment continues to grow and has forced a new expansion/remodel of the existing building. Most of the old high school building, with the exception of some of the newest parts of the old, was torn down to build the current beautiful new building. It was completed in 2012. The new building has three stories.
Vivian Decker (1917-1918) ???
A. L. Winsor (1918-1919)
H. Val Hafen (1919-1921)
Willard O. Nisson (1921-1924)
Lorenzo Parker (1924-1928) First Principal of HHS 1927-1928
Milton E. Moody (1928-1929)
Glenn E. Snow (1929-1932)
Leeman Bennett (1932-1938)
Maurice Nuttal (1938-1958)
J. Ordean Washburn (1958-1961)
David R. Pearce (1961-1969)
Wayne Edwards (1969-1983)
Harold Tenney (1983-1985)
Rob Goulding (1985-2001)
Roy Hoyt (2001-2008)
Kevin Pedersen (2008-2012)
Jody Rich (2012-2018)
Darin Thomas (2018-2023)
Daniel McKeehan (2023-Present)
Note: Between the 1917 and 1936, Hurricane Elementary School and Hurricane High School had the same
principal and building.
(If you have pictures of the Old High School please forward them to email@example.com)
ROARING WITH PRIDE
HURRICANE – What do a de-roofed buggy, a storm warning flag and the stripes of a jungle predator have in common? All of these played a role in the mascot and color choices of Hurricane High School’s mascot.
Of all the Southern Utah high schools, Hurricane’s name, colors and mascot may have some of the murkiest details, mixed with legend and fact. Definite proof may be elusive, but if the pieces are assembled, Hurricane’s mascot and colors have a logical sense of progression.
From a gust of wind came the name Hurricane. From the hurricane warning flag came the colors red and black, and from those colors came the name “Tigers.”
It all started with a wind-whipped buggy. When Erastus Snow, an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited the area local Paiute tribe members called “Timpoweap,” a whirlwind ripped the roof off his buggy. Snow, as legend has it, responded, “That was a hurricane,” and the name stuck.
A community was established and a school constructed. When it came time to pick school colors, administrators chose to use the colors of a hurricane warning flag: red and black.
“When I started teaching at HHS in 1972, there were still some ‘old timers.’ I asked them why our colors weren’t orange and black,” former Hurricane football coach Wes Christiansen said in an email to The Spectrum. “They said it was because the flag colors for hurricanes were red and black.”
The school added a ninth grade class in 1917, and added sophomore and junior grades over the next few years, but it was not until 1928 that Hurricane graduated its first senior class.
In the meantime, the school picked a mascot, but it wasn’t the Tiger. According to a school history, written in the 1928 yearbook is an account that students in 1926 voted for Red Devils, beating out Black Pirates and Blue Jays.
According to Christiansen, the school settled on Tigers because school officials could render the orange-and-black tiger stripes into red and black.
The first known mention of the Tigers came in the 1931 yearbook called “The Hurricana.” On page 24, the yearbook recounts the Tigers’ basketball season: “In the face of defeats the team went on through the whole season and we feel they have come through with flying colors. Along with our ‘Fighting Tigers,’ the yell squad, the teachers, in fact all of the Hurricane people kept up the fighting spirit.”
That community-wide Tiger spirit persists.
“One thing I love about our school is that it’s not just our students — it’s our community,” said Hurricane student body vice president Kazden Jolley. “That’s what sets us apart from the others. St. George is split four ways, but we have the support of the whole community.”
Jolley points to a student fundraiser for Travis Yazzie, a classmate who died earlier this year. When it was announced they had raised $1,200 at a football game, Jolley said many parents in the crowd heard the announcement and immediately held up money for the students to come and collect.
Besides the Tiger, the letter H is the other thing synonymous with Hurricane High. Students first placed an H on the hill in 1925.
“Everywhere you go, there’s a Tiger and an H,” said student body president Jared Worwood.
Hurricane, and the accompanying towns of LaVerkin, Virgin and Springdale, created a community glued together by the high school.
“Living in Hurricane was like being in a perfect community,” said Hurricane alumna Margie Hare, “and the high school really holds the community together, as we all went to activities like football games on a Friday night.”
Washington County D.U.P., “ Under Dixie Sun – A History of Washington County“
pp. 407, 411-414
1978 Supplement, pp. 16
Grand Opening For Hurricane Hi Slated For Friday, Nov. 6, 1936
Article in the Washington County News, October 29, 1936, Pages 1 and 9
Many of the Hurricane High School yearbooks are online at
You must register to see them, but registration is free.