Highland High School (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Highland High School

4700 Coal Avenue SE

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87108

Type Public high school
Motto Motivate. Educate. Graduate.
Established Fall 1949
Principal Marco Harris
Staff 80.65 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment 1,128 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 13.99[1]
Color(s) Navy Blue, Gold, and White
Athletics conference NMAA, 4A Dist. 6
Mascot “Herbie” the Hornet
Nickname Hornets
Rivals Albuquerque High

Manzano High

Website highland.aps.edu

Highland High School is a public high school located in southeast Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. It is part of the Albuquerque Public Schools District.

The school’s mascot is Herbie the Hornet, named after a naval ship, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. This led to the school colors of navy blue and gold. The United States Navy also conducts a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps as an elective in the curriculum.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Clubs and organizations at Highland[edit]

  • BSU (Black Student Union)
  • Chess Club
  • Concert Band
  • DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)
  • Empower
  • Enlace
  • French Honor Society
  • Gamers’ Club
  • Outdoor Adventure Club
  • The Highlight (school newspaper)
  • Jazz Band
  • LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens)
  • Marching Band
  • MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán)
  • MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement)
  • Model UN
  • National Honors Society
  • NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps)
  • GSA (Gender and Sexualities Alliance)
  • Spanish Honor Society
  • Speech and Debate
  • Student Senate
  • Yearbook
  • The Highland High News

Highland’s We The People (Competition) team has won the state championship since 2000 (with the exception of 2006). The team is coached by Steve Seth and Bob Coffey. On December 9, 2004, the team claimed its fifth state championship. When they went on to Nationals, they came in 4th place in the nation in 2005. In April, 2007 the We The People team received the Mountain Plains Regional Championship in the National Finals. In December 2007, the team clinched yet another state championship, and went on to compete in Washington D.C., where their Unit 2 was awarded a unit award. In April 2014 the team placed 10th in the nation in Washington DC.[citation needed]

Highland High school has a very diverse population, with students from many cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Many foreign exchange students attend the school each year. The school has a strong International Students Club that produces an annual Multicultural Assembly that showcases performance arts from the various cultures represented at Highland and is performed by both students and staff members.


Football was ranked #2 in the 2006 state tournament. Highland football earned an additional bid in the 2008 state playoffs. The boys’ soccer team was ranked second and the girls’ soccer team finished third in the 2007 5A State Tournament. The #3-ranked boys’ basketball team finished as runner-up in the 2009 state championship. Also, in 2009, boys’ basketball set a school record with a 26-win season. Highland Track held the state title in 2005. The cross-country team was ranked #2 in the state in 2005 and 2006. The boys’ track-and-field team won the 2009 5A state championship. The girls’ track-and-field team won the 2010 5A state championship. The Hornets have a total of 22 boys’ track-and-field state championships.

HHS competes in the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) as a class 4A school in District 6. In 2018 NMAA realigned the state’s schools into five classifications and adjusted district boundaries.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

A number of scenes in movies and TV shows have been filmed at Highland, including Spy School, the 2009 movie Carriers, ‘’ The Space Between Us’’ the pilot episode for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Highland is popular among producers due to the architecture of its main building, and due to the tax credits that the state of New Mexico has recently begun offering to movie producers.[citation needed]

For season three of the AMC series Breaking Bad, a scene was filmed inside the Highland gymnasium.[citation needed] A scene in the 2017 film Logan was also filmed there.[citation needed]

Daybreak was filmed through the 2018–2019 school year.[citation needed]

Highland High School is a common location in Beavis and Butt-head, being the school which Beavis and Butt-head attend, sometimes, as they often skip school. Series creator Mike Judge lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico during his high school years. Although he attended a private school, he lived in an area which would require him to go to Highland High School should he have attended public school in Albuquerque.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Lorenzo Antonio – Latin pop singer
  • Jarrod Baxter – football player for the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals
  • Cathy Carr – Olympic champion and former world record-holder in two events, including the long-course 100-meter breaststroke
  • Diane Dimond – television journalist and reporter[3]
  • William T. Cooley (born 1966), Class of 1984 – major general in the United States Air Force
  • Deb Haaland – Secretary of Interior under Joe Biden, Former representative in the Congress; second Native American woman elected to the House[4]
  • Tito Landrum – baseball player who played in MLB primarily as an outfielder from 1980 to 1988
  • Doug Lawrence (jazz) – jazz saxophonist who has worked and recorded with Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Count Basie Orchestra, Billie Eilish and many others, including appearing on numerous Grammy winning and nominated recordings
  • Gavin Maloof – businessman, owner of the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
  • Phil Maloof – businessman, owner of the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
  • Marc Maron – stand-up comedian, actor
  • Tommy McDonald – high school All-American, played football at Oklahoma University, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, National Football League Hall of Fame Inductee
  • Bobby Newcombe – football player, formerly played for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and CFL’s Montreal Alouettes
  • Rod Nichols – baseball player who played in MLB with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves[5]
  • Maggie Toulouse Oliver – Secretary of State of New Mexico[6]
  • Nick Wechsler – actor
  • Solomon Peña – Failed 2022 Republican candidate for the 14th district of the New Mexico House of Representatives who was arrested in 2023 for his alleged role in the shootings of several homes belonging to Democrat politicians in response to his loss


  • Main building
  • Main entrance


  1. ^ a b c “HIGHLAND HIGH”. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  2. ^ http://www.nmact.org/file/Section_4.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  3. ^ Nathanson, Rick (April 2004). “Former Albuquerquean has gotten scoop on big stories”. The Albuquerque Journal. p. 4.
  4. ^ Boetel, Ryan (October 9, 2020). “‘Proud progressive,’ Haaland seeks 2nd term”. Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved November 25, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Chavez, Barbara (22 June 1992). “An Arm, Hope, Patience Keep Nichols Going”. Albuquerque Journal. p. C1. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  6. ^ “Wonder Women: Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Jodie Herrera”. Weekly Alibi. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  • http://www.highlandhornets.com/users/hhhsschool/Data/Blurbs/SI/thehistorywithphotos.doc?20080608221204[dead link]

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