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School History & Alumni

Lassies marching

Increasing enrollment in the Shoreline School District during the late 1950s brought about the need for a second high school. (Shoreline High was first – it is now the district administration building.)

Shorecrest opened on September 6, 1961 welcoming 840 students, grades 8-10, and 43 teachers. The first graduating class was in 1964 with 359 students.


marching band banner

Shorecrest’s name came from an essay contest won by then Morgan Junior High 6th grader Cindy White (Morgan is now Kellogg Middle School). The name was an accurate description of the location. The school’s boundaries included the shores of Lake Washington and the school sits on the crest of a hill. The hill, or highland, also led to the school being known as the Home of the Highlanders.

The student body voted on the school colors and selected three: forest green, navy blue, and old gold. It was suggested that the three colors could be part of a plaid or tartan. Students did some research and discovered that the selected colors were part of the tartan used by the Clan Gordon of Scotland, which dates back to the 12th century. The student body selected the nickname Highlanders. 


Gordon Crest

In 1967, the school sought and received official permission from Lord Huntley, Chief of the Clan Gordon, to use the Clan colors and symbols, and be representatives of the Clan. Thus the symbols and themes of the Scottish Clan Gordon became part of the school. You can see the actual tartan worn by performing groups such as the Marching band, Lassies, Cheerleaders, and Flags.


dancing lassies

Shorecrest has adopted many Scottish traditions:

  • Pipers (our bagpipers),
  • Lassies (our highland dancers),
  • Tattoo (our literary publication) – in Scotland, it is a celebration of the games, music, and lore of the clan,
  • The Loch (our annual – Loch means “lake” and our annual is named for Lake Washington),
  • The Highland Piper (our school newspaper),
  • Caen Laida (meaning “moving forward” – our end of the year celebration and goodbye to the senior class and retiring faculty).


Pipers Marching

Shorecrest is unique among high schools in that it boasts a bagpipe band. Our music department offers bagpipes as a class for credit. The Pipers perform at many school events and are at the lead of the Highlander Marching Band. When the pipes play Scotland the Brave it is traditional to stand and clap the beats.

marching band and drumline


The Highlander Marching Band consists of over 100 musicians accompanied by Lassies and Flags. The band members wear the traditional kilt and uniform of the Clan Gordon.

The Highlander Marching Band has performed in numerous local, national and international parades and events, and won many prestigious awards. The band is an all-volunteer group which rehearses outside of class time and prides itself on fine student leadership.

The drum line is the heart of the band and its members are distinguished by their red jackets.

Piper icon

The Piper is the official symbol (and sometimes mascot) for Shorecrest. You will see it on many publications and communications authored by the school. One of our pipers, usually the pipe major, will appear live at school events to fulfill this important role. 

Kellogg's Cereal Box with Big Otis

Our official mascot is Otis, the fighting Scot. Otis was inspired by Big Otis who came from an oatmeal cereal box. Otis cheers us on in athletic competitions and is frequently seen at assemblies and school events. Look for a mural of Otis hanging in the gym.

Otis headshot

Originally, the students were known as Highlanders and not Scots. It is believed that Scots became the nickname due to newspapers column inch restriction when printing the sports scores. Highlanders took up too much room so they shortened the name to Scots.


Gordon Coat of Arms

Shorecrest’s official crest is the coat of arms of the Clan Gordon (used with permission as stated above). The coat of arms contains two mottos of the Clan Gordon which are also appropriate to the school. At the top it reads “Bydand” which translates to “resilience” (or “remaining”). On the bottom it reads “Animo Non Astutia” which means “by courage, not cunning.” You can see the coat of arms hanging in the entrance of the school (and on this website).

Gordon Tartan

The Shorecrest Colors are Navy Blue, Forest Green, and Old Gold. These are seen in the Clan Gordon tartan worn by some of our performing groups. This is the modern Gordon Family Tartan (sometimes called the Gordon Regimental Tartan). The kilts of the marching band and pipers use this tartan. Also look for it in the neck ties and vests of some faculty members.

Another Gordon tartan

There are two variations on the Clan Gordon Tartan. This is the modern Gordon Family Dress Tartan. You will see this worn by some of our performing groups. The Lassies wear this tartan.

Disclaimer & Request:

We’ve done a lot of research to assemble this page but, as with many organizations, very little was written down for posterity. If you see any errors or know of anything that we should include (here or in the school files) please let us know. You can email the webmaster hereto learn about. We are especially interested in any photos or stories.