The Western Way
Western’s motto is ‘Lucem Accepimus, Lucem Demus’ meaning “We have received light; let us give light.” That motto continues to guide Western girls in pursuit of their education, career success and significance within their communities.
Western opened its doors November 1, 1844, at 100 North Paca Street, then moved to numerous rented spaces in its first half-century. Many current alumnae remember the school’s years at the corner of North Howard and West Centre Street.
Western opened in its current location at 4600 Falls Road in September 1967, and the Poly-Western complex was one of the largest high school campuses constructed in America at that time. Western is a citywide magnet school which requires certain entrance criteria to be accepted into its talented student body.
Notable alums include Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah, Anna Deavere Smith talented playwright and actress, Nancy Grasmick, former MD Superintendent of Schools, Jill Carter Maryland delegate, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, former Mayor of Baltimore, and the Cone sisters of the Cone Collection at Baltimore Museum of Art…and more!
Lifting Our Voices in Song
College Bound, Ready to Soar!
She’s a Western Girl
For decades up to today, a common phrase people use is you can just tell she’s a Western girl.
A liberal arts college preparatory school, Western attracts hard-working students who meet our entrance criterion and seek rigorous academics. Their achievements uphold Western’s reputation for strong outcomes; virtually all of Western seniors head to college each year.
Drawn from neighborhoods throughout the city of Baltimore, our students have ambitious dreams for their futures. From freshman year onward, Western High School prepares them to consider and visit their college choices and follow the steps needed for admission.
In recent years, Western seniors have received acceptances from over 100 different colleges and universities throughout the nation and locally, including Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, Harvard University, University of Maryland College Park, Spellman College, Cornell University, Towson University, UMBC and Howard University. They have received over $5 million in scholarships, grants and aid.
From Girls to Gamechangers
As students in a wholesomely competitive academic atmosphere, Westernites (as students were nicknamed since 1985) and Doves (as students are now called) learn to assume leadership roles to seek solutions to problems, to initiate and implement projects and to begin to take charge of their own lives. Such experiences are invaluable to young women in today’s society.
A Pioneer in Women’s Public Education
Western offers several academic programs: College Preparatory, Accelerated College Preparatory, Teacher Academy of Maryland, Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and our IT Networking Academy. America’s most prestigious universities seek Western graduates. Academic preparedness gives them the grounding to soar!
Western High School’s philosophy provides for the development of the whole child. The school has 12 competitive sports teams ranging from badminton to lacrosse to dance. Western sponsors clubs for all interests, from Sounds Unlimited and Western Robotic RoboDoves to our Step Team and Science Club. Through these activities, Western girls become more than friends; they become sisters.
The uniqueness of Western High School is unquestionable. Its scholarship, tradition, and spirit, which began more than 175 years ago, continues to enrich the lives of Baltimore’s future leading women.
Western High School Today
Red and Black
“Western, Only the Best!”
Western has four sets of traditional class colors. Each class inherits their class colors as freshmen. The colors are:
- Purple and gold
- Maroon and gold
- Blue and gold
- Black and gold
Big Sister, Little Sister Program
Each year, Western juniors of the new school year pick little sisters from the incoming freshmen.
An joyous alumnae and student gathering in March celebrating Western’s legacy and featuring student performances and remarks.
The annual outdoor spring fair featuring celebratory banners, booths and activities in the quad.