Lincoln High School is the second oldest high school in the city, having opened its doors in 1914.

Lincoln High School is the second oldest high school in the city of Tacoma and is renowned in the community for its timeless beauty. Construction began in 1913 and was designed in a classical Collegiate Gothic style by prolific Tacoma school architect Fredrick Heath. Initially called Lincoln Park High School, the name was changed to Lincoln High School shortly after opening the school. The magnificent Lincoln Bowl was opened in the late 1940's and has been attended by such famous figures as Elvis Presley and presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. The school was completely renovated in 2007, with many of the school’s outstanding architectural details restored or updated. One hundred years after opening, the school is economically and ethnically diverse, a model of the modern, multicultural urban high school.

Over the years, the nicknames have come and gone, from the Lynx to the Railsplitters, but Lincoln High School is now home of the ABES: Absolutely Better Every Day.

A Renaissance

In the last decade Lincoln High School has achieved a remarkable renaissance in teaching and school programs.  A once dormant drama department now features annual productions.  An award-winning culinary-arts program regularly bests similar programs in the region.

Starting in 2002 with a large grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. the school began to take a close look at the skills needed for teaching urban students and begin work on ways of improving instruction to meet the needs of those students. 


2018: School of Distinction
2017: School of Distinction
2016: School of Distinction
2015: School of Distinction
2011: Lincoln Center KCTS 9 Golden Apple Award.
2011: Lincoln Center OSPI Innovative Schools Designation. Part of the Tacoma Public Schools district-wide Innovation Zone. 
2010: Washington Achievement Award from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

Lincoln in the News

  • 2015_02-14: "Masaki Matsumoto named head football coach at Lincoln". The News Tribune
  • 2014_10-03: "A high-poverty public school tries charter-type reforms". Aljazeera America. 
  • 2014_05-30: "Lincoln Center Lessons for Everyone": The News Tribune (editorial). 
  • 2014_05-28: "Getting Ready for Lincoln High 2.0": The News Tribune
  • 2014_04-15: "Lincoln High teacher Nathan Gibbs-Bowling named one of America's top teachers". The News Tribune
  • 2012_09-20: MSNBC: No Soft Retirement for this Former NFL QB Jon Kitna is changing tough kids' lives as a coach and teacher at his alma mater. 

  • 2012_05-19: The Seattle Times: Jon Kitna's Greatest Play: NFL QB to High-School Math Teacher.

  • 2011: KCTS9: The Lincoln Center, "Spotlight on an Innovative Program." ​Hear the viewpoints of Lincoln Center students and teachers in this follow-up to the Lincoln Center's Golden Apple Award.

  • 2011_06-03: "Drum Line brings Tacoma students together": The Seattle Times

  • 2011_03: Principal Leadership: "Bold Ideas for Secondary School Reform." In this March 2011 article for Principal Leadership Magazine, US Assistant Secretary of Education Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana describes the good work she witnessed on a visit to LHS/LC. 

  • 2011_03-09: ​"Grant Expands STEM"; LHS Receives a Grant from Washington STEM: Tacoma Weekly

  • 2010_11-08: The Lincoln Center was profiled in this Education Week article in November 2010: Education Week: Regular Public Schools Start to Mimic Charters.

  • 2010_02-21: "Lincoln's Bold Experiment, A School Within A School": The News Tribune.