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Home of the "Mighty Greyhounds"

I. C. Norcom High School

School Motto
-- Esse Quam Videri --
To Be Rather Than To Seem


P u r s u i n g   A c a d e m i c   S u c c e s s



Israel Charles Norcom
Israel Charles Norcom

I. C. Norcom High School is one of three high schools in the city of Portsmouth, Virginia. It is located in the Mount Hermon-Taylorville section of the city on the corner of Turnpike Road and Frederick Boulevard and surrounded by residential housing, a federal housing community, and commercial property.

The school, originally known as the High Street School, was founded in 1913 as the first high school for black students and was located in the True Reformers Building at 915 High Street. After World War I it was relocated at the corner of Chestnut and South Streets. The present building opened in February, 1953.

is scheduled to be opened September, 1997.

The school was renamed I. C. Norcom in 1953 in honor of its first supervising principal, Israel Charles Norcom (1856-1916). Mr. Norcom was described as a pioneer educator, leader of his people, churchman, civic leader, businessman, fraternalist, guidance counselor, and an outstanding citizen. It is said that Mr. Norcom guided with intelligence and wisdom, led with firmness, dignity and understanding, aimed high, and visualized expanding educational facilities for his race in Portsmouth.

Succeeding principals have carried on the Norcom tradition. Mr. W. E. Waters, principal from 1942 to 1966, did not merely copy existing educational models, but rather tailored the school's operations to meet the special needs of its students. In 1966 A. T. Edwards succeeded Mr. Waters as the principal of I. C. Norcom which by that time had grown to an enrollment of 1,920 students housed in a facility built to accommodate 1,400 students. Upon his retirement, Mr. E. Blair was appointed principal. Mr. L. Wallace and Mr. V. Randall served as principals after Mr. E. Blair's tenure. Mr. V. Randall was succeeded by Dr. DeWayne Jeter. Mr. Walter Taylor became principal of I. C. Norcom High School in the fall of 1996.

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