Basic High School

Basic Academy of International Studies
400 N. Palo Verde Drive
Henderson, Nevada 89015
United States
Coordinates 36°02′01″N 114°57′44″W / 36.0337°N 114.9621°W / 36.0337; -114.9621Coordinates: 36°02′01″N 114°57′44″W / 36.0337°N 114.9621°W / 36.0337; -114.9621
School type Public high school
Established 1942
School district Clark County School District
Principal Gerald Bustamante
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,340
School colour(s) Blue and silver
Athletics conference Sunrise 4A Region
Publication 'The Lone Wolf'

Basic Academy of International Studies is a magnet high school that is part of the Clark County School District. It was the first high school in Henderson, Nevada, United States.

School name

During the World War II era, numerous factories located themselves in the Las Vegas Valley (among these factories were Basic Management Industries (Basic Magnesium Inc.) and Timet). The newly founded Basic, Nevada needed a school for business workers' children to attend, and Basic High School received the name of its city (the city of Basic is now the city of Henderson, Nevada). The original name, however, was Railroad Pass High School. The name was changed to Basic High School in 1945.[1]

History and traditions

Basic High School opened in 1942. The school, then located across the street from where the city hall of Henderson now stands, graduated its first class of ten students in 1943. In 1954 it moved to a site near Van Wagenen Street and Pacific Avenue (the current site of Lyal Burkholder Middle School). Since 1973 Basic High School has been located at 400 N. Palo Verde Drive.[2]

Until the opening of Green Valley High School, Basic was the only high school in Henderson. A long-standing rivalry existed between the two. A large white "B" is painted on a local mountain during the week of Homecoming, which stands for "Basic"; it's visible throughout the entire city of Henderson year-long. The original "B" was painted near the old Basic High School on Black Mountain, now known as Lyal Burkholder Middle School, which was also maintained for many years long after Basic relocated to its current campus.

School features

A three-story building is very noticeable on the Basic High School campus; most classrooms here are classes for freshmen students, and it is referred to as the "800 Building" since all classrooms here are numbered in the 800s.

An International Baccalaureate Program is offered at Basic High School.

Basic is one of the few schools in Henderson which still has an annual Homecoming parade.

Clubs and organizations

The school offers many clubs, including a chess club, Bible club, Super Smash Bros. club, Polynesian club, Key Club, and Spanish Club. It is one of the few high schools in the county to have a robotics club, which builds and designs high-tech robots and enters them at annual competitions at UNLV.

Basic's El Lobo yearbook is set to high standards, and has won national praise for many years. The 2005 El Lobo Volume LXIII (63rd) yearbook was named the Silver Medalist by the CSPA and was named All-American with four marks of distinction for the 16th consecutive year. The yearbook is published by Herff Jones publishing company.

The Lone Wolf Newspaper of Basic High School is the oldest newspaper in Henderson. The 2008–2009 school year was its 66th year of publication. It has been published longer than the prominent Las Vegas Sun newspaper, owned by Greenspun Media and founded in 1950. In 2009 the Lone Wolf won second Place in the 33rd annual Las Vegas Review-Journal High School Journalism awards in the "Reduced" format for best high school newspaper.[3]

Representatives from their thespian troop competed at the State Thespian Conference in 2010 and won first place in their category of "Group Musical," with their performance of "Your Fault/Last Midnight" from Sondheim's Into the Woods. The following year, representatives from their troop again placed first at the conference in the "Duet Musical" category with "Serious" from Legally Blonde the Musical.

Basic High School offers a Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC), which has competed nationally in armed and unarmed drill, physical fitness, and marksmanship. The team won the National Championships at the United States Air Force Academy Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1994 to 2003. Basic's MCJROTC Unarmed and Armed Drill Teams competed in the 2012 National Championships held in Torrance, California. They also went on to place in the Nationals held in 2013 in Torrance, California with the help of First Sergeant Samuel Rael USMC (Ret.).

Basic Academy also offers courses in performing arts such as band, orchestra, choir, and theatre.


Basic Academy's athletics programs are known as the Wolves and compete in the Southeast Division of the Sunrise 4A Region. The school's baseball and basketball programs won state championships in 1955, 1956 and in 1959. In 1959 Paul Hornyak, senior point guard, was the first High School All-American in basketball for the state of Nevada. The school's football program has won two state championships, the first in 1953 in Class 3A and the second in 1960 in Class 2A. A 3A championship was won by the girls' volleyball squad in 1975. The Basic Academy wrestling team placed second in State in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974, finally winning their first 3A Championship in 1976. The 2007 Basic men's varsity soccer team had its best season ever, going to the Regional tournament for the first time in over 29 years. The affiliate team the Southern Nevada Blue Sox won the American Legion World Series in 2017.

Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association State Championships

  • Baseball – 1955, 1956, 1959, 1982, 1987, 2016, 2017
  • Basketball – 1956, 1959, 1960
  • Bowling (girls) – 2011, 2018
  • Cross country (boys' and girls') – 1987, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1998
  • Football – 1953, 1960
  • Volleyball (boys) – 1998, 2002
  • Volleyball (girls) – 1978
  • Wrestling – 1976, 1979, 1984

The school's cheerleading squad was featured on a 2010 episode of Penn & Teller.

Notable alumni

Feeder schools

  • Sister Robert Joseph Bailey Elementary School
  • C. T. Sewell Elementary School
  • John Dooley Elementary School
  • Edna F. Hinman Elementary School
  • Sue H. Morrow Elementary School
  • Jim Thorpe Elementary School
  • Harriet Treem Elementary School
  • B. Mahlon Brown Junior High School
  • Francis H. Cortney Junior High School
  • Lyal Burkholder Middle School
  • Jack & Terry Mannion Middle School
  • Thurman White Middle School


  1. Lyle, Michael (26 July 2011). "Railroad Pass stands the test of time". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  2. Koch, Ed (3 October 2005). "Getting back to Basic High School". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  3. Thevenot, Carri Geer (15 May 2009). "Green Valley High School's newspaper judged the best". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  4. Rypka, Marsala. (April 2016). "The Basic Principals of Success: Four Kids from Basic High School Go On to Become Great Influencers." Luxury Las Vegas, p. 65.
  5. "Chris Latham Stats |". Retrieved 2018-05-20.
  6. Evans, K. J. (7 February 1999). "Harry Reid". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  7. Koch, Ed (3 October 2005). "Getting back to Basic High School". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  8. "The All-Vegas Team". Vegas Seven. 28 August 2013. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
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