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High school dedicated to maritime industry education opening in Des Moines

The Maritime High School curriculum will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers. Students across the region who are interested can apply.
The sea otter spotted near the mouth of the Elwha River. (Photo: Island Adventures Whale Watching)

SEATTLE — Teenagers in western Washington who are interested in careers in the maritime industry will soon have a place to hone their understanding of the sea.

The Port of Seattle announced its partnership with Highline Public Schools this week to open a new regional high school dedicated to education and careers in the maritime industry. 

Maritime High School will open in September 2021 and the curriculum will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers, including maritime construction, vessel operations, and other jobs working on or near the water, according to a press release from the Port of Seattle. 

Highline Public Schools has partnered with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC), which will act as a community engagement liaison, and the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC) to provide guidance related to maritime education and fundraising support.

Students at Maritime High School will participate in a wide-range of educational experiences, including project-based learning, working with teachers and community partners, and industry experts for hands-on experience in the field. In 11th and 12th grades, the students will also take internships to gain workforce skills and knowledge, the press release said.

By graduation, students will have the skills to launch a maritime career or to continue studying in a two- or four-year college. 

"In a region that is a hub for the maritime industry, it is so important that we give students an opportunity to prepare for the good jobs and meaningful careers this field has to offer," Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield said.

According to the press release, the concept for a regional school focused on the maritime industry gained support in late 2019. Local industry and education leaders recognized the need for a specialized education in this field, which would help boost the future workforce and provide a pathway to a high-paying career in underserved communities.

Maritime High School will open in September with its first ninth grade classes. Prospective students have until Jan. 31 to apply online. The school is open to students across the region with an interest in maritime careers. 

The school will temporarily be housed at the Olympic Interim Site in Des Moines. 

To learn more about the school, click here