Students, staff and community members celebrate official unveiling of Hilltop Heritage Middle School

A drumroll followed by cheers, a few tears and applause erupted from the crowd as Hilltop Heritage Middle School, formerly Jason Lee Middle School, was unveiled officially Oct. 6.

The school’s name change honors and celebrates the heritage and diversity within Tacoma’s Hilltop community.

Students, staff and community members proudly waved pennants displaying the school's new name, Hilltop Heritage Middle School. Speaking in her native Lushootseed language, Puyallup Tribal Member and Historic Education Coordinator Charlotte Basch moved the crowd as she shared how many of her people do not know their language because of actions of missionary Jason Lee and others like him.

The event marked a historic change motivated by a community of trailblazers who pioneered the charge to rename the school. 

Hilltop Heritage renaming video

Media Contact

Dan Voelpel, Executive Director of Communications | 253-571-1015 |

About Tacoma Schools

Tacoma Public Schools is the only district designated an Innovation Zone by Washington State. A leader in implementing innovative schools and programs to meet the diverse needs of every student, every day, TPS serves approximately 30,000 students from preschool to grade 12 and at nearly 5000 employees is one of the largest employers in Tacoma. Learn more...


Read more Tacoma Public Schools stories . . . . .