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About Us

Our Vision

To ensure that all students learn at high levels, experience an inclusive community, and graduate prepared with academic and life skills for career and college readiness.

Our Mission

Challenger High School provides a safe and equitable community for educating and inspiring students in preparation for their futures. We provide academic, social and emotional supports for the whole student to foster responsible local and global citizenship. Smaller class sizes allow individualized and innovative teaching methods to meet the needs of each student.

At Challenger High School We Believe:

  • In maintaining vibrant and relevant classrooms

  • Attendance and effort are critical to learning

  • In celebrating diversity and unity in our community

  • All students will be provided a safe and secure learning environment

  • Communication among students, staff, families and administration is vital

School Profile 

Principal:    Julie Shultz-Bartlett                               

Assistant Principal: Kara Runge

Counselor:  Alison Von Stein



Challenger High School was formed in 1974 as the Alternative High School for the Bethel School District.  After several location changes and transformations of the program, Challenger High School’s campus housed 14 portables at its current location. It is one of five high schools in the Bethel School District, and Challenger serves 300 students in grades 9 - 12.  Challenger High School is located in Spanaway, in Pierce County, south of Tacoma, Washington. For more information visit: The new Challenger High School building opened in September of 2022 and features 20 classrooms, commons, computer and science labs, student resource center, CTE maker-space, a gym and an art studio.  Challenger serves a small  in-person alternative middle school serving grades 7 and 8 in a cohort model. We utilize project based exploration, and community building to create a supportive alternative middle school.



Type of School:  Challenger is an Accredited, Public, 4-year high school, organized into four quarters of nine weeks each. Challenger is the Alternative High School for the Bethel School District. 

Total Enrollment:  300 students,  grades 9 – 12 

Percent Free/Reduced Lunch:  71.1%



A total of four courses plus an Advisory period are offered, with an AM or PM session for a full-time student each quarter.  



Running Start is a Washington State early college entrance program that provides an opportunity for juniors and seniors to take community or technical college classes, earning high school and college credit simultaneously.  Challenger High School students may take advantage of this program, either full or part time.



Challenger students may attend the PCSC during the opposite session of their school schedule.  Students attending the Skills Center can earn an additional 4.5 high school credits each year, while learning a trade.  Programs descriptions are online on the Pierce County Skills Center website. For more information please visit:


CLASS RANK:  Based on unweighted cumulative GPA.


A   =  4.0 B   =   3.0 C   =   2.0 D   =   1.0

A-  =  3.7 B - =  2.7 C-  =  1.7 F    =   0.0

B+ =  3.3 C+ =  2.3 D+ =  1.3 P    =   not used in calculating GPA



0.5 credit is awarded per class per quarter for a grade of A, B, C, D, or P.  No credit is given for an F or NC.


GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS – for the class of 2020 and beyond (grades 9-12)

4 credits of English Language Arts, 3 credits of Social Studies, 2 credits of Fine Arts

3 credits of Science, 1.5 credits of Physical Education, 0.5 credits of  Health

3 credits of Mathematics, 1 credit Career and Tech. Ed. 2 credits of  World Language

4 credits of Electives  

Total of 24 credits needed to graduate

In addition to passing the academic requirements, students must also pass the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English Language Arts and in Math. Students can also use minimum  scores on alternative assessments to meet this requirement: SAT, ACT, ASVAB. 

Principal: Julie Shultz-Bartlett 

Phone: 253.800.6889

Assistant Principal: Kara Runge 

Phone: 253.800.6888

Secretary: Kim Nelson 

Phone: 253.800.6800
Fax: 253.800.6898

Registrar: Nelson Molina Medina  

Phone: 253.800.6884
Fax: 253.800.6898

Academic Counselor: Alison VonStein

Phone: 253.800.6808

Attendance/Health Clerk: Celina Avallone 

Phone: 253.800.6892

A.L.E. Office Clerk: Adelaide Whitmire

Phone: 253.800.6859


School Social Worker: Lauren Riley
Phone: 253.800.6871


Family Resource Coordinator: Christney Kpodo 

Phone: 253.800.6825


School Psychologist: Geraldine Snyder
Phone: 253.800.6852

School Nurse: Jaci Sweet  
Phone: 253.800.6868

Health Clerk: Celina Avallone 
Phone: 253.800.6892

Graduation Success Coordinator: Victor    Villareal
Phone: 253.800.6808

Career Clerk: Victor Villareal

Phone: 253.800.6810

Lori Weik

Phone: 253.800.6893