A combined grammar and secondary school had been in West Seattle since 1902. West Seattle High School opened in 1917 to provide a fixed home for the secondary school though.
The school has graduated a number of local figures:
- Dow Constantine is the county commissioner for King County. He graduated in 1980.
- Jim Whittaker was part of the first group from the United States to journey to the top of Mt. Everest. He graduated in 1947.