John F. Kennedy High School, originally known as Tumon Senior-Junior High School when it
opened way back in September, 1959, overlooks beautiful Tumon Bay and abuts Marine Corps Drive
in what is technically the village of Tamuning, but sometimes referred to as Upper Tumon. When it
opened, the school housed students from the seventh grade through the twelfth grade.
The following year, 1960, the school graduated its first class.
In 1962, Typhoon Karen devastated the island, destroying George Washington High School (which
was arranged in some old quonset huts somewhere in Mongmong), the only other local public high
school at the time, forcing GWHS to hold double sessions at JFKHS. In 2003, GWHS returned the
favor by hosting JFKHS in double sessions when Typhoon Pongsona severely damaged the JFKHS
The Guam Legislature voted to change the name of the school in 1965, a decision that was not
without controversy within the student body, in honor of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
When the school first opened it was intended and designed to house 1200 students from grades
7 through 12. As junior high schools were built and district lines were drawn, the school
transitioned into a true high school. In 1966, the Department of Education moved the seventh and
eighth graders to Dededo Junior High School (what is now Benavente Middle School). In 1969, the
ninth graders were sent to Dededo Junior High School, too, leaving JFKHS as a three-year high
school. Then, in 1982, JFKHS became a four-year high school again when the ninth grade was
moved back in.
Today, JFKHS accommodates over 2500 students from grades 9 through 12.
Over the years, the campus has seen new construction since the original "quad" design: the
section housing the band and ROTC rooms was added in the early 1970's, the "annex" was added in
the late 1980's, and the back section where the GCC classes are located were added in the early
1990's. The JFKHS football field and track were named after the late Senator Eugene Ramsey, a JFKHS
alumna, in 1982?
Some notable firsts include the chartering of JFKHS's National Honor Society in 1962; Air Force
Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFJROTC) was added to the curriculum in 1970; and the
Guam Community College began offering vocational training classes in nursing, electronics, and
marketing in 1976.