I. C. Norcom High School is located at 1801 London Boulevard conveniently located between the revitalized downtown and the Midtown Tunnel. It was opened September, 1997 under the leadership of Mr. Walter Taylor.
The school, originally known as the High Street School, was founded in 1913 as the first high school for black students and was located in the True Reformers Building at 915 High Street. After World War I it was relocated at the corner of Chestnut and South Streets. The school was renamed I. C. Norcom in honor of its first supervising principal, Israel Charles Norcom (1856-1916). A building on Turnpike Road opened in February, 1953.
Mr. Norcom was described as a pioneer educator, leader of his people, churchman, civic leader, businessman, fraternalist, guidance counselor, and an outstanding citizen. It is said that Mr. Norcom guided with intelligence and wisdom, led with firmness, dignity and understanding, aimed high, and visualized expanding educational facilities for his race in Portsmouth. Mr. Norcom's contributions to Portsmouth's educational heritage are acknowledged by all facets of the community. He has been honored as part of the Portsmouth Heritage Series.
Succeeding principals have carried on the Norcom tradition. Mr. W. E. Waters, principal from 1942 to 1966, did not merely copy existing educational models, but rather tailored the school's operations to meet the special needs of its students. In 1966 A. T. Edwards succeeded Mr. Waters as the principal of I. C. Norcom which by that time had grown to an enrollment of 1,920 students housed in a facility built to accommodate 1,400 students. Upon his retirement, Mr. E. Blair was appointed principal. Mr. L. Wallace and Mr. V. Randall served as principals after Mr. E. Blair's tenure. Mr. V. Randall was succeeded by Dr. DeWayne Jeter. Mr. Walter Taylor became principal of I. C. Norcom High School in the fall of 1996. Mr. Timothy Johnson served as acting Principal after Mr. Taylor’s death. Ms. Lynn Briley began her term as principal the 2005-2006 school year and served until year 2011-2012. Dr. Rosalynn Sanderlin served as principal from 2012 until 2015. Ms. Shameka Pollard is the current principal.