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Valparaiso High School

Valparaiso High School is a public high school in Valparaiso, Indiana. This high school is currently a four star and accredited high school, cited by US News and World Report as a "Best High School 2008". The current principal is Mr. James Doane.


In 1870, Valparaiso High School opened its doors for the first time, on the same land which Central Elementary School now stands. Ever since then, thousands of students, faculty, and community members have entered and left those doors.

Even before the first graduating class had left in 1874, the land on which the original high school was built upon had a long and rich history. A murderer was hanged nearby, just south of the future school site, in 1834. In 1853, the school's plot of land was purchased by a women named Nancy Borst, but she sold it to the Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso in 1860. The land that was sold included a tract of land between Washington Street and Franklin Street, as well as a small triangle of land across from Franklin Street. The church constructed a new school on the recently purchased land and on April 16, 1861, the Valparaiso Collegiate Institute opened. The school was a two-story brick building with only four rooms and a small office. The school slowly declined over the years due to the start of the Civil War, and in 1869, the City of Valparaiso bought it for $10,000.

A new building was constructed north of the original in 1871. The two buildings were physically connected together and constructed so well in appearance to each other that it looked like one building. The school had become a three-story building with a new name: Valparaiso City Public Graded School. This was Valparaiso's first public high school. In its first year, there were 400 students and 10 teachers. Three years later, Valparaiso High School conducted its first commencement ceremony.

In the next three decades, overcrowding in the school became common so that by 1903, it was condemned and torn down.

Less than one year later, construction began on the new Central Building which was opened in 1904. The new building cost around $80,000 and was designed by Charles Lembke, a local architect. It was constructed by Wilson Brothers Construction. The school faced towards the east and to allow for more attic space, was constructed with a Mansard roof. The new school build had large chimneys and a tiered fountain. Although some sources report that the school taught kindergarten through eighth grade as well as ninth through twelfth, it was most likely used as a high school solely.

Once again, overcrowding became a problem so that by the 1920s, a construction of a new school was necessary. The last class to graduate from the Central Building was the class of 1927. After that, a new high school was built at 605 North Campbell Street, which would soon become the future Benjamin Franklin Middle School. This new high school thrived until the early 1970s.

By 1972, overcrowding once again summoned for construction of a new high school. The current high school was then constructed at 2727 North Campbell Street. In 1988 a field house was added to the west of the original building. A major renovation came in 1993, with a $19 million project adding classrooms to the north section of the building, a new and expanded kitchen and student cafeteria, and renovated administrative and guidance areas. In 1997 a roof was added and in 2004 work began on renovating the football stadium.


In 2004, Valparaiso High School was one of 30 schools chosen nationwide as a model school by an initiative of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the International Center for Leadership in Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative recognizes schools that are successful at providing quality education to all students. The high school's history of continuous improvement on benchmarks, service learning initiative commitments, as well as having offered diverse extracurricular programs were all cited in its achievement. The school also promotes leadership, a model of civility, and a connection to the greater Valparaiso community.

Valparaiso High School has offered the IB Diploma Program since August 1995. Students at VHS usually take IB exams in May. In the last session, students completed the following exams: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, French, German, History, Information Technology in Global Society, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Spanish, Theory of Knowledge and Visual Arts.

Valparaiso High School Bell Schedule
Period Time
1st 7:35 - 8:24
2nd 8:29 - 9:18
3rd 9:26 - 10:15
4th 10:20 - 10:45 (Lunch)
5th 10:50 - 11:10
6th 11:15 - 11:40 (Lunch)
7th 11:45 - 12:05
8th 12:10 - 12:35 (Lunch)
9th 12:40 - 1:30
10th 1:35 - 2:25

The following is a complete list of courses a student may take at Valparaiso High School as of 2006 :

  • Accounting I
  • Adult Roles and Responsibilities
  • Advanced Chorus
  • Advanced Concert Band
  • Advanced English/Language Arts
  • Advanced Foods and Nutrition
  • Advanced Orchestra
  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • American Literature
  • Basic Skills Development
  • Beginning Chorus
  • Biographies
  • Biology I
  • Biology II
  • Business Foundation
  • Business and Personal Law
  • Cadet Teaching Experience
  • Calculus AB, AP
  • Calculus BC, AP

  • Ceramics
  • Chemistry I
  • Chemistry, AP
  • Child Development and Parenting
  • Communication Processes
  • Communication Systems
  • Computer Applications
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computers in Design & Production Systems
  • Construction Processes
  • Construction Systems
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Current Health Issues
  • Current Problems, Issues, or Events
  • Debate
  • Digital Communication Tools
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Drawing
  • Earth and Space Science I
  • Economics

  • Elective Physical Education
  • English Grade 10
  • English Grade 11
  • English Grade 9
  • English Literature
  • English Literature and Composition, AP
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Science, Advanced
  • Fashion & Textiles Foundations
  • Film Literature
  • French I
  • French II
  • French III
  • French IV
  • French V
  • Geography and History of the World
  • Geometry
  • German I
  • German II
  • German III

  • German IV
  • German V
  • Global Economics
  • Health and Wellness Education
  • Intermediate Chorus
  • Intermediate Concert Band
  • Intermediate Orchestra
  • International Relations
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Intro. to Engineering Design
  • Introduction to Two Dimensional Art
  • Japanese I
  • Japanese II
  • Japanese III
  • Japanese IV
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Jewelry
  • Journalism
  • Language Arts
  • Latin I
  • Latin II

  • Latin III
  • Latin IV
  • Literary Movements
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Marketing
  • Mass Media
  • Mathematics
  • Media Arts
  • Music Theory and Composition
  • Novels
  • Nutrition and Wellness
  • Orientation to Life and Careers
  • Painting
  • Physical Education I
  • Physical Education II
  • Physics I
  • Physics II
  • Poetry
  • Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry
  • Psychology

  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • Spanish III
  • Spanish IV
  • Spanish V
  • Speech
  • Student Publications
  • Studio Art (Drawing Portfolio), AP
  • Technical Theatre
  • Technology Systems
  • Theatre Production
  • Themes in Literature
  • Transportation Systems
  • United States Government
  • United States History
  • United States History, AP
  • World History or Civilization
  • World Literature

Extracurricular activities


Valparaiso High School is known as the Vikings and compete yearly in the Duneland Athletic Conference.

The following is a list of accomplishments that all Valparaiso High School athletic teams have achieved :

  • Men's Basketball: State Runner-up (1993-94)
  • Men's Cross Country: State Champion (1966-67), (1983-84), (1985-86), (1986-87), (1997-98), (2000-01); State Runner-up (2005-06)
  • Men's Football: State Champion (1975-76); State Runner-up (1985-86), (2001-02)
  • Men's Soccer: State Champion (2004-05)
  • Men's Hockey: State Runner-up (2002-03), (2004-05)

  • Women's Basketball: State Runner-up (1981-82), (1995-96), (1999-00)
  • Women's Cross Country: State Champions (1999-00), (2000-01), (2002-03), (2003-04), (2004-05); State Runner-up (2001-02), (2005-06), (2006-07)
  • Women's Gymnastics: State Champions (1980-81), (1990-91), (1993-94), (1996-97), (1997-98), (2007-08); State Runner-up (1991-92), (1995-96), (1998-99), (2003-04)
  • Women's Swimming: State Runner-up (1989-90), (1990-91), (1994-95), (1995-96)
  • Women's Track and Field: State Runner-up (2006-07)

Clubs & organizations

The following list of clubs are offered for Valparaiso High School students who meet minimal standards in both academics and discipline.

  • Academic Decathlon
  • Academic Gaming Club
  • Academic Super Bowl
  • Art Club
  • Class Officers
  • Computer Club
  • Drama
  • Earth Awareness Club
  • French Club
  • German Club

  • Hope Club
  • Intermurals
  • Japanese Club
  • Key Club
  • Life Skills Program and Peer Tutoring
  • Math Competitions
  • VHS Multimedia Club
  • Music Organizations
  • NHS
  • Quiz Bowl

Performing arts

The school’s large music organizations are scheduled along with all other school courses and count for full credit toward the school’s graduation requirements.

Its music programs are also strong, with the "A" Band (1985, 1988 through 1997, and 2003), Concert Choir (1998 and 1999), and Chamber Orchestra (2004) all having won ISSMA state championships. The groups consistently rank highly in these state-wide competitions. The music department has also been named a GRAMMY Signature School for the last three years running (2004 to present).


  • 2007-2008 Student Demographics

Enrollment = 2054
White Black Hispanic Asian Native American Multi-Racial
1831 (89.10%) 54 (2.60%) 78 (3.80%) 43 (2.10%) 1 (0.00%) 47 (2.30%)

  • 2006-2007 Graduation Rate: 90.6%
  • 2007-2008 ISTEP Test Performance

The ISTEP exam is a graduation requirement as well as a standard to assess student's knowledge of basic subjects.

Students Tested = 540
Grade 9 English Grade 9 Math
Students Passing Category Students Passing
81% All Students 85%
79% Male 87%
83% Female 83%
83% White 87%
39% Black 33%
70% Hispanic 70%
93% Multi-Racial 100%

Students Tested = 499
Grade 10 English Grade 10 Math
Students Passing Category Students Passing
83% All Students 83%
79% Male 82%
88% Female 84%
86% White 86%
55% Black 45%
70% Hispanic 65%
94% Asian 100%

School song

Oh! Green and White arise to glory,
To summits of envied fame
Fight on ev’ry field and never yield
Exalting your honored name
Vikings marching on to vict’ry with
Courage and pluck and brawn.
Fight! Fight! Green and White now win the day,
Then on to victory Valpo, On!

Student attack

On Wednesday, November 24, 2004, at approximately 7:50 A.M., five students were attacked in a classroom by 15-year-old student James Lewerke, who was armed with a machete and a tree saw. None of the students involved suffered major injuries, and all but one were treated and released from the hospital the same day. Rather than prosecuting and disciplining the aggresor, the school simply transferred him to a school district in another state. Before he was transferred to Valparaiso schools, he had already had a similar incident in the Aurora School District which the Valpo Schools overlooked.

Notable alumni


External links

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