Aitkin High School

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Aitkin High School
Motto We believe everyone can learn and can experience success.
Established 1894
Type Public high school
Principal Chad Pederson
Faculty approx. 90
Students approx. 600
Grades 7-12
Location 306 2nd St. NW,
Aitkin, Minnesota,, United States
Colors Red, Black, White
Mascot Gobblers
Website website

Aitkin High School (AHS) is a public high school in Aitkin, Minnesota. The school serves students in grades 712. The school enrolls approximately 600 students per year, with 400 students in the high school and 200 attending middle school. The school is a combined middle and high school, since the town does not have the needed population of adolescents to include a separate middle school. Class sizes are around 100 students, while some classes, such as the Class of 1978, have enrolled up to 160 students at one time. The Class of 2010 is one of the smallest Aitkin High School classes in history, with a class size at graduation of 83. The class entered with 98 students in 2004.

The school is a member of Minnesota's Independent School District 1 (Aitkin School District), and is affiliated with the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). The school is a member of the Great River Conference. The AHS mascot is the Gobbler.


Aitkin High School was established in the year 1894 and the oldest school building was completed in 1901. Many additions have been added to the school since. When the school was first built, many children that lived outside the city of Aitkin attended local country schools, and then attended AHS after they graduated from 8th grade. At that time, Aitkin High School served grades 9-12 only. In 1928, an addition to the school was built and it became a 7-12 school, even though many students were in country, primary and parochial schools (particularly Catholic) until 8th grade. Several modifications took place during the following decades, including a new cafeteria, band area, and auditorium. The old gym and auditorium was created in a 1941 project and the west wing was added in the 1950s. The most major change after 1928 took place in 1976, when the school was remodeled and the old school building was demolished. The west wing still remains. Not many major modifications took place after that until the year 2000, when a new band area was established. The 1941 auditorium was remodeled in 1994 while keeping most of the classic features. In 2005, a new weight room was built. The school was modified once again in 2006 with a newly added commons area, in the 9th grade locker area, and a new 7th grade locker area built on the second floor of the school, along with an LED sign in the front of the building. In 2007, a more advanced security system was installed and a speed limit regulation was implemented around the school. In 2008, a wall was removed in the cafeteria which will enable more students to have lunch in one lunch period, and signs were posted on all entrances of the school. Paintings by students were placed on the walls to give it a more friendly atmosphere. A new student parking lot was added to the school in 2009. Pavement was planned to take place in Summer 2010 but never occurred.


In Fall 2009, AHS had 900 students.[1]

The Aitkin School District's Superintendent is Bernie Novak. The high school principal is Chad Pederson and the Dean of Students/Athletic Director is Cathy Hughes.

Curriculum and scheduling[edit]

Aitkin High School is on an 8-period quarter/semester schedule. Each semester lasts 9 weeks. Class periods are currently 46-52 minutes in length with 4 minutes passing time in between classes. Some classes, such as the ones in the Industrial Arts area are 2 periods in length. Additionally, middle school and high school students share the same time schedule. From the years 1998-2007, the school used a block schedule, where classes were 84 minutes long. In 2007, the trimester schedule used at AHS during the 1960s and 1970s was reinstated. Independent study periods were added on a rotation basis. (e.g. Day 1 is 1st hour, Day 2 is second hour, etc.) Independent study periods enable students to have time to finish class assignments, get help from another teacher, attend meetings and school assemblies, and much more.

In 2010, a new student database, Infinite Campus, was integrated, to enable students, teachers, and parents to keep track of their students performance in school. The online learning tool has many feature such as the ability to register for classes online, check grades and finding missing assignments.

More than 110 classes are offered.[2] This includes subjects in agriculture, business, media arts, computer science and information technology, English, family and consumer science, art, music, physical education, industrial technology, mathematics, science, social studies, and World Languages.

Although AHS does not offer any AP or IB classes, it offers college credit for advanced classes with a program called College in the Schools through the University of Minnesota, Central Lakes Community College, Mesabi Community College, and Vermilion Community College and the option of PSEO. These enable students to receive college credits at select colleges free of tuition and book and may even obtain enough credits to get an Associate of Arts Degree.


The school features a newly added commons area, two gyms, a band area, an auditorium, a Strength room, a choir area, and three floors of classrooms and laboratory type classroom for industrial arts, home economics, fine arts, and agriculture.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Athletic teams include:





Aitkin High School wrestlers and dance team (known as the All Starz) have gone to state competition numerous times. The last time the Aitkin wrestling team went to State as a whole was in the year 2008. Aitkin High School had a great stretch of athletic ability in the 1950s, while the football, wrestling, and track team made many outstanding achievements. A lag in athletic ability took place for most of the 1960s and the 1970s with an exception for baseball and softball. The baseball team made the conference championship both in 1977 and 1978, and made it to the sections in 1977, but never made it to state throughout the decade. 1982 was a magical year for sport in Aitkin High School, which included the momentous boys basketball state tournament in 1982 along with the progressing to state with the football team that fall. In 2013 the football team appointed a new head coach Tom Sanford. Sanford made significant changes to the program, modeling the team similarly to Brainerd's. These significant changes lead to the teams first winning season(2013) since 2005.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°32′01.5″N 93°42′40″W / 46.533750°N 93.71111°W / 46.533750; -93.71111