Francis Howell Central High School
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|Francis Howell High|
|5199 Highway N
|School district||Francis Howell|
|Principal||Dr. Sonny Arnel|
|Color(s)||Blue and Silver|
|Athletics||Football, soccer, hockey, swimming, track & field, volleyball, basketball, among others|
Francis Howell Central High School (abbreviated FHC) is the third high school created in the Francis Howell School District. The school is located in Cottleville, Missouri, but a large part of its student population comes from its larger neighbor St. Peters. Home of the Spartans, Francis Howell Central is a four-year comprehensive high school offering programs in college preparatory, vocational, honors/advanced credit, advanced placement and a special education program.
FHC opened in the fall of 1997 with only freshmen and sophomore students. The school had been built in a series of phases; much of what is visible today had not yet been constructed at the time of its opening. The school's first principal was Don Muench. The building opened with fairly small number of teachers, which was due to low student enrollment at the time. Eventually the school expanded to the junior and senior grades as well. In 2001, Steve Griggs was hired as the new building principal. Griggs remained principal until 2006, when he transferred to a new position in the district's administration. Jack Ameis, former administrator at Francis Howell North High School, served as the interim principal for the 2006-2007 school year. Starting with the 2007-2008 school year, Sonny Arnel returned to Central to serve as head principal. The school enrollment currently hovers around 2,000 students. The school's mascot is King Leo the Spartan.
Don Muench Stadium
After Muench's death in 2001, the school named their stadium the Don Muench Memorial Stadium. It hosts football, track and field, and soccer events, as well as many other sports and club events. In May 2011, the stadium was host to the Missouri District Track Meet. In 2013, a new scoreboard, flagposts on the bleachers, and a turf field were installed, giving Central a fresh, new look.
|Fall Sports||Winter Sports||Spring Sports||Year Around|
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In 2011, the FHC Boys Varsity Ice Hockey team defeated CBC High School 7-3 to win the Missouri State Hockey Championship. The victory led to somewhat of a controversy, as the team was not allowed to keep the trophy it earned in the school's display case due to ice hockey being a club sport rather than a school-sponsored activity.
In 2012, the Boys Volleyball Team was able to capture a state title over St. Louis University High School. This team was the first team to bring home a trophy and to have a MSHSAA sponsored title.
Students attending Francis Howell Central have clubs to choose from including, but not limited to the following:
- Games Club
- Art Club*
- National Honor Society
- FHC Spotlight Players
- Scholar Quiz Bowl
- Youth In Government
- 300 Spartans Spirit Club
The Spartan Regiment is FHC's marching band. They have competed in several national events, including winning first place in several awards, and Grand Champions at the Orange Bowl in 2003. During that competition they brought home 15 awards. At the 2001 Cotton Bowl Classic they came home as Grand Champions, winning several awards. A recent success is in being Grand Champions in the 2007 Cotton Bowl Classic, where they took 10 awards, including 4, first place, Grand Champion trophies. Their shows have included Boo, E.T, West Side Story, Gladiator, Robin Hood, Tchaikovsky Celebration, Los Ninos de la Noche, Journey, Wounded Knee Relived, Fury and Fire, Masters of Sword, Colors in Motion, Breaking Through, Rise, Believe, The Wall, and currently: Back to Square One. Mr. Nathan Griffin replaced Mr. David Opperman as Director of Bands in 2008. In 2009, the Spartan Regiment performed their show Breaking Through, and with that show, they went down to the Gator Bowl and came very close to winning the sweepstakes. Only by a small margin did they take second place; they took around 13 awards. The 2010 show Rise was also very successful under the direction of Mr. Griffin. They placed second in their division at the Blue Spring marching competition, and in the top eight during the finals. The band also raised $300 that season for the St. James Marching Band whose members were involved in a bus crash. During the 2013 season, the Spartan Regiment took first place at the Mizzou Champions of Champions event, in addition to first in division, fourth best drumline and best color guard.
The journalism program at FHC is very robust, with the monthly student-run newspaper, the Central Focus, having won many state and national high school journalism awards. The staff of the Central Focus also runs a website, FHCtoday.com, which features more news and information about what is happening at the school and the surrounding area. FHCtoday.com was last ranked fifth among scholastic news websites in the nation at the Fall 2010 JEA/NSPA Journalism Convention. The Odyssey is the name of the yearbook published yearly by the yearbook staff. Members of both staffs have also won numerous individual awards. Francis Howell Central also has a Facebook page of their website (FHCtoday.com), which hundreds of people have become fans of.
FHC Spotlight Players
The members of Francis Howell Central's theatrical department have been named The Spotlight Players. In years past, it has been recognized for successfully producing shows at a high level of difficulty for a high school department. The Spotlight Players perform three mainstage shows each season along with several smaller, second-stage events in the school's 513-seat auditorium. From 2007-2010, the department went through various director changes. The 2007-2008 school year was the 4th and final year for director Stephen Kimball, he was forced to resign at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year. Afterwards, Jennifer Ritter took over that fall, and was not rehired for the 2009-2010 school year. Instead, Shannon Latzke was transferred from Saeger to take the position, but she left at the end of the year to spend more time with her family. Michelle Moll was hired as the director for the 2010-2011 school year. Therefore, the class of 2011 had a different director every year. Just recently at the 2013 Missouri Thespian Conference, the Spotlight Player's Tech Challenge team placed first in state, adding to their overall success.
- , National Scholastic Press Association Contest Winners, FHCtoday.com Fifth Place, Publication Website Large School.