John Adams High School (Indiana)

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For schools with similar names, see Adams High School (disambiguation).

John Adams High School
South Bend Adams
High School
808 South Twyckenham Drive
South Bend, Indiana
Type Public high school
Established 1940
Principal Otha Reese
Number of students 1,800+
Color(s) Scarlet, Blue & White             
Mascot Eagle
Gym Capacity 1,430
Snapshot JAHS

John Adams High School (often referred to locally simply as Adams) is a public secondary school in South Bend. Its 2008-2009 enrollment is approximately 2000 making it the second largest high school in the South Bend metropolitan area. The mock trial team at Adams recently won a second national title in four years and its 15th State Championship making it the most successful competitive high school program in state history. The mock trial program is led by Heath Weaver, former lawyer and current English and Theory of Knowledge teacher.


The campus is located between the historic River Park and Sunnymede neighborhoods in South Bend, Indiana. The neighborhood is on the east side of town, and Adams is referred to as "The Pride of the East side".


John Adams High School opened on September 30, 1940 as part of a program sponsored by the Federal Works Agency and the Public Works Administration. The school opened late due to the polio epidemic of the 1930s. It sits on around 20 acres (81,000 m2) across from Indiana University South Bend. The school auditorium was once the only large performing stage in South Bend. It has been the site of many historical events and performers such as the premiere screening of Knute Rockne, All American, concerts by Kate Smith, Ezio Pinza and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a taping of The Fred Waring Show and a speech by John Wooden.

Selected scenes from the movie Rudy (film) were filmed in John Adams High School.

State and National Recognition[edit]

John Adams Athletics has a total of 22 Indiana State Championships and 2 National Championship.

Seven sports have won state championships, and the mock trial program has won two national championships.

State Champions:
Boys Wrestling (1966)
Boys Swimming (1966, 1967, 1968)
Girls Swimming (1972)
Boys Golf (1973)
Boys Tennis (1975)
Volleyball (1977, 1979)
Mock Trial (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

National Champions:
Mock Trial (2009, 2011)

1966 Football Team ranked 3rd in Indiana State Rankings and 9th Nationally
1972-1973 Boys Basketball Team finished 2nd in Indiana state tournament
1978-1979 Boys Basketball Team ranked 1st in every Indiana regular season poll

Rivals include South Bend Riley, South Bend Clay, and Washington High School (South Bend, Indiana) Recently, the chief rival has become South Bend St. Joseph

In 2012 and 2013 Adams began to grow as an athletic power.In 2012, the basketball team won a sectional title and defeated the Lake Central Indians, led by future Michigan star Glenn Robinson, Jr in the regional semifinals. The following school year The football team, coached by Craig Redman, compiled a 9-3 record, equaling the school record for wins. Coach Redman won conference coach of the year in football, as well as wrestling. The Basketball team again won a sectional title. Along the way they defeated Penn, Mishawaka Marian, and New Haven, all teams who had players committed to play basketball at Notre Dame.

Fine arts[edit]

Under the direction of Kathleen Kohn, the orchestra sends ensembles and soloists to compete at the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) competition, earning several golds each year.

Show choir is a popular activity at Adams and nearly all performers in the ISSMA vocal competition receive a gold rating. They consistently perform in group I, the top group in ISSMA competitions.

The John Adams Eagle Marching Band qualified for regionals in 2006 for the first time since 1996, and received a silver rating at the ISSMA regional competition. In 2007 the band qualified for regionals again and received a gold rating with a score 70.85, the highest score in South Bend history. The Eagles' concert band has also received gold ratings in group II for the past two years in a row at the ISSMA competition and every year sends performers to the ISSMA State Solo and Ensemble Competition, as well as All-District Honor Band. And finally the two jazz bands at Adams are well known locally for their performances such as Big Band Bash and Jazz Soundsations, and participate in state competitions such as the Ball State Jazz Fest.


  • Nevin Longenecker created the Science Research program at John Adams High School to further the education of students with a predisposition for science. Over the years Adams students have garnered grants and awards totalling over one million dollars. Recent awards include the two winners of the Indiana Academy of Science State Competition.[1] Also, in 2010, the program produced an Intel Science Talent Search finalist.
  • Under the leadership of Rosemary Hess, the school had been approved as an International Baccalaureate (IB) certified school. The present IB program coordinator is Dr. Mika Roinila.[2]
  • Colleges attended by recent valedictorians have included Indiana Bloomington, Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, California Berkeley, Georgetown and Yale universities.

IB Program[edit]

John Adams began offering the IB Program in May, 2006.[3] Adams was the first inner-city school to offer the program, and remains the only South Bend high school to do so. The IB two-year program is among the most rigorous academic programs of study available to high school students.[4] Classes offered at Adams include History of the Americas HL and English HL. IB test scores for Adams students in 2009 were above the world average in 6 out of the 10 tests.[5]

Budget cuts proposed in early 2010 by the South Bend Community School Corporation [6] that would have raised the cost to families of some IB testing fees were reduced or eliminated in March 2010.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°40′00″N 86°13′26″W / 41.66667°N 86.22389°W / 41.66667; -86.22389