Kalamazoo Central High School

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For schools of the same name, see Central High School (disambiguation).
Kalamazoo Central High School
Athletics logo K Central.jpg
“Every child, every opportunity, every time.”
2432 North Drake Road
Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49006
United States
Coordinates 42°18′57″N 85°38′49″W / 42.3157°N 85.647°W / 42.3157; -85.647Coordinates: 42°18′57″N 85°38′49″W / 42.3157°N 85.647°W / 42.3157; -85.647
School type public high school
Founded 1858
School district Kalamazoo Public Schools
Principal Valerie A. Boggan
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1650+ (2010)
Color(s) Maroon, White
Nickname Maroon Giants

Kalamazoo Central High School is a public high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan serving students from ninth through twelfth grades. It was the first public high school in Michigan. It began operating in 1858 and graduated its first class of five men and three women in 1859. It moved to its current location in 1972. It is rated Class A by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). On May 4, 2010, the White House announced that Central High had won the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge and that President Barack Obama will deliver the school’s 2010 commencement address.[1]

Kalamazoo Central students are eligible for the Kalamazoo Promise, which provides reduced or free college tuition for students attending public colleges in Michigan.


The first legal public high-school in Kalamazoo, and in the state of Michigan began operating in 1858, and graduated its first class, consisting of five men and three women, in 1859.[2] Charles E. Stuart sued the Kalamazoo School Board in 1874 alleging that the school-board's use of taxpayer money to fund secondary education was unconstitutional (up until that point taxpayers money was only for elementary schools). The School Board prevailed, setting a precedent allowing publicly funded secondary education throughout the country.[3] In 1925, the school moved to the building currently known as Old Central High School at 714 South Westnedge.[4] On the fourth floor of the Old Central High School is currently located the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, or KAMSC. Following the largest graduating class of 799 students in 1960, some Central High School students transferred to the newly opened Loy Norrix High School in 1961. Central High School moved to its current location in 1972.[5]

After the introduction of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program, the school (and the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) system) was placed into the national spotlight highlighted with a Katie Couric visit. Enrollment in KPS has risen significantly, and the surrounding area has begun to find economic benefits.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets played a show in the Old Central High School Auditorium on April 28, 1958.[6]

Old Central High School 714 S. Westnedge

Student activities[edit]

The Choir program competes in the MSVMA (Michigan State Vocal Music Association).

The Marching Band in 2006 ranked first in a national competition at Walt Disney World.[citation needed]

The Mock Trial team took first place at Nationals in 1996.[7]

During the late 80s and the 90s, the KC Forensics Team took 6 of 14 I.E. events in the year 1999 at the State Championship.[citation needed]

The Kalamazoo Central Activists for Action was awarded the 2008 STAR Youth Volunteer Group of the Year.[citation needed]


  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (men's/women's) MHSAA 2010 & 2011 Boys Basketball Class A Champions[citation needed]
  • Softball
  • Soccer (men's/women's)
  • Track (men's/women's)
  • Tennis (men's/women's)
  • Wrestling
  • Swimming and Diving (men's/women's)
  • Lacrosse (men's/women's) (Kalamazoo United team with Loy Norrix High School)
  • Hockey (Kalamazoo United team)
  • Volleyball
  • Golf (men's/women's)

Notable alumni[edit]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]