Valparaiso High School

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Valparaiso High School
"A Tradition of Excellence"
2727 N. Campbell Street
Valparaiso, Indiana, 46385
United States
Coordinates 41°29′35″N 87°04′03″W / 41.4931°N 87.0674°W / 41.4931; -87.0674Coordinates: 41°29′35″N 87°04′03″W / 41.4931°N 87.0674°W / 41.4931; -87.0674
Type Public high school
Established 1874
Principal Reid Amones
Faculty 139 [1]
Grades 9-12
Number of students 2070 [1]
Color(s) Green & White         
Athletics Football, Cross Country, Soccer, Golf, Basketball, Swimming and Diving, Wrestling, Baseball, Track and Field, Volleyball, Tennis, Gymnastics and Softball [2]
Mascot Viking

Valparaiso High School is a public high school in Valparaiso, Indiana. The current principal is Reid Amones.[3]


In 1870, Valparaiso High School opened its doors for the first time, on the same land which Central Elementary School now stands.

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 woman 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.[4]


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.[5]

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.[6]


2009-2010 Student Demographics[1]
White Black Hispanic Asian Native American Multi-Racial
1767 (85.36%) 71 (3.43%) 110 (5.31%) 43 (2.08%) 3 (0.14%) 76 (3.67%)
Enrollment: 2070
  • 2006-2007 Graduation Rate: 90.6%
  • 2007-2008 ISTEP Test Performance[7]
    • The ISTEP exam is a graduation requirement as well as a standard to assess student's knowledge of basic subjects.
Category Students Passing
Grade 9 English Grade 9 Math
All Students 81% 85%
Male 79% 87%
Female 83% 83%
White 83% 87%
Black 39% 33%
Hispanic 70% 70%
Multi-Racial 93% 100%
Students Tested: 540
Category Students Passing
Grade 10 English Grade 10 Math
All Students 83% 83%
Male 79% 82%
Female 88% 84%
White 86% 86%
Black 55% 45%
Hispanic 70% 65%
Asian 94% 100%
Students Tested: 499

Student attack[edit]

On Wednesday, November 24, 2004, at approximately 7:50 a.m., five students were attacked in a classroom by a 15-year-old student 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.[8][9][10]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "School Profile, Valparaiso High School". 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Valparaiso High School,, October 16, 2010
  4. ^ VCS History Project - [1] May 23, 2008
  5. ^ - [2], March 10, 2004
  6. ^ International Baccalaureate Organization - [3], May 23, 2008
  7. ^ [4] [5] [6] [7]
  8. ^ Indiana Daily Student - 5 students injured in Valparaiso slashing, 29 November 2004
  9. ^ Kasarda, Bob (2011-11-19). "Valpo High School slasher out of treatment seven years after attack : Valparaiso News". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  10. ^ "5 students slashed at Ind. high school - US news - Crime & courts | NBC News". MSNBC. 2004-11-24. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 

External links[edit]