Aquinas High School (Wisconsin)

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Aquinas High School
315 11th Street South
La Crosse, Wisconsin, (La Crosse County), 54601
United States
Coordinates 43°48′29″N 91°14′24″W / 43.80806°N 91.24000°W / 43.80806; -91.24000Coordinates: 43°48′29″N 91°14′24″W / 43.80806°N 91.24000°W / 43.80806; -91.24000
Type Private, Parochial, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1928
Principal Ted Knutson
Asst. Principal Denise Ringe
Chaplain Father Jeffrey Hennes
Grades 912
Color(s) Navy blue and old gold         
Athletics conference Mississippi Valley
Team name Blugolds
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Athletic Director Ted Knutson

Aquinas High School is a Roman Catholic high school located in La Crosse, Wisconsin.


The high school was dedicated on September 2, 1928 in honor of Thomas Aquinas by Bishop Alexander Joseph McGavick of the Diocese of La Crosse. The first graduating class of 1929 consisted of four girls. The high school was originally staffed by diocesan clergy and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Diocesan Bishop John Joseph Paul, an Aquinas alumnus of the class of 1935, set aside some rooms at Aquinas High School for the Aquinas Middle School in 1992. In 1997, the Bishop Burke Hall addition to Aquinas High School was dedicated in honor of Bishop Raymond Leo Burke, now the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in the Vatican City and a former religion teacher at Aquinas High School.[2] In 2008, Aquinas High School was named a national Blue Ribbon School.[3]

Aquinas High School is part of the La Crosse Aquinas Catholic Schools.

School crest[edit]

The Aquinas High School crest, designed in 1942, symbolizes the depth of intent of Catholic education. It first appeared in the yearbook, the Trumpet, and on the 1943 class rings.

The cross, which holds the central and most prominent position on the crest, identifies Aquinas High School as Catholic and reflects the importance of the faith and redemption of which it is a symbol.

ΧΡ, the first two letters (chi and rho) of the Greek word for Christ, signify that the life of a Christian should not be egocentric or world-centric but Christocentric, centered around Christ.

The fleur-de-lis, the symbol of sanctity and virtue, symbolizes God, man’s final end, and the Blessed Virgin, model of virtue. The lamp of learning and the books are symbols of knowledge and learning. The laurel over the books symbolizes reward and the lilies of the valley on the other side of the aureole symbolize humility.[2]


The school took the Division III state championship in boys' basketball in 2008 and again in 2011[4][5] and the Division II state title in boys' basketball in 2003.[6] In 2007 it won the Division III state championship in boys' spring baseball,[7] Division III state championship in cross country,[8] and the Division 5 state championship in football.[9] The girls' soccer team was Division III state runner-up in 2005 and State Champions in 2015.[10] and state semi-finalists in 2010.[11] The girls' tennis team was runner up in 2000[12] and the boys' was runner up in 2002.[13] In 2000, the boys' alpine ski team won the state championship[citation needed].


  • Aquinas Catholic Schools (formerly Coulee Catholic Schools)
  • National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)
  • Greater La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC)
  • Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA)
  • North Central Accrediting Association[14]


  • Father Hilary Leuther, 1928–1936
  • Father Joseph Kundinger, 1936–1940, 1946–1951
  • Father John Prizl, 1940–1946
  • Father Alfred Hebert, 1951–1952
  • Father Robert Hansen, 1952–1960
  • Father Richard Rossiter, 1960–1964
  • Father James O'Connell, 1964–1972
  • Father Robert Altmann, 1972–1990
  • James Vail, 1990–1997
  • Jeffrey Brengman, 1997–2001
  • Father John McHugh, 2001–2002
  • Joan Leonard, 2002–2004
  • Philip Hahn, 2004–2006
  • Patrick Burkhart, 2006–2007
  • Ted Knutson, 2007–present

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Aquinas High School 2003 Alumni Directory 75th Anniversary 1928–2003

External links[edit]