Archbishop Alter High School

Coordinates: 39°40′48″N 84°9′6″W / 39.68000°N 84.15167°W / 39.68000; -84.15167
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Archbishop Alter High School
940 East David Rd

, ,

United States
Coordinates39°40′48″N 84°9′6″W / 39.68000°N 84.15167°W / 39.68000; -84.15167
TypePrivate, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
OversightArchdiocese of Cincinnati
PrincipalLourdes Lambert
Teaching staff43.9 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment632[1] (2018–19[1])
Student to teacher ratio13.8 [1]
Color(s)Brown and Gold   
Athletics conferenceGreater Catholic League
Team nameKnights
NewspaperThe Knight Times
Tuition$10,800 (parish) $11,760 (non-parish)

Archbishop Alter High School, also known as Alter High School, is a Catholic high school in Kettering, Ohio, United States. It is operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati and is named after Archbishop Karl Joseph Alter.


In October 1958, Catholics of the Dayton area pledged $4,953,050 to help pay the costs of building Catholic high schools in the area. Among the schools built with this money were Archbishop Alter High School and its mirror image, Carroll High School, built the previous year. Development of Alter High School was led by Reverend Paul F. Leibold, and, at the request of the people, the school was named after Archbishop Karl Alter. Archbishop Karl Alter was born on August 18, 1885, and died on August 23, 1977.

The school saw its first students on September 5, 1962, with an incoming class of 250 freshmen. In each of the next three years a new freshman class would be added, so, by the year 1965, the school offered grades 9 through 12, with the first class graduating in 1966.

Alter High's first principal was Reverend Edward F. Haskamp, serving from 1962 to 1970. In 2005, Alter High named Fr. James Manning, former pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in Kettering, as its first President.


Alter High School's faculty is composed of diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Joseph, and lay teachers.


Alter features a strong STEM Curriculum through a partnership with Project Lead the Way. Alter has earned a Governor's Award for STEM education and has added 6 new labs to the school since 2009. 20 Students participated in the State Science Fair and 4 earned perfect scores in 2014. Every student at Alter is now equipped with a laptop computer complete with Microsoft Office software. The OGT pass rate at Alter is 100%.

The school provides AP classes, which offer the prospect of college credit as well as a weighted grade. Alter students have already proven to consistently exceed state and national test averages due, in part, to the supplemental course offerings they can take, in addition to the ample amounts of study halls offered. Alter graduates commonly attend the University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Wright State University, Miami University (Ohio), Ohio State University, and Ohio University.

The Taylor College Lab at Alter was provided by a generous donation and operated by Sinclair College, it offers students a way to take classes for college credit and remain on Alter's campus. Students may use this facility to take practice exams for ACT, SAT and other academic tests. They may also work on college résumés and applications in the lab and along with the guidance office was responsible for the $15,500,000 full and partial academic, athletic and arts scholarships generated by the Class of 2014.

A student's school day begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 3:05 PM and the schedule was changed for the 2009–2010 school year to include eight 46-minute class periods and a 25-minute lunch period, with three minutes between each period to change classes. This change has allowed the students more flexibility with choosing electives or study halls within their schedules.

Performing arts at Alter[edit]

Alter prides itself that the opportunities it provides to its students are not exclusively academic and athletic - the school offers a number of opportunities in the creative and performing arts. Alter is currently raising money to add an Arts Wing to the school to help the Arts program grow.


Alter students can choose to participate in multiple ensembles during the year: the Marching Knights, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Wind Ensemble, String Ensemble, Woodwind and Brass Ensembles, Winter Guard and Winter Drumline. The music department has been under the direction of Todd Tucker since 2007.[2]

The Marching Knights are the musical ambassadors for Archbishop Alter High School. In addition to their musical support and performances at football games, the band also appears at festivals and in parades in the community. Competitively,The Marching Knights perform on the Mid States Band Association (MSBA) circuit regionally, which includes bands from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan, and the Bands of America (BOA) circuit nationally. The band has been an MSBA Class Champion 9 times since 2012, including a 6-year run from 2012-2017, and in 2022 the Marching Knights captured their first BOA Grand National Class A Championship in Indianapolis. [3][4]

The Marching Knights typically field a membership of 35 students, but see success on the national scale despite their size. The band has been a BOA Regional Finalist by score at multiple competitions since 2012, and in 2016 won Class A at the BOA St. Louis Super Regional, notching their first Class A win at any BOA competition. Due to their performance at the 2013 Atlanta BOA Super Regional, the group was asked by Winter Guard International (WGI) to be one of 3 groups to help pilot their new division, WGI Winds, in the spring of 2014 by performing in exhibition at two WGI regional competitions.

Since 2009, the band has made annual trips to the BOA Grand National Championships in Indianapolis (excepting 2020, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic), and have seen increased success during that span. The Knights first broke into Grand National Semi-Finals in 2013 (i.e., were in the top four Class A bands), marking the first of 4 appearances over the next 5 years, and 6 appearances over the next 10. In 2014 and 2016, the Marching Knights found the podium in addition to their semi-finals appearance, where they finished 3rd in both years. In 2021, at Grand Nationals, the band returned to Semi-Finals for the first time since 2017, finished 2nd, and won the Class A Visual caption, marking both their highest placement to date and their first caption win at Nationals.

In 2022, the Marching Knights won Class A at the Bands of America Grand National Championships with their show "Overjoyed", which featured the music of Stevie Wonder. During their preliminary performance, the band scored an 81.500 and finished 37th, marking their highest overall finish at Grand Nationals. Their score of 79.400 in Semi-Finals is their highest final-show score at Grand Nationals.

Band shows[edit]

Year Show Title MSBA Score MSBA Placement (Class) BOA Score BOA Placement in Class
2007 Cirque Du Soleil 63.7 5th (A) Did not Compete in BOA
2008 Salvation 70.50 7th (tie) (A) Did not Compete in BOA
2009 In the Dark of [K]night 59.6 12th (A) 59.40 13th
2010 The Gift 75.90 5th (A) 60.10 11th
2011 New Orleans Sketches 83.70 2nd (A) 57.95 16th
2012 Blue Moon 88.50 1st (A) 64.90 8th
2013 Magic Show 88.90 1st (A) 69.50 4th*
2014 Assembly Required 77.20 1st (A) 71.25 3rd*
2015 Hangar 18 77.70 1st (A) 71.85 6th
2016 Ghost Story 84.60 1st (A) 73.20 3rd*
2017 arOund 77.50 1st (A) 72.800 4th*
2018 JustinTime 74.80 6th (AA) 66.300 7th
2019 Sherlock 85.8 1st (tie) (AA) 73.950 5th
2020 The Long and Winding Road Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Cancelled Due to COVID-19
2021 Feels So Good 79.5 1st (A) 74.850 2nd*
2022 Overjoyed 80.2 1st (A) 79.400 1st*

*Semi-Finals Appearance

Winter Guard shows:

2014 Seize the Day
2015 Music Box
2016 It Gets Better
2017 Rise to Power
2018 The Original Imagineer
2019 Workin' it Out!

WGI Winds

2014 Magic Show (as exhibition)
2015 fiVe
2016-Present: Did not compete


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Alter's theatre program grew into its own department with additional classes and very impressive productions. Several shows since 2001 have brought first and second place state awards in categories of Group Musical, Solo, Lighting, Sound, Design, Duet and Playwrighting, including How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Teahouse of the August Moon, Anything Goes and Cabaret. Alter has gained acclaim within the Miami Valley for excellence in arts education. This due to strong support from the community and administration and a tradition of excellence over the years by theatre directors Bob Heman, Trace Crawford, Bryan Wallingford, Katie Arber, and (currently) Megan Wean-Sears. The school's Theatre department has produced many stellar productions (see list below). Another unique facet of the program is Alter's Thespian Troupe (#5802), a chapter of an international organization dedicated to the celebration of achievement in theatre arts education. Alter proudly takes place in many thespian-related activities.[5]

Past productions[edit]

Clubs and activities[edit]

The school's Latin Club functions as a local chapter of both the Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL)[7] and the National Junior Classical League (NJCL).[8]


Archbishop Alter High School's team nickname is the Knights; their colors are brown and gold. In general, both the boys' and girls' teams belong to the GCL-CoEd (Greater Catholic League).

Home basketball and volleyball games are played in the school gym. The school also owns a soccer field encircled by a track, where the soccer team plays its home games and the track and field team practices. Although they have a four lane track, Alter High School does not own a football field, so home football games are typically held at other local high schools such as Fairmont High School or Centerville High School. The head football coach is Ed Domsitz and he has led the Alter Knights to 5 final four state championship appearances, including two back-to-back state championships in 2008 and 2009.

Ohio High School Athletic Association state championships[edit]

Other athletic accomplishments[edit]

  • Boys' Tennis - team state champs 1976*
  • Girls' Tennis - team state champs 2001*
  • Boys Volleyball - team state champs 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017*
*Note - The OHSAA does not hold team state championship tournaments for tennis or boys volleyball. Rather, they are administered by the state coaches' association of their respective sports.

Boys' sports[edit]

A full listing of the boys' sports offered at Alter High School:

Girls' sports[edit]

A full listing of the girls' sports offered at Alter High School:


Alter High has a number of sports rivals. Depending on the sport, the school's biggest games each year are against local public school rivals Kettering Fairmont High School (Ohio) or Centerville High School. Chaminade-Julienne High School, Bishop Fenwick High School (Franklin, Ohio) and Carroll High School are the three local Catholic School rivals. Alter has won 10 GCL All-Sports Trophies in a row.


Alter High School is marked by the school spirit of its students. Every Friday is Spirit Day, on which students are allowed to wear a spirit shirt of the school colors along with the standard uniform pants. Sporting events, especially football and basketball games, are well-attended by students. A tradition of dress up "themes" for each of the home football games has developed as a fun display of school spirit. Past themes include "Knight Night" and "Alter Teacher Night." The theme of the homecoming game is always "Toga Night." Pep rallies are common on the days of rivalry games.

Alma mater[edit]

The alma mater is played by the school band at the end of every pep rally and on various other occasions. While it is played, students extend their arms over the shoulders and neck of those to their left and right and sway together with the music. When the lyrics reach "High in Hope and Spirit," the student unjoin and proceed to raise and lower their right arms, index finger extended as if pointing, holding the position at the end of each line until the song ends. The Alma Mater was written by one of the first nuns to teach at the school.

Fight song[edit]

Although not as common as the Alma Mater, Alter High School also has a fight song. This may be sung on occasions such as a team bus ride to a sporting event or after a victory, but is most commonly sung on the bus after a football victory. After the game, the team will go over to the student section and sing the fight song. The Fight Song was written by one of the first nuns to teach at Alter.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ARCHBISHOP ALTER HIGH SCHOOL". Private School Universe Survey. National Center for Education Statistics. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ Admin. "Music". Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  3. ^ "Results". BOA Marching Championships. Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  4. ^ "2022 Season". Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  5. ^ "Theatre". Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  6. ^ Was in the musical that year.
  7. ^ "OJCL Chapter List". - August 2001. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. 2010. Archived from the original on August 9, 2001. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  8. ^ "OJCL Constitution". - July 2002. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2002. Retrieved August 16, 2010. ... by paying both OJCL annual chapter dues and any annual chapter membership dues required by NJCL.
  9. ^ a b c OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  10. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Basketball". Archived from the original on 13 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-12.

External links[edit]