Chesterton High School

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Chesterton High School
2125 S. 11th Street
Chesterton, Indiana
Coordinates 41°35′18″N 87°03′54″W / 41.5884°N 87.0650°W / 41.5884; -87.0650Coordinates: 41°35′18″N 87°03′54″W / 41.5884°N 87.0650°W / 41.5884; -87.0650
Type Public high school
Established 1922
Principal Jeff Van Drie
Faculty 155 [1]
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1953[2]
Athletics Football, Cross Country, Soccer, Golf, Basketball, Swimming and Diving, Wrestling, Baseball, Track and Field, Volleyball, Tennis, Gymnastics and Softball[3]
Mascot Trojan
Information (219) 983-3730
Colors Maroon      & Gold     

Chesterton High School in Chesterton, Indiana is a member of the Duneland Athletic Conference. The high school is located at 2125 S. 11th Street and is part of the Duneland School Corporation.[4] The current principal is Jeffrey Van Drie.


In 1833, Jesse Morgan, the area's first postmaster, opened the first educational institution for Duneland locals.[5] That school sufficed the community until William Thomas II donated land and offered to help build a two-room schoolhouse in 1840. When the building was finally finished in 1852, there were some local complaints of "its rickety conditions." Twenty-five years later, in 1877, $6,000 was spent on creating Chesterton's first high school. Within only a few years, overcrowding became a problem, and the school received a four-room addition in 1890.[6]

This building worked for some time, but complications such as a broken furnace, led to the school building being torn down in 1911. After some property disputes with a local church, it was replaced with a more spacious, two-story school. The community outgrew this school yet again, and in 1921 a school was created specifically for high-schoolers. The school was three stories tall and possessed an auditorium that could seat 750. After spending $175,000, Westchester Township High School opened on December 14, 1922, and was hailed by locals as a wonderful building.[7]

As a result of the area's growth, many classrooms were added to the high school in early 1950. In 1958, a school board was formally created, with Lyle K. Klitzke serving as the school corporation's first superintendent. Later that year, the board declared their intentions to build a nearly $600,000 high school gym, later to be named after teaching legend Mr. Goldsborough.

In April 1959, the high school principal Dunbar resigned over a $400 decrease in his expense account. In protest, 35 of the 38 high school teachers submitted conditional resignations, threatening to quit unless the superintendent and members of the school board resign. Fears arose over potentially losing accreditation, and many tense school board meetings followed pressuring Klitzke to "quit". In June, George Kriviskey was hired to replace Dunbar. By that July, 30 of the 38 teachers had resigned but the school corporation replaced these resigning individuals.

Throughout the 1960s, Westchester School Corporation built a new high school and later, in 1968, Westchester School Corporation merged with Liberty Township School Corporation to become Duneland School Corporation. To deal with the now larger enrollment, the current high school building was combined with a local elementary school.

This high school was adequate for a while but in the 1990s, the school started to become overcrowded again. In June 1991, CHS Principal Dirk Baer requested a new high school. In November 1992, a school committee recommended creating a new high school and later that month, the Duneland School Board agreed to purchase 92 acres at Meridian Road and 1100N. IN 1995, the school board unanimously agreed to the creation of the new high school and committed over seventy million dollars to the project. On August 21, 2000, the new Chesterton High School building was opened. The old high school building was able to consolidate Liberty and Westchester middle schools into what is now Chesterton Middle School.


In 2010, 0.3% of students were of Native American heritage, 1.1% of students were of Asian descent, 1.7% of students were African-Americans, 5.7% of students were Hispanics, 88.7% of students were Caucasian, and 2.4% of students identified with more than one race.[8] 13.7% of students in attendance were enrolled in one or more special education programs.


Chesterton High School is part of the Duneland School Corporation. The graduation rate was nearly 90%. The composite SAT and ACT scores were 1543 and 23, respectively. The school offers four Advanced Placement exams: Biology, US History, Literature and Composition and AP Calculus AB. Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, Chesterton High School began to also offer the AP Calculus BC course. Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, Chesterton High School also began offering International Baccalaureate diplomas.[9] The high school, offers the Indiana Core 40 Diploma with the option for Academic or Technical Honors. Beginning in 2010-2011 school year, Chesterton High School transitioned to a weighted grade system.[10]

The high school also offers dual credit through Purdue North Central for select courses. Juniors and seniors also have the ability to take vocational classes through the Porter County Career and Technical Center.[11] Seniors also can cadet teach at local elementary schools.

School typically begins during the last week of August and is in-session until the first week of June, for a total of 180 days of instruction. The high school subscribes to a block schedule with four 90 minute classes that rotate with corresponding Maroon and Gold days. Students are required to set aside one block for study hall.

School recognition[edit]

Academic Wall of Fame[edit]

Chesterton High School recognizes its top ten students of each class with a picture, class rank, and cumulative GPA on the wall outside the auditorium.

Academic teams[edit]

Academic Super Bowl[edit]

Academic Super Bowl is a local and state competition involving five member teams of students from all grade levels, with members learning detailed information about events and discoveries that occurred over a certain time.[12] The team has historically excelled in the Math subcategory and has consistently won the PNC Invitational.


Chesterton's Business Professionals of America team has always been strong, normally advancing nearly everyone past district competition and to the state tournament taking place in Indianapolis. The team normally has five students qualify to compete at the National Tournament each year.[citation needed]

Quiz Bowl[edit]

In 2011, the quiz bowl team won the DAC meet, placed sixth in the state, and participated in Lakeshore Public Television's first season of "Making the Grade," where team members won the tournament. In 2012, the team won the DAC again.[citation needed]

Science Olympiad[edit]

Chesterton High School's Science Olympiad has historically performed well at Regionals and State. While experiencing a slight decline in the late 2000s, Chesterton's team underwent a resurgence in 2009. In 2011, Chesterton received two individual event medals at the state tournament and in 2012, Chesterton High School qualified to compete yet again at the state tournament.[13]

Speech and debate[edit]

Chesterton High School has a strong history in Speech and Debate. Since its founding in 1971, Chesterton has had over 100 students qualify to compete at the National Tournament and won the National Tournament in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993. (After 1993, the National Forensics League stopped recognizing team national championships.) Individually, seven people have won a national title, most recently at the 2010 National Tournament, where Tyler Fabbri won first place in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking.[14] The debate team won its fifth straight state title in 2012. The Speech and Debate team is co-directed by Chris Lowery and Robert Kelly.



Boys swimming has won state three times. With Local swim coach Jim Voss of Duneland Swim Club, that has sent more than 3 people to the Olympic trial's Also with High school Coach Kevin Kineal that was won "1# high school coach in the nation" In the 2013-2014 season the Boys Swimming and Diving team won the title of 1# in the nation.


Both the Chesterton High School boys and girls soccer teams play in the Duneland Athletic Conference. They have both reached the State finals for the IHSAA State championship, most recently the boys team in 2007, eventually losing to Evansville Memorial by a score of 1-0. Both teams have had success on the conference level with the boys being most recently co-champions in 2011.


Chesterton High School offers many different ways for students to get in touch with their "creative" side as well.


Throughout the year, three productions are created. The first production is in the fall. This play's format changes the most from year to year. In the 2011-2012 school year, the fall play was a dinner theater production catered by local businesses. The winter production is a children's play, with 3rd graders from surrounding elementary schools coming to watch the performances and getting a behind-the-scenes tour. The largest production is the Spring Musical, where student thespians and musicians perform together. Recent musicals have been Grease, The Drowsy Chaperone, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Guys and Dolls. Chesterton's 2007 performance of Guys and Dolls was nationally recognized, being called an "extraordinary high school production" by USA Weekend Magazine.[15]


Main article: WDSO

WDSO 88.3 is a radio station located at Chesterton High School, with its transmitter located at Chesterton Middle School . WDSO is a non-profit high school station.[16] All of the disc jockeys are high school students, ranging from freshmen to seniors. To be a part of the radio station, students must take the Introduction to Radio/Video. To become a DJ, the student must complete a series of Learn/Test tasks. The station subscribes to a variety format while also providing sports coverage.

Notable alumni[edit]