Fort Dodge Senior High School

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Fort Dodge Senior High School
819 North 25th Street

Fort Dodge
United States
Coordinates42°30′47″N 94°09′47″W / 42.513°N 94.163°W / 42.513; -94.163Coordinates: 42°30′47″N 94°09′47″W / 42.513°N 94.163°W / 42.513; -94.163
TypePublic High School
School districtFort Dodge Community School District
SuperintendentDouglas Van Zyl
PrincipalKenneth Hayes
Enrollment1,119 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s)Crimson and Black          
RivalMason City
NewspaperLittle Dodger
YearbookBig Dodger

Fort Dodge Senior High (commonly abbreviated FDSH) is the only secular high school in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The school is located in the north-central part of Fort Dodge between Martin Luther King Drive and North 25th Street.


Currently covering 248,300 square feet (23,070 m2), Fort Dodge Senior High School was built in 1958, replacing the 1922 building. The swimming pool and additional physical education areas were completed in 1974. The last addition, the vocational area, was completed in 1979. Its open-floor design and industrial-style architecture is representative of the spacious neo-futuristic school designs that originated in California and other warmer climates during the middle to late 1950s. In 2008 and 2009, the kitchen, cafeteria, and surrounding sections of the interior received extensive renovations, part of a five-year plan to improve the student environment and to update the decor. The band, choir, and orchestra rooms were remodeled in 2009. Additional renovations are planned to classroom areas as well as athletic/fitness facilities. These updates are expected to cost more than $50 million and are planned to be completed in short phases over many years.


Brick-walled Dodger Stadium is home to Fort Dodge Senior High football, baseball, soccer and track teams. It is also home to Saint Edmond Catholic High School and Iowa Central Community College football teams. It remains one of the state's best athletic facilities, with permanent seating for 5,000 persons in the two concrete bleacher sections. The stadium is located in the north central section of the community on an 18-acre (73,000 m2) tract of land. Built in 1939–1940, Dodger Stadium is a product of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to get depression-era America back to work. In 2008, the school district received just under $1,000,000 in pledges for private donations to renovate the stadium's locker rooms and grandstands and replace the natural grass playing surface with artificial turf. Work was completed on the turf in August 2008, with the inaugural game taking place on August 29, 2008. Renovation plans for the restroom and locker room areas have stalled due to lack of funding. Also included in the plan are new bleachers and a new scoreboard.

Fort Dodge Senior High School hosts the Iowa Girls' High School Athletic Union's state softball tournament and the Iowa High School Athletic Association's state cross country championships. The softball tournament is held at Harlan Rogers Sports Complex, while the cross country championships are located at Lakeside Golf Course at John F. Kennedy Park.


Music has been a popular elective at Fort Dodge Senior High since the beginning of the 20th century. The famous march composer Karl L. King wrote and conducted the majority of his music in Fort Dodge from 1920 to 1971, making marching band a popular activity for students and the community. The All-American Dodger Marching Band performs at all varsity home football games and competes in several regional field marching competitions throughout the year. The marching band performed during halftime of the 2010 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, TX and the 2014 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. The various school bands have received several awards and recognitions for excellence in concert music.

Choir has also been popular with FDSH students. In 1931, music teacher J. Howard Orth founded The A Cappella Choir, a concert choir for mixed voices. The choir has traveled and performed throughout the United States. In 2010 The A Cappella Choir was invited to perform at the Dorian Invitational Choral Festival at Luther College. Today the choir program offers four curricular choirs, two extra-curricular choirs, independent study in composition, and music appreciation.

Every Spring, FDSH's choir students perform a musical. These productions have taken place every year since 1927, making it the longest consecutively running high school musical theatre tradition in the United States. The Spring of 2018 marked the 91st annual musical with the performance of Beauty and the Beast. Senior High's 90th Annual Musical, The Pajama Game, gained multiple recognitions from the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, including Outstanding Musical Production. In 1990, The A Cappella Choir performed the amateur debut of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.

Notable alumni[edit]

Gerald Menefee - Author

  • Dale Warland – acclaimed choral conductor and composer
  • Steve Stark – television producer, production manager, casting, and actor


  1. ^ "Fort Dodge High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 18, 2019.

External links[edit]