Francis Howell Central High School

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Francis Howell Central High
5199 Highway N
Cottleville, Missouri 63304
United States
Coordinates 38°44′51″N 90°38′43″W / 38.74759°N 90.64527°W / 38.74759; -90.64527Coordinates: 38°44′51″N 90°38′43″W / 38.74759°N 90.64527°W / 38.74759; -90.64527
Type Public
Established 1997
School district Francis Howell School District
Principal Sonny Arnel
Staff 140
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1907
Color(s) Blue and silver
Mascot Spartan

Francis Howell Central High School (FHC) is the third high school created in the Francis Howell School District. The school is located in Cottleville, Missouri, but a large part of its student population comes from its larger neighbor St. Peters. Home of the Spartans, Francis Howell Central is a four-year comprehensive high school offering programs in college preparatory, vocational, honors/advanced credit, advanced placement and a special education program.[citation needed]

Brief history[edit]

FHC opened in the fall of 1997 with only freshmen and sophomore students. The school had been built in a series of phases; much of what is visible today had not yet been constructed at the time of its opening. The school's first principal was Don Muench. The building opened with relatively few teachers, due to low student enrollment at the time. Eventually the school expanded to include junior and senior grades as well.

In 2001, Steve Griggs was hired as the new building principal. Griggs remained principal until 2006, when he transferred to a new position in the district's administration. Jack Ameis, former administrator at Francis Howell North High School, served as the interim principal for the 2006-2007 school year. Starting with the 2007-2008 school year, Sonny Arnel returned to Central to serve as head principal. The school enrollment currently hovers around 2,000 students.

The school's mascot is King Leo the Spartan.

In 2013, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a law that allowed students attending unaccredited school districts to transfer to other schools. A lawful decision was made that students from a neighboring predominately Black Normandy District would to attend the majority white Francis Howell School District.[1]

This led to Francis Howell district parents voicing concerns against the transfer of students even though they would pay out-of-district tuition. The town hall meeting went on for over two hours with almost 3,000 people in attendance.[2] One parent at Francis Howell Central High School stated : “I deserve to not have to worry about my children getting stabbed, or taking a drug, or getting robbed" which was supported by many cheers.[2] Many of these parents were later criticized by some as racist and classist.[3][4] Other parents drew similarities between their current controversy and that of desegregation busing during the Civil Rights Movement.[3][2]

In 2014, the Francis Howell School District decided to no longer take out-of-district tuition and he Missouri State Board of Education to reconstitute the Normandy District as the Normandy Schools Collaborative and eliminate its “unaccredited” status.[5]


In May 2011, the Don Muench Memorial Stadium was host to the Missouri District Track Meet. The following MSHSAA sanctioned activities are available at Central:[6]


Students attending Francis Howell Central have clubs to choose from including the following:[7]

  • Arete
  • BreakdownFHC
  • DECA
  • Drama
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Future Business Leaders of America
  • National Art Honor Society
  • National Honor Society
  • Chemistry club
  • Spartan table tennis
  • Speech and debate
  • Student Council
  • Ultimate frisbee

Spartan Regiment[edit]

The Spartan Regiment is FHC's marching band. The band also raised $2000 in 2010 for the St. James Marching Band, whose members were involved in a bus crash.[8]

Student publications[edit]

The monthly student-run newspaper is the Central Focus. Its staff also runs a website,[9] The Odyssey is the yearbook published yearly by the yearbook staff.

FHC Spotlight Players[edit]

The members of Francis Howell Central's theatrical department are the Spotlight Players. At the 2013 Missouri Thespian Conference the Spotlight Players' Tech Challenge team placed first in state.[citation needed]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Francis Howell community is who we thought they were". Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Calhoun, Michael. "Francis Howell Parents Air Concerns, Fears About Pending Transfers". Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "In Missouri, Race Complicates a Transfer to Better Schools". The New York Times. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Appalled by stereotyping of Normandy students". Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "Francis Howell won't take any more Normandy students". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  6. ^ "Complete Sports Listing - Francis Howell Central". 
  7. ^ "Clubs/Activities - Francis Howell Central". 
  8. ^ "Francis Howell Central Marching Band raises money for St. James band". 
  9. ^ " : The online home of the Central Focus". 

External links[edit]