John F. Kennedy High School (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

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Cedar Rapids-Kennedy High School
4545 Wenig Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
United States
Type Public
Established 1967
School district Cedar Rapids Community School District
Principal Jason Kline
Grades 9-12
Enrollment Over 1800
Color(s) Green and Gold
Mascot Cougar
Affiliation Mississippi Valley Conference

Kennedy High School is a public high school located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that is known for academics, athletics and the performing arts. Kennedy was founded in 1967. The building was dedicated by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, younger brother of the school's namesake President John F. Kennedy. The school's athletic teams are known as the Cougars.


Kennedy is regularly recognized U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek as one of the best high schools nationwide. In 2013, Kennedy was ranked as the best high school in Iowa and the 550th-best high school in the country by U.S. News and World Report.[1] In 2012, Kennedy appeared on Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools, which highlights the top 1,000 public high schools in the nation.[2] Kennedy offers 32 Advanced Placement classes, including AP Chinese.[3] Kennedy is well known for its high AP scores; in 2012, the school placed third on the Iowa AP Index, a ranking system developed by the University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Center.[4] The Iowa AP Index recognizes AP participation among public and private high schools in Iowa.


The Kennedy Cougars are one of the best teams in all-around sports in the Mississippi Valley Conference. The Cougars have won five consecutive Cedar Rapids Men's All-Sports Titles. The Cougar Golf Team has been a top-ranked state team for the past 3 years with 3rd, 4th, and 2nd-place finishes. The Cougars won a State Baseball Championship in 2010. The Cougars also won the Girls State Soccer Championship in 2012 after upsetting top-ranked Ankeny in the finals.[5]

Performing Arts[edit]

Kennedy has a long tradition of excellence in the performing arts, starting with the school's varsity show choir, Happiness, Inc. The first show choir west of the Mississippi, Happiness was named "America's Favorite Show Choir" by Parade Magazine in 2011.[6] Happiness placed first in FAME National Show Choir Championship in 2003 [7] and at the 2012 Show Choir Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee.[8] Happiness is also well known for its aggressive fundraising campaign through the sale of baked goods made by the members. Kennedy's prep show choir is known as Protégé, and the freshman show choir is known as Chanteurs, with each winning multiple awards for their divisions at several competitions over the years. Kennedy's band participated in the Chicago 2006 Heritage Festival. The award-winning Kennedy Orchestra is conducted by John Hall.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "John F. Kennedy High School: Overview". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "America's Best High Schools". Newsweek. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Academics". John F. Kennedy High School. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "The 2012 Iowa AP Index". Belin-Blank Center. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Birch, Tommy. "State girls' soccer: Kennedy stuns Ankeny in Class 3-A final". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "America's Favorite Show Choir". Parade Magazine. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Past Show Choir National Champions". FAME Productions. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "2012 Show Choir Nationals Results". Show Choir Nationals. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Love, Orlan (1 May 2012). "Medal of Honor winner presents scholarship to Kennedy senior". The Gazette. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Shawn Sedlacek Statistics and History". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Wilcke, Nathan (4 March 2005). "Anne O'Neil: Finally home". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°1′29″N 91°40′51″W / 42.02472°N 91.68083°W / 42.02472; -91.68083