Kirkwood High School

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Kirkwood High School
801 W Essex Ave, Kirkwood, Missouri
United States
Coordinates 38°35′29″N 90°25′24″W / 38.59139°N 90.42333°W / 38.59139; -90.42333
Type Public secondary
Established 1955
School district Kirkwood R-7
Principal Dr. Mike Havener
Grades 9 to 12
Number of students 1,884 (2009-10)
Campus size 47 acres (190,000 m2)
Campus type Suburban
Color(s) Red and white         
Mascot Pioneers
Rival Webster Groves High School
Superintendent Thomas Williams

Kirkwood High School is a public secondary school in Kirkwood, Missouri, United States. The school is part of the Kirkwood R-7 School District. The current principal is Dr. Mike Havener. Kirkwood High School is regularly ranked among the top high schools in the state of Missouri, a 2016 Niche report placed Kirkwood High School as being the 2nd best high school in the state.


Kirkwood High School as an academic institution dates back to 1865, when the Kirkwood School District was founded. A temporary building opened in the fall of 1866; high school and elementary students attended school together. Jefferson Avenue School was the district's first formal school and was built in 1869. The Booker T. Washington School, which opened in 1869 at 430 West Adams Avenue[1][2] near Geyer Road was built for African-American students to attend. In 1888, the district built the Adams Avenue School next to the Jefferson School, which offered a two-year high school program for students completing elementary grades. In 1896, Kirkwood offered the first four-year high school program in St. Louis County; 10 students were members of the first graduating class in the spring of 1897. In 1922, a new, four-year high school was built on Kirkwood Road, where Nipher Middle School is currently located.

The current campus of Kirkwood High School was opened in 1955 on a 47-acre (190,000 m2) campus and was designed with seven buildings set on a college-like campus. Both Caucasian and African-American students were allowed to attend. New facilities from a 1993 tax/bond issue (Proposition I) included the Thomas N. Keating Performance Center, a fine arts complex that features an 821-seat theater, band, art and vocal music classrooms. The privately funded Walker Commons enclosed the theater lobby area connecting the Center to the main campus. Due to community support of Proposition I in April 2005, the new science building opened in August 2007. The science facility was designed to reflect current research and best practices in science education. The two-story structure measures 51,000 square feet (4,700 m2) and features 15 combined science classrooms/laboratories, five each for chemistry, biology and physics. Each classroom/laboratory averages about 1,500 square feet (140 m2) and is designed to facilitate the movement of students from discussion to hands-on activities. The district was also pleased to have the support of the Kirkwood School District Foundation, which volunteered to raise $1.6 million in private funds to ensure students had immediate access to the science equipment and technology needed to mirror the recommendations in the National Science Foundation report to Congress. Also part of Prop I, construction of a new regulation-size gymnasium and renovation of the existing physical education facility began in the summer of 2007. The new facility was scheduled for completion in 2008 and was completed in March of that year. Prop I also funded a variety of infrastructure improvements at KHS including installation of a new fire alarm and sprinkler system as well as a decentralized heating and cooling system. In 2010, the Kirkwood High School Symphonic Orchestra traveled (in March) to New York to play at Carnegie Hall. During most of the year construction was made for a new football field and track. With the football finished in October and the track finished in early 2011. In March 2013, the Kirkwood Symphonic Orchestra traveled to New York once again to compete in the National Orchestra Cup at the Lincoln Center in Alice Tully Hall. They received third place.


"The mission of the Kirkwood School District R-7, in a cooperative effort with parents and community, is to provide a world-class education to empower all learners to make wise choices throughout their lives and become assets to society." (Approved on February 3, 1993 by the Kirkwood R-7 School Board of Education)


Boys basketball[edit]

The program was started by Denver Miller, who coached for 43 years at Kirkwood, earning 790 victories and induction into the Missouri Basketball Hall of Fame. During its history the team has earned 21 district championships and has advanced to the Show-Me Showdown (Missouri's Final Four) eight times.


Kirkwood High School has a long-running football tradition that dates back over a hundred years. The rivalry between Kirkwood and the nearby high school, Webster Groves High School, culminates every year on Thanksgiving, at their "Turkey Day" game. In early 2010 construction began to make a new field. After the project was delayed because of the removal of water pipes that were deep in the ground, the first home game on the new Fieldturf was played on October 1. The current head coach of the Kirkwood Varsity Team is Farrell Shelton. The Kirkwood football team has made it to the State Final Championship game twice, in 2006 and in 2011, and placed second both times. The Kirkwood Pioneers became state champions for the first time in 2012, defeating Fort Osage (Independence, Mo) High School 32-7 to conclude a perfect 13-0 record, a number one ranking in the state of Missouri, and a number seventeen ranking nationally by the USA Today. The Kirkwood Pioneers won their second State Championship in 2016 by defeating Blue Springs High School 31-14.


Class 4A State Volleyball Champions 1986. High school champions

School profile[edit]

  • Grades 9-12
  • Total enrollment: approx. 2,000 (2010-2011 School year)
  • First graduating class: 1897, 10 students
  • Senior class of 2010: 405
  • Senior class of 2011: 396
  • Student/teacher ratio: 18:1
  • Rate of attendance: 97.3%
  • Graduation rate: 99.5%
  • Average composite ACT score: 24
  • 2011 National Merit Finalists: 7
  • 2011 National Merit Semifinalists: 7
  • 2011 National Merit Commended students: 9


  • Average years of experience: 12.604 years
  • Teachers with advanced degrees: 87.9%

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Elementary School Principals". The National elementary Principal. 22: 580. 1942. Retrieved 23 September 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  2. ^ Jones, Gladys Gray (6 December 1947). "Suburban Kirkwood Residents Are Homebuilders" (PDF). The Pittsburg Courier. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Bolten, Mark. "Architect Robert Schutt and his Home in Oakland" (PDF). Retrieved May 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]