Simley High School

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Simley High School
Shs logo2 4.jpg
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
Type Public secondary
Established 1960
School district Independent School District 199
Principal Gerald Sakala
Enrollment approx. 1,100
Color(s) Columbia Blue, Scarlet, & White
Yearbook Simley Spartan Yearbook

Simley High School is a public high school located in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. The school opened in 1961 with a graduating class of 19 pupils. The school currently has approx. 1100 students enrolled in grades 9-12. The current principal is Gerald Sakala.

The school is a member of Independent School District 199 (Inver Grove Schools) and is a member of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). The school is a member of the Metro East Conference. For the last five years, Simley High School has been recognized by the Washington Post as one of the Nation's Best High Schools.

Simley High School was named for I.T. Simley, the retired Superintendent of Schools from South St. Paul who served as a consultant to Inver Grove Heights during the District’s transition years. Simley’s first graduating class was the Class of ’61, with 19 graduates.

Today, Simley High School is a comprehensive secondary school with a student population of about 1,200 in grades nine through twelve. The school is staffed by more than 75 professionals.

Simley is dedicated to excellence in academics, offering more than 230 required and elective trimester courses to allow students to design programs to meet their individual needs and talents. Computers are used in both computer labs and in the classroom.

Advanced classes are offered in mathematics, science, English, social studies, art and more. Students in AP classes are tested in May and may become eligible to earn college credit depending on the results of their AP test. Special education services are available in the areas of learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, mildly/moderately mentally disabled, speech/language delays, and adapted physical education.

Simley's award-winning Alternative Learning Program is a high school educational experience designed to meet the needs of students who, for a variety of reasons, are not successful in the traditional school setting. Challenge based learning opportunities drive the program. Collaboration and technology integration are the two main components of challenge based learning. Students aged 16–21 are eligible to attend the alternative program.

Simley students are able to select activities from a variety of athletic and fine arts programs. In addition, students are challenged in academic organizations such as Knowledge Bowl, Quiz Bowl, Math Team, Speech and Destination ImagiNation.

The school year is divided into three trimesters, spanning approximately twelve weeks in length each. To be eligible for graduation from Simley High School, a student must have earned 66 trimester credits in grades 9-12.

Academic performance[edit]

The Washington Post and Newsweek rankings[edit]

The Washington Post ranked Simley High School 14th-most challenging high school in Minnesota and one of the top 100 in the Midwest. Newsweek named Simley the 24th-best high school in Minnesota.

2012 National Merit Scholarship winner[edit]

  • Avery Garon - National Scholar
  • Kristen Jung - Corporate Scholar
  • Angelina Omodt-Lopez - National Scholar

2013 Team Academic All-State Gold Award[edit]

Simley's girls' track and field team received an Academic All-State gold award from the Minnesota High School Track Coaches Association with a cumulative 3.961 grade-point average. It's the third year in a row that the girls' track team has received the gold award.

2013 Team Academic All-State Gold Award[edit]

  • Simley's gymnastics team received an Academic All-State gold award from the Minnesota Girls' Gymnastics Coaches Association.
  • Simley's wrestling team received an Academic All-State gold award from the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association.

2013 Team Academic All-State Silver Award[edit]

  • Simley's boys' basketball team received an Academic All-State silver award from the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association.

2012 National AP Scholars[edit]

Granted to students in the United States who received an average grade of at least 4 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

  • Aleczander Hartung
  • Kristen Jung

2012 AP Scholars with Distinction - Granted to students who receive an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. 22 Students.

2012 AP Scholars with Honor[edit]

Granted to students who receive an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

  • Simley High School had 26 students achieve AP Scholar with Honor status in 2012.

2012 AP Scholars[edit]

Granted to students who receive grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

  • Simley High School had 43 students achieve AP Scholar status in 2012.

Educator Awards[edit]

2012 TIES Exceptional Teachers[edit]

  • Ron Haala, high school mathematics, Simley High School
  • Lori Haak, high school science, Simley High School


As of 2011, 65% of students are white, 18% of students are Hispanic, 11% of students are black, 5% of students are Asian, and 1% of students are American Indian. Other demographics are as followed. English Learners (May 2012)


Students Whose Primary Language is not English (as of fall 2011)


Students Receiving Special Education Services (May 2012)


Students Receiving Free/Reduced Lunch (May 2012)


Graduation Rate (2011)


Graduates accepted to a four-year college (2012)


Graduates accepted to a two-year college (2012)


Average ACT score (2013)


Average AP score (2011)




The 2014, Simley's baseball team finished with an 11-9 record. They did not make it into the Section tournament. Anthony Poole led the team in strikeouts.

Boys' Basketball

In the 2014-15 season, the Simley Boys' Varsity Basketball team finished with a final record of 18 wins and 8 losses. Their last game of the season was against Saint Paul Johnson in the Section 4AAA Semifinals. The Spartans triumphant run ended with a 93-65 loss with a great effort by Jack Stensgard with 18 points and double figures by others.


Members of the B-Squad, Junior Varsity and Varsity Simley Dance Teams consist of dancers from seventh and eighth grade students of Inver Grove Heights Middle School and freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors of Simley Sr. High School in Inver Grove Heights, MN. In the 2014-2015 season, the Simley Varsity dance team placed 2nd in kick and 1st in jazz in the section tournament. In the MN State Tournament, they placed 8th and 9th respectively. There was a controversy regarding the Fairbault dance team and plagiarism. The state tournament resulted in the other five metal winners bunching together leaving the Fairbault team alone.


The Simley Golf team had two participants in the state tournament last year. Senior Nick Battis and Junior Aaron Leafgren participated in the tournament. Mitch Vogel, a senior was lucky enough to get an ace during a tryout round at Inverwood Golf Course on the par 3 6th hole.

Boys' Hockey

In the 2014-2015 season, the boys finished with a decent record. The Spartans did not make the State Tournament, however. The Spartans are coached by Austin Kryzer. They play at the Veteran's Memorial Community Center up the street from the school. The Spartans have made two state tournament appearances in 1996 and 2003.


In 2014, the Varsity Football team made a very impressive run at 10 wins and 4 losses. They lost 41-19 to Mankato West in the State Championship game. The Spartans were led by Michael Avwunuma, Jack Ryan, Cole Veith, and Michael Busch.


The Simley Spartans have won the state championship under Will Short more than 4 times since 2000, including, most recently, the state championship in 2015.

Academic Activities[edit]

First Robotics Team
Speech Team
Math Team
Simley Theatre Guild:
Quiz Bowl Team
German Club
The Spartan Spotlight: A school news show put on by students each week.
Simley Marching Band International Club
National Honors Society
Spanish Club:


Simley High School joined a new conference in the 2014-2015 school year: The Metro East Conference. They joined this conference after the Classic Suburban Conference dissolved. The schools include:

  • Hastings High School
  • Henry Sibley High School
  • Hill-Murray High School
  • Mahtomedi Senior High School
  • North St. Paul High School
  • Simley High School
  • South St. Paul High School
  • Tartan Senior High School

Renovations and Additions[edit]

In Fall of 2015, Simley High School completed construction on a large-state of the art performing arts center addition, as well as other facilities improvements.[citation needed]


External links[edit]