Washington High School (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
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|Cedar Rapids-Washington High School|
|2205 Forest Drive Southeast
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403
|Number of students||1700|
|Color(s)||Red and Blue|
|Affiliation||Mississippi Valley Conference|
Built in 1855, the original Washington High School—although not yet known by that name—opened in 1857. In 1869, it narrowed from a general school to a high school. Originally called "the schoolhouse", the "Cedar Rapids graded school," and the "second ward school", it received its current name in 1875 when all the Cedar Rapids schools were named for presidents. The oldest building was called Washington School. In 1887, Abbie S. Abbott began her 34-year tenure as Washington High School principal. The school was expanded in 1910 to help deal with over-crowding, but the expanded room from the addition did not hold out for long. The nearby vocational school Grant School was converted to a regular high school to reduce the burden. However, deteriorating conditions at the original structure led to its abandonment in 1935. Four junior high schools in the area, which had been expanded in preparation, were converted to joint junior/senior high schools.
The present Washington High School
September 3, 1957, was the first day of school at new Washington. Washington began with grades 10-12 and did not become a four-year high school until 1987.
In 1961, 17,625,904 square feet (1,637,500.1 m2) of classroom space were added to the south end of the building–12 classrooms. In 1971, the area under the library was enclosed to provide new office space for the counselors. In 1990, a new gymnasium was built to accommodate the increasing number of recognition assemblies.
In 2003, a large wing of six classrooms and six science laboratories was added to the southwest corner of the building. At the same time, a new band room was completed and the entire original music area was remodeled to house the growing vocal and string orchestra programs.
The first principal, Fred J. Kluss, had been principal at Roosevelt before coming to Washington in 1957. Kluss was succeeded as principal by Don Birdsell who served for three years. Robert O. Fitzsimmons became Washington’s principal in 1962. Donald G. Nau took over as Washington principal in the middle of the 1966–67 school year. Ralph Plagman has been principal at Washington High School since 1981.
In 2007 Washington High School opened an art gallery to feature the works of famous Washington alumni. The gallery includes works by Grant Wood and Marvin Cone, who both graduated in 1910 at the "old Washington" school. The centerpiece of the gallery is an original mural painted in 1927 by Grant Wood called Kanesville.
- Adrian Arrington - former wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints.
- Ashton Kutcher - actor, (Two and a Half Men)
- Rob Bruggeman, center for the Atlanta Falcons.
- Arthur A. Collins, while still a 15-year-old student at Washington High School, gained fame when he used a radio he built to make contact with the MacMillan expedition in Greenland. Later he was first to make radio contact with Admiral Byrd at the South Pole. In 1933, he started Collins Radio Company and was president of the company for 40 years. He personally held 16 patents.
- Marvin Cone, Class of 1910, became a prominent American painter and long-time Coe art professor. Cone was a close friend of Grant Wood, and together they created the Stone City Art Colony that assembled a group of regionalist painters.
- Don DeFore - Actor best known for his roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Hazel.
- Paul Engle - American poet. Director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and founder of the International Writing Program.
- John Lipsky (1964) Acting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
- George Nissen - developer of the modern trampoline.
- Tyler Olson - Iowa State Representative from the 65th District.
- Beardsley Ruml - former dean of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.
- William L. Shirer - journalist and war correspondent for the Chicago Tribune who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
- Carl Van Vechten - writer, photographer and patron of the Harlem Renaissance movement.
- Dedric Ward - former coach and wide receiver in the NFL.
- Grant Wood - American painter famous for his depictions of America's rural midwest and for his painting American Gothic. Wood graduated from Washington High School in 1910.
- "All Set". Cedar Rapids Gazette. June 14, 1887. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
- Shrader, Gus (April 16, 1957). "Red Peppers". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Vote Tuesday on Warriors, Eagles For New School". Cedar Rapids Gazette. May 17, 1957. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "School Board Lists Teacher Assignments". Cedar Rapids Gazette. January 22, 1957. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Washington High Principal Named". Cedar Rapids Gazette. June 8, 1960. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "New C.R. Residents: Principal and Medical Director". Cedar Rapids Gazette. November 4, 1962. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- "Robert Fitzsimmons Named Kennedy School Principal". Cedar Rapids Gazette. August 16, 1966. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
- Christie Wallace (April 7, 1981). "Plagman new Wash principal". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
- Angela Meng (April 2, 2006). "A place of honor". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Kristina Gleeson (April 19, 2007). "C.R. Washington commemorates artists". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "Washington High School Officially Opens Art Gallery". Cedar Rapids Community Schools. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- "Washington Art Gallery Home To Grant Wood Original". Cedar Rapids Community Schools. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Jeff Johnson (January 3, 2011). "Former Washington star Arrington has big NFL debut". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Askeland, Kevin (September 6, 2012). "Ashton Kutcher, Will Ferrell make the MaxPreps Hollywood All-Star Football Team". MaxPreps. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- Rob Bruggeman profile, hawkeyesports.com
- "Famous Iowans Collins, Arthur". Des Moines Register.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- Marvin Cone Des Moines Register. October 19, 2009.
- "Don DeFore, Iowan In Hollywood, Still Has Corn-Fed Look". The News and Courier. October 6, 1946. p. 6-D.[dead link]
- Ernest P. Mickel (December 1, 1933). "Cherished Traditions Cling To Old Washington High School, Now To Be Abandoned As Seat Of Learning". Cedar Rapids Tribune. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Ford (2011-05-17). "Cedar Rapids native to lead global agency". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved 2011-05-17.[dead link]
- McDonell, Terry, ed. (April 26, 2010). "For the Record: Died". Sports Illustrated (Time) 112 (18): 18.
- "Tyler Olson - Iowa House Democrats".
- "Carl Van Vechten's Camera Documented Personalities". Cedar Rapids Gazette. March 10, 1971. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- J.R. Ogden (December 26, 2007). "Dedric Ward". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- Kristy Raine (October 2003). "The Stone City Art Colony and School: 1932-1933 Grant Wood". When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony and School. Busse Library. Retrieved November 17, 2012.