Wausau East High School

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Coordinates: 44°58′52″N 89°35′51″W / 44.9812°N 89.5975°W / 44.9812; -89.5975

Wausau East High School
WEHS Logo.jpg
2607 N. 18th Street
Wausau, Wisconsin 54403
United States
Type Public Secondary
Motto Everyone Achieves Success Together
Founded 1898 (1898) Wausau High School
1936 Wausau Senior High School
1970 (1970) Wausau East High School
School district Wausau School District
NCES District ID 5515900[1]
CEEB code 502415
NCES School ID 551590002063[2]
Principal Bradley J. Peck
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1020 (2015-2016 [4])
 • Grade 9 233
 • Grade 10 259
 • Grade 11 229
 • Grade 12 299
Color(s) Red      Black      White     
Mascot The Lumberjacks
Rival Wausau West High School
Accreditation Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
USNWR ranking Unranked (2016) [3]
Publication The Skyrocket
Yearbook The WAHISCAN

Wausau East High School is a comprehensive public secondary school in Wausau, Wisconsin. Originally named Wausau High School, it became Wausau East with the opening of Wausau West High School in the early 1970s. Part of the Wausau School District, the school enrolled 1,322 students in grades 9 through 12 as of 2007.[5] The principal is Bradley J. Peck.

The school newspaper, published since 1921, is The Skyrocket. The yearbook, published since 1915, is the WAHISCAN or Wausau High School Annual. The school's colors are red and white. Its mascot is a lumberjack because of the historical significance of the lumber industry in the Wausau area.

The average class size is 20 students.[6]


Wausau High School (Pre-1936)
Wausau East High School (1936-2004)
Wausau East High School (Current Building)
Wausau East High School old sign in front of original building.

The first high school in Wausau was a two-room school house built in 1880 and occupied by multiple grades. When Washington School was erected as the high school in 1889 for $12,400, the city thought the school was too big. In 1897, when the school became overcrowded, five rooms in the court house were rented for classroom space. In 1898, a new high school was built at the cost of $65,000 by Van Ryn and DeGelleke of Milwaukee, on the corner of Seventh and Eighth Streets. Far from the center of the city, many city residents complained that it was too distant and others thought it was too large. The school opened its doors in 1900. Charles C. Parlin, the school's first principal, served until 1911. That school became known as Wausau High School until 1936, when it became Wausau Senior High School. A final name change occurred in 1970, the last year that Wausau had one high school. In 1971 two high schools served the Wausau School District, Wausau West High School, and now Wausau East High School.

In the early years, Wausau East housed two sections for seventh and eighth graders, kindergarten, and the Marathon County Normal School. The school taught subjects such as home economics, sciences, and social studies. Students who did not behave could be expelled and placed in vocational schools. There were no buses to transport students to school and few rural students attended. Students were required to dress formally, boys in short pants and ties, and girls in dresses that reached their knees.

The original school had an assembly room capable of holding 1,000 students. It was once said that students and teachers were proud of its angled floors, which gave them a good view of all activities on the stage.

During the Great Depression, with the help of the Works Progress Administration, the city expanded the 1898 building with a new three-story Victorian style addition facing Seventh and Hamilton Streets. The first phase of construction began in 1934 and included an addition that featured hand-crafted wall tiles, a large mural depicting lumberjacks cutting trees displayed in the main entrance, and Art Moderne architectural motifs. It was designed by Oppenhamer & Opel, the architecture firm also responsible for the Grand Theatre.[7] The building also contained a series of tunnels, which were used mainly for heating the building. This addition to Wausau High School opened in 1936.

The second phase began in the early 1950s, when E.H. Boettcher was the principal. It consisted of the construction of the theater, band, art, and social sciences classrooms. Underneath the theater was a nuclear fallout shelter. This phase was completed in 1954.

The last phase occurred in the 1960s, with the addition of the gymnasium and cafeteria. However, due to a lack of funds, the plan to demolish the 1898 structure and replace it with an identical extension of the 1936 phase was never put into action.

In 1979, under the principalship of John Crubaugh, the original 1898 building was demolished by Williams Wrecking of Wausau at a cost of $53,000 because officials thought that it was an unsafe structure. The lost classroom space was then replaced with portable classrooms until a two-story addition with a second floor library was constructed and opened in 1986. The new addition consisted of classroom space for special education, administrative offices, teacher offices, and science classrooms. During this time, Wausau East High School also went through extensive renovation, including lowering of the ceilings and dividing the old library into three discussion rooms and classrooms (primarily English Language Learner rooms).

Because of overcrowding at the aging high school in the late 1990s, the community began to discuss the school's future, debating whether the landlocked school should be expanded or converted into Horace Mann Middle School, allowing the middle school to be renovated into a high school. The option of building an entirely new high school was also discussed. In 1999, the voters of Wausau passed a referendum to construct a new high school, to be located on 18th Street, a site that had been proposed in the 1970s. The graduating class of 2004 was the last class to walk the halls of the old Wausau East High School. The new school opened its doors in September 2004. The former high school, owned by Stone House Development of Madison, Wisconsin, has been renovated into apartments for middle and lower income families. As part of an agreement with the school district and city, Stone House Development retained the building's character as a school. This included keeping the lockers, the hand-crafted tiles, and the window fixtures. Since 2002, the old school building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8] The 1960 and 1986 additions have been demolished, and made into a parking lot for tenants of the complex. The site was recently further developed for townhouses and opened in September 2008. The future of the theater remains unknown.

In 2009 Wausau East High School received a grant from the Walter Alexander Foundation to support the education of renewable energy. This grant allowed for the installation of a Northern Power Systems 100 kW wind turbine, along with a smaller 10 kW and 2.9 kW solar array. These power sources have been combined with classroom learning to allow students hands-on access to next-generation power.


Wausau East High School's philosophy is to provide "an active quality learning environment that develops life-long learners who contribute responsibly to a changing global Society."[9]

The school motto is EAST: "Everyone Achieves Success Together."

And RICE: "Respect Integrity Compassion Excellence"


Wausau East High School requires at least 23 credits in core courses to graduate.

Student demographics[edit]

During the 2007 year about 73.2% of the students at Wausau East were White. About 22.8% were either Asian or Pacific Islanders, and approximately 4.0% were either African American, Hispanic, or Native American.[10]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Wausau East provides a variety of extracurricular activities. Some examples are: Art Club, Intramural Sports - Flag Football, Co-Ed Volleyball, Basketball, Band, Key Club, Math Club, Drama Club (The East End Players),[11] Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America, Orchestra,[12] Outdoor Club, Ultimate Frisbee, School newspaper (Skyrocket), School yearbook (The WAHISCAN), Student council, Distressed Children and Infants International (DCI), Vision Impairment Screening and Intervention for Optical Needs (VISION), Health PALs, the International Baccalaureate Students' Organization (IBSO), WEHS tech crew, Forensics, French Club, German Club, Spanish Club, Skills USA, National Honor Society, Junior Girls, Students Against Dangerous Decisions (SADD), Trap & Skeet Club, WAIY, Youth Culture Club, Wausau East color guard, and Rainbow club.


The official mascot of Wausau East High School is the Lumberjacks, which was also the mascot from the original Wausau High. The mascot was selected because of the importance of logging to the community of Wausau.

Wausau East High School sports[edit]

Sports include: Boys' & girls' curling, Boys' & girls' basketball, Boys' & girls' track, Boys' & girls' cross country, Boys' & girls' cross country skiing, Girls' cheer team, Football, Boys' hockey, Girls' hockey (city team), Boys' wrestling, Boys' soccer, Girls' soccer, Girls' softball, Boys' baseball, Boys' & girls' tennis, Boys' golf, Girls' volleyball, Boys' & girls' swimming, Alpine skiing, and Snowboarding.

Wausau East also has intramural flag football, basketball, and volleyball. Intramural teams collect food for local food pantries.

The Wausau East boys' curling team won two consecutive state titles (2006 and 2007). The Wausau East girls' cross country teams won two consecutive WIAA Division 1 state titles (2009 and 2010). Former football coach Win Brockmeyer was the coach at Wausau High School from 1937 to 1970. Brockmeyer's teams had a 230-33-9 record, were undefeated in 13 seasons, and won 26 conference titles. In the 1940s, he had a 72-2-4 record that included a 46-game winning streak. A scholarship was later named in his honor.

International Baccalaureate[edit]

Wausau East High School has been an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School since October 1978. The program is open to all students in grades 11–12. Students taking IB courses may earn college credit through their IB exams at the end of the year which could allow them to begin college with sophomore status.[13] An IB diploma is offered to those who successfully complete the program. The state-funded program is offered in English. Enrollment in the IB Diploma Program is self-selective and averages 22 students.[citation needed] The International Baccalaureate Students' Organization (IBSO), a student-led organization, promotes the activities of IB students and provides study and informational resources regarding the IB program.

No Child Left Behind[edit]

Wausau East High School was identified in 2008 as "meeting adequate yearly progress" by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.[14]

Objective 2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
Test Participation Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
Reading Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
Mathematics Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
Other Academic Indicator Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
Met Annual Progress Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable staff[edit]

  • Win Brockmeyer, Wausau Senior High School football coach from 1937–1970


External links[edit]