Wentzville Holt High School
|Wentzville Holt High School|
|600 Campus Drive
|Type||Public co-ed secondary|
|School district||Wentzville R-IV School District|
|Enrollment||1,728 (Fall 2014)|
|Color(s)||Navy and Vegas Gold|
|Athletics conference||Gateway Conference|
|Rival||Timberland High School|
|Accreditation||North Central Association
Missouri School Improvement Program (MISP); A+ School
Wentzville Holt High School (Emil E. Holt Sr. High School, or simply Holt High School) is the oldest of the three high schools in the Wentzville R-IV School District and second oldest high school in St. Charles County, Missouri. With a 2014 enrollment of 1,728, Holt is the sixth largest high school in St. Charles County. Although officially known as Emil E. Holt Senior High School, it was known only as Wentzville High School until 2000, when "Holt" became a common addition to the name in preparation for the addition of a second high school in the district. Now the school is often referred to as just "Holt" or "Holt High", though the common initials remain WHHS or sometimes still WHS.
Wentzville High School was first established in 1896 as a 2-year high school. The first principal in 1896 was professor J. Herring. The high school had only three graduates in the first graduating class of 1898: Pearl Marsch, Pearl Ball, and Emma Dula. The original high school building now houses the Green Lantern Senior Center in Wentzville. The first high school building burned in 1908, but it was rebuilt and continued to be used as the high school.
The high school building was expanded in 1938, and in 1939 it was reorganized as a full 4-year high school under the authority of a school board with state recognition. As Wentzville High School grew in enrollment, a new high school building on Campus Drive was built in 1962. In 1969, the high school was officially named after Emil E. Holt, who had served as treasurer of the school district for 42 years and board member for four years before that. In 1975 the current high school building was constructed at 600 Campus Drive, and the junior high students were separated from the high school and remained in the 1962 building that now houses Wentzville Middle School.
The football field, known as Soby Field, was built in 1965 and named as a memorial to Missouri State Highway Patrol sergeant Herbert L. Sobolewski. Herbert “Soby” Sobolewski suffered a heart attack during the previous year while directing traffic near a tractor-trailer crash on U.S. Highway 40 (now Interstate 64) near Wentzville.
Wentzville High School was one of the first high schools in the St. Louis area to adopt a block scheduling system. The decision to implement a block schedule plan grew out of a planning effort to develop a vision and a program of improvement for the high school. The planning team behind the move toward block scheduling consisted of teachers, students, parents, and administrators, and it began meeting in 1993. Following the implementation of block scheduling in 1995, Wentzville served as a model for many other districts throughout the Midwest looking to adopt similar scheduling systems.
After months of debate and strong protest from students, the Wentzville Board of Education voted 6-1 in February 2007 to change from block schedule back to a traditional seven-block schedule beginning in the fall. The controversial move came following District Superintendent Terry Adams' request that district principals explore options to save money and increase instructional time in core subjects. Approximately 200 residents attended the board meeting to protest such a schedule change. They argued that reverting to traditional scheduling would result in less project-based learning and lab time, more chaos between classes, and less time for individualized instruction. Some board members cited flat standardized test scores over the past few years as another reason for the change. They stressed the district's need to concentrate on improving performance levels on a global scale to reach international benchmarks, rather than only comparing performance to other area districts. Adams also referenced studies that indicate block scheduling results in higher grades but lower achievement. Other sources have produced information that shows schools on the block schedule in Missouri have achieved higher grades and levels of achievement.
In 2011, Holt's official graduation rate was 94.6%, which is the highest graduation rate for Holt in the past ten years. While the graduation rate was just short of 95%, only 40% of the class of 2011 graduates went on to attend a four-year college. 37% entered a two-year college, while 13% entered the workforce or military service.
In 1997, Holt High School became the first high school in St. Charles County to receive A+ designation. The A+ Schools program is a school improvement initiative established by the Outstanding Schools Act of 1993. Graduates who meet the seven A+ state requirements are eligible for tuition reimbursement and general fee reimbursement to attend any public community college or vocational/technical school in the State of Missouri.
As of 2010, Holt High School faculty have an average of 12.8 years of experience, and the average student to classroom teacher ratio is 18:1. The average annual salary is $54,173 for teachers and $100,329 for administrators, and 74.2% of teachers have a master's degree or higher. All of these figures are above their respective state averages.
MSHSAA sanctioned sports
Holt's MSHSAA sanctioned sports compete in the South Division of the Gateway Athletic Conference. Until recently, the school's traditional colors were royal blue and gold. A couple years after "Holt" was added to the common name for the school, new athletic coaches and staff began re-branding the teams with new logos and a change in colors to the current Navy and Vegas Gold.
- Cross Country (Boys & Girls) (Class 4, District #5)
- Football (Class 5, District #2)
- Volleyball (Girls) (Class 4, District #8)
- Softball (Girls) (Class 4, District 9)
- Soccer (Boys) (Class 3, District #9)
- Swimming (Boys)
- Golf (Girls) (Class 2, District #4)
- Tennis (Girls) (Class 2, District #4)
- Dance Team
- Swimming (Girls)
- Basketball (Boys) (Class 5, District #9)
- Basketball (Girls) (Class 5, District #9)
- Dance Team
- Wrestling (Class 4, District #2)
- Baseball (Boys) (Class 4, District #9)
- Golf (Boys) (Class 4, District #5)
- Soccer (Girls) (Class 2, District #6)
- Tennis (Boys) (Class 2, District #4)
- Track and Field (Boys & Girls) (Class 4, District #5)
The Holt High School ice hockey team is a club sports program that competes in the St. Charles Division of the Mid-States Club Hockey Association, which is the main high school hockey league in Missouri. The Wentzville High School ice hockey program first competed in 1996. The team won its first division championship in 2000. When Timberland High School was constructed, its students could play for the Wentzville Holt team for several years until Timberland also formed its own hockey program. The two teams now play an annual rivalry game for the Crossroads Cup. In 2011, the Holt hockey team defeated Rockwood Summit High School 3-2 in overtime in the championship game at Scottrade Center to become the first high school hockey team from St. Charles County to win the Wickenheiser Cup championship. The Wickenheiser Cup, along with the Challenge Cup, are the two state championship trophies awarded for high school ice hockey. In March 2013, the Holt Indians captured their second state championship in three years, when they defeated the Duchesne Pioneers in the Wickenheiser Cup title game at Scottrade Center.
- Roller Hockey
- Lacrosse (Missouri Scholastic Lacrosse Association)
- Bowling (St. Charles High School League, USBC sanctioned)
Clubs and organizations
- In 2009, the Ratchet Rockers First Robotics Team won the St. Louis regional.
- In 2009, Randall Ray ('09) and Leslie Young ('09) received the First Place Grand Award from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for their project: Transforming Ipomoea batatas via Direct Inoculation with Agrobaterium rhizogenes, a Continuation within the plant science category. 
- Erica Loesche and Ryan Biggs selected as members of the International Thespian Society's All-State Show, Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical, in 2010.
- Dan Alexander '96, former University of Nebraska All-Big 12 running back and former NFL player with the Tennessee Titans (2001), Jacksonville Jaguars (2002) and St. Louis Rams (2003)
- Judson Birza '07, Winner of Survivor: Nicaragua
- Ross Detwiler '04, professional baseball player
- Tim Melville '12, professional baseball player
- Lee Ann Miller '80, 1984 Olympic and four-time World team pairs figure skater
- Ethan Place '01, former Scout Sniper with the United States Marine Corps and recipient of the Silver Star, featured in the History Channel documentary One Shot/One Kill
- MODESE Annual Report of School Data
- "Holt's Humble History". Blue & Gold. vol 23, issue 3. p5
- Wentzville Journal | News | Board reformats class scheduling
- Wentzville Journal | News | Protest rings to keep block schedule
- Faculty Information, MODESE http://dese.mo.gov/planning/profile/building/staff0920891050.html Missing or empty
- Student Staff Ratios, 2006-2010, MODESE http://dese.mo.gov/planning/profile/building/ratio0920891050.html Missing or empty
- Faculty Information, 2006-2010, MODESE http://dese.mo.gov/planning/profile/building/staff0920891050.html Missing or empty
- Varsity Divisions
- "Ex-Wentzville Star Carries Cornhuskers". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 8, 1998. F6.
- Spotlight. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 3, 1997. p3
- Perry, Tony (26 June 2005). "Marine Sergeant Wins Silver Star for Iraq Combat". Los Angeles Times.