Normandy High School (Missouri)

Normandy High School (Missouri)
Normandy High School
Established 1923
Type Public secondary
Principal Curt R. Green
Faculty 104
Grades 912
Location 6701 Saint Charles Rock Rd,
St. Louis, Missouri 63133-1799, USA
District Normandy School District
Campus Formerly Eden Theological Seminary
Colors Green
Mascot Vikings
Yearbook The Saga
Newspaper The Courier
Tuition None

Normandy High School, is a high school in the town of Normandy, Missouri, in St. Louis County, Missouri.



Normandy High was founded in 1923 by a group of educators whose goal was "the ideal high school." They planned a six-year school, from 7th through 12 grades, with plans to add the first two years of college (a dream realized 40 years later with the opening of the Normandy Residence Center, which became the University of Missouri at St. Louis). In the early years no difference was recognized between junior and senior high; the grade levels were Low Junior, Middle Junior, High Junior, Low Senior, Middle Senior and High Senior.

Early curriculum

Normandy High's founders embraced a concept called "functional education," which meant educating young people to assume their place in the democracy as intelligent, educated, civicly involved, ethical people. The curriculum was based on life skills; for example, gaining a lifetime liking for reading, a lifetime passion for learning. From the school's small beginning it attracted subject specialists who gained nationwide fame (most notably Wendell Shay in science, Esther Goff in English, Elizabeth Schneider in modern dance,Helen Dunbar in square dancing, and Mary Still in journalism). Classroom teaching was largely modeled on John Dewey's beliefs in learning by doing and relating the school to the community outside the school and, furthermore, making the school the center of the community. Lectures and tests based on student feeding the lectures back to the teacher were bypassed for hands-on projects, panel discussions, research projects and experiences outside the school. During many periods in the school's history, homework time was provided within class periods. Early in the history, the school established a weekly longer school day to provide meeting time for school organizations. Normandy High was a so-called "lighthouse" school, with its programs the subject of numerous articles in The School Review and other educators' publications and of panels at high-profile places such as the University of Chicago.


The school occupied the campus of the former Eden Theological Seminary and the school for the first year shared the ornate four-story Eden Building with its five-story clock tower with Eden students. Shortly after the first year plans were made by the prominent school architect William B. Ittner to erect new buildings to form a California-plan college-type campus with a central quadrangle. The Vocational Building still exists as West Hall and the Junior High as East Hall. The Seminary Building was replaced by Central Hall in 1959 and the Big Gym, which was built along with West Hall, is long gone, replaced by the circular Viking Hall. The Garage, erected in the 1940s with a bus garage below and classrooms above, remains as North Hall. The hilltop on which the campus rose from St. Charles Rock Road to the south and Lucas and Hunt Road to the east, originally included a sizeable lake and forested area, now gone half a century. The campus until the late 1950s also included faculty residences inherited from Eden; thus, Normandy's superintendent and some teachers lived on campus.

Student body

The school serves two dozen municipalities, unincorporated areas and significant stretches of cemeteries and country clubs and golf courses; the district is so large it was one of the first to develop a major transportation department and to design its own school buses. More recently, the area is suffering economically and the student body needs multiple services to succeed.


The school newspaper, The Courier, was one of the top-ranked papers in the nation from 1940 through 1958 and continued as a prominent high school paper through the 1970s and into the '80s. The yearbook the Saga was nationally prominent in the 1940s through the early 1960s and pioneered many high school yearbook features, including detailed classroom coverage, chronologically-organized volumes and during World War II sections devoted to graduates serving in the Armed Forces. The Courier and Saga are still being published.


The school alumni association publishes the Normandy Alumni Courier. Former U.S. Congressman Robert A. Young graduated from Normandy and longtime Missouri legislator Wayne Goode was a member of the Class of 1956. Emmy-winning costume and science designer Bill Hargate graduated in 1953. Wayne Brasler, Class of 1958, was the 1981 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year and a recent recipient of the University of Missouri School of Journalism Gold Medal; he is a Normandy historian and produces the Alumni Courier. Laurence Maroney was drafted to the NFL by the New England Patriots.

External links

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