Archbishop Alter High School

Archbishop Alter High School

Archbishop Alter High School (aka Alter High School) is a Roman Catholic High School in Kettering, Ohio. It is one of several schools operated by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and is named after Archbishop Karl Joseph Alter.


In October of 1958, Catholics of the Dayton area pledged $4,953,050 to help pay the costs of building Catholic high schools in the area. Among the schools built with this money were Archbishop Alter High School and its mirror image, Archbishop Carroll High School, built the previous year (often abbreviated Carroll High School). Development of Alter High School was led by Reverend Paul F. Leibold, and, at the request of the people, the school was named after Archbishop Karl Alter.

The school saw its first students on September 5, 1962 with an incoming class of 250 freshmen. In each of the next three years a new freshman class would be added, so, by the year 1965, the school offered grades 9 through 12, with the first class graduating in 1966.

Alter High's first principal was Reverend Edward F. Haskamp, serving from 1962 to 1970. In 2005, Alter High named Fr. James Manning, former pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in Kettering, as its first President.

The school is currently composed of 648 students, 63 faculty, and over 130 courses.


Alter High School's faculty is composed of diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Joseph, and lay teachers.


A student's school day begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 3:05 PM, and includes seven 50-minute class periods and a 25-minute lunch period, with four minutes between each period to change classes.

The school provides AP classes, which offer the prospect of college credit as well as a weighted grade. Academics at Alter High School are average for the State of Ohio. Alter graduates commonly attend the University of Dayton, Wright State University, Miami University (Ohio), and Ohio State University.

Performing Arts at Alter

Alter prides itself on the fact that the opportunities it provides to its students are not exclusively academic and athletic - the school offers a number of avenues through which students can express their creative muse. The performing arts not only exist at Alter, they thrive.


Though it may not be comparable in size to many of the other high school programs in the area, the Alter High School band department has seen growth in recent years. Alter students can choose to participate in multiple ensembles during the year: the Marching Knights, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Pep Band.

The Marching Knights are the musical ambassadors for Archbishop Alter High School. In addition to their musical support and performances at football games, the band also appears at festivals and in parades in the community. The Marching Knights compete on the Mid States Band Association (MSBA) circuit which includes bands from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. The program was refreshed in 2007 under the leadership of the new Director of Bands, Todd Tucker.


In recent years, Alter has gained acclaim within the Miami Valley for excellence in arts education. The Castle Players, the school's theatre department, have expanded their repertoire over the past few years to include a number of well-done shows (see archive list below). Each year, a fall play and spring musical featuring student (and sometimes adult) actors, are presented for the community to enjoy. Another unique facet of the program is Alter's Thespian Troupe (#5802), a chapter of an international organization dedicated to the celebration of achievement in theatre arts education. Alter proudly takes place in many thespian-related activities. In addition to membership in this international society, Director Bryan Wallingford has also made an attempt to reach out to the Kettering community, partnering with The Community Foundation for Kettering to produce a summer musical, "The Wiz", in August of 2007. This will be the first of what promises to be a fruitful relationship between Alter and the city of Kettering. More information at the Alter Thespian Society's website: Also, recently, plans have been officially released to build a new wing of the school that will house new facilities for the performing arts. Proposed plans include a 500 seat auditorium, workshop space to build sets, and a classroom to teach theatre classes in. Other plans for this addition include art classrooms and a band room.

Past Productions

:2007-08 - Inspecting Carol, Thoroughly Modern Millie:2006-07 - Romeo and Juliet, Little Shop of Horrors:2005-06 - Arsenic and Old Lace, Seussical:2004-05 - Epic Proportions, Godspell:2003-04 - The Odd Couple, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying:2002-03 - The Teahouse of the August Moon, 42nd Street:2001-02 - The Witching Hour, Anything Goes:2000-01 - The Rivals, Into The Woods:1999-2000 - The Visit, Will Rogers Follies:1998-99 - Don't Drink the Water, Guys and Dolls:1997-98 - The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Little Shop of Horrors


Archbishop Alter High School's team nickname is the Knights; their colors are brown and gold. In general, the boys' teams belong to the GCL (Greater Catholic League) and the girls' teams belong to the GGCL (Girls Greater Cincinnati League).

Home basketball and volleyball games are played in the school gym. The school also owns a soccer field encircled by a track, where the soccer team plays its home games and the track and field team practices. The school's property includes a baseball field for practice. However, it is not used for games because of its poor condition. Alter High School does not own a football field, so home football games are typically held at other local high schools such as Fairmont High School or Centerville High School.

Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships

* Boys' Basketball - 1978, 1999, 2001cite web|url=|title=Yappi Sports Basketball|accessdate=2007-02-12|author=Yappi]
* Boys' Cross Country - 1996
* Boys' Golf - 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999
* Boys' Soccer - 1987, 1988, 1996, 1998
* Girls' Volleyball - 2002, 2003, 2006
* Girls' Basketball - 2008
* Girls' Cross Country- 2007cite web|url=|title=Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site|accessdate=2006-12-31|author=OHSAA]

Other athletic accomplishments

* Boys' Tennis - team state champs 1976*
* Girls' Tennis - team state champs 2001*

: *Note - The OHSAA does not hold team state championship tournaments for tennis. Rather, they are administered by the Ohio Coaches' Association.

Boys' sports

A full listing of the boys' sports offered at Alter High School:
*Cross Country
*Swimming & Diving
*Ice Hockey
*Track & Field

Girls' sports

A full listing of the girls' sports offered at Alter High School:
*Cross Country
*Swimming & Diving
*Track and Field


Alter High has a number of sports rivals. The school's biggest football game each year is against arch rival Chaminade-Julienne High School. The game is the last one of the season every year and always brings a sellout crowd. Fairmont High School is also a big rival. This game is held on the Friday following Alter High's first week of classes. Rival Carroll High School is becoming a bigger rivalry game each year, as it is becoming more important in the outcome of the GCL.

Basketball rivalry games are very similar, including games against Fairmont High School, CJ, and Carroll High School. Alter High School's boys' soccer team has two significant rivals: Carroll High School and Centerville High School. The girls' soccer team names Hamilton's Stephen T. Badin High School and local Centerville High School as their biggest nemesis.

The volleyball team's recent rise to prominence has spurred rivalries of its own. After capturing the state championship in 2006 and back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003, Alter is known as the team to beat. Within the GGCL, Roger Bacon is the biggest rival (they captured the volleyball state championship in 2004 and 2005). Additionally, Chaminade-Julienne and Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas prove to be perennial challengers.


Alter High School is marked by the school spirit of its students. Every Friday is Spirit Day, on which students are allowed to wear a spirit shirt of the school colors along with the standard uniform pants. Sporting events, especially football and basketball games, are well-attended by students. A tradition of dress up "themes" for each of the home football games has developed as a fun display of school spirit. Past themes include "Knight Night" and "Alter Teacher Night". The theme of the homecoming game is always "Toga Night" Pep rallies are common on the days of rivalry games.

Alma Mater

The Alma Mater is played by the school band at the end of every pep rally and on various other occasions. While it is played, students extend their arms over the shoulders and neck of those to their left and right and sway together with the music. When the lyrics reach "High in Hope and Spirit," the student unjoin and proceed to raise and lower their right arms, index finger extended as if pointing, holding the position at the end of each line until the song ends. The lyrics to the Alma Mater are as follows:

:Facing life with valor like the Knights of old,:We promise always great ideals to hold,:With our eyes on Heaven, sword of Faith in hand,:The future face and with grace:Take our stand.:Hear our pledge of fealty to You:As we ask Your strength to see us through.:High in Hope and Spirit:We will "Do or Die":For our King and Alter High.

Fight Song

Although not as common as the Alma Mater, Alter High School also has a fight song. This may be sung on occasions such as a bus ride after a victory, but is most commonly sung after a football victory. After the game, the team will go over to the student section and sing the fight song. The lyrics to the fight song are as follows:

:Watch the Knights ride into the fray:Shouting, cheering, we're on our way;:Banners flying, bravely and bold:We're rooting for the Brown and Gold. :Strong in purpose, hearts all aglow:Alter High will conquer the foe:Overcome all odds against us:Take up every challenge!

:"Loyalty to Brown and Gold" is our battle cry.:Strike the shield, roar VICTORY!:For dear old Alter High.

Notable alumni

*John Paxson (NBA, player and GM)
*Jim Paxson (NBA, player and GM)
*Jeff Graham (NFL)
*Jeff Reboulet (MLB)
*Nick Mangold (NFL)
*Amy Ferguson (actress)
*Timothy Keating(admiral)
*Renee Laravie Kelly (Olympic Swimmer)
* Jeff Menieke (Host of Trivia Night at Murray's Tavern)

External links

* [ Archbishop Alter High School]
* [] Band Page--> click on "clubs and activities," then on "band"
* [ Alter High School's Thespian Troupe]
* [ Previous theatrical productions at Alter]
* [ Alter High School's Football Homepage]
* [ Alter High School's Technology Club]
* [ Alter High School's Technology Club Forum]
* [ Alter High Schools Girls Volleyball Homepage]

Notes and references

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