Chaska High School

Chaska High School
Chaska High School
Established 1905
Type Public high school
Principal David Brecht
Faculty 180
Students 1042
Grades 9-12
Location 545 Pioneer Trail,
Chaska, Minnesota,, USA
Colors Purple, White, Gold               
Mascot Hawk
Newspaper 'Hawk Herald'

Chaska Senior High School (CHS) is a public high school located in Chaska, Minnesota, a southwestern suburb of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. CHS is a 9th-12 grade school; About 1042 students attend CHS.[1]

The schools mascot is the "Hawk", with the school colors being purple, white, and gold.



Chaska High School first opened in the early 1900s with its first graduating class in 1906. Since then, Chaska High School has moved to newer facilities three times. Currently, Chaska High School resides at 545 Pioneer Trail. The present facility opened in 1996.

The Mission

"All Youth ready for post-secondary education, careers, and active civic participation"

The core principles of the school are:

  • Personalized Learning Environments
  • Academic Engagement of All Students
  • Accountable Leadership
  • Affectionate pupil-educator relationships
  • Empowered Educators
  • Engaged Community and Youth
  • Integrated System of High Standards, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessments, and Supports

In Accordance with Our Mission and Philosophy, the Goals of Chaska High School are:

  • To foster self-awareness, self-worth, and responsibility.
  • To provide opportunities for development of social, ethical, emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and physical elements that shape the total person.
  • To design learning experiences that accommodate physical and intellectual differences, allowing development of each individual to fullest potential.
  • To establish a system whereby each staff member and student regularly evaluate the educational program and individual performance.
  • To maintain a diverse, comprehensive curriculum which meets the needs of a changing society.
  • To facilitate open communication and cooperation among all participants in the educational process.
  • To promote-flexibility, personal tolerance, and ability to cope with change.
  • To develop competence in the triple C's (creativity, communication and computing).
  • To stimulate growth in the life skills of problem solving.

Current Facilities

Chaska's Current facilities feature auditorium, several gymnasiums, a cafeteria, tech-ed labs, computer labs, a media center, a stadium, and several athletic fields. Originally designed for 1,600 students, the school received a substantial addition in 2004.


Chaska High School is organized into four main houses:

  • Purple House
  • Red house
  • Green House
  • Blue House

Each house has two stories and similar design. They are connected by one large hallway. This main hallway is a little less than one quarter mile long. There is also a South Wing of the high school, south of the main hallway, which holds the cafeteria and connects to the activities section of the school.

The school's main hallway.

Media Center

The Chaska High School media center is the school's library and technology center. It has four separate labs; two of which use Dell PCs and two which use Apple computers. The first floor consists of the library proper, as well as all PCs. Second floor houses the Apple computer labs, as well as Jumpstart studios, the semi-weekly school news program. The media center area also holds the copy room, tech support and all other IT services for the school. During the 2007-2008 school year, the Media Center and 2 engineering labs received brand new computers to help enhance the student experience.

The South Wing

This takes up about half the school's area. It consists of the band room, choir room, cafeteria, the auditorium, the large gymnasium, small gymnasium, weight room, locker rooms, additional classrooms, the activities office, athletic locker rooms, and other athletic related areas. It is connected through the blue house and the media center. The cafeteria is one story with a high cone glass roof, but the athletic area is two stories.


Chaska High School employs 'block scheduling,' a method that allows for four classes per day of 90 minutes per block. For the 2009-2010 school year, the District's school board has decided to transition from the block schedule to the "modified block scheduling" currently employed at the nearby Pioneer Ridge Freshman Center; which has now fallen under the name of "Pioneer Ridge Middle School".

Chaska High School offers many tracks and plans for students of each and every learning situation. Post Secondary Education Option, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, Mankato State English, Spanish, and Psychology 101, English Language Learners, Special Education, and the basic core and advanced/honors classes.


Chaska High School has many extracurricular activities such as: Academic Teams (Knowledge Bowl and Quiz Bowl), Art Club, Athletics, DECA, Drama, FFA, General Assembly, Honors society, International Club, Intramurals, Jumpstart, Key Club, Music,, POWZA, Prom Committee, Speech, Student Council, Yearbook, the Young Democrats, the Young Republicans Club, MSHSL, CAP (Chemical Awareness and Prevention), and others.


Every year the CHS Drama Department stages a fall musical, a spring play, and a collection of student-directed one act plays in the winter.

Plays/musicals produced under the direction of Jim Lund (now directing at Chanhassen High School) include: Godspell, The Twelfth Night, Seussical, The Matchmaker, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Hollow, The Pajama Game, Laughing Stock, West Side Story, and The Real Inspector Hound/Black Comedy.

In the fall of 2009, Ms. Jennifer Farrell took over Lund's role as theater director at Chaska High School. Under Farrell's direction, the theater program has produced The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Crucible, this fall's (2010) Grease, and this spring's (2011) Twelfth Night.

CHS Drama has won numerous awards, including the recently formed Hennepin Theater Trust's Spotlight Awards. Recent recipients include:

  • Suessical the Musical
  1. Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
  2. Outstanding Performance by a Chorus/Dance Ensemble
  3. Honorable Mention - Performance in a Leading Role - Lili Cordell (Mayzie LaBird)
  4. Honorable Mention - Performance in a Leading Role -David Held (Horton)
  5. Technical Achievement - Katie McCloskey (Costume Design)
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  1. Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role - Matt Huang (Erronius)
  2. Technical Achievement - Carmen Bernu (Costume Design)
  3. Technical Achievement - Annie Mae Krapek (Scenic Design)
  • Pajama Game:
  1. Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
  2. Outstanding Performance by a Chorus Ensemble
  3. Outstanding Performance by a Dance Ensemble
  4. Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra
  5. Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role - Kate Hamilton (Mabel)
  6. Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role - Tyler Ryan (Hines)
  7. Honorable Mention Performance in a Leading Role - Joel Peterson (Sid)
  8. Technical Achievement - Carmen Bernu (Costume Design)
  9. Technical Achievement - Alexis Waldin (Stage Management)
  • West Side Story
  1. Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
  2. Outstanding Performance by a Dance Ensemble
  3. Outstanding Performance by a Chorus Ensemble
  4. Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role – Kevin Callaghan (Riff)
  5. Honorable Mention – Performance in a Leading Role - Adrienne Scarlato (Anita)
  6. Honorable Mention – Performance in a Leading Role - Connor Howe (Tony)
  7. Honorable Mention – Performance in a Leading Role - Krin McMillen (Maria)
  8. Honorable Mention – Performance in a Supporting Role – Joel Peterson (A-Rab)
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  1. Outstanding Accomplishment in DANCE
  2. Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role - Connor Howe (John Jasper)
  3. Honorable Mention - Performance in Leading Role - Meghan O'Connor (Princess Puffer)
  4. Honorable Mention - Performance in Leading Role - Andrew Brady (William Cartwright)


Chaska High School students have many opportunities to be in music. Three choirs, three bands, and many extracurricular groups offer a wide range of music styles and levels. There are three in-school choirs: Varsity Choir, Treble Choir and Concert Choir, and three in-school bands: Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. The three choirs are directed by Ms. Shelley Kline, who became the choral director of Chaska High School in 2009. Mrs. Miriam Junker, who retired in 2007, conducted the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble. After Miriam Junker, Mr. Paul Swanson took over the role of conducting the symphonic band, while Mr. Timothy Beckler took over the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band. Timothy Beckler came to Chaska from University of Iowa. After the new Chanhassen High school was built, Mr. Paul Swanson directed the bands at Chanhassen, while Mr. Timothy Beckler directed all bands at Chaska.

There are two extracurricular choral groups that meet outside of the school day. Bel Canto is an audition-only group for girls grades 10-12, and Chamber Singers is an audition-only group of mixed men and women grades 11 and 12. Students also have the opportunity to try out for a yearly musical, directed by Ms. Jennifer Farrell.

The band offers a somewhat more diversified range of extracurriculars. There are three high school level jazz bands: Jazz I, Jazz II and Jazz III. Jazz I is an audition-only group for 9-12, while Jazz II is open to grades 10-12, and Jazz III open to 9th graders. The Chaska High School Pep band plays at the school's hockey, basketball and volleyball games throughout the school year. There is also availability for students to be in the pit orchestra for the drama department's musicals. Today, all extracurricular bands are directed by Mr. Timothy Beckler. The school, and district, is home also to a newly formed orchestral program, which ranges across many grades. In 2007, with the arrival of Mr. Tim Beckler, Chaska reinstated its marching band. The marching band plays at most home football games, and does several halftime shows for those games. Marching band includes a multi-week SPAT Camp before school starts in the fall, where students learn to march and play marching style correctly.

Academic teams

Chaska High School actively participates in several academic leagues, including Quiz Bowl, Knowledge Bowl, Science Bowl, Math League, and the American Mathematics Contest. In the 2005-2006 school year, Chaska Knowledge Bowl placed 2nd in the state competition, as well as in a series of televised Quiz Bowl matches titled Face Off Minnesota. Also, Chaska Quiz Bowl, led by captain Rob Carson with teammates Andrew Hart, Jon Martin and Andrew Guyton placed 2nd in national competition, defeating St. Thomas Academy to advance to the championship round.

Chaska has won State Knowledge Bowl Championships in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003, and 2009.


Chaska High School is part of the Lake Conference in the Minnesota State High School League. They along with their sister school Chanhassen High School will leave the Lake for the Missota Conference in the fall of 2010.

State Championships
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Winter Volleyball 6 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2005, 2006
Dance 1 1999
Diving, Boys 1 2008
Basketball 1 2004
Bowling 1 2008
Robotics 1 2008
Spring Golf 1 1979
Total 16

Notable alumni

Coordinates: 44°49′27″N 93°35′22″W / 44.8242289°N 93.5895252°W / 44.8242289; -93.5895252[2]


External links

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