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Kalamazoo Central High School is a public high school in Kalamazoomarker, Michiganmarker, serving students from ninth through twelfth grades. It was the first public high school in Kalamazoo. It began operating in 1858 and graduated its first class of five men and three women in 1859. It moved to its current location in 1972. It is rated Class A by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).


The first legal public high-school in Kalamazoo, and in the state of Michigan began operating in 1858, and graduated its first class, consisting of five men and three women, in 1859. Charles E. Stuart sued the Kalamazoo School Board in 1874 alleging that the school-board's use of taxpayer money to fund secondary education was unconstitutional (up until that point taxpayers money was only for elementary schools). The School Board prevailed, setting a precedent allowing publicly funded secondary education through the country. In 1925, the school moved to the building currently known as Old Central High School. On the fourth floor of the Old Central High School is currently located the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, or KAMSC. Following the largest graduating class of 799 students in 1960, some Central High School students transferred to the newly-opened Loy Norrix High School in 1961. Central High School moved to its current location in 1972.

After the introduction of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program, the school (and the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) system) was thrown into the national spotlight. Enrollment in KPS has risen significantly, and the surrounding area has reaped many other benefits.

Student activities

The Kalamazoo Central Debate Society went to the 2008 MIFA (Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association) State Debate Finals. The team has placed at every W.M.L.D.L. competition and is a rising force in Michigan Legislative Debate.

The Choir program, under the direction of Mr. F. Colgren, is a state-recognized choir and competes in the MSVMA (Michigan State Vocal Music Association) competitions and consistently receive top ratings. At the 2007 Solo and Ensemble, the choir combined for over 15 level I ratings. They also have had members involved in State Honors Choir, the SWMVF Honors Choir that performs at Royal Albert Hall.

The Marching Band, under the direction of Mr. D. Stout, experiences success at local competitions, and in 2006 ranked first in a national competition at Walt Disney Worldmarker.The Concert Band, also directed by Stout, has recently excelled in MSBOA (Michigan State Band & Orchestra Association) competition, receiving top marks. This years marching band show is En Fuego, or "Into the Fire".

The Photography department, directed by Mr. Brooks, is one of the many EFE classes offered to students.

The Mock Trial team, currently coached by Mr. Francis Bilancio. The team has represented its state at the National Competition seventeen times (as of 2009), more than any other school in the country. The team took first place at Nationals in 1996 under the coaching of Ms. S. Ransford, and second in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

During the late 80s and the 90s, the KC Forensics Team, headed by Mr. G. Chandler was a national caliber team and took 6 of 14 I.E. events in the year 1999 at the State Championship. The tradition continues under the new direction of Mr. C. Bullmer, who has also started a Debate Society.

Another notable course is Advanced Placement United States History, headed by Mr. R. Cahow.

The Kalamazoo Central Activists for Action was awarded the 2008 STAR Youth Volunteer Group of the Year.

Offered athletics

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball (men's/women's)
  • Softball
  • Soccer (men's/women's)
  • Track
  • Tennis (men's/women's)
  • Wrestling
  • Shuffleboard (men's/women's)
  • Swimming (men's/women's)
  • Lacrosse (men's/women's) (united team with Kalamazoo Loy Norrix High School)
  • Hockey (united team)
  • Darts
  • Volleyball
  • Golf

Notable alumni

See also


  1. Kalamazoo Central High School History 1885-1898
  2. Michigan's Legal Milestones
  3. Kalamazoo Central High School History 1905-1948
  4. Kalamazoo Central High School History 1951-1989

External links

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