The official site of the Hutchinson High School Alumni Association | Hutchinson, Kansas USA

History, tradition and 125 years of excellence
"There is nothing in which Reno County people take greater pride, than in their excellent public schools." -- Superintendent Charles Dawson, 1895
By Paul Waggoner '74
A humble beginning
After Hutchinson was founded in 1872, the high school was merely part of Hutchinson's four-room Sherman schoolhouse, which accomodated Grades 1-11. It was not until 1882 that Hutchinson saw its first high school graduating class, which was comprised of two students.
A transition
In 1891, the high school encompassed the entire second floor of the Sherman building. The high school needed more room, and it found it at 5th & Maple in what the town would call its new Central School. In 1895, the high school program was expanded into a four-year program for grades 9-12. Over the next several years, the school would reach a peak of 331 students.
A major step
A growing town made an important decision in 1910 when Hutchinson spent $125,000 to build a new high school building to accomodate 800 students. And at this new 7th & Walnut location, the contours of current school life took shape.
HHS Building in 1908
HHS Building in 1915
In sports, highly successful athletic teams engendered city-wide enthusiasm. This success gave berth to cheerleaders (which were primarily male) and pep squads (primarily female). The Allagaroo, a unique school yell composed in 1902, was revised between 1910-1912. And in 1930, the Salt Hawk (shortened to Salthawk in the 1990s) became the school's official mascot.
A number of other developments were taking shape. Students embraced literary clubs, a debate squad, band and later orchestra. The school newspaper was dubbed The Buzz and was first published in 1910. The yearbook was called the Buzz Annual and also appeared in 1910. The annual was renamed the Allagaroo in 1920. In 1925, HHS saw its first Student Council. And in 1936, HHS crowned its first-ever homecoming queen.
In 1916, continued growth resulted in the exile of 9th grade classes to Sherman and Liberty Junior High Schools. But the town did make room from 1928-1938 for the new Hutchinson Junior College at the 7th and Walnut location where the combined high school and college enrollment topped 1,600.
Glee Club play in 1915
Track team in 1938
The current campus
In 1960, the old high school building was woefully inadequate and thus a new "space age" campus was built at 13th and Severance, the current home of HHS. This location reflected the northward growth of the town. Honors in competitive speech, sports and musical competitions continued as part of the HHS legacy. From 1925 through 1968, HHS competed in the state A and AA divisions. In 1969, HHS became a 5A school and made the transition to 6A in 1979. School attendance was between 1,200 and 1,500 during the 1960s and 1970s. By the early 1980s, fewer students allowed the school to once again encompass 9th grade freshman classes for a renewed four-year program.
1960s Homecoming candidates
1980s Principals
In 2006, Hutchinson voters approved a massive $78 million overhaul of USD 308 school buildings. HHS will benefit from $29 million in renovations for physical education, science and technology. The construction should be completed by 2011.
New Vocational-Technical Center
Auditorium construction
Currently, HHS has around 1,500 students as the state's largest 5A school and enjoys considerable success in a diverse range of boys and girls academic and athletic activities. The school principal is Ron Roehm and the current teaching staff numbers 100. The USD 308 Superintendant is Dr. David Flowers.
"March forever on, ye comrades of the Gold and Blue..."
This famed verse from the HHS school song has become an ongoing reality. Today more than 20,000 living Salthawk alumni are marching onward and making their mark in all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries. Three of our most accomplished alumni are honored annually via special Wall of Honor ceremonies co-sponsored by HHSAA.
"A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow."
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