Victoria High School 1950


HISTORY OF VICTORIA HIGH SCHOOL

     Victoria High School came into being in 1940.  It was not a brand new building but the existing red brick two story that was known as St. Fidelis High School.  Up until that time ownership of the high school was held by the Diocese of Concordia and operated by St. Fidelis Parish.  (For clarification, the Diocese headquarters relocated to Salina, Kansas some years later.)  The parish operated the school on a tuition basis.  In the years prior to l940, a high school education was not considered of great importance.  This factor and the cost of tuition resulted in enrollment in St. Fidelis High School to be very low. 

     By 1939, the need became apparent that education beyond 8th grade was important.  To make education affordable to every elementary school graduate, a decision was made to petition the State of Kansas to establish a school district.  A committee was formed of three members-one being from Victoria, one from the rural area north of the city, and one from the rural area south of the city.  The three committee members were Dr. Bert Anderson from Victoria, Leo Rajewski from the south and Felix Kindernecht from the north.  They canvassed their respective areas obtaining enough signatures to petition the state to establish the school district.  The petition was successful.  In 1940, the name was changed from St. Fidelis to Victoria Rural High School.  In later years, the word Rural was dropped from the school name.

     Now that the district was established, the next step was to have a building in which to conduct classes and a school board to oversee operation of the high school.  The first school board elected was Felix Kinderdnecht, Leo Rajewski, and Dr. Bert Anderson.  Since the building formerly being used belonged to the diocese, the school board made a trip to Concordia to see the Bishop.  They successfully negotiated a lease that transferred use of the building from the diocese to the school district with the stipulation that the parish pastor be part of the governing board.  The building was leased from 1940 through 1949.

     Victoria High School was now established.  The school board had the job of hiring a principal and teaching staff.  Sr. Alexia was the first principal serving from 1940-1941 with three other nuns.  Sr. Regina Marie served as principal from 1942-1944 with four other nuns.  Hyacinth Roth had been serving as assistant principal and was named principal in 1945.  He served in that position until 1954. 

     The school board and teaching staff were very proactive in developing and advancing education.  Student enrollments increased steadily.  The need for additional classrooms became apparent.  In 1941 and 1942 ground under the existing building was excavated and a basement garden level was completed.  A few years later additional space was added by attaching a two story annex building on the southeast side.  The lower floor was used for manual training and the upper floor for music and band.  Mr. Kinderknecht moved away from the area in his second year of serving on the board and Ray Dreiling filled this position on the board for one year.  Emmanuel Pfeifer from Walker was then elected to the board.  Mr. Pfeifer, Mr. Rajewski, and Dr. Anderson served as board members through most of the 1940ís.  By the mid-forties, school enrollment and projected enrollment had increased and the need for more space was apparent.  The school board then launched the development and construction for a new high school building.  The board along with district patrons diligently canvassed the district for signatures required to request approval for a new building.  The mission proved successful and a new building was ready for occupancy in the spring semester of 1950.

     This is a brief summation of the formation and development of the present Victoria High School.  Like the Knights of old, VHS continues the crusade progressing into the learning institution it has so proudly become.

* Compiled by Del Rajewski (class of 1951) and Howard Rajewski (class of 1946).
 

 



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