CHS History

Thanks to Jerry Pfabe, archivist for Concordia University, for this written history of Concordia High School.  Are there other histories out there?  Please send them and they can be posted here.

Concordia High School

C LetterOn May 18, 1972, 51 students graduated from Concordia High School. They were the school’s final grads. Concordia High ceased operations that year, largely due to financial concerns.

The high school had been an integral part of the teacher training institution which opened its doors with a dozen students in Seward, Nebraska, in November of 1894. George Weller was the sole full-time instructor in that year, assisted part-time in music by Herman Martin, teacher at St. John School. The school was a three-year high school until 1905. Graduates who wished to continue their teacher training transferred to the Missouri Synod’s school at Addison, Illinois. The school added two years of “normal school” in 1905, allowing students to complete their entire teacher education program on the Seward campus. In 1908 a fourth year was added to the high school, or academy, program. In the 1918-19 school year, among the courses offered were Rhetoric, Agriculture, Parliamentary Law, and Bookkeeping. Until mid-century members of the faculty typically taught courses in both the high school and college programs.

In 1950, largely for accreditation purposes, Concordia separated the high school and college programs, Walter Juergensen became the principal of the high school. By the mid-1960s the high school had exclusive use of Becker Hall for classrooms, library, and faculty offices.

Concordia High offered a full program of extracurricular activities. In the fine arts, students could participate in choir, band, and orchestra. The school published its own student newspaper, Hi-Lines, and eventually its own annual, The Torch. The Harlequins, a drama society, performed plays regularly, Interscholastic competition in football actually began at the high school level in 1920; a college team following a few years later. Students also participated in basketball, baseball, track, wrestling and swimming. The 1959-60 school year was a banner year for athletics. Concordia High won Class C championships in both basketball and baseball under Coach Bob Baden. In 1971 Don Baker and Alan Christian won gold metals in their weight class in the state wrestling tournament. In the school’s final years girls participated in volleyball, track and softball.

Concordia High School served students at Seward well for over seventy-five years. It was an excellent preparatory school for the college and, in its later years, provided practicum and student teaching experiences for college students. Its many living grads cherish fond memories of their years at Concordia High.