Highlands High School (Fort Thomas, Kentucky)

Fort Thomas Highlands High School, also known as Fort Thomas Highlands, is a semi-private secondary school located in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Operated by Fort Thomas Independent Schools, Highlands was founded in 1888. The school took its name from the original name of Fort Thomas, "The Highlands". It currently has around 900 students in grades 9-12.

Highlands High School
2400 Memorial Parkway


United States
TypePublic Secondary school
School districtFort Thomas Independent Schools
SuperintendentKaren Cheser
PrincipalMatthew Bertasso[1]
Facultyapprox. 73
Enrollment993[2] (2015–16)
Color(s)Royal Blue and White
RivalCovington Catholic High School
National rankingTop 550
Test averageACT avg. 2010 - 23.3,[3] 2008 - 24.1 [4]


As of 2019, Highlands is ranked 354th in the nation and 3rd within Kentucky by U.S. News & World Report.[citation needed] They boast ACT and SAT scores well above both state and national averages.[5] Approximately 90% of the school's graduates go to college, and it is the only public high school in the state with a chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Highlands also has chapters of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. Twenty Advanced Placement classes are offered[6] and the school is consistently a local leader in National Merit Finalists.[citation needed] Until 2009, Highlands won the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Championships in six out of seven years, and placed in the top 25 at the National Finals in 2007.[7]

The school was named a 2007 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School, the highest award that can be given to a school by the US Department of Education[8] and received a national "High Schools That Work" Gold Achievement Award in 2008.[9]

The Washington Post named Highlands the number one most challenging school in Kentucky in 2014.[10]


The school's nickname was "the Devils" until the 1830s, when the sports teams were renamed "the Bluebirds" due to public outrage from local churches concerning the use of "Devils."[citation needed] The school currently competes in the following sports:

  • Archery (Coed)
  • Baseball (Boys)
  • Basketball (Coed)
  • Cheerleading (Coed)
  • Cross Country (Coed)
  • Dance Team (Girls)
  • Diving (Coed)
  • Esports (Coed)
  • Football (Boys)
  • Golf (Coed)
  • Swimming (Coed)
  • Soccer (Coed)
  • Fast-Pitch Softball (Girls)
  • Tennis (Coed)
  • Track and Field (Coed)
  • Volleyball (Girls)

With the exception of football, Highlands plays in the AA division. The football team currently plays in 5A and was consistently one of the top teams in the commonwealth of Kentucky until their loss in the first round of the KHSAA State Playoffs to the superior Conner High School Cougars. Prior to the realignment effected in the fall of 2007 that expanded the sport from four divisions to six, the football team played 3A.[11]

The Bluebirds football team won their 22nd state title in 2012, tying with Louisville Trinity for the state record and setting a new record for consecutive state football championships, six in a row.[12] These are two of eight team state records that Highlands holds.[13] Highlands is also ranked second nationally, and first in the state, in all-time wins with 842, and have finished the football season nationally ranked on eight occasions.[13] The football team has had thirteen undefeated seasons, and 88 winning seasons out of a total of 98. The girls' soccer team won back to back state championships in 2005 and 2006,[14] and the boys' soccer team was state runner-up in 2008. The girls' cross country team won three consecutive state championships in 2012-2014, 2002-2004, and in 1978-1980.[15] and the girls' track team also won state in 2009. Highlands has 51 state titles across all sports. The Bluebirds baseball team has won 3 consecutive regional championships (2015, 2016, 2017).

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ Collier, M. (2018, April 02). Highlands High School Names New Principal. Retrieved from http://www.fortthomasmatters.com/2018/04/highlands-high-school-names-new.html
  2. ^ "2015–2016 Audited School Enrollments (in alphabetic order)" (PDF). Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Retrieved February 22, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-11-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved Nov 29, 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-11-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved Nov 29, 2011.
  5. ^ Fort Thomas Independent Schools
  6. ^ http://www2.fortthomas.kyschools.us/Curriculum/HHS_Course_Catalog_08-09.pdf[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Center for Civic Education National Finals 2007
  8. ^ No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools. United States Department of Education. (undated). Retrieved December 18, 2007
  9. ^ Highlands High earns recognition | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com
  10. ^ "America's Most Challenging Schools". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2013-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ http://www.khsaa.org/records/football/statefootballteamrecords.pdf
  13. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-01-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ http://www.khsaa.org/records/soccer/pastgstatechampresults.pdf
  15. ^ http://www.khsaa.org/handbook/winners/xcgwinners.pdf
  16. ^ http://www.nfl.com/player/benguidugli/2530843/profile
  17. ^ Ralph Vacchiano. "Giants' QB Jared Lorenzen Waiting for Chance to Start. New York Daily News (September 17, 2007). Retrieved December 18, 2007)
  18. ^ "Marty Moore", databaseFootball.com Archived 2007-10-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved December 18, 2007

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 39°05′02″N 84°27′01″W / 39.08393°N 84.45019°W / 39.08393; -84.45019