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Walnut Hills High School

Walnut Hills High School is a public college-preparatory high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. Operated by Cincinnati Public Schools, it houses grades seven through twelve. The school was established in 1895 and has occupied its current building since 1932.

Walnut Hills High School
3250 Victory Parkway


Coordinates39°8′28″N 84°28′47″W / 39.14111°N 84.47972°W / 39.14111; -84.47972Coordinates: 39°8′28″N 84°28′47″W / 39.14111°N 84.47972°W / 39.14111; -84.47972
TypePublic, Coeducational high school
Motto"Sursum ad Summum"
(Latin: Rise to the Highest)
School districtCincinnati Public Schools
SuperintendentLaura Mitchell
PrincipalJohn Chambers
Enrollment2,778 (2014-15)[1]
Student to teacher ratio21:1
Color(s)Blue and Gold         
Athletics conferenceEastern Cincinnati Conference
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools
National ranking47 (U.S. News & World Report, 2017)
NewspaperThe Chatterbox


Front entrance to Walnut Hills High School

The school was the third district public high school established in the city of Cincinnati, following Hughes H.S. and Woodward H.S., and was opened in September 1895 on the corner of Ashland and Burdett Avenues in Cincinnati. As a district high school, it accommodated the conventional four years (grades 9–12).[citation needed]

In 1919, Walnut Hills became a classical high school (college-preparatory school) and was expanded to accommodate six years (grades 7–12). Students were drawn from the entire city, rather than from a defined district within the city.[citation needed]

A new building on Victory Boulevard (now Victory Parkway) was built on 14 acres (57,000 m2) acquired from the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati and completed in 1931. Designed by architect Frederick W. Garber's firm, it remains in use today. The facility was designed for 1700 students and included 31 class rooms, 3 study halls, choral harmony and band rooms, a general shop, a print shop, a mechanical drawing room, 2 swimming pools (separate swimming for boys and girls), a library, a large and a small auditorium, and a kitchen for teaching cooking (with pantry and adjacent living room and dining room).[8]

Examples of Cincinnati's famous Rookwood Pottery are to be found throughout the building, including the masks of comedy and tragedy adorning the proscenium arch of the large theatrical auditorium. The school's original Ashland and Burdett location became the Burdett School in 1932, which closed in 1979.

Four temporary, prefabricated steel classrooms, called "The Colony" or "the Tin Can" by resentful students, were installed in 1958 to accommodate the increasing student population.[9] As of the 2011–2012 school year, these have been demolished. In 1960, a one-story annex added 17 classrooms, including a language laboratory and typing lab, to the school.[9] In 1976, a Fine Arts Complex was added, partially supplementing existing facilities near the main auditorium. In 1998, the Annex was razed and an Arts and Science Center containing 30 classrooms and state-of-the-art science labs replaced it in 1999.

The school opened a new stadium in September 2006 named after alumni Robert S. Marx, who went on to become a judge in Michigan.[10] In 2016, a new two-toned synthetic turf was installed.

A comprehensive renovation project began in the 2010–2011 school year, and was completed for the 2014–2015 school year.[11] The $56 million project funded by both Cincinnati Public Schools[12] and the school's Alumni Foundation included a complete renovation of the original 1931 building, new music lyceum and athletic complex, including a new gym seating 1200 along 3 of the 4 walls, locker rooms, and a full size natatorium featuring a 25-meter, 6 lane pool. The new gym held its first game on November 30, 2012.

A two-floor, 15 classroom foreign language wing was built, along with 4 outdoor courtyards around the school. The building remained open and in use, with 7 temporary modular buildings removed in 2013 to make way for the Christopher South Athletic Complex, which opened in October 2014. The complex features an all-weather synthetic turf field lined for football, soccer, and lacrosse, stands that seat 400, a press box, concessions, and batting cages.[13] Six new hard-surface tennis courts opened in the spring of 2016.


All students must pass a standardized test in math and reading to be accepted to the school.[3]

Clubs and activitiesEdit

Walnut Hills' Latin Club functions as a local chapter of both the Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL)[14] and National Junior Classical League (NJCL).[15]


The sports teams have played in various regional leagues since the demise of the Public High School League in 1984. The 2012–2013 boys' basketball team finished the regular season 21–1, ranked #1 in Ohio and #18 in the country.[16] They advanced to the Final Four in the tournament. The game was played at OSU's Schottenstein Center. They lost to Toledo Rogers.

Ohio High School Athletic Association Team State ChampionshipsEdit

Notable alumniEdit

Notable alumni include:


  1. ^ "Walnut Hills High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  2. ^ OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association member directory". Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  3. ^ a b "Walnut Hills High School (Top 100, #36)". U.S. News & World Report. December 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-05.
  4. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on March 15, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  5. ^ Hannah Sparling. "Walnut Hills names interim principal". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  6. ^ "Walnut Hills High School". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  7. ^ "Laura Mitchell Chosen as Next CPS Superintendent". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  8. ^ Visiting Committee Report Walnut Hills High School by the Cincinnati School Foundation, page 4, April 1969
  9. ^ a b Visiting Committee Report Walnut Hills High School by the Cincinnati School Foundation, Appendix A, page 48, April 1969
  10. ^ Levi, Robert Lawrence. "Michigan Lawyers in History: Robert S. Marx" (PDF).
  11. ^ [1], HGC Construction website.
  12. ^ "CPS FMP (Facilities Master Plan)". Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "2009 Convention – Club Point Summary" (PDF). Ohio Junior Classical League. 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  15. ^ "Constitution of the Ohio Junior Classical League" (PDF). Ohio Junior Classical League. March 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2009. paying both OJCL annual chapter dues and any annual chapter membership dues required by NJCL.
  16. ^ "Max Preps". Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  17. ^ OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  18. ^ "The Shaw Prize – Top prizes for astronomy, life science and mathematics". Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  19. ^ Suess, Jeff (August 6, 2016). "How Local Olympians Made Their Marks".

External linksEdit