Ansbach HS (aka Katterbach HS) History

Opened: 1973

The new Ansbach High School opened its doors in 1986 and was located at Katterbach. Originally, the name of the school was supposed to be Katterbach High School, but the name was changed the first year to Ansbach High School. At that time the high school was part of the K–12 Ansbach Elementary/High School. The school consisted of an elementary school and high school separated by the high school football field. The facility included twenty classrooms, science labs, art room, music room, industrial arts room, home economics room, business lab, computer lab, instructional material center, auditorium/cafeteria, gymnasium, gymnastics room, and three central courtyards. The physical education facilities also included a football field and track, tennis courts, archery range, and baseball and softball diamonds. The school colors are blue and gold, the mascot is the Cougar, and the school motto is “Libertas per Educationem”.

The first yearbook was published for the 1973-74 school year. The yearbook was titled Onoldia, which was the ancient name for the city of Ansbach. The first administrators were principal Rex Burgett and assistant principal Milton Alexander. There were almost 400 students enrolled with a faculty of twenty-four. Student activities included a newspaper, Cougar’s Corner of America; yearbook; student council; and clubs for chess and photography. The sports schedule included football, cross country, and wrestling for boys; cheerleading and drill team for girls; and a coed track team.

During the remainder of the seventies, the enrollment continually increased and reached 490 students by the 1979-80 school year. The faculty and support staff were about fifty. New competitive sports included golf, tennis, soccer, volleyball, and gymnastics. The women’s basketball team had its first win and first winning season for the 1979-80 school year. Junior varsity teams were added for several sports. Additional organizations were National Honor Society, an International Club, Red Cross Youth, Lettermen’s Club, African American Club, and Volksmarching Clubs. The arts program included a drama club, art club, the Cougar Band, Stage Band, and chorus. The newspaper’s name changed to Cougar Tales and then to The Oracle.

The other school administrators for the seventies included Paul Britton, principal 1975-76, and Andy Zacharias, assistant principal 1976-77.

Administrators for the eighties included principals Andy Zacharias, Clifford Gray, and Lynn Holland. Robert Larson, Larry Wolfe, Emanual Robb, E.B. Stafford, and Thomas Murdock were assistant principals. The school enrollment fluctuated between 400 to 525 students. The school newspaper changed titles several times from Cougar Tales to Cougar Pride to Paw Prints. The newspaper was originally an insert in the community newspaper, and for the 1988-89 school year it was finally published at the school.

A JROTC program was added for the 1984-85 school year. By the 1989-90 school year, the JROTC had a competitive Rifle Team, Armed Drill Team, Color Guard, Honor Guard, and Female Unarmed Drill Team. New clubs during the 80s included Club Beyond, a Wildlife Club, a Ski Club and Model United Nations. The school now had an annual Career Day and Talent Show. The drama program expanded to two yearly presentations and participation in the regional Drama Fest. The school sports team began to have winning seasons for basketball, golf, cross country, soccer, and football. Skateboarding was a popular school sport.

By the end of the eighties, Ansbach High served all of the high school students in the Ansbach community as well as the ninth through twelfth graders from Illesheim and Crailsheim.

The nineties brought more changes to the school. World events had affected the student body and the school was undergoing physical changes. Dr. Diane Murphy became the principal for the 1991-92 school year followed by Larry Sessions with assistant principal, Don Ness.

According to Larry Sessions, the new principal:

School year 1992-93 was a year of transition for me and many students and staff. Due to major construction the seventh and eighth grade students and their teachers went to Rainbow/Middle School. As a result of closing Stuttgart High School, the students from Schwäbisch Hall joined our student body. I closed a high school the year before and now am tasked with a major construction project. Students and staff never knew from one week to the next which door to use to enter the school or where their classrooms would be. The media center and several of the staff were located in “portables” and “closets” which were used as classrooms, while Mr. Ness and I had a restroom for an office. However, these conditions were greatly diminished by a caring student body with tremendous school spirit, pride, talent, and the desire to achieve. It was amazing, to watch the students and staff pull together and make AAHS a place of quality learning and caring individuals.

On the positive side, the 1991-92 school year gave students a chance to have their poetry published in a school magazine that included ten schools. Ansbach became part of an International Poetry Guild that was sponsored by the University of Michigan. Women’s basketball was undefeated for the first time in the 1991-92 school year, and they won the A-South Championship title. The boys’ basketball team competed in the European Finals. The football team had its best season ever for the 1992-93 school year, winning the Division III Championship. The school cheerleaders were invited to attend the National Cheerleading Competition in Dallas, Texas, and the cross country boys’ team were Division III champs. Other sports championships in the 90s included Wrestling Division III champs for six straight years beginning in 1994-95, and the girls’ basketball team earned first place in Europeans Division III.

New programs and activities in the nineties included a S.A.D.D. chapter and the Renaissance Program. The Renaissance Program recognized student achievement and hard work. Students earned “Gold”, “Silver”, or “Blue” cards and were rewarded for their efforts. For the 1996-97 school year, students participated in the European Model United States Senate program. The newspaper continued to change names—the Cougar Enquirer and then the Cougar Chronicle. The school drama program was eliminated, but the Community Theater filled the void.

The high school became a nine through twelve school for the 1994-95 school year. Seventh and eighth graders now attended Rainbow Elementary School. There were twenty-seven staff members for a student enrollment of 290 students. Steve Provinsal became the assistant principal. Many of the students were bused from the Ansbach community and two feeder schools. Honors English was offered for tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders. Other advanced classes included Calculus, German IV, and French IV. The school now had a full-time and a part-time counselor. Eric Goldman was the assistant principal for the 1998-99 school year.

Ron Steinman and Bob Prinz were the principal and assistant principal for the 2000-01 year. Other administrators for the first decade of the millennium included Don Ness, principal (January 2001); Jennifer Rowland, principal (2003-04); Robert Swint, vice principal (2007-08); Collette Purcell, assistant principal (2009-10).

Service Learning became part of the curriculum requirements during the 2000-01 school year. Another new program was Project Trust, which trained teens and educators to be role models for substance abuse prevention. Video production was added as a class in 2003-04 as was AVID—Advancement via Individual Determination. New activities included participation in Math Counts, Creative Connections, Student to Student program, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), and FEA (Future Educators of America). Intercultural activities included assemblies such as the Saint Thomas Choir of the Philippines, Eagle Spirit Dances, and student exchanges. A Medical Club was formed during the 2009-10 school year.

The school’s sports teams continued to dominate; the girls’ volleyball team was undefeated for the 2000 season, the cheerleaders won first place in the regional competition (2000-01), and girls’ soccer won Division III South three years in a row. In 2004-05 the girls’ basketball ended a thirty-three game winning streak. The boys’ football team beat the record of most consecutive wins previously held by Ramstein High and were Division III champs for several years.

Mr. Daniel Carlisle became the school principal for the 2010-11 school year. The school enrollment over the next ten years went from 360 students to a high of 425 for school year 2012-13 to less than 200 students by the 2019-20 school year. The new assistant principal for the 2012-13 school year was Ms. Zelles. Eustace Nesbitt was principal for the 2019 school year with Susanna Cook as the assistant principal. The sixth grade was added to the school for the 2015-16 school year.

A new program during this decade was POL&IS, a Political and International Studies program which was an interactive simulation in which students dealt with international relations in various fields. Other new programs included Academic Bowl, Junior Leadership Seminar, Read Across America using a Harry Potter Theme, and the National Geography Bee. Ninth through eleventh graders could participate in STEMPOSIUM, a program were the students got together to solve real world problems. One simulation was to build an Ebola treatment center in a third world country.

Other extracurricular activities included a Tech Club were students worked with robotics, a Film Club for seventh and eighth graders, a dance club, and a games club for middle schoolers. The drama program returned to the school for the 2017-18 school year.

Sports teams continued to win championships. The cheerleaders were the Division II champs for the 2013-14 school year and were the European Champs for the 2014-15 school year. The football team continued to win championships, but the program was cut for the 2017-18 school year. Football was back the next school year and won the championship!

In 2018 the school was recognized for several achievements. Ansbach had the highest percentage of students enrolled in AP classes and the lowest percent of deficient grades. The school was the leading competitor in the International Technology Competition and had the highest number of users for online DoDEA databases and the highest library circulation.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there weren’t any “contact sports” for the 2020-21 school year. Students were able to participate in cross country and tennis and “European Sports”, which was a virtual program. Broadcasting was added to the activities with students running a media club. Ms. Victoria Quinland was the acting principal. The enrollment was about 180 students.

For the 2022-23 school year the administrators are David Popielski, principal, and Quinn Danig, assistant principal. There are 185 pupils in grades six through twelve.


Information from DoDDS School Information Guides, school website and school yearbooks

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