Bamberg MS/HS History

Opened: 1980
Closed: 2014

Bamberg American High School was one of the three schools located in the Bamberg community. There were two elementary schools, Bamberg and Strullendorf, and one high school. The high school and one elementary school were located in the Flynn Housing Area. Bamberg Elementary School opened in 1946 and had students in grades one through eight. High school students took a daily bus ride to Nuremberg until the high school was opened for the 1980-81 school year. The first principal was Dr. Joan Klose, and the two assistants were Mrs. Dulin and Mr. Nelson Faddies. There were thirty-eight faculty and staff to serve the over 300 students in grades seven through twelve.

The school mascot was the Baron, and the school colors were blue and gold. The school building was the only blue building on post, and the school mascot was painted on the building. The school logo on the building was done by Herr Mascke. There were gazebos in front of the school.

The first yearbook was called Genesis, and the school newspaper was the Town Crier. A full complement of school sports and activities were available to students the first year the school was open. Fall and winter sports included football, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, and cross country. The school had cheerleaders and a drill team to promote school spirit. Clubs available were Fashion Club, Business Club, and Student Council. Special curricular programs included Army JROTC, band, and chorus. The first graduation was held at the Neue Residenz in old downtown Bamberg, with General Wendell Gilbert as the speaker.

The yearbook was renamed Reiter for the 1981-82 school year, and finally, became Der Reiter for the 1985-86 school year. It remained Der Reiter until the school closed. The name of the yearbook came from the title of a famous statue in Bamberg’s cathedral. The yearbook was honored as the best in DoDDS Germany for the 1992-93 and 1993-94 school years and was selected as an international marketing sample by the publishing company.

A highlight for sports in the eighties was having the 1981 football game between Bamberg and Ansbach broadcast live on AFN radio. Golf, wrestling, and cross country were added to the available sports. New activities at the school included Model United Nations, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, and the 100 Crew, which was for any student who had a class in room 100. The drama club presented “The Glass Menagerie” in 1985, and the school produced a literary magazine, Reflections. The school competed in the Brain Bowl for the first time during the 1984-85 school year and was the only small school to qualify for the finals during the 1986-87 school year. The Christmas Tea, which began in 1986, highlighted the talents of the home economics, industrial arts and art students.

Mr. John Murray became the principal for the 1984-85 school year and Larry Wolfe was the assistant principal. Julie Cardone was the vice principal for the 1988-89 school year, followed the next year by Mr. Lewis Johnson. The school enrollment reached 400 for the 1985-86 school year, with thirty faculty and staff. Several construction projects were completed in the eighties including a new gymnasium; new ceiling tiles, lights, wiring and doors; and a new rifle range for JROTC. In 1989 the school received a new roof and a new wing to house the new library, home economics room, and music area. The school enrollment was over 525 students when the sixth grade was added for the 1989-90 school year, and the staff numbered fifty-five.

The school won its first sports championships in the mid-eighties, including two football conference championships (’83 & ’84), the small schools volleyball tournament (’84), and the boys’ basketball small schools’ championship. The tennis team was undefeated in ’84. The school drill team was known as the Golden Girls and was the largest activity at the school. At one point, ten percent of the student body was a member of the drill team.

A Fight Song and new Alma Mater were written for the 1988-89 school year. The fight song was written by Mr. Krauchi’s homeroom class, and the Alma Mater had music by Rob Griffitts with lyrics by Victoria Sandor and Rob Griffitts.

Fight Song

Bamberg Barons,

Bamberg Barons, on

Is Victory.

You can do it. Now go to it

Fight for you and me

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Bamberg Barons

Bamberg Barons

Colors Blue and Gold

Win for your Alma Mater,

brave and bold.

Alma Mater: Pride and Spirit

Right from the start

We clearly saw that

We were all a part

Of what we felt deep

Inside ourselves so

Let’s raise our hands

For the Barons

Will stand tall with

Pride that never fades.


Mem’ries survive forgotten days

Best friends we shall remain

Let’s hear it for Bamberg High

Dreams that never fade away,

Pride in what we do each day.

A school that just can’t be replaced

Let’s hear it for Bamberg High.


The newspaper was revamped for the 1989-90 school year, and its name was changed to The Baron. The next school year the newspaper was selected as the Best High School Publication for DoDDS Germany.

The nineties brought many changes to the school. For the 1990-91 school year the enrollment was almost 600 in grades six through twelve. However, world events began to greatly affect the enrollment and the student body. Sixty-nine percent of the sophomore class had a parent in Saudi Arabia during the 1990-91 school year, and the next year, due to the drawdown of American troops in Germany, the enrollment dropped to 450 students. These events did not affect the programs at the school. In fact, there were more Advanced Placement and Honors classes, and the Renaissance Program, which recognized student achievement, was begun. The middle school concepts were in place for grades six through eight.

Mr. Lewis Johnson became the principal for the 1991-92 school year with Dwight Bowen as the assistant principal for the first semester and Dan Mendoza as the assistant principal for the second semester. By the 1992-93 school year, the enrollment had dropped to about 180 students in grades seven through twelve. Dr. Louis Korth became the principal for the 1994-95 school year, and the enrollment began to increase again. Don Ness was the assistant principal beginning in the 1996-97 school year, with Charles Brunell as the acting assistant principal for the 1997-98 school year.

Bamberg High School had several unique programs. An exchange between Bamberg students and students from Czechoslovakia was started in May of 1992. Bamberg students spent five days with families of students from the Billing Gymnasium in the spring and in the fall twenty-two Czech students spent a week at Bamberg. The school also had a pilot program for a study hall (tutorial period) during the 1992-93 school year. An AVID program was begun for the 1993-94 school year. Student teachers joined the staff for the 1995-96 school year. The school had its first female wrestlers during the winter of 1997-98.

The school continued to receive academic and athletic honors during the nineties. In 1993, the football team won their homecoming game for the first time in five years. That same year the Bamberg team was one of the top five teams at Germany’s Academic Games, previously called Brain Bowl. The yearbook and newspaper were again recognized as outstanding publications for the 1994-95 school year. During the 1995-96 school year, the tennis team was undefeated, the girls’ volleyball team was undefeated and won the Division III championship, the golf team made the All-Germany Tournament, the girls’ basketball team won first place in Division III, the boys’ basketball team was undefeated in the conference, and the school newspaper won the International First Place Award from the Quill and Scroll Association. The 1996-97 school year was also an outstanding year for athletics. The football team was undefeated and won the Division III championship, volleyball was undefeated, the tennis team won the conference championship, boys’ and girls’ basketball won their conferences.

Dr. Sandra Matthys became the principal for the 1999-2000 school year, and Colleen Fleming was the new assistant principal for the 1998-99 school year. Billie Rainey was the principal beginning in 2003-04, with Richard Jimenez as the assistant principal. Dominick Calabria became the principal in 2008-09. Dr. Deena Brown was the assistant principal for the 2009-10 school year.

The school newspaper became part of the base paper at the beginning of the millennium and then ceased publication. Although Bamberg had been slated for closure, Nuremberg closed and the remaining students at that school were transferred to Bamberg. World events again affected the school when 9-11 occurred. Field trips were more difficult to plan, and all events had to be held on military installations. The new security measures meant that graduation and prom had to be held on post. The 2000’s also brought changes to the athletic eligibility requirements. By the 2003-04 school year, all participants in interscholastic sports had to have at least a 2.0 grade point average. During the 2003-04 school year, a Middle School Coordinator position was established to plan activities for seventh and eighth graders. Several new classes were added for the new millennium, including Digital Video Production, Computer Services and Support, Robotics, and Reading and Math Labs. The community swim team became part of the school athletic program, and baseball and softball were added as additional sports teams for the 2009 spring sports season.

For the 2009-10 sports team the school was designed as a Division II school since the enrollment was about 450 students in grades seven through twelve. The JROTC unit traveled to Washington, DC to compete in the Leadership competition after winning Top Honors in their division. Even though the school was in a new division they were still successful. The tennis team qualified for Europeans; the girls’ basketball team had an 11-1 season.

Bamberg became a Middle/High School for the 2010-11 school year. The final administrative team for the school was Kenneth Harvey, principal, and Ken Younkin, assistant principal. The last year of the school the student bodies of Bamberg and Schweinfurt were combined for sports so each school could participate in competitions. The year was filled with schoolwide trips, workshops in Oberwesel and as many activities as possible with the limited number of students. The last graduation, of one senior, and closing ceremonies for the school were held at Schloss Seehof. The last school year, 2013-14, started with 112 students; however, fewer than half remained by the end of the year.


Information from Dependent Schools School Information Guides and school yearbooks

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