Fulda JHS/HS History

Opened: 1983
Closed: 1994

Fulda High School was located on Down Barracks in Fulda, Germany. Down Barracks was the former home of the Blackhorse Regiment, an armored-calvary (tank) unit. Fulda was a US Army airfield, which was used as a helicopter base until the early 1990s. It was located at the strategically important Fulda Gap, which was viewed by the West as a probable place for a Soviet tank attack because the potential deployment area for Soviet forces in Thuringia to the east offered the shortest route to the important Rhein-Main area to the west. Therefore, many transport, observation, and combat helicopters were stationed in Fulda.

The school was opened in 1983 when the new elementary school was completed. Prior to 1983, high school juniors and seniors were five-day dorm students at Frankfurt High School. Students at the high school came from the communities of Bad Hersfeld, Fulda, and Wildflecken.

The high school had an impressive music program throughout its history. The first year the band and chorus gave three concerts. Each year the music program participated in exchanges within the local German community and was well represented in the annual events for DoDDS. During the 1989-90 school year, over 150 students were enrolled in music classes. This was over 40% of the student body. That year the school also had one of the first computer music classes in Europe.

There were eighteen seniors in the first graduating class at Fulda. Other senior classes had about forty students with the largest senior class, fifty-two students, graduating in 1990. The last senior class had twenty-three students.

When the school opened, there were about 360 students enrolled in grades seven through twelve. The highest enrollment was for the 1984-85 school year when it was over 450 students. The final year of the school there were just over 250 students in the high school.

The high school had four different principals. They were William Morris, Pete Price, Doug Kelsey, and Bruce Davis. The assistant principals were Pete Price, Howard Steinbeck, Emma Siegel, Pat Cosby, and John Brogle.

The school mascot was the Falcon, and the school colors were blue and white. The yearbook was Horizon, and the newspaper was Falcon Tales.

Fulda had an active sports program. The highlight of their first year was a football win against Vilseck on their home field. As a small school, it was difficult to have full teams in most sports. The school did compete in every scholastic sport. The football team won its third consecutive small-schools championship in 1990. The 1987-88 school year was a banner year for sports, with the first winning season for football, the girls’ tennis team earning its first league championship, the girls’ basketball team having a 18-0 record and winning the small school basketball crown, and the first ever gymnastics team. The school had its first drill team, the Falconettes, for the 1989-90 school year. The first year with a swim team was the 1991-92 school year; the team was the Stringrays. The school’s football coach, Coach Marcus George, was the European Coach of the Year for the 1990-91 school year.

Extracurricular activities at the school included Student Council, National Honor Society, Chorus, Band, Pep Club, Drama Club, Brain Bowl, Math Counts, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Educators of America, Students Against Drunk Driving (S.A.D.D.), and Los Amigos Unidos, the school’s first Spanish club that was formed in 1990. For several years, the senior class had a senior trip to Spain.

Shaquille O’Neal, the famous NBA basketball player, attended Fulda for the 1985–1987 school years and played on the school’s basketball team. His second year he made the all-conference team for basketball.

The school’s last yearbook summed up the feeling of being at a closing school:

School year 1993-94 ...

It was a year like no other. The craziness of drawdown, the joyfulness of graduation, the finality of everything. The hysterical laughter and the rivers of tears all combined to make our final year at Fulda High School the most emotional one ever.

Not a single day went by without someone losing a good friend. Half-hearted promises of "see you soon!" echoed through the hallways, as the closest of friends and the worst of enemies parted ways. As the numbers dwindled, the remaining students of FHS pulled together in a n effort to make this year worth remembering. Teachers as well as students tried their best to keep some semblance of normality in our school. Life goes on, we all soon discovered.

There were a few hidden advantages to this strange year. There was an abundance of parking places, and there were no long lines in the PX. The few faithful students who stayed until the bitter end made the best of an unusual situation. All in all, Fulda’s Final Flight was one to remember.

The school closed in June 1994.

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