Heidelberg MS History

Opened: 1976
Closed: 2013

Heidelberg Middle was located in Patrick Henry Village housing area. All sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in the Heidelberg Community attended Heidelberg Middle School. Students who lived in Patrick Henry Village walked or rode bicycles to school; other students were bussed to the school.

The building was constructed in 1976 and had twenty-four general purpose classrooms, six science labs, gymnasium, gymnastics room, multipurpose room, cafeteria, business education room, shop, art, home economics lab, and a large media center. The professional teaching staff included one reading improvement specialist (RIS), one learning development teacher, a part-time speech therapist, a school nurse, and two counselors. and a media specialist. The school was recommended for North Central Association (NCA) accreditation for the 1981-82 school year. That year there were 760 students and thirty-two classroom teachers.

The school colors were black and gold. School publications included the yearbook—The Panther—and the newspaper—Paw Prints.

The administrators for the 1983-84 school year were principal Don Johnson and assistant principal Gladys Hajeck. The next year, Robert Brinton joined the administrative team as the Education Program Manager. This administrative team remained at the school through the 1986-87 school year.

From the mid-eighties until the mid-nineties, the number of students was approximately 850 students. The enrollment dropped to about 600 students for the 1994-95 school year due to troop withdrawals in Europe. By the 2003-2004 school year the enrollment was again at 750 students.

Throughout its existence, Heidelberg Middle School fully adopted the “middle school concept”. Team teaching and advisory grouping were an integral part of the concept, as were exploratory classes. A wide variety of student activities were offered to the middle school students. An intermural sports program was available that included flag football, volleyball, basketball, and soccer. The middle school students also participated in organized DYA—Dependent Youth Activities—and the base swim team, the SeaLions. Students also participated in cross country, track and field, gymnastics, and cheerleaders.

Heidelberg Middle School had an active student council that planned school events and raised funds for these activities. The school had a chapter of the National Junior Honor Society, as well as clubs for computers, rockets, outdoor education, technology education, sci-fi/fantasy, and drama. The music program included a beginning, intermediate, and concert band, as well as a chorus. In the 2000s, there was a jazz band.

From the first year of the school there was a JROTC program.

The middle schoolers participated in district and regional programs such as Math Counts. Heidelberg Middle School received the 1985 Excellence in Education Award. The award was presented to the school by the Undersecretary of Education.

The 2004 yearbook recognized the career of Susan Knapp, who had been on the school’s staff since the school opened and retired at the end of the school year. The school administrators for the 2003-04 school year were Dr. Ellen Minette, principal, and Ms. Buchwald, assistant principal. The school now had an AVID—Advancement Via Individual Determination—program and Peer Mediators.

Dr. Ellen Minette, the principal of Heidelberg Middle School was selected as the 2007 National Principal of the Year for Middle School. The National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company announced the selection. Dr. Minette’s selection represented the first time a Department of Defense Education Activity principal was chosen as the national winner.

The school closed at the end of the 2012-13 school year.


Information from DoD School Information Guides, AOSHS archives and school yearbooks

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