Karlsruhe HS History

Opened: 1958
Closed: 1995

Mascot: Knights
School Colors: Black/White
School Newspaper: Knight Life
School Yearbook: Der Kavalier

In the mid ’40s, Karlsruhe, Germany area high school–aged students attended Heidelberg High School and were housed in the in the school’s five-day boys’ and girls’ dormitories. Later they were bussed to and from the high school, a roundtrip distance of approximately eighty miles. The mode of transportation was an Army bus with a speed of about thirty miles per hour. The Karlsruhe Teen Club petitioned to have a high school in Karlsruhe. They were successful in their efforts, and the school opened in the fall of 1958 with 200 students; twenty-five were graduating seniors. The school was located on Tennessee Street in Paul Revere Village, a housing area for American military members and their families. The building remained primarily the same until 1983 when a new addition was added. The addition included a gymnasium; two additional classrooms; home economics, industrial arts, and band classrooms; and a cafeteria/ auditorium. Construction of additional restrooms and a new heating system were among the improvements to the existing building. The school’s first principal was Clyde Born, who came to Karlsruhe from Mannheim High School. Mr. Born was an experienced educator with assignments in Austria, France, and Germany. After relinquishing his position as principal, he remained at the school as a teacher.

The senior class of 1959, composed of twelve students, took pride in the school and set the example for the younger students. They composed most of the annual and did a great portion of the work on the school newspaper. Their presence was very noticeable on athletic teams and the music programs. On May 12–13, 1959 the Senior Class put on the play Our Town by Thornton Wilder. They and the Student Council were instrumental in deciding the school colors, mascot, and other decisions facing the new school.

The junior class’s crowning accomplishments during the school year were organizing fund raising activities used to pay expenses for the class sponsored Junior/Senior Prom. The sophomore class showed great interest in all that went on in the school through their participation in the music programs, dramatics, and on the athletic teams.

The first school organizations and clubs were formed early in the school year.

  • Student Council
  • Science Club
  • French Club
  • Chess Club
  • Drama Club
  • Math Club
  • Library Club
  • Pep and Cheer Club
  • Newspaper
  • Junior American Red Cross
  • Music
  • Home Economic

The sentiment was that the school was run by the student council. The council coordinated school activities and projects and approved club charters and requests submitted by clubs and classes for fundraising activities.



A person of noble birth was he,

Trained to arms and chivalry,

Valiant in battle banner unfurled.

Squire to a sovereign, a duke, or an earl,

Taught to fight, a man of courage,

A fearless soldier, he was—a KNIGHT.

– Joan Bower


The school, led by its principal, Mr. Clyde Born, a staff of approximately twenty-one members, and students entered its second year eager to move forward from the progress of its initial year. The students were eager to form new school traditions. Second year social activities included the Christmas Dance and the Graduation Dance, which according to the seniors was the biggest dance of the year. The sophomore class sponsored a Spring Semi-Formal Dance. The first play on record by the Drama Club—Time Out for Ginger—was a remarkable success. One of the school’s greatest accomplishments on the football field to this point was the defeat of rival Heidelberg High School during the school’s homecoming game.

There were additions to the list of school clubs during the school’s second year, including the German American Club, the Opera Club, The Folk Music Club, Fradella’s Round Table, National Honor Society, Troubadours, Drill Team, Pep Club, FHA, and Cheerleaders.

The yearbook staff’s theme for the 1960-61 book was “Vintage ‘61”. This would be the schools’ first independent yearbook. The inspiration for the theme and the wine metaphors used throughout the book was the location of the school: the Baden-Baden valley and its eye-catching vineyards. The yearbook was dedicated to the seniors, “the Vintage of ‘61, the wine of tomorrow, ready to flow immediately into the thirsty world or be processed further in the cellars of higher education”. The third school year principal was Mr. Luther Skelton. Homecoming Week and the activities connected with Spirit Week were the highlights of the year. The student body was thrilled with the football victory over Berlin High School and the dance that evening. Other school activities were the Senior Class Christmas Formal, held at the Karlsruhe Officer’s Club and the Christmas Program. The Christmas Program was highlighted by performances of the elementary and high school choirs who performed international carols followed by popular Christmas songs.

During its first three years as a school, Karlsruhe High School had only two athletic teams: a six-man football team and basketball team. Students had to travel to Gerszewski Barracks in Knielingen for football and basketball activities. Later, to accommodate the school, athletic facilities were built at Smiley Barracks for basketball and football games and track and field activities. Tennis courts and soccer fields were added. Prior to 1962, there were no teams open to female students. The Girl’s Athletic Association (GAA) was formed to sponsor intramural sports for girls. Team sports offered by the GAA were volleyball, basketball, and bowling. Individual sports were tennis and badminton. Participation points were given to those who joined a sporting activity. At the conclusion of the schedule, awards were given to those with the highest number of participations points. In the 1961-62 school year, wrestling, tennis, and golf were added to the school’s sports program. Tennis was the first athletic team for female participants.

Throughout its history, Karlsruhe High School was immensely proud of its fine arts program. Music instruction, theater, the arts, and others prepared students for a lifetime love of the arts. Engagement with others to reach common artistic goals required students to work collaboratively with fellow students, a skill that would serve them well beyond their high school years. Early in the 1960-61 school year, the school choir director personally canvassed the student body in search of members for the school choir. In May of that year, the school was the host of the Musical Festival. Each of the invited schools—Mannheim, Stuttgart, and Kaiserslautern High schools—gave a performance. A choir of 150 students performed as did a band of 100 and a German choir of 150. As a culminating performance of the school year, the Karlsruhe choir preselected a Spring Concert. At one point the school had four drama clubs: the Senior Drama Club, Junior Drama Club, the Eighth-Grade Drama Group, and the Seventh-Grade Drama Group. The Senior Drama Club presented three plays throughout the year, including a Christmas play. The Junior Dramatics Club presented a Thanksgiving play, A Day of Thanks.

Other Drama Club performances in the school’s history:

  • The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972-73)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1973-74)
  • Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1978-80)
  • Dark of the Moon a two-act play (1980-81)
  • The Admirable Crichton (1981-82)
  • The Romantics and Ugly Duckling (1983-84)
  • Sorry, Wrong Number (1984-85)
  • Greater Tuna (1985-86)
  • Four one-act presentations and various scenes at the Drama Fest. (1989-90)

In 1978, Karlsruhe High School reached the twenty-year milestone. The yearbook staff dedicated the yearbook to assistant principal Dr. Charles Recesso. The principal during this milestone year was Mr. Frederic Fulkerson.

The theme for the 1980-81 yearbook was “The Day in the Life of a Knight”. Through pictures and stories, the book presented a view of the past year at the school. The book was dedicated to teacher Rosalie Scheibe, who had served as a yearbook sponsor for thirteen years.

Student clubs and organizations provided the leadership, energy, funds, and imagination to energize the student body. From the year of its opening to the time the school closed, student clubs utilized their expertise to address issues within the school and in the community.

During the 1960-61 school year, FHA provided Thanksgiving tray favors to hospital patients; The PEP Club made booster tags for students; and the Student Council initiated a school cleanup and beautification program.

In the 1980-81 school year, the Student Council:

  • co-organized Homecoming and Spirit Week activities.
  • Surveyed the high school English classes on curriculum issues.
  • Collected cans for the Army Community Center.
  • Distributed Christmas candy to the elementary and high school.

In the 1988-89 school year, the Student Council raised funds to support Operation Sugar Plum, a program that provided commissary gift certificates to Karlsruhe families in need of assistance.

The Talent Pool Students organized a schoolwide Shakespearean Festival in the 1987-88 school year. Students contributed to the festival in a myriad of ways: some acted out Shakespearean scenes in traditional period dress, others created and conducted plays, while some created displays and banners. Skits on his life were presented; audio-visual shows were created and shown; and medieval games were researched and offered to students. Band members offered musical presentations, chorus members performed, and the home economics students created food items from old English recipes. Traditional foods from the period were also offered by the cafeteria staff. The video class created a video of the festival.

Throughout its history Karlsruhe High School sports teams won numerous championships:

  • 1960-61 six-man football team were USUAREUR Co-Champions
  • 1967-68 soccer won the Red Division Championship
  • 1969-70 and 1971-72 football teams were Gold Division Champions
  • 1969 soccer team were Red Division Champions
  • 1975-76 football team won Conference Championship
  • 1978-79 boy’s and girls’ basketball teams were Red Division South Conference Champions
  • 1980-81 soccer team were Gold Division South Conference Champions
  • 1981-82 football team were Gold Division Champions
    Girl’s basketball team (Lady Knights) won Class A Conference Title
  • 1982-83 Girl’s and Boys’ soccer teams won Class A Division Titles for Southern Germany
    Boy’s football team repeated by winning Class A football Championship.
  • 1983-84 track and field team won the Class A and the Central European Championships
  • 1986-87 girls’ volleyball went undefeated
  • 1990-91 girls’ basketball team went undefeated and were conference champions

The school held a Unification Day Program in the 1990-91 school year in which German and American musicians participated. The 1990-91 yearbook was dedicated to the unification of East and West Germany.

The theme of the 1991-92 yearbook was “Changes in the Making at Karlsruhe, Germany”. The theme was followed by the well-known statement “The only thing permanent in life…is Change…and we, in the military community, certainly understand changes!”  This perhaps was foreshadowing the closure of the military post and school. The theme of the final yearbook, the 1993-94 school year was “Remembering the Knights.” Karlsruhe High School closed in June 1995 with an enrollment of one hundred students; fifteen were graduating seniors. There were twenty-eight students in the 1993 graduating class and forty-one in the 1994 class.


School Administrators

 PrincipalsAssistant Principals
1958-59Clyde Born 
1959-60Clyde Born 
1960-61Luther Skelton 
1961-62Luther Skelton 
1962-63Luther SkeltonRichard Penkava
1963-64Luther SkeltonMalcom Smithen
1964-65E.E. ReganEthel Gross
1965-66Thomas HowserEthel Gross
1966-67Thomas Hauser 
1967-68John Murray 
1968-69John Murray 
1969-70Richard RhoadsAndy Care
1970-71Gustave D’AriIrving Hansen
1971-72Gustave D’AriIrving Hansen
1972-73Gustave D’AriIrving Hansen
1973-74Gustave D’Ari 
1974-75Frederick FulkersonLee Mawby
1975-76Frederick FulkersonChuck Recesso
1976-77Frederick FulkersonChuck Recesso
1977-78Frederick FulkersonChuck Recesso
1978-79Frederick FulkersonDanielle Abbott
1979-80Frederick Fulkerson 
1980-81Frederick FulkersonBill Ryall
1981-82Frederick FulkersonBill Ryall
1982-83Leo RickmersRobert Larson
1983-84Leo Rickmers *
William Mara
Robert Larson
1984-85William MaraSandra Matthys
1985-86William MaraSandra Matthys
1986-87Kenneth Goldstein____ Anderson
1987-88Kenneth Goldstein____ Anderson
1988-89Kenneth Goldstein____ Anderson
1989-90Kenneth Goldstein____ Anderson
1990-91Kenneth GoldsteinDeborah Johnson
1991-92Kenneth GoldsteinDeborah Johnson
1992-93Kenneth GoldsteinDeborah Johnson
1993-94Richard TomDeborah Johnson

*Retired during the year

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