Orleans HS History

Opened: 1952
Closed: 1967

Orleans American High School opened in 1952 with one class of freshmen and was held in one room of an ancient chateau. Sophomores took correspondence courses and came to school one day, Tuesday, each week. In 1953 another class was added, for the freshmen had been promoted to sophomores. In 1954 the precedent of adding one class per year was dropped and two classes were added- juniors and seniors. The school colors were blue and white and the mascot was the Trojan.

When the school opened for the 1953 school year, there were six teachers and the school only had freshmen and sophomores. The students who would have been juniors and seniors attended Chateauroux American High School or did correspondence courses. The first year there was a student council and a school newspaper, Gadabout. The student body was approximately forty.

The class of 1955 was the first graduating class at Orleans. Of the approximately eighty-five students who were enrolled, fourteen were seniors. The school’s newspaper, Trojan, was published weekly. This was a huge accomplishment for the school. There were a few clubs in addition to the Student Council and sports included basketball, baseball and track for boys and cheerleading for girls.

By school year 1955-56, the student enrollment was over one hundred and extracurricular activities included the Girls Athletic Association, Chorus and Future Teachers of America. Six-man football and soccer were added to the men’s sport options.

The school continued as a nine through twelve high school for the next two years. In 1956-57 the freshman class (sixty-six students) was larger than the enrollment for the school in the early years. By the next year, the faculty numbered approximately thirty and student enrollment reached 220. In school year, 1958-59 junior high students, grades seven and eight, were added to the school.

The 1961 yearbook was the first school-published yearbook (prior years had been published in the Erinnerungen compilation). It was called La Troyen. This yearbook has a good drawing of the school. The next school year, the yearbook was called Shield and Scroll and the third year of local publication, it was named Procession. All subsequent volumes of the yearbook reverted to the original name, La Troyen.

According to the 1963 yearbook:

The doors of Orleans American High School opened in 1954 with the establishment of a school at Maison Fort (this was the first year of a school building). The original school was very small and improperly facilitated and never boasted a graduating class of over 35, but it was still O.H.S.

The school year 1960-62 saw a great change when the school was moved to the new building at Foret d’Orleans where it remained.

The yearbook reported that the move to a new school was a very sad one for many, but the new school proved itself in most ways to be far more superior than the former.

Here at Foret we have adequate space, proper equipment, a cafeteria and a gymnasium. Along with the advances made in the school, the students have also improved by elevating their standards of dress, conduct, and scholastic achievement. There is no lack of leadership at O.H.S. We have an excellent student council which guides the students and at the same strives to make the path less difficult for them. There are diversified and varied extracurricular activities which improve each year and provide outside interest for practically everyone. Our record in athletics continues to climb upward as each season progresses.

As the faces have changed from year to year, each and every aspect of O.H.S. has seen and felt the hand of experience and has proceeded, sometimes slowly, but continuously upward. It has been the responsibility of each student at O.H.S. to carry on this tradition. An admirable job has been done by each and every one in our procession this year of 1962-1963.

Until the school closed in 1967, due to the removal of American forces from France, the school continued to have an extensive extracurricular and sports program. Golf, wrestling and cross country were added to the men’s program and girls could participate in pep club. There were seventy seniors at the school the final year. The final year there was also a dormitory at the school.

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