Eagan High School

Eagan High School

Infobox Secondary school
name = Eagan High School

motto = "Technology Enhanced Education With A Human Touch"
established = 1989
type = Public high school
principal = Dr. Polly Reikowski
faculty = 182
students = approx. 2,424
mascot = Wildcat
colors = Royal Blue, Kelly Green, Silver
city = Eagan
state = Minnesota,
country = USA
website = [http://www.eagan.k12.mn.us www.eagan.k12.mn.us]
grades = 9-12
address = 4185 Braddock Trail
newspaper = "The Eagan Independent"
yearbook = "Epilogue"
district = ISD 196

Eagan High School (EHS) is a public high school in east-central Eagan, Minnesota. The school opened in fall of 1989 for ninth grade students and for grades ten through twelve the following year. It is particularly noted for its fine arts programs and use of technology. As of 2006, it has over 2300 students. The school is a part of Minnesota Independent School District 196 (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District), and is affiliated with the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL). The school is a member of the Lake Conference.


In the late 1980s, Eagan began to grow rapidly. At that time, Eagan students in District 196 were bussed to nearby Apple Valley High School or Rosemount High School--both of which were greatly over capacity.cite news|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|title=Board Seeks Bond Vote to Relieve Crowding|page=1DW|date=1988-09-14|accessdate=2006-11-20|first=Michele|last=Cook] Dr. Thomas F. Wilson was appointed as "principal-at-large" in charge of planning a new high school and middle school in east-central Eagan. The $40 million building was designed by Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA). HGA had designed nearly every school in the District, but the School Board later dropped them after myriad problems with the EHS/DHMS construction project. The building greatly exceeded cost and time estimates and spawned a lawsuit.The comedy of errors with HGA were documented in a number of contemporary news articles:
*cite news|url=http://www.google.com/archivesearch/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=3-0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocs.newsbank.com%2Fg%2FGooglePM%2FSP%2Flib00249%2C0EB5D74A25A777D6.html&ei=wQ1iRaePB6jy6QGlxPm9Dw&usg=__CmSwa4RcK_9xHafhAvKVtUXxrQ8=|first=Michele|last=Cook|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|date=1988-04-04|accessdate=2006-11-20|title=School Building Job is On Target
*cite news|title=Bids on School Project Stun District 196|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|first=Michele|last=Cook|date=1988-06-07|accessdate=2006-11-20|url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PD&s_site=twincities&p_multi=SP&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB5D76025F7F324&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM
*cite news|url=http://www.google.com/archivesearch/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=6-0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocs.newsbank.com%2Fg%2FGooglePM%2FSP%2Flib00249%2C0EB5D765CD3AA46E.html&ei=wQ1iRaePB6jy6QGlxPm9Dw&usg=__zKv_XdxhoYA0sh1H-wKVh44qKTs=|title=Cost Overruns Delay Eagan School Debut New Bids, Scaling Back Due|first=Michelle|last=Cook|date=1988-06-14|accessdate=2006-11-20|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press
*cite news|page=1S|title=New School to Open--Minus Kitchen, Track|first=Michelle|last=Cook|date=1988-07-27|accessdate=2006-11-20|url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PD&s_site=twincities&p_multi=SP&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB5D78823113C75&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press
*cite news|url=http://docs.newsbank.com/g/GooglePM/SP/lib00249,0EB5D7B82D3B76F1.html|title=School Board Makes Architectural Switch|first=Michele|last=Cook|date=1988-09-19|accessdate=2006-11-20|page=7a|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press]

Before it opened, students met and chose the Wildcats as the school mascot and decided the schools should be Royal Blue, Kelly Green, and Silver.cite news|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|first=Tony|last=Blass|date=1989-01-23|accessdate=2006-11-20|page=5A|title=Eagan High Students Shape School's Identity|url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PD&s_site=twincities&p_multi=SP&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB5D82EC7CA0688&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM and cite news|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|first=Tony|last=Blass|date=1989-01-25|accessdate=2006-11-20|page=1c|title=Eagan High Students Wild Over Wildcats|url=http://www.google.com/archivesearch/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=0-0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdocs.newsbank.com%2Fg%2FGooglePM%2FSP%2Flib00249%2C0EB5D832C833CAC1.html&ei=OGNiRdT-F8TiFdDqvPgC&usg=__rNUlhG9Cf4Rsj-gYym1WGsBeZAY=] The high school was opened in the fall of 1989 for ninth grade students, and for the grades ten through twelve a year later. The first class to graduate from Eagan High School was the class of 1991.

The first principal was Dr. Thomas F. Wilson. Dr. Wilson held the position for over the first ten years of the high schools existence. Upon his retirement in 2002, a controversial replacement, Dr. Jane Stewart, was appointed. Citing her "paucity of qualifications" and upset at her quick appointment, almost the entire faculty walked out of their first meeting with her.cite news|title=Turmoil over new principal roils school|first=John|last=Welbes|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|page=B1|date=2002-05-28|url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PD&s_site=twincities&p_multi=SP&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F3D77A5A9C79EBD&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D] Dr. Stewart nonetheless began as principal, but was involuntarily transferred to a position in the district office--spawning a lawsuit for employment discrimination.A Federal District Court dismissed most of Dr. Stewart's claims as being without legal merit, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Stewart v. I.S.D. 196, 481 F.3d 1034 (8th Cir. 2007).] Assistant Principal of Fine Arts Polly Reikowski was promoted to Principal.cite news|title=Teachers get principal they wanted all along|first=Tammy|last=Oseid|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|page=B4|date=2002-11-14|url=http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=PD&s_site=twincities&p_multi=SP&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F90A3A1E0542749&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM]

chool facilities

The high school is attached to Dakota Hills Middle School, and the two schools each have access to a common auditorium, series of athletic fields, and a municipal park. Although they share a common building, the two schools are completely separated and the there is virtually no incidental interaction between the middle school and high school students.

Expansion and renovation

During much of its history, the school was overcrowded and still is. When the high school opened, it was built to accommodate 1200 students but designed to be expanded to handle an additional 800 students. This expansion was necessary almost immediately and was completed within a few years of the opening.cite news|publisher= [St. Paul Pioneer Press] |page=A1|title=School District 196 Students Returning to Expanded Facilities|first=Debra|last=O'Connor|date=1994-09-01|accessdate=2007-09-04] That 1994 expansion included additional classrooms, teacher offices, and science labs. Another much-needed expansion was completed in 2005. This most recent expansion added yet more classrooms, but also included additional locker bays, circulation improvements to prevent hallway congestion, and an improved entryway for students and visitors.


Eagan High School stresses technology in education, a commitment set down by former principal Dr. Wilson and shown in the school's motto: "Technology-enhanced education with a human touch." When the school opened, it became the first fully networked high school in the nation. Six hundred computers were sold at a discount by Apple Computer, which publicized EHS worldwide as a "demonstration school."cite news|title=The symbiotic relationship of schools and businesses|first=Norman|last=Draper|page=1A|publisher=Minneapolis Star Tribune|date=1996-05-28|accessdate=2006-11-20|url=http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-62630349.html] Every room was equipped with a television, which received satellite broadcasts as well as programs from the school's television studio.

Departmental fundraising allowed for the construction of a fully operational television studio within the school. The main purpose of the studio was the ability to loan out the equipment for student or community projects, but the construction of the studio also allowed the school to create a weekly closed circuit television series called "Eagan AM." It is aired every Thursday morning during PAWS, a homeroom-like activity that takes place each morning.

As time passed and technology changed, the school continued to stay ahead of the curve. In 1999, the school helped test the use of fingerprint scans for checking out books in the library--making it one of the first schools in the nation to use biometric data for school services.cite news|url=http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=1277|publisher= [http://www.eschoolnews.com eSchool News] |title=This Minnesota high school gives fingerprint scanning a whorl|date=2000-09-01|accessdate=2006-11-20] In 2002, EHS became one of the first high schools in the nation to require students to register for classes online.cite news|publisher= [http://www.eschoolnews.com eSchool News] |title=Minnesota high school pilots online registration|date=2002-03-01|last=Guerard|first=Elizabeth|accessdate=2006-11-20|url=http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=3543]

Today, the building has wireless WiFi internet access throughout the school for faculty and student use. Teachers use laptops to wirelessly transmit attendance and grades to a central server. This information can be accessed through the school's website. The school has ten computer labs, most using Mac OS X. Although Dr. Wilson--the original force behind the school's commitment to technology--has retired, the school still continues its commitment to technology. In 2005, teachers began hosting online class review sessions using Adobe software.cite news|url=http://www.adobe.com/resources/education/article/review_leap_breeze.html|publisher= [http://www.adobe.com Adobe] |title=Breeze Live makes review sessions easy|date=2006-06-21|accessdate=2006-11-21] In addition, new "21st Century Classrooms" were installed to sample interactive education technology--including a wireless "slate" that allows students to write answers on the board from the comfort of their desks.cite news|publisher= [http://www.thisweek-online.com/ Eagan ThisWeek] |title=Eagan High School tries out new technology and may purchase more|date=2005-11-15|last=Achen|first=Jeff|accessdate=2007-09-04|url=http://www.thisweek-online.com/2005/november/1521stcenturyclassroom.html ]


Students receive a liberal arts education, rather than specializing. Social studies and English are required each year, and students must choose from a sampling of physical education, fine arts, math, science, and foreign language before graduation. These core requirements leave ample room for electives and individual courses of study, and many students take advantage of Business, Technology Education, Family and Consumer Science, and other courses. Classes are organized into a trimester system and the school day is divided into seven periods.

Advanced Coursework

A variety of options are offered for high-achieving students, including a decent amount of Advanced Placement courses in the areas of art, literature, writing, history, math and science. Additionally, seniors may earn credit for Language and English at the University of Minnesota through its "College in the Schools" (CIS) program or take classes at local universities and colleges through the state-sponsored Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program.

LINK program

To increase school spirit and soften the transition from middle school to high school, EHS began facilitating the Link Program in the 06-07 school year. At the end of the 05-06 school year, around 300 sophomores and juniors were nominated by staff to serve on the Link Crew the following year. About 110 were selected to be Link Crew Leaders and participated in several dozen hours of training in August 2006.

All incoming freshmen to EHS are assigned to a Link Leader, with approximately one dozen students per leader. The Link Crew Leaders are mentors and a source of assistance to freshmen. On the first day of school, freshmen participate with their leader in a welcoming program, consisting of various team-building activities.

As part of the Link Program, a new period was inserted into the schedule. Termed PAWS (People Achieving Wildcat Spirit), it is a 15 minute homeroom between the second and third periods of the day. Ideally composed of 5 students of each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior), PAWS is a time for announcements to be read and forms handed out. Like Link, PAWS groups also engage in a variety of activities to promote school spirit and connectivity with other classes. PAWS groups are permanent throughout a student's high school career, with the same teacher and students for all four years.

Eagan High School is the only school in District 196 to attempt a program like Link.

Academic Strength

The school has experienced some success academically. The class of 2005 had an average SAT score of 1258 and an average ACT score of 23.8. A large portion of graduates--92% of the class of 2005--attend two or four year colleges and universities soon after graduation, with the vast majority pursuing four year degrees. This academic success if also reflected in the school's consistently solid number of National Merit Scholars and Commended Scholars, as well as the number of academic awards it has earned.

The school has experienced occasional problems as well. Before Minnesota's star rating system for academic achievement was discontinued in 2006, Eagan high school was a one star school in reading and a four star school in math out of a possible five stars. [http://education.state.mn.us/ReportCard/2006/RCF420.pdf]

pecial Education Program

The school puts significant focus on its Special Education program which has caused the school's special education demographic to swell to 11%. In setting goals for future achievement through Minnesota's teacher incentive pay program, Eagan High School's sole goal was to increase standardized test scores for Special Education while other schools chose to focus on Advanced Placement programs [ [http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/About_MDE/News_Center/Press_Releases/031429 Press Releases ] ] . The Special Education program is very successful at sports as well, with many of the students contributing to Dakota United's annual success at softball and hockey.

Extracurricular activities

The school has many extracurricular activities with over seventy percent of its faculty coaching or advising some sort of after-school program. It has had great success in Athletics, Fine Arts, and other Activities.


Eagan High School currently offers twenty-seven interscholastic athletic activities and a variety of intramural sports programs. Adaptive soccer, floor hockey, and softball are available for special needs students.

The school competes under the Minnesota State High School League and is a member of the competitive Lake Conference. The Lake Conference is known as one of the most competitive conferences in the Midwest. Some notable interscholastic athletic successes include:
* Girls' Soccer qualified for the State Tournament in 1996, 1998, and 2001. They finished 2nd in 1996 and 4th in 1998.
* Girls' Hockey qualified for the State Tournament in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2008. They were State Runner Up in 1997 and Consolation Champions in 1998 and 2000.
* Girls' Volleyball has qualified for almost every state tournament in the last decade, and has won four State Championships.
* Trent Peterson and Ryan Peterson (no relation) led the Eagan boys golf team in 2005 to the school's first ever boys state championship. They also tied individually for state title honors. The boys golf team were section 1AA champions in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. In the state tournament they finished 3rd, 1st, 4th and 7th respectively.
* Boys' Basketball has qualified for the state tournament four times. They finished tied for fifth in 1999, 2001, and 2005 and were state runner-ups in 1998. They were also section 1AAAA champions in each of those years. The 1998 team is considered to be the strongest in school history, holding the best record, advancing to the state finals and being ranked as #1 in the state for a time during the season.
* Boys' Soccer has been Lake Conference champions in 1992, 1994, and 2000 through 2003. They made state tournament appearances in 1998 through 2003.
* Boys' Hockey qualified for the State Tournament for the first time in 2006.
*Both the Girls' and Boys' Cross Country Teams made state appearances in 2007.
*Both the Girls' and Boys' Track Teams made True Team State showing in 2008.
*Girls' Softball State Champs 2008.


Eagan High School has been most noted for its forensics programs. Through its speech and debate teams, it has won numerous awards including state and national titles in many categories. For the last decade, the National Forensics League (NFL) has recognized EHS as one of the top 1% of schools in forensics nationwide. The NFL has also given its "School of Excellence" Award to Eagan every year since 1999 and named it one of the top five schools in the nation. In 2005, the school was given the Bruno E. Jacob National Team Award.

On April 21 2007, the Eagan High School speech team set a new Class AA state record by claiming 20 medalists at the state tournament. Out of those 20 medalists, 4 were state champions.

The school also has a Student Congress team which competes within the state.


The Music Department at Eagan High School enrolls nearly 700 students in one of its five curricular bands or six curricular choirs. They are instructed by five full-time teachers. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences recognized Eagan for its vocal and instrumental music programs by naming it a GRAMMY Signature School in 2001. Through the school's history, more than 125 of its musicians have qualified for All-State Choir, Band, Jazz Band, and Orchestra. Its Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble have both performed for the MN Music Educators Association mid-winter convention.

The EHS Winterguard won the 2004 Championships in the North Star Circuit cite web|url=http://northstarcircuit.org/championships04.html |title=Championship Results, 2004 |accessdate=2008-08-11 |date=2004-03-27 |publisher=North Star Circuit ] in the category of Scholastic A, Division II under the direction of Erin Hager and Jessica Maher. In 2008, they won Championships at the Regional A level of competition. cite web|url=http://northstarcircuit.org/resultschampionships08.html |title=Championship Results, 2008 |accessdate=2008-08-11 |date=2008-04-05 |publisher=North Star Circuit ]

The EHS Winter Drumline won the World Class State Championship in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and were the State Large School Champions for nine consecutive years, 1993-2001. cite web|url=http://www.mnperc.org/about_hallchamps.php |title=Hall of Champions |accessdate=2008-08-11 |publisher=Minnesota Percussion Association ]


The school has regular plays and musicals. The schools' One-Act Play team has won the state's highest rating nearly every year since the school's inception.

Other activities

The school has a number of other notable activities, including:
*French, Spanish, and German clubs.
*A German Tanzgruppe, a German club sub-group that performs traditional German folk dances
*MUSE, EHS's literary arts magazine.
*Eagan Independent, EHS's monthly newspaper.
*Eagan AM, the school's student-run news program.
*Student Ambassadors, a group that helps new students.
*Peer Mediation, a club that helps and encourages students to solve their problems peacefully.
*Mock Trial, a club where students present a law case in court, filling the roles of lawyers and witnesses.
*Supermileage, a group of students who build an airplane throughout the school year, and later enter it into a competition.
*Science Olympiad, in which students compete in various competitions that involve the application of science.
*A chess team: its most notable alum is John Bartholomew, who won the National High School Chess championship in 2002 as a ninth grader. [http://www.isd196.k12.mn.us/minutes/min051302.pdf]
*A Robotics Team called "Blue Twilight"
*a math team (the school hosted the state tournament for many years)

tudent body

As a local public school, most of the students are drawn from the surrounding area--large parts of Eagan and a small section of neighboring Inver Grove Heights. A few students from elsewhere take advantage of Minnesota's "Open Enrollment" statute, which provides limited school choice. The race/ethnicity numbers at EHS for the 2005-06 school year are 5.8% African American, 6.7% Asian, 85.3% Caucasian, 1.9% Hispanic, and less than one percent Native American/Alaskan.

Eagan fight song

To the tune of the Notre Dame Victory March

We are from Eagan; stand up and cheer The Wildcats are roaring year after year Send a victory shout on high Shake down the thunder from the sky Yes, we're the Wildcats and we are great Onward to glory; fame is our fate Blue and Green and Silver waving Onward to victory!


* National Forensics League (NFL) School of Excellence, 1999-2006
* National Forensics League (NFL) Bruno E. Jacob Excellence Award for Speech-Debate Programs, 2005
* National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences GRAMMY Signature High School, 2001
* National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, 2001
* National Technology Exemplar School, 1996
* Redbook, Best of the State, 1996
* National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, 1995
* McGraw-Hill 21st Century School of Technology, 1995

Notable alumni

* Natalie Darwitz, women's hockey player, Olympic silver medalist in 2002 and bronze medalist in 2006
* Mike Schneider, professional poker player, winner of PartyPoker.com Million V cite news|publisher=St. Paul Pioneer Press|title=Spring Break Millionaire|date=2006-03-21|accessdate=2007-09-04|first=Paul|last=Tosto|url=http://www.redorbit.com/news/oddities/436617/spring_break_millionaire_u_senior_mike_schneider_takes_a_caribbean/index.html]
* Laura Osnes, stage actress who in 2007 won the Broadway role of Sandy on the televised competition ""
* Kaylee Unverzagt, winner of the 2008 Miss Minnesota Pageant


External links

* [http://www.eagan.k12.mn.us/ Eagan High School Official Site]
* [http://www.rschooltoday.com/school1/images/files/b10256_file2_20275.pdf Official School Profile]

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