The History of Lafayette High School

Lafayette High School has served the St. Joseph community for 100 years. Over the years, the school has adjusted to changes in population and culture of the community. Lafayette has provided an increasing variety of academic and extra-curricular opportunities for the students.

Lafayette High SchoolIn 1917, North High School was built on a block of property surrounded by Highland, Dolman, Washington and Fourth Streets. The third St. Joseph high school was built to meet the needs of the northside students. The board of education soon changed the school's name to Lafayette High School, honoring Marquis de Lafayette. Seventeen teachers, under the direction of Principal Vincent A. Davis, served students in grades 1 through 10. Mr. Davis' salary was $1,800 for ten months. Extra-curricular activities included basketball and football. The students chose green and gray for their colors.

In 1919, a winning football team, under the direction of D.H. Murphy, became known as "The Fighting Irish", and the school emblem became the shamrock. The Booster Club was organized this year. In 1920, the first school newspaper, Hi-Life, later called The Light was published. A boys' vocational program and girls' domestic science program were soon added. These beginning efforts proved to be a firm foundation on which was built the present Lafayette High School.

The following years brought many significant changes. In 1940, building an extension on the west side provided a library, ROTC facilities and new classrooms.

New Gym Construction

In 1961, a gymnasium, cafeteria and more classrooms were added. In 1969, another physical change provided a four story annex on the east side, offering more classrooms and resource centers.

During the 1990-91 school year, the building was extended again with the completion of a two-story addition on the southside of the building. This addition provided a very modern learning resource center with the latest in technology. It also provided courses for students in grades nine through twelve.

During the 2001-2003 school years, the building was extended once again. A two story addition on the southside of the media center and to the east of the cafeteria provided a new practice gym on the top floor and below the gym, a new modern band room, storage areas and a new girls locker room. The LHS track was resurfaced and at the same time, two rooms on the west end of the building were remodeled to give Lafayette two state of the art science laboratories. The building was further enhanced when the original office, the vice principals offices and one classroom were remodeled to contain the East Office, for the Vice Principals, a conference room, and the West Office for the Principal and Activities Coordinator.

Lafayette has had eleven principals, and each has contributed significantly to meeting the academic, social and individual needs of the students. Curriculum has changed in order to adjust the changes in skills, trends and attitudes. The variety of extra-curricular activities has increased due to greater awareness of the students' needs as individuals and members of the society.

Today Lafayette continues to cheer "The Fighting Irish" and waves the shamrock proudly. The yearbook, The Oak, and the newspaper, The Light, both having experienced many changes, still are published. The Booster Club is still funding worthy causes and worthy students. In addition to these grand traditions, there is much more of which to be proud. At Lafayette, certified personnel and supportive personnel continue to offer the students a variety of academic and vocational courses. The counseling department provides a comprehensive career center, an innovative peer counseling program and a thorough college guidance program. Special classes serve the mentally and behaviorally disadvantaged, as well as the gifted and talented. The many teacher-sponsored extra-curricular activities allow each student to develop his/her personal skills and interests.

In the spring of 1989, Jerry and Carolyn Kiner, because of over 20 years of loyalty and dedication to Lafayette High School, were honored by being named "Mr. and Mrs. Lafayette". Mr. and Mrs. Kiner's picture was placed in the trophy case by the cafeteria and will remain there forever as a tribute to them.

From the $32,000 invested in North High School in 1917 evolved a productive and creative Lafayette High School. The desire to serve the students has motivated many changes. These changes in curriculum, extra-curricular activities and procedures have kept pace with the times.

Lafayette School Song

Hail to thee, our dear old Lafayette
We shall sing of thee,
Oh, a fount of inspiration
Thou shalt ever be

Wave the green-gray banner proudly,
Let its color glow, Lafayette's praises
Singing loudly
As we onward go
Every student, man or maiden,
Swells the glad refrain
As the breeze with music laden
Wafts it back again
Wave the green-gray banner proudly,
Let its color glow, Lafayette's praises
Singing loudly
As we onward go

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2023 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.