Garden City High School (known locally as GCHS) is a public high school, serving students in grades 9–12, located in Garden City, Kansas, United States. It is operated by Garden City USD 457 public school district, and the only high school in the district. The school colors are brown and white, and gold is considered an accent color. Approximately 2,155 students are enrolled for the 2018–2019 school year. The current principal is Steve Nordby.
Garden City High was founded in 1910 on the site that is now Sabine Hall in order to help educate the increasing population of Garden City. In 1917, a new high school was constructed at the site that is now known as Calkins Hall and two years later, the school was renamed “Sequoayah High School“. In 1954, the school moved to its previous location, and on November 4, 2008, a bond issue for a new $95 million high school was passed. The first class to graduate from the current high school location was the Class of 2013.
Garden City is a member of the Kansas State High School Activities Association and offers a variety of sports programs. Athletic teams compete in Class 6A and are known as the “Buffaloes”. Extracurricular activities are also offered in the form of performing arts, school publications, and clubs. Despite rapidly rising numbers of English as a Second Language students, Garden City High School has raised student achievement in reading, mathematics and science. The school newspaper, The Sugar Beet, was established in 1910 and is the oldest high school newspaper in the state of Kansas. The school has produced several notable alumni in various fields and occupations.
The first high school in Garden City that would eventually become Garden City High School was established in 1910 on the location that is now Sabine Hall in order to educate a rapidly increasing population. During the school’s inaugural year, the school newspaper, The Sugar Beet, was established. In 1913, the high school was accredited by the North Central Association. In 1916, the Garden City School Board set a minimum teaching standard of one year of college and two years of teaching experience for all staff members, and a year later, the high school was accredited by the U.S. Military Academy. Later that year, a new high school was constructed at the site that is now known as Calkins Hall. Two years later, the high school was renamed “Sequoyah High School“. The Board of Education approved night school in 1920 and summer school was approved the following year. In 1926, vocational home economics was started and in 1927, the Board established a maximum for teaching of two years of college and two years of experience. Calkins Hall was remodeled in 1929 and 15 credits were now required for graduation. This number was increased to 16 credits in 1931 when the high school was renamed “Garden City High School“. During this time, the main gym was named in honor of Ben Grimsley and was known as the “Ben Grimsley Gymnasium”. The hot lunch program began in 1938.
As years passed, the athletics department began to experience moderate success, and in 1945, Garden City won its first state championship in track as well as repeating the feat in 1946. A new high school was constructed in 1954, with the auditorium being completed the following year. The graduation credit limit was increased further to 19 credits in 1958. Garden City High School experienced many changes in 1959, including the creation of the counseling and honors programs, and a new dress code. The debate team also won the state championship.