Archbishop Alter High School

Archbishop Alter High School, also known as Alter High School, is a Catholic high school in Kettering, Ohio, United States. It is operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati and is named after Archbishop Karl Joseph Alter.

Archbishop Alter High School
940 East David Rd

, ,

United States
Coordinates39°40′48″N 84°9′6″W
TypePrivate, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
OversightArchdiocese of Cincinnati
PresidentFr. Jim Manning
PrincipalLourdes Lambert
ChaplainFr. Tim Fahey
Enrollment580 (2017–18[1])
Student to teacher ratio11/1
Color(s)Brown and Gold         
Athletics conferenceGreater Catholic League
Team nameKnights
RivalChaminade Julienne, Bishop Fenwick & Fairmont
NewspaperThe Knight Times


In October 1958, Catholics of the Dayton area pledged $4,953,050 to help pay the costs of building Catholic high schools in the area. Among the schools built with this money were Archbishop Alter High School and its mirror image, Carroll High School, built the previous year. Development of Alter High School was led by Reverend Paul F. Leibold, and, at the request of the people, the school was named after Archbishop Karl Alter. Archbishop Karl Alter was born on August 18, 1885 and died on August 23, 1977.

The school saw its first students on September 5, 1962 with an incoming class of 250 freshmen. In each of the next three years a new freshman class would be added, so, by the year 1965, the school offered grades 9 through 12, with the first class graduating in 1966.

Alter High's first principal was Reverend Edward F. Haskamp, serving from 1962 to 1970. In 2005, Alter High named Fr. James Manning, former pastor of St. Albert the Great Parish in Kettering, as its first President.

As of 2017, the school has 580 students,[1] 71 faculty, and over 1,025 courses.


Alter High School's faculty is composed of diocesan priests of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Sisters of Charity of Mount St. Joseph, and lay teachers.


Alter features a strong STEM Curriculum through a partnership with Project Lead the Way. Alter has earned a Governor's Award for STEM education and has added 6 new labs to the school since 2009. 20 Students participated in the State Science Fair and 4 earned perfect scores in 2014. Every student at Alter is now equipped with a laptop computer complete with Microsoft Office software. The OGT pass rate at Alter is 100%.

The school provides AP classes, which offer the prospect of college credit as well as a weighted grade. Alter students have already proven to consistently exceed state and national test averages due, in part, to the supplemental course offerings they can take, in addition to the ample amounts of study halls offered. Alter graduates commonly attend the University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Wright State University, Miami University (Ohio), Ohio State University, and Ohio University.

The Taylor College Lab at Alter was provided by a generous donation and operated by Sinclair College, it offers students a way to take classes for college credit and remain on Alter's campus. Students may use this facility to take practice exams for ACT, SAT and other academic tests. They may also work on college résumés and applications in the lab and along with the guidance office was responsible for the $15,500,000 full and partial academic, athletic and arts scholarships generated by the Class of 2014.

A student's school day begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 3:05 PM and the schedule was changed for the 2009-2010 school year to include eight 46-minute class periods and a 25-minute lunch period, with three minutes between each period to change classes. This change has allowed the students more flexibility with choosing electives or study halls within their schedules.

Performing Arts at Alter

Alter prides itself that the opportunities it provides to its students are not exclusively academic and athletic - the school offers a number of opportunities in the creative and performing arts. Alter is currently raising money to add an Arts Wing to the school to help the Arts program grow.


Though it may not be comparable in size to many of the other high school programs in the area, the Alter High School music department has seen growth in recent years. Alter students can choose to participate in multiple ensembles during the year: the Marching Knights, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Wind Ensemble, String Ensemble, Woodwind and Brass Ensembles, Winter Guard and Winter Drumline.

The Marching Knights are the musical ambassadors for Archbishop Alter High School. In addition to their musical support and performances at football games, the band also appears at festivals and in parades in the community. The Marching Knights compete on the Mid States Band Association (MSBA) circuit which includes bands from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. The band also competed for the first time at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana in November 2009. The Marching Knights are Bands of America Regional Finalists (Akron 2012, Kettering 2013, Dayton 2016) and have been MSBA Finalists 5 of the last 6 years. In 2011, the Knights were MSBA Reserved Grand Champions winning awards for best visual, general effect and percussion. The Marching Knights finished 8th in Class A at the 2012 Bands of America Grand National Championship and are the 2012 Mid States Band Association Grand Champion, taking awards for best music, visual, general effect and percussion. The Marching Knights successfully defended their title and are the 2013 Mid States Band Association Grand Champion, taking awards for best music, visual, general effect, percussion, and auxiliary. Also in 2013, the band participated in 2013 BOA Grand National Championships and qualified for semi-finals, finishing 36th in the country. Due to their performance at the 2013 Atlanta BOA Super Regional, the group was asked by Winter Guard International (WGI) to be one of 3 groups to help pilot their new division, WGI Winds, in the spring of 2014 by performing in exhibition at two WGI regional competition, and the World Percussion Championships. In the fall of 2014 the Marching Knights won their third, consecutive state title, as well as returning to the BOA Grand National semi-finals, finishing 3rd in the nation in their class. In 2015, Alter's band won their 4th straight MSBA Class A championship. In 2016, The Marching Band won their 5th Straight MSBA Class A Championship and won their class at the BOA Dayton Regional and BOA St. Louis Regional. That same year, the Marching Knights returned to BOA Grand Nationals, making semi-finals for the third year out of four and placed 3rd once again in their class. In 2017, The Marching Knights won their 6th State Championship and went to nationals and made it into semi finals earning a 4th place spot in their Class. In 2018, The Marching Knights Jumped up a class to AA in MSBA and made it into finals finishing with a 6th place finish at state. That same year, they went to the BOA Mid-Atlantic Regional at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, where they placed first in their class at the competition. The program is under the leadership of Director of Bands, Todd Tucker (2007–Present).

Band Shows

Marching Band shows:

YearShow TitleMSBA ScoreMSBA Placement (Class)BOA ScoreBOA Placement in Class
2007Cirque Du Soleil63.75th (A)Did not Compete in BOA
2008Salvation70.507th (tie) (A)Did not Compete in BOA
2009In the Dark of [K]night59.612th (A)59.407th
2010The Gift75.905th (A)60.106th
2011New Orleans Sketches83.702nd (A)57.955th
2012Blue Moon88.501st (A)64.904th
2013Magic Show88.901st (A)69.504th
2014Assembly Required77.201st (A)71.253rd
2015Hangar 1877.701st (A)71.853rd
2016Ghost Story84.601st (A)73.203rd
2017arOund77.501st (A)72.8004th
2018JustinTime74.806th (AA)66.3007th
2019Sherlock 85.8 1st (tie) (AA) 73.950 3rd

Winter Guard shows:

2014 Seize the Day
2015 Music Box
2016 It Gets Better
2017 Rise to Power
2018 The Original Imagineer
2019 Workin' it Out!

WGI Winds

2014 Magic Show (as exhibition)
2015 fiVe
2016-Present: Did not compete


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Alter’s theatre program grew into its own department with additional classes and very impressive productions. Several shows since 2001 have brought first and second place state awards in categories of Group Musical, Solo, Lighting, Sound, Design, Duet and Playwrighting, including How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Teahouse of the August Moon, Anything Goes and Cabaret. Alter has gained acclaim within the Miami Valley for excellence in arts education. This due to strong support from the community and administration and a tradition of excellence over the years by theatre directors Bob Heman, Trace Crawford, Bryan Wallingford, Katie Arber, and (currently) Megan Wean-Sears. The school's Theatre department has produced many stellar productions (see list below). Another unique facet of the program is Alter's Thespian Troupe (#5802), a chapter of an international organization dedicated to the celebration of achievement in theatre arts education. Alter proudly takes place in many thespian-related activities.

Past Productions

Clubs and activities

The school's Latin Club functions as a local chapter of both the Ohio Junior Classical League (OJCL)[2] and the National Junior Classical League (NJCL).[3]


Archbishop Alter High School's team nickname is the Knights; their colors are brown and gold. In general, both the boys' and girls' teams belong to the GCL-CoEd (Greater Catholic League).

Home basketball and volleyball games are played in the school gym. The school also owns a soccer field encircled by a track, where the soccer team plays its home games and the track and field team practices. Although they have a four lane track, Alter High School does not own a football field, so home football games are typically held at other local high schools such as Fairmont High School or Centerville High School. The head football coach is Ed Domsitz and he has led the Alter Knights to 5 final four state championship appearances, including two back-to-back state championships in 2008 and 2009.

Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championships

Other Athletic Accomplishments

  • Boys' Tennis - team state champs 1976*
  • Girls' Tennis - team state champs 2001*
  • Boys Volleyball - team state champs 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017*
*Note - The OHSAA does not hold team state championship tournaments for tennis or boys volleyball. Rather, they are administered by the state coaches' association of their respective sports.

Boys' Sports

A full listing of the boys' sports offered at Alter High School:

Girls' Sports

A full listing of the girls' sports offered at Alter High School:


Alter High has a number of sports rivals. Depending on the sport, the school's biggest games each year are against local public school rivals Kettering Fairmont High School (Ohio) or Centerville High School. Chaminade-Julienne High School, Bishop Fenwick High School (Franklin, Ohio) and Carroll High School are the three local Catholic School rivals. Alter has won 10 GCL All-Sports Trophies in a row.


Alter High School is marked by the school spirit of its students. Every Friday is Spirit Day, on which students are allowed to wear a spirit shirt of the school colors along with the standard uniform pants. Sporting events, especially football and basketball games, are well-attended by students. A tradition of dress up "themes" for each of the home football games has developed as a fun display of school spirit. Past themes include "Knight Night" and "Alter Teacher Night". The theme of the homecoming game is always "Toga Night" Pep rallies are common on the days of rivalry games.

Alma Mater

The Alma Mater is played by the school band at the end of every pep rally and on various other occasions. While it is played, students extend their arms over the shoulders and neck of those to their left and right and sway together with the music. When the lyrics reach "High in Hope and Spirit," the student unjoin and proceed to raise and lower their right arms, index finger extended as if pointing, holding the position at the end of each line until the song ends. The Alma Mater was written by one of the first nuns to teach at the school.

Fight Song

Although not as common as the Alma Mater, Alter High School also has a fight song. This may be sung on occasions such as a team bus ride to a sporting event or after a victory, but is most commonly sung on the bus after a football victory. After the game, the team will go over to the student section and sing the fight song. The Fight Song was written by one of the first nuns to teach at Alter.

Notable alumni


  1. "High School Open House Guide". The Catholic Telegraph. 186 (10). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. October 2017. p. 17.
  2. "OJCL Chapter List". - August 2001. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. 2010. Archived from the original on August 9, 2001. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
  3. "OJCL Constitution". - July 2002. Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2002. Retrieved August 16, 2010. ... by paying both OJCL annual chapter dues and any annual chapter membership dues required by NJCL.
  4. OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
  5. Yappi. "Yappi Sports Basketball". Archived from the original on 13 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-12.
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