Rockwood Summit High School

Rockwood Summit High School (also known as Summit High School) is a public high school in Fenton, Missouri that is part of the Rockwood School District. Summit opened in 1993 on the same day as Marquette High School, another Rockwood high school.

Rockwood Summit High School
1780 Hawkins Road
Fenton, MO 63026

United States
Coordinates38°31′01″N 90°29′35″W
TypeComprehensive high school
SuperintendentMark Miles
PrincipalEmily McCown
Number of students1,298 (2018–19)[1]
Color(s)         Maroon and black
Team nameFalcons
AffiliationsKFTN 92.7
Information(636) 861-7700
WebsiteSchool web site


In early 1992, Rockwood School District determined the necessity of constructing two new high schools to serve an expanding population. After voting to build the schools in March 1992, the Rockwood Board of Education unanimously voted to name the new southeast high school as Rockwood Summit High School.[2] In May 1992, the board named Tom Hensley as the first principal of the school, and construction began that summer according to designs by the William B. Ittner architectural firm.[3][4] Rock blasting was required to construct the building, which increased the cost by $207,000.[4] The original estimate for the building was $17 million; the total cost of the building upon completion was $22.7 million, although the school was built with a combined cafeteria and theater to save $2.5 million.[5] Among the $22.7 million cost of the building, costs for the pool facilities were $400,000, roofing and sheet metal were $780,000, masonry was $995,000, and data and voice networks were $200,000.[6][7] When built, Summit featured a two-story commons and atrium, 77 classrooms, several computer labs, and art, music and theater facilities.[8] The school opened on September 7, 1993, on the same day as Marquette High School, which was the first time that a school district in the St. Louis area had opened two new high schools on the same day.[9] It opened with 635 9th and 10th grade students.[9]

In 1998, Summit's first principal, Tom Hensley, retired after 26 years in the district; his replacement, Larry Berneking, transferred from Eureka High School.[10] In 1999, the school became the first in the St. Louis area to sponsor an equestrian club; in its first year, the club started with a dozen members and offered a variety of activities to learn about horseback riding.[11]

Within five years of its opening, the school district received approval for a bond issue to provide an auditorium and additional classrooms at Summit during the 19981999 school year.[12] According to a construction manager, the Summit addition included 34,000 square feet of new space (six classrooms on two floors) for $2.7 million, and its auditorium was completed during the winter of 1999.[12] As with the original building, the plans for the addition were completed by William B. Ittner, Inc., and the new auditorium and office space created a courtyard in front of the school.[12] Summit also gained 120 parking spaces.[12] During the expansion, five boys from the nearby middle school vandalised the building, destroying drywall, throwing equipment into an orchestra pit, and pouring roofing glue on plumbing.[13] The vandalism delayed the opening of the new wing by two weeks.[13] An additional five years later, in 2003, the parking lots and gymnasium floor were replaced at a cost of roughly $1.3 million.[14]

In early 2003, a group of conservative students began publishing an underground newspaper after they felt that the school newspaper was unresponsive to their needs.[15] The underground paper courted controversy when it published stories arguing in favor of an immediate invasion of Iraq, against the desegregation program, and a comparison of abortion with the Holocaust.[15] The abortion story also included "graphic photos of dismembered babies", and one student told the story's author that the photographs were "disgusting" given that the paper was distributed during lunch.[15] The newspaper also was published online.[16] In 2007, a bomb threat resulted in cancelled classes,[17] while in 2008, vandalism led administrators to cancel the homecoming dance.[18]

Recognitions and achievements

Summit was named by Newsweek magazine as one of America's top public high schools in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011.[19][20][21][22]

Social studies teacher Jamie Manker was crowned "Missouri Teacher of the Year" for 2014.[23]

The RSHS newspaper has received the George H. Gallup Award seven times.[24]

The Yearbook has received the National Scholastic Press Association All American Award six times.[24]

Enrollment and Demographics

As of the 20182019 school year, Rockwood Summit has an enrollment of about 1,298 students.[24]

Enrollment by Grade
9th 370
10th 315
11th 470
12th 444
Asian 4.2%
Black 10.1%
Hispanic 3.0%
White 80.1%

Current status

As of the 20182019 school year, Summit operates on an 8:28 am to 3:17 pm schedule. Serving since 2018, its principal is Emily McCown.

The school song is as follows:[25]

We're the mighty Falcons soaring
High above the crowd
Cheer the mighty Falcons scoring
Fearless, strong, and proud

Fighting on, we reach for the sky
Summit Falcons ever will fly
Hail, Hail for Rockwood Summit
As we cheer on our Falcon's flight.


For the 20182019 school year, the school offered 29 activities approved by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA):

  • Baseball
  • Boys and girls basketball
  • Robotics
  • Cheerleading
  • Boys and girls cross country
  • Dance and pom-pom team
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Boys and girls golf
  • Girls lacrosse
  • Band, orchestra and vocal music
  • Scholar bowl
  • Step Team
  • Boys and girls soccer
  • Softball
  • Speech and debate
  • Boys and girls swimming and diving
  • Boys and girls tennis
  • Boys and girls track and field
  • Boys and girls volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Winter guard
  • Wrestling

[26] In addition to its current activities, Summit athletic teams have won eight state championships, including:

  • Girls Softball: 1998, 2006
  • Dance Team: 2011
  • Boys Baseball: 2012
  • Cheerleading: 2015
  • Boys Soccer: 2016
  • Boys Track and Field: 2017
  • Girls Soccer: 2018
  • Girls Lacrosse: 2019

The school also has produced various individual state champions in track and field and wrestling.[27]


Enrollment, racial demographics, and free or reduced price lunches[28]
Year Enrollment White (%) Black (%) Asian (%) Hispanic (%) Free/reduced lunch (%)
2018 1,298 80.1 10.1 4.2 3.0
2011 1,321 85.9 11.1 1.7 0.9 17.3
2010 1,372 85.4 11.9 1.8 0.9 19.0
2009 1,368 85.9 12.1 1.4 0.6 16.3
2008 1,390 85.8 12.2 1.2 0.8 15.6
2007 1,394 86.2 12.4 0.9 0.5 12.5
2006 1,335 86.1 12.1 1.3 0.3 13.1
2005 1,342 85.2 13.0 1.3 0.3 12.8
2004 1,361 84.3 13.7 1.5 0.4 13.2
2003 1,363 83.3 14.7 1.3 0.6 13.7
2002 1,350 83.9 14.7 1.1 0.2 12.6

Notable people



  1. "ROCKWOOD SUMMIT SR. HIGH". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  2. Linda Billingsly (March 30, 1992). "Board Chooses Names For Three Of Four New Schools". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  3. "District Appoints Five To Be School Principals". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 11, 1992.
  4. Debra Carmichael (July 9, 1992). "Cost Of Site Preparation Soars - $300,000 Needed To Remove Rock At Two New High Schools". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  5. Phil Sutin (April 25, 1994). "Cost Of New Schools Topped Budget Estimates by 25 Percent". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  6. "Board Approves Bids for Signs, Pool at Middle, High Schools". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. December 7, 1992.
  7. "Bids Accepted on Telephones, Construction". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 24, 1993.
  8. Carolyn Bower (September 2, 1993). "Future is Now at New Rockwood Schools - District Puts Computers In, Chalkboards Out". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  9. Joan Little (August 23, 1993). "Old, New Schools Gearing Up for Opening Day". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  10. Linda Billingsly (June 11, 1998). "3 New Principals Are Hired". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  11. Michelle Mueller (October 2, 2000). "Rockwood Summit Students Mount Horse Lovers Club". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  12. Linda Billingsly (May 7, 1998). "District is Gearing Up to Build - Projects Include Two Auditoriums". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  13. "Law and Order". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 29, 1999.
  14. "Voters Guide - Jefferson County Propositions". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 3, 2003.
  15. Carolyn Bower (March 17, 2003). "Students Press Keep Stirring Controversy at High Schools". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  16. Jessica Bock (March 18, 2010). "Restrictions Frustrate Student Journalists". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  17. Angie Leventis (May 16, 2007). "Threats Cancel Classes at Two More Schools". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  18. "Summit Students Have Own Dance". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 5, 2008.
  19. "Education Digest". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 8, 2006.
  20. "Education Digest". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 2, 2008.
  21. "Education Digest". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 23, 2010.
  22. Deb Peterson (June 25, 2011). "Seen Around STL". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  24. "Rockwood School District Annual Report to the Community 2018-2019". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  26. MSHSAA: Rockwood Summit
  27. MSHSAA: Championship Histories by Sport
  28. Missouri DESE: Statistics
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