Wichita East High School

Wichita East High School, known locally as "East", is a public secondary school in the central part of Wichita, Kansas. The school's 44-acre (180,000 m2) campus and the building's Collegiate Gothic styling make it an urban landmark. East’s enrollment for the 2018-19 school year was 2,462 making it the largest high school in Kansas.[1] The school offers the International Baccalaureate program, a magnet program that teaches students at college level, and which attracts students from all around the Wichita metro area. The campus is also home to the Wichita Area Technical College.

Wichita East High School
2301 East Douglas Avenue


Coordinates37°40′56″N 97°18′34″W
School typePublic, High School
School districtUSD 259
SuperintendentAlicia Thompson
CEEB code173206
PrincipalSara Richardson
Teaching staff131.60 (on a FTE basis)
Grades9 to 12
Enrollment2,462 (2018–19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio17.31
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)     Navy blue
     Columbia Blue
AthleticsClass 6A
District 6
Athletics conferenceGreater Wichita
Athletic League
MascotBlue Aces
NewspaperThe Messenger


Wichita East traces its roots back to 1878, although the current building was completed in 1923. Originally known as Wichita High School, East was the first of seven traditional public high schools to be built in USD 259, Wichita's Unified School District. In 1929, when Wichita North High School was completed, the school's name was changed to Wichita High School East. Originally built on a campus shared with Roosevelt Junior High School, the high school's growing enrollment forced the conversion of the junior high school into a second wing of the high school.

The junior high school and high school were joined by a third structure in 1976-1977, a library and cafeteria that connected the second floor of the two buildings. In 2004, a construction project added a new gymnasium, converted the old gym into the current science wing, and provided air conditioning to the entire building, but the renovation removed the building's swimming pool, auto mechanics building and 500 Hall, which housed the wood shops.

In 2011, East added a secondary gym and a new swimming pool. In 2012, the school opened the new performing arts center, featuring a 600-seat theater, instrumental rehearsal spaces and vocal music room.

In 2014, East was ranked the #1 school in the state of Kansas by U.S. News & World Report [9] and the #1 place to work in Wichita by the Wichita Business Journal. [10] In 2017, Architectural Digest named East the most beautiful high school in the state of Kansas.[11]


Wichita High School East is regionally recognized for both academic and athletic success. The school offers both the Wichita Public Schools diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a magnet diploma that students earn through the International Baccalaureate program. The school also offers many Advanced Placement, Honors, and college preparatory classes. The school also offers the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program for selective students. East consistently leads Wichita-area schools in academic awards. Both the high school's newspaper, The Messenger, and yearbook, "Echoes," have been recognized in national competitions, and the former is a member of the High School National Ad Network.

East High school is also known for consistently having many National Merit Scholars each year from students taking the PSAT/NMSQT.

East High has a strong performing arts program, with all groups (band, choral, theatre, and orchestra) having won many city and state awards for outstanding performances throughout the years.

East has a large and successful debate and forensics squad and consistently qualifies students for the national tournament. In June 2007, East hosted the debate portion of NFL Nationals.[12] East also has a very successful Scholar's Bowl team winning 4 state championships in 1998, 2004, 2007, and most recently 2011.[13]

Extracurricular activities

Clubs and Activities

East has over 50 clubs and activities in which students can participate. Many clubs embrace diversity, are active in the community, or promote entertainment. Clubs vary from Anime club to National Honor Society to Students Against Prejudice. Students can participate in school-centered activities like STUCO (student council) or follow personal interests in clubs like Tai Chi, Students Against Prejudice, the Young Democrats, or Ultimate Frisbee Club. The Big Do, a club fair held after school one evening each September, consists of all student organizations gathering on the front lawn to sell food and host activities. Every spring, East High holds "Aces in the Community," a day in which all students and faculty go out into Wichita to perform community service.


East High holds 96 state championships with all their sports teams combined. Athletically, East is home to a consistently competitive basketball program that has 9 state championships. In addition, the Blue Aces football team, who have won 4 state championships, has been increasingly successful in recent years due to leadership changes as well as two highly acclaimed and heavily recruited brothers, Arthur (Class of 2008) and Bryce Brown (Class of 2009). East’s football team was Wichita State’s opponent in the first game in the program’s history. East's Boys Swimming and Diving team is also dominate winning 14 State Championships, most recently one in 2013. East athletics compete in the Greater Wichita Athletic League against the city's seven largest public high schools and two private Catholic high schools. East is a 6A school, the largest size recognized by the Kansas High School Athletics Association. Since 1928, East High teams have been known as the Blue Aces, and the school is represented by its mascot, Max, a World War I flying ace with an oversized head and a pronounced cleft chin. The schools colors are Navy Blue and White with Columbia Blue as a third color.

Boys Basketball

East High is known for its historically successful boys basketball team. The team's tradition for success dates back to its 1915 state title, and has continued over 100 years to its 2015 Kansas 6A state title, a season during which the Aces posted an overall record of 24-1 and an average margin of victory of 23.7 points. 2015 marked the third consecutive year the Aces qualified for the state basketball tournament, as well as the Aces' second state title in 10 years and the third since 2002. The Aces play home games in the East gym, which has a seating capacity of 2,400.

National Championship

The 1925 boys basketball team won the National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament in Chicago. The tournament was an attempt by Amos Alonzo Stagg to create a national high school champion which lasted from 1917 to 1930 before school administrators intervened to oppose the concept of a national tournament. Wichita defeated El Reno High School 27-6 in the final.[14]

State championships

State Championships[13]
SeasonSportNumber of ChampionshipsYear
FallFootball41950, 1951, 1982, 1983
Cross Country, Boys71948, 1949, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1964
WinterSwimming and Diving, Boys141931, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 2013
Basketball, Boys101915, 1925, 1951, 1953, 1962, 1972, 1992, 2002, 2005, 2015
Bowling, Girls12013
Wrestling101931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950
SpringBaseball51945, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1957
Golf, Boys111943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1965
Outdoor Track and Field, Boys281913, 1914, 1917, 1926, 1929, 1930, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1996
Indoor Track and Field, Boys41957, 1965, 1966, 1967
Swimming and Diving, Girls12017[15]

Notable alumni

See also




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