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Kalamazoo Central High School
Public high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Kalamazoo Central High School is a publichigh school in Kalamazoo, Michigan serving students from ninth through twelfth grades. It was the first public high school in Michigan. It began operating in 1858 and graduated its first class of five men and three women in 1859. It moved to its current location in 1972. It is rated Class A by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). On May 4, 2010, the White House announced that Central High had won the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge and that President Barack Obama would deliver the school's 2010 commencement address.
Kalamazoo Central students are eligible for the Kalamazoo Promise, which provides reduced or free college tuition for students attending public colleges in Michigan.
The first legal public high-school in Kalamazoo and in the state of Michigan began operating in 1858. The first class, consisting of five men and three women graduated in 1859.Charles E. Stuart sued the Kalamazoo School Board in 1874 alleging that the school-board's use of taxpayer money to fund secondary education was unconstitutional (up until that point taxpayers money was only for elementary schools). The School Board prevailed, setting a precedent allowing publicly funded secondary education throughout the country. In 1925 the school moved to the building currently known as Old Central High School at 714 South Westnedge. On the fourth floor of the Old Central High School is currently located the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, or KAMSC. Following the largest graduating class of 799 students in 1960, some Central High School students transferred to the newly opened Loy Norrix High School in 1961. Central High School moved to its current location in 1972.
After the introduction of the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program, the school along with the Kalamazoo Public Schools system was placed into the national spotlight highlighted with a Katie Couric visit. Enrollment in KPS has risen significantly, and the surrounding area has begun to find economic benefits.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets played a show in the Old Central High School Auditorium on April 28, 1958.
The demographic breakdown of the 1,595 students enrolled in 2013-14 was:
Male - 48.7%
Female - 51.3%
Native American/Alaskan - 0.6%
Asian/Pacific islanders - 2.4%
Black - 49.1%
Hispanic - 8.7%
White - 33.7%
Multiracial - 5.5%
64.6% of the students were eligible for free or reduced lunch.
The Choir program competes in the MSVMA (Michigan State Vocal Music Association).