Victoria High School 1950
HISTORY OF VICTORIA HIGH
Victoria High School came into being in
1940. It was not a brand new building but the existing red brick
two story that was known as St. Fidelis High School. Up until that
time ownership of the high school was held by the Diocese of
Concordia and operated by St. Fidelis Parish. (For
clarification, the Diocese headquarters relocated to Salina, Kansas
some years later.) The parish operated the school on a
tuition basis. In the years prior to l940, a high school education
was not considered of great importance. This factor and the cost of
tuition resulted in enrollment in St. Fidelis High School to be very
By 1939, the need became apparent that education beyond
8th grade was important. To make education affordable to
every elementary school graduate, a decision was made to petition
the State of Kansas to establish a school district. A committee was
formed of three members-one being from Victoria, one from the rural
area north of the city, and one from the rural area south of the
city. The three committee members were Dr. Bert Anderson from
Victoria, Leo Rajewski from the south and Felix Kindernecht from the
north. They canvassed their respective areas obtaining enough
signatures to petition the state to establish the school district.
The petition was successful. In 1940, the name was changed from St.
Fidelis to Victoria Rural High School. In later years, the word
Rural was dropped from the school name.
Now that the district was established, the next step
was to have a building in which to conduct classes and a school
board to oversee operation of the high school. The first school
board elected was Felix Kinderdnecht, Leo Rajewski, and Dr. Bert
Anderson. Since the building formerly being used belonged to the
diocese, the school board made a trip to Concordia to see the
Bishop. They successfully negotiated a lease that transferred use
of the building from the diocese to the school district with the
stipulation that the parish pastor be part of the governing board.
The building was leased from 1940 through 1949.
Victoria High School was now established. The school
board had the job of hiring a principal and teaching staff. Sr.
Alexia was the first principal serving from 1940-1941 with three
other nuns. Sr. Regina Marie served as principal from 1942-1944
with four other nuns. Hyacinth Roth had been serving as assistant
principal and was named principal in 1945. He served in that
position until 1954.
The school board and teaching staff were very proactive in
developing and advancing education. Student enrollments increased
steadily. The need for additional classrooms became apparent. In
1941 and 1942 ground under the existing building was excavated and a
basement garden level was completed. A few years later additional
space was added by attaching a two story annex building on the
southeast side. The lower floor was used for manual training and
the upper floor for music and band. Mr. Kinderknecht moved away
from the area in his second year of serving on the board and Ray Dreiling
filled this position on the board for one year. Emmanuel Pfeifer
from Walker was then elected to the board. Mr. Pfeifer, Mr.
Rajewski, and Dr. Anderson served as board members through most of
the 1940ís. By the mid-forties, school enrollment and projected
enrollment had increased and the need for more space was apparent.
The school board then launched the development and construction for
a new high school building. The board along with district patrons
diligently canvassed the district for signatures required to request
approval for a new building. The mission proved successful and a
new building was ready for occupancy in the spring semester of 1950.
This is a brief summation of the formation and
development of the present Victoria High School. Like the Knights
of old, VHS continues the crusade progressing into the learning
institution it has so proudly become.
* Compiled by Del Rajewski (class of 1951) and Howard Rajewski (class