Louisville Male High School
Louisville Male Traditional High School is a public secondary school serving students in grades 9 through 12 in the southside of Louisville, Kentucky, USA. It is part of the Jefferson County Public School District. A growing 19th century river city needed a place to a new high school, and so in 1861, Male was designated "The University of Public Schools in Louisville". From 1856 until 1912, Male High School conferred Bachelor degrees on its graduates, and in some instances conferred Master degrees to exceptional students. Originally open to males only, it is now co-educational.

School history

Early History
In 1798 the Kentucky State Legislature authorized the creation of a college for young men to be built in Louisville. In 1816, after 18 years of bureaucratic blundering, the trustees were able to open the Jefferson Seminary. The school changed its identity on several occasions over the next 40 years until finally, in 1856, the school split into two entities. One was the University of Louisville and the other was Louisville Male High School. At the same time Louisville Female High School (later Girls High School) was created (eventually to be merged into du Pont Manual as a co-educational school). By the late 19th century there was a need in the community for a broader course selection because Male High School only taught academic courses and there was no place for a student to learn manual skills. In order to solve this problem, a barracks was built in 1890 in the backyard of Male High School and shop-type courses were taught to students who wanted to learn a trade. However, the barracks did not solve the problem because the demand for admission exceeded the capacity of the school. In 1892 Manual High School was created as a separate school. Male High School's major focus was on academics and du Pont Manual taught manual skills. In 1915, E.O. Holland, the Superintendent of Education, decided that Louisville would never need more than one high school so he ordered the consolidation of Male and Manual. The two schools became known as Louisville Boys High. The purple and gold and the red and white disappeared from the horizon and new colors, blue and gray, were chosen. Shortly thereafter Holland accepted a job as president of a university and left town, leaving behind the mess he had created.. By 1918 the public realized Holland had erred, and under considerable public pressure, the school board separated the schools at the end of the 1918 school year. Male became the first magnet/optional program in Jefferson County Public Schools in the 1970s when it was chosen as the Traditional High School. The district wished to create a structured learning environment which focused on learning fundamentals. A climate of high expectations and standards was created through the combined efforts of students, faculty, administration and parents. Male is a school built on traditional values with its program a "philosophical" magnet called the Traditional Program. The school sends 96% of its students to post-secondary schools, and it was selected as a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon award winner twice in the 1990s.

Mascot and School Letter
The school's mascot is a bulldog and it is common to refer to the school as the Male Bulldogs or even just dawgs (dogs). The school letter is actually an H, standing for High school while the longstanding rival du Pont Manual has the M as its letter.

School locations
First site - 1856-1897 - Ninth and Chestnut This building was the first home of Louisville Male High School on its opening day, April 7, 1856. The school grew to an enrollment of over 200 young men. The first principal was W. H. Harney. He served in this position from 1856”“1857. The most notable principal at this first site was Maurice "Hoss" Kirby. For eleven years, 1886”“1897, Kirby dedicated his time and talents to the position of principal. The first two graduates of Male High School in 1859 were Lewis D. Kastenbine (who later became a physician in Louisville) and James S. Pirtle (later became a prominent Louisville judge). The first football game was played on November 18, 1893 (Male vs. Manual) with Male beating Manual 14-12. This marked the beginning of what is today one of the oldest high school rivalries in America. Second site - 1898-1915 - First Street near Chestnut Two of this sites' most notable principals are Rueben Post Halleck (1897”“1912) and S.B. Tinsley (1912”“1915). It was at this location that Male received its first International recognition. At the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, a Gold Medal for excellence was given to only 5 schools in the world. Male was the only high school in America to receive this Medal. Also at this location, High School Park was established at the later Male Brook & Breckinridge school site. This was the first high school athletic facility in America. It has been in continuous use since 1901. Third site - 1915-1991 - Corner of Brook Street and Breckinridge Street Male continued to receive many awards of excellence during its tenure at the famed Brook and Breck location. The band and orchestra received state and national championship awards in 1927. The journalism and physics department have received national awards as well as a 1989 American High School of Excellence Award. The gymnasium completed the high school facilities in 1939 with its official title, "Pap Glenn Gymnasium" and the High School Park was renamed Maxwell Field. Notable principals at this location include J.B. Carpenter (1919”“1931), W.S. Milburn (1931”“1961), Dr. Irvin Rice (1977”“1979), and R. Ted Boehm (1979”“1992). Fourth site - 1991-current - 4409 Preston Highway In August, 1991, Male moved to its current campus at 4409 Preston Highway, an educational facility that doubled the instructional, laboratory, library, and campus space. Since it has moved to this location, the school has won two U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon awards. The site was previously Sallie P. Durrett High School, which became the Durrett Education Center in the early 1980s and was used by Jefferson County Public Schools Library Media Services until 1991. The adjoining Gheens Academy, which opened in 1983, was previously Prestonia Elementary School. Notable principals include Joseph Burks Jr. and David Wilson, who retired suddenly on September 29, 2009 after several faculty members were invited into his office to watch a video of students engaged in sexual relations caught on the cafeteria's security camera. To date no charges have been filed.

Present day

The school like its rival du Pont Manual runs a unique curriculum that is different from the other public high schools in the city. All students participate in the College Preparatory Program so as to guarantee the transition to higher education is as smooth as possible. Students have an opportunity to graduate with a Commonwealth Diploma. Which is above and beyond the required units to graduate high school by Jefferson County. One of the stipulations is the successful completion (i.e., receiving a grade of “C” or its equivalent) in 4 AP courses in the areas of English, Science/Mathematics, Foreign Language, and Elective.

Louisville Male adheres to a strict dress code requiring stipulations such as neatly tucked in shirts, belts, limited piercings (2 for girls ears only and 0 for boys) to even hair color and length (no more than 2 inch sideburns and bangs for males) no visible tattoos or markings. Students may wear solid purple, gold, white or black no logo polo shirts but must wear plain black, navy, or khaki pants. An exception is Friday (Spirit Day) on which students can choose from a variety of school "Spirit" shirts with blue jeans. The strict rules and guidelines are designed to give students a clean and professional look and to keep everyone on the same level. As a magnet school students come from all over the city and from different socio-economic backgrounds.

Getting into the high school is virtually impossible unless previous enrolled in one of the 3 traditional program magnet middle schools, Johnson Middle (south side), Jefferson Country Traditional Middle (Middle East) and Barret Traditional Middle (Northeast and East). The traditional program works on a lottery system where you are given an equal chance as everyone else to get your student into the school. Only students from the feeder schools are automatically accepted. However, if they give up their spot freshmen year they can not retain it on special status.

On Saturday, November 18, 1893, the annual Male-Manual football rivalry, the longest running, continuously played, high school football series in Kentucky, began. Their football team is a perennial state power, and in addition to its long-running rivalry with Manual, Male is also a close rival with St. Xavier High School, with the annual contest usually determining the fate of the district champion; however, due to the state's realignment of high school football into a six-class system starting in 2007-08, Male will be in a separate district from both Manual and St. X, albeit in the same class. Male is the third winningest football program in the United States and the winningest program in Kentucky. Male also has a rivalry with Trinity High School in football. Trinity often will not schedule Male in the regular season however. The school offers football, basketball (State Championships: 1932 (Runner-up),1945, 1966 (RU),1970, 1971, 1973 (RU), 1974 (RU), 1975, 2001 (RU)), baseball (State Championship: 1944)), and lacrosse

Clubs and organizations
Students participate in several clubs and organizations:

Notable alumni
  • Chris Barclay, professional football player
  • Ralph Beard, basketball player
  • Winston Bennett, basketball player
  • Porter Bibb, the first publisher of Rolling Stone
  • Emery Bopp, artist
  • Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Michael Bush, professional football player
  • Trent Findley, professional football player
  • Marcus Green, professional football player
  • Sean Green, Major League Baseball Pitcher
  • Darrell Griffith, professional basketball player
  • William B. Harrison, former mayor of Louisville
  • Neville Miller, former mayor of Louisville
  • Larry O'Bannon, basketball player
  • D.J. Johnson, Professional football player
  • Joseph T. O'Neal, former mayor of Louisville
  • Chris Redman, professional football player
  • Lee Roberson, notable Baptist pastor, and founder, president and chancellor of Tennessee Temple University and Temple Baptist Seminary
  • Edliff Slaughter, LMHS's first All-American football player
  • Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist, writer, novelist, political commentator
  • George Weissinger Smith, former mayor of Louisville
  • Wilson Wyatt, former mayor of Louisville

Notes and references