History & Identity

It All Began in Mt. Carmel

Fr. Kuemper

The roots of Kuemper Catholic School go all the way back to 1874 with the Mt. Carmel parish beginning a small pioneering Catholic school. By 1916, each of the 13 area parishes surrounding Carroll built their own Catholic grade school, and eventually Catholic high schools were also established in Breda, Mt. Carmel, Templeton and Vail. Fr. Joseph Kuemper (1855-1923) left his mark and an important legacy on Carroll county’s 20th century history.

 The hard-working German immigrant parish priest and carpenter founded the St. Angela Domestic Science Institute in 1908 – an all-girls boarding high school in Carroll to educate young women in the art of Christian homemaking. It was one of the the first schools to accept students from across parishes. The school was later renamed the St. Angela Academy.

Fr. Kuemper, who also began Carroll’s St. Anthony Hospital and three area parishes, arranged the talented Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration from LaCrosse, Wisconsin (www.fspa.org) to operate his ministries in the Carroll area.

When the all-girls St. Angela Academy closed in 1954, Fr. Leo Lenz (1913-1985), a Mt. Carmel native, led the effort to build a regional Catholic high school. A large addition was constructed and attached to the west side of the St. Angela building. Kuemper Catholic High School took St. Angela’s place as 10 area parishes invested in and financially supported the new non-tuition high school. This inter-parochial, co-educational high school began a trend of regionalization and unification as three more area parish high schools unified with Kuemper High School by the early 1960s.

Fr. Lenz By the mid to late 1970s, the number of religious sisters and priests faculty began declining and student tuition fees began to offset rising operating costs. Catholic grade schools in the area began consolidating in 1964 and by 1990, three merged grade schools remained in the rural areas surrounding Carroll. Holy Spirit and St. Lawrence parish schools in Carroll unified their K-8 grade schools in 1996. 

The 2003-04 school year saw a complete Catholic school unification from kindergarten to grade twelve. All students of the area now attend Catholic schools in Carroll. 2004 also marked the 50th anniversary of Kuemper Catholic High School and the 130th anniversary of that first pioneering parish school in Mt. Carmel in 1874.

Over 11,000 St. Angela Academy and Kuemper High School alumni, along with thousands more parish school graduates of the area serve across the world in many vocations. From priests, sisters, teachers and civic leaders to valedictorians of prestigious universities, chief executives of national corporations, and rocket scientists for the U.S. space program, all these Kuemper alumni continue to serve in their careers and exemplify today’s mission statement of the Kuemper Catholic School System: “providing a Christ-centered environment where students grow spiritually, academically and socially becoming responsible citizens of the world.”

“Dedicated on this day, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Kuemper High School will strive to promote worthy ideals and to encourage high standards in every phase of life: spiritually, morally, academically and socially. It is dedicated to the purpose of preparing its students for time and eternity, for happiness on earth and in heaven. It aims to develop those characteristics and to instill those principles which will make its graduates vigorous leaders for God and Country.”

--Excerpted from the Dedication Program of Kuemper Catholic High School, September 11, 1955



The Shield

The origin of the Kuemper shield evolves from the legend of King Arthur and his Knights.

The cross which is superimposed on the Kuemper shield is the central point of concentration. Constantine, a pagan emperor, was walking under the stars one evening beforea battle he was to fight the next day. As he looked intothe sky, he saw a cross surrounded by the words, “In This Sign You Shall Conquer.” Constantine, not yet a Christian, understood only vaguely the symbolism of the cross, but he had it placed on the shields of all his men. His victory in battle the next day led to his victory of faith. Later in life he became a Christian. In this sign, Kuemper Knights too shall conquer,conquer themselves and conquer the forces of evil that sometimes surround them.Knighthood’s code of behavior. A true Knight had faith and a deep love of the Christian faith. He was ready to defend, and if necessary, die for the Church. A Knight championed right against injustice and evil, and never surrendered or flinched in the face of the enemy.

The scroll to the left of the cross on the shield proper represents Natural Knowledge. The book to the right illustrates Sacred Scriptures. Both together symbolize the Unity of Truth, who is God.

The K, a symbol of all Kuemper students and faculty, appears in the lower half of the escutcheon. Truth in all aspects, wherever it is found, is the object, the goal sought by Kuemper Catholic School System.

Kuemper Logo

School Song

(to the tune of "When the Irish Backs Go Marching By")
We’re going to cheer, cheer, cheer for Kuemper High
We’re going to fight, fight, fight, we’ll do or die
We’ll cheer the Knights on to fame as we win this game
Success or failure, we’ll be the same
Because we’re loyal to our Kuemper Knights
Who fought so bravely for their rights
We’re right behind you Kuemper all the way
We want this victory as ours today!