Centennial School District History
The first recorded school held in the area that is now the Centennial District was in 1854 when classes were held in the F. X. Lavalle home.
This grew into Centerville District 5. In 1880, District 48 was organized near Golden Lake. There were several districts in the area that over time, were consolidated into these two which in turn were consolidated into District 240.
When the State of Minnesota organized the numbering of school districts in 1957, it became District 12. The community desired a name for the district that would represent all five of the communities served. Being that it was 1958, the Centennial year for Minnesota, it was decided to honor that celebration and adopt the name Centennial for the school district.
District 12 Timeline
School District #12 has roots dating back to April of 1853 when the Manomin School District was created. It included the cities of Anoka, Blaine, Fridley, Grow, Ham Lake, Ramsey Township and part of Moundsview. The first recorded school in what is now the Centennial District was housed in the F.X. LaValle home in 1854 in Centerville. In 1880, Francis Golden held school in her kitchen, which was near what is now Golden Lake in Circle Pines.
On Jan. 1, 1956, District 48 (Lovell - with 20 classrooms and 890 pupils) and District 5 (Centerville - with eight classrooms and 280 pupils) consolidated. Each district consisted of just one school building. In 1957 a superintendent was hired for the new school district. During the summer of 1957, a $700,000 bond issue was passed to build a junior-senior high school.
|Date||Event: Most information came from scrapbooks in the district archives. The district is in possession of school board minutes, some of which date back to 1895 (in the early years they had one meeting a year and mostly paid bills.)|
|April 5, 1853||The Manomin School District was created. It included cities of Anoka, Blaine, Fridley, Grow, Ham Lake, Ramsey Township and part of Mounds View. Sixteen pupils enrolled by 1855.|
|1859||Centerville Township was established. It encompassed the current cities of Centerville, Circle Pines and Lino Lakes.|
|1865-1882||School was held in a building north of St. Genevieve's Church on the shore of Centerville Lake. This is the first record found of it being district #5.|
|July 7, 1877||Blaine Township was established. It encompassed the current cities of Blaine, Circle Pines, and Lexington.|
|1880||District 46 was organized and a school built on section 11.|
|1880||District 48 was organized and school held in the kitchen of the John Golden farm, west of Golden Lake which was then known as "Little Sandy." Francis Golden was the first teacher.
Later there was a school building near the intersection of Golden Lake Road and Lake Drive.
|1882||The school board was authorized to spend $300 for a new building and $200 for the a site located across the street from the present day Centerville Elementary.|
|1888||A 16-foot addition was added to the Centerville School.|
|1894||The Golden Lake School building was moved to a location near the current Lovell Building. There were 12 students enrolled in 1894.|
|1900||A new district 48 school was built on the corner of Lexington and Lovell. The old building was moved across the street and later to Mounds View.|
|1900-1930||Horse drawn sleigh or mud buses transported students to schools.|
|1901||District 5 (Centerville) voted to build a new school. A four room two story school was constructed for about $2,500.|
|April 10, 1929||A tornado destroyed District #48 school. It was rebuilt on the Lovell School site in Lexington for $3,500.|
|1937-1938||WPA built a gym, kitchen and lunchroom under the Centerville School.|
|1948||The old District 48 (Lovell) building was sold and a new three room school was built.|
|1950||Districts 20, 26 and 52 were consolidated into District 5.
Somewhere around this time, Districts 46, 48, 52, 56, & 58 were consolidated into District 48. Classes were held in the basements of St. Genevieve's Catholic Church, The Christian Church and Our Savior's Lutheran Church.
|1951||High school students went to Anoka High, and when they ran out of space, to Columbia Heights. District 48 voted to become an independent district and a six-person board was elected.|
|1951-52||An eight-room addition was made to Lovell.|
|1952||High school students went to Marshall High School in Minneapolis. (maybe 1954?)|
|1955||Split shift half day schooling in Lovell School until 13 room addition was made to Lovell.|
|1956||Minneapolis Marshall High School no longer had room for District #48 students. District 240 was created by reorganizing districts 5 and 48. Before consolidation students from District 5 went to White Bear, and District 48 went to Marshall High School in Minneapolis.|
|October 30, 1956||A vote for a bond issue to build a 28-room Jr/Sr High. In 1957 there was a 91.5 affirmative vote to add 17 rooms to that building. Classes held in Midland Coop Building, Galilee Baptist Church and St. Mark Lutheran until December when first classes were held in the new building.|
|1957||The state reorganized the numbering of school districts and District 240 became Independent School District #12.
Arthur Bergee was named Superintendent of the new District #12 which consisted of two elementary buildings, Lovell with 20 rooms and Centerville with 8. Ground breaking for new jr/sr high was April 1. New Jr/Sr high opened in December with Principal William Mattke.
|1958||South East Anoka High School was dedicated on March 7.
Bond passed for new senior high on September 23.
The name Centennial was selected for the school district, in celebration of Minnesota's statehood centennial.
|1959||A fire occurred at Centerville Elem. Grades 3-6 stayed in the lower level, K-2 went to Centennial Elem. A new six-room school with expandability to 18 rooms was proposed as well as another addition for Lovell (auditorium and gym)
First football season--lost every game, Skyline Conference.
First season of Cross Country - winless. New Centerville school with six rooms was built after a fire destroyed the old building. Classes held in new high school; some elementary classes held there as well in February. New High School opened in Sept. for grades 9-12, leaving grades 1-8 in the old building. First football victory, over St. Francis, in October. District 12 qualified as a distressed district in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965.
|1961||First Junior/Senior Prom - theme "Blue Hawaii", held in gym, May 27. First graduating class - 51 seniors graduated, June 6. First homecoming queen - Judy Heise, new football field dedication - Sept. 8. First PTA meeting, included all JH and elementary parents.|
|April 29, 1962||High School dedication.|
|1963||Kindergarten and grades 4-6 were in the high school, grades 1-3 went to the junior high. There were 90 seniors.|
|1965||Centennial Elementary dedicated on April 29. Anoka Ramsey community college was held in the High School.|
|1966||Wing added to Centerville Elementary.|
|1967||Marshall Hankerson named superintendent.|
|1970||Final addition to Centerville Elementary. Ground breaking for Golden Lake Elementary.|
|1971||Golden Lake Elementary opened with Richard (Buzz) Larson as principal.|
|1972||Bill Mattke was named superintendent. The first computer was purchased and installed in the senior high math department.|
|August 1974||Published the first issue of district newsletter, The Observer.|
|1975||Straight line winds blew the roofs off several buildings.|
|1976||John McClellan was named superintendent.|
|1978||The High Potential Program, later named the Talented of Gifted program, began.|
|1982||Closed Lovell School.|
|May 1986||Centennial High was one of the first metro school to award academic achievement letters.|
|May 1987||Centennial designated as a National School of Excellence.|
|1989||Centennial district officially became tobacco free in August. The Program of Advanced Opportunity began offering college credit classes to 11-12 graders through Cambridge Community College and the U of M.|
|1991||Ground breaking for Rice Lake Elementary Aug. 22. Superintendent McClellan was selected as Minnesota Superintendent of the Year, 1991-92. The district newsletter, The Observer took top honors for external newsletters from the Minnesota chapter of the National School Public Relations Association.|
|1992||Rice Lake Elementary opened in the fall. Kids Club was piloted at Rice Lake by Spring Lake Park. The first hockey game was played in the new hockey arena on Jan. 25. The Performing Arts Center was dedicated on Dec. 13.|
|1995||Retired the "Chiefs" mascot - the "Cougar" became the mascot that fall.|
|1998||The Middle School was dedicated in April. Early Childhood moved to new facility in Lino Lakes in December.|
|2003||Blue Heron dedicated on April 13.|
|2005||Superintendent Christensen resigned; Dr. Roger Worner became the new superintendent.|
|2009||Dr. Roger Worner retired; Dr. Paul Stremick became the superintendent in July. Centennial Middle School received the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation School Spotlight Award. The award identifies schools that demonstrate academic excellence through significant gains in student achievement.|
|2011||Dr. Paul Stremick resigned as of June 30, Dr. Keith Dixon was selected as interim superintendent. Dave Thacker named 2011 Special Education Administrator of the year by Minnesota Administratiors for Special Education.|
|2012||High school building names changed from red and white to east and west in the fall. The Pines School became part of the district on July 1. Early Childhood moved to Rice Lake Elementary.
Wireless installed and the Campus Messenger system introduced. Privately funded artificial turf installed on the stadium field. Donna McKenny named School Nurse Administrator of the year by the School Nurse Organization of Minnesota.
|2013||Brian R. Dietz named Superintendent; tenure to begin on July 1.|
|April 27, 2017||
|2020||U.S. Department of Education Recognizes Centennial Elementary as a Blue Ribbon School for their work to close the academic achievement gap and demonstrate that all students can achieve to high levels. This is the first time in the Centennial School District’s history an elementary school has won the Blue Ribbon award.|
|Fall 2022||Centerville Elementary addition opens.|
The Centennial Sports Arena was built in 1991 and officially opened its doors on January 1, 1992. Centennial played its first hockey game in the Arena on January 25, 1992. It was the first Olympic-size ice surface in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
In 2019 the arena underwent an $8.5 million renovation. The rink was converted to a traditional North American size and a state-of-the-art refrigeration system was added to provide the highest quality ice possible. The Arena boasts six spacious team rooms, boys and girls varsity team rooms, seating for 1,200 people, full service pro shop with professional skate sharpening, a meeting room, and spacious lobby and concessions area. The Arena re-opened its doors on January 4, 2020.
The arena provides ice sports programming that serves Centennial Boys and Girls High School Hockey, Centennial Youth Hockey, Blaine Youth Hockey, open skating, and ice rental to the general public.
Authorization for bonding to build the Performing Arts Center (PAC) was one outcome of the November 1990 General Election. The cost of the PAC was $1.8 million (which was $300,000 less than the $2.1 million authorized for the project).
Groundbreaking was held in March of 1992. The delay was due to reworking of the project, which came in over budget on the first bidding. The building was dedicated on Dec. 13, 1992. The first event held in the PAC was Centennial High School’s staging of the musical “Oklahoma,” Dec. 17-19.
The PAC features:
- Seating for 550
- Computerized stage lighting control system
- Air conditioning
- Catwalk accessible lighting position
- Acoustically transparent false proscenium stage allowing a variety of stage sizes and configurations (the proscenium is the space between the curtain and the orchestra)
- Modified, expandable counterweight fly system
Use during the school day – As a classroom for band and choir 2-3 days in advance of all concerts. Used for rehearsals for groups conducting evening performances, speakers for large groups of students, weekly homeroom meetings.
Use before/after school – Drama rehearsal, staff meetings.
Evening or weekend use – High school band and choir concerts (32), elementary programs (various music, drama and/or grade level programs), the fall musical takes up three weeks of use plus four performances, one-act play takes place in January and may include a performance, spring 3-act play takes up three weeks of use plus four performances, hosting section music contest, elementary music festival, Homecoming and prom festivities, blood drive, informational meetings (kindergarten, financial aid, academic awards, etc.) and Centennial Community Band.
Outside group rentals include annual business meetings, dance recitals, election polling site, piano recitals, community events, political meetings.
By the numbers – In 2007-08, there were 287 students in band, 209 in choir, 102 in the fall play, 15 in the one-act, and 16 in the spring play. Choir and band concerts, and plays (depending upon the production) fill the PAC. In just these three areas, nearly 10,000 students and/or audience members use the PAC (six plays with 500-member audience, 2 senior previews with 200 attendees, 1 one-act play with 300 attendees, 18 concerts with 70 students participating totaling 1,260 students and 400 attendees totaling 7,200).
District superintendent history:
- Jeff Holmberg, 2021-Present
- Brian R. Dietz, 2013-2021
- Dr. Keith Dixon, 2011-2013
- Dr. Paul Stremick, 2009-2011
- Dr. Roger Worner, 2005-2009
- Dr. John Christiansen, 2000-2005
- John McClellan, 1976-2000
- Bill Mattke, 1972-1976
- Marshall Hankerson, 1967-1972
- Arthur Bergee, 1957-1967