When Mounds View High School opened its doors in September 1954, the students were welcomed by painters, cement masons, and carpenters, along with teachers and classmates. Only the classrooms were ready for the opening of the first high school in the Mounds View School District. The gymnasium was a sea of sand where the floor would eventually be laid. The cafeteria was not finished until December 2, 1954, obligating students to eat their bag lunches in their third hour classrooms. The hot lunch program began soon after Christmas that year. In 1954,the 11th graders were the school's upperclassmen because there was no senior class that first year. Our classmates came from five different high schools (Columbia Heights, Alexander Ramsey. Minneapolis Marshall, and St. Paul Central) to become the first student body of Mounds View High School. It did not take long for this diverse groupto develop the lasting bond of school spirit as a result of organizing clubs and athletic teams; publishing the first-ever editions of the Viewer (newspaper) and the Vista (yearbook), going to dances, and, of course the excitement of starting traditions such as school plays, the Prom, and homecoming.
Mounds View High School is located on the old Farrel farm property which was just outside the New Brighton Village limits in Arden Hills. John Farrell, who came to America from Ireland in 1849, said he liked his hilly property ---- near the east edge of what became New Brighton Village and today contains Mounds View High School, the St. John the Baptist Catholic church, and other parish buildings, the Arden Hills Ramsey County Branch Library, the Minnesota Baptist Conference headquarters and many fine homes --- because it reminded him of Ireland.
First principal of the high school was Joe Kunze. Like a proud father, Kunze filmed on a home movie camera the first day of the school opening in September 1954. The film shows the first bus rolling up the curved drive and stopping at the front doors. The first student off the bus was Ron Sweeley '58. The experience must have touched Sweeley in a profound way. He went on to become an educator in the Mounds View school system where he was on the staff of Pike Lake Elementary as a fifth grade teacher.
Home field scoreboard
MVHS Circa 1954-55
Flag raising ceremony October 1954
From the beginning to the present, the trophy cases in the school lobby represent the many honors achieved by the school and its students, and are a legacy to all students who pass through Mounds View High School. The school has a history of producing the nation's top scholars. Ted Vessey '56 was the school's (and the district's) first National Merit Scholar. Academic achievement of Merit Scholars places them among the top one percent of the nation's high school seniors. In 1985, twelve Mounds View High School students were named as National Merit Scholar finalists. In 1995, the school's 21 Merit Scholars all became finalists in the national scholarship program, a record unmatched at both the school and throughout the state. In 1982, Chris Mullin was named a "Presidential Scholar." That year the program recognized Mullin as being among the 1,000 most distinguished and accomplished of the nation's 3,000,000 graduates. Beginning in 1956, and every year since, the school has inducted students into the National Honor Society. This program honors the academic excellence and responsible citizenship of Mounds View High School students.
Home field bleachers
Looking down field
Here is a short history and a few views of MVHS over the years
Aerial view - 1961
School entrance sign