Watertown High School (South Dakota)

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Watertown Senior High School
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Watertown High School from Arrow Ave.
209 9th ST NE
Watertown, SD 57201
MottoEnabling all students to succeed in an ever changing world
School districtWatertown School District 14-4
SuperintendentDr. Jeff Danielsen
PrincipalDr. Michael Butts
Number of students1,226 [1]
Color(s)Purple, Gold, White             
AthleticsAA (with the exception of AAA for football)
Athletics conferenceESD
Information(605) 882-6316

Watertown High School (WHS) is a public high school in Watertown, South Dakota. The school was the first in the state and the second in the United States in which every student and teacher was issued a laptop computer. [2]

Watertown, South Dakota City in South Dakota, United States

Watertown is a city in and the county seat of Codington County, South Dakota, United States. Watertown is home to the Redlin Art Center which houses many of the original art works produced by Terry Redlin, one of America's most popular wildlife artists. Watertown is located between Pelican Lake and Lake Kampeska, from which Redlin derived inspiration for his artwork.

Laptop Personal computer for mobile use

A laptop computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a "clamshell" form factor, typically having a thin LCD or LED computer screen mounted on the inside of the upper lid of the clamshell and an alphanumeric keyboard on the inside of the lower lid. The clamshell is opened up to use the computer. Laptops are folded shut for transportation, and thus are suitable for mobile use. Its name comes from lap, as it was deemed to be placed on a person's lap when being used. Although originally there was a distinction between laptops and notebooks, as of 2014, there is often no longer any difference. Laptops are commonly used in a variety of settings, such as at work, in education, for playing games, Internet surfing, for personal multimedia, and general home computer use.



Watertown High School has a dual-enrollment program with the neighboring Lake Area Technical Institute campus, allowing students to take college level course during all four years of enrollment. WHS also allows students to take courses directly through South Dakota State University. WHS has nearly a quarter of its students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses. [3] WHS has 102 teachers, of which 70.2% have obtained a master's degree or higher. [4]

Lake Area Technical Institute is a technical school in Watertown, South Dakota. The campus covers 40 acres and serves an area of 18,000 square miles. Founded in 1965, Lake Area Tech was the first technical school to be established in South Dakota, followed by schools in Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Lake Area Technical Institute is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

South Dakota State University public research university located in Brookings, South Dakota

South Dakota State University is a public research university in Brookings, South Dakota. Founded in 1881, it is the state's largest and most comprehensive university and the oldest continually-operating university in South Dakota. The university is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents, which governs the state's six public universities and two special schools.

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. The AP curriculum for each of the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study. For a high school course to have the designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ascertain that it satisfies the AP curriculum. If the course is approved, the school may use the AP designation and the course will be publicly listed on the AP Course Ledger.

Laptop program

Watertown High School first started its laptop program in the 2003–2004 school year, making WHS the first high school in South Dakota and the second high school in the nation to give every student a personal laptop.[ citation needed ] In 2006, WHS became part of the state-sponsored Classroom Connections project, where it was among 20 selected schools in the state to receive funding for laptops for students and tablet computers for teachers. In the 2017-2018 school year, WHS have each student an I-Pad.

Tablet computer mobile computer with display, circuitry and battery in a single unit

A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device, typically with a mobile operating system and touchscreen display processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single, thin and flat package. Tablets, being computers, do what other personal computers do, but lack some input/output (I/O) abilities that others have. Modern tablets largely resemble modern smartphones, the only differences being that tablets are relatively larger than smartphones, with screens 7 inches (18 cm) or larger, measured diagonally, and may not support access to a cellular network.

Extracurricular activities

Competitive speech activities

The WHS oral interpretation program was among the first 100 chartered squads in the National Forensics League. The department has produced a number of Truman scholars. [5]

Oral interpretation

Oral Interpretation is a dramatic art, also commonly called "interpretive reading" and "dramatic reading", though these terms are more conservative and restrictive. In certain applications, oral interpretation is also a theatre art – as in reader's theatre, in which a work of literature is performed with manuscripts in hand or, more traditionally, using stools and music stands; and especially chamber theatre, which dispenses with manuscripts and uses what may be described as essentialist costuming and stage lighting, and suggestive scenery.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for public service leadership. A federally funded scholarship granted to U.S. undergraduate students for demonstrated leadership potential, academic excellence, and a commitment to public service, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship is the most highly competitive American fellowship to support graduate education and leadership development. It is administered by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, an independent federal agency based in Washington, D.C.

The Head coach for Arrow Speech and Debate is Scott Walker, who is an alumnus of Watertown High School himself. [6]

Forensic events offered are: (State championships are listed to the right)

State Championships

State Championships
Fall Football 21996, 2001
Volleyball21997, 2017
Golf, Boys101929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1949, 1950, 1957, 1971
Cross Country, Girls12001
Winter Basketball, Boys41959, 1992, 1999, 2008
Basketball, Girls41976, 1993, 2007, 2009
Wrestling101961, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2003
Gymnastics32006, 2009, 2010
SpringTennis, Boys41992, 1993, 1994, 2013
Track & field, Boys51915, 1916, 1929, 1930, 1998
Track & field, Girls11978
Golf, Girls21978, 1979

WHS also offers competitive cheerleading, dance, soccer, softball, and baseball, some of which are sanctioned by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.

South Dakota High School Activities Association organization

South Dakota High School Activities Association governs high school sports and other activities in the state of South Dakota. The SDHSAA was founded in 1905 and has been a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations since 1923.

Notable alumni

Noted faculty

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  1. "Contact WHS" . Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  2. "Watertown High School a leader in laptop learning". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  3. https://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/south-dakota/districts/watertown-school-district-14-4/watertown-high-school-17900/test-scores
  4. http://www.watertown.k12.sd.us/education/components/sectionlist/default.php?sectiondetailid=77&
  5. Abare, Robert. "Student Awarded Truman Scholarship for Graduate Education". davidson.edu. Davidson College. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  6. "Walker, Scott - Home". watertown.k12.sd.us. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  7. "South Dakota High School Activities Association State Championships". sports.sdpb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  8. "Arrow speakers win Class AA state title". Watertown Public Opinion. Retrieved 2016-06-10.

Coordinates: 44°54′07″N97°05′52″W / 44.902054°N 97.097747°W / 44.902054; -97.097747