Abbot Pennings High School

Last Updated July 30, 2014 (What's New?)

From 1959 until 1990, 9,000 or so young men were educated by the Norbertine priests, various nuns and other lay faculty in the building pictured below.  Abbot Pennings High School sat on the banks of the Fox River in DePere, Wisconin, between the St. Norbert College Campus and the old Claude Allouez Bridge.  The education was broad and solid, a fine preparation for any college.  The Fighting Squires athletic teams, in spite of having an enrollment of only 300 to draw from, saw their share of successes and championships in football, soccer, basketball, cross country, tennis, track and baseball.

In 1990, the three Catholic high schools were consolidated into Notre Dame Academy, but the spirit of Abbot Pennings High School lives on in the hearts and memories of Pennings alumni, faculty and the rest of the Abbot Pennings community.  It's funny because when I was in school there, it seemed timeless, as if Pennings had existed forever.  In reality, it only produced Abbot Pennings High School Graduates for about 30 years*.  Nonetheless, this little corner of the web is dedicated to archiving some photos, stories and other artifacts from our old school.

When the school closure was announced, Paul Gigot ('73), who was then a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, dedicated an entire 'Potomac Watch' column to Abbot Pennings High School.  This is a copy of Potomac Watch from the November 24, 1989 edition of the Wall Street Journal (Thanks to Paul for writing it, and my Mom for saving it.)



APHS Yearbooks

Other Photos

The Lance


Vintage APHS Gear





About this Site


The 15th annual (2011) APHS All Class Reunion Golf Outing was held on August 6, 2011 at Ledgeview (formerly Mystery Hills) in De Pere.  Just over 200 APHS alumni were in attendance.  It is held on the first Saturday of August every year so plan accordingly.  Thanks to Pat Peeters '78 for all his efforts in keeping the spirit of Abbot Pennings High School alive with this event.  More photos from this day here.  (Photo by Chris Dorsch.)  Flyer & Sign-up for 2012 Here.


This site is a marker on the web to remind us of our old school and a repository for images and stories of Abbot Pennings.  For a more interactive Pennings experience, and to connect with other alumni, check out Kiar Olson's Abbot Pennings High School Group on Facebook.  There are also some groups for specific Pennings graduation classes out there as well.  Nat Zettel created an Abbot Pennings High School Group on LinkedIn as well.  You need to send an e-mail to request membership from this page.

*Its predecessor, St. Norbert High School, produced graduates for sixty years before that, but I'm not sure about the numbers.  See History for more details.

Nice shot of the Building from the 1985 Argos (Photo by Eric Elfner)


This drawing, by BJ Moran if I'm reading the signature correctly, was done as the school was closing.  It captured many of the details of the Abbot Pennings High School buildings, including the band hall in an old church pictured on the right.  (more details in Artifacts.)


The Abbot Pennings High School spirit lives on at the 2009 Annual APHS Alumni Golf Outing.  (Photo by Chris Dorsch.)  For a hi res uncropped version, click here.  If you have other photos from this event, other current Pennings events or some APHS history, please send them to elf(at) for inclusion on this site.


I scanned some photos of 1984 Varsity football and found a good shot of a Squire (Chuck Kessler '85) defender breaking up a Premontre pass.  (Photo by Eric Elfner)


Contact Eric Elfner at elf(at) with additions, corrections or comments on this site.