History of the Bearcats

History of the Bearcats image


Longfellow High School


Kearney High School


Kearney High School

 KHS Main Entrance


Kearney High School has 1450+ students (9-12) and 103 faculty members. KHS was one of the first Nebraska schools to be recognized as an "Outstanding Secondary School" by the U.S. Department of Education (1983). KHS students consistently score above the state and national averages on the ACT test.

KHS is a comprehensive high school with academic programs that feature honors level and AP courses. KHS offers a full vocational program. The construction technology class has built 33 houses. Over the last 10 years, KHS is 4th in state championships of the 28 Class A schools (NSAA). Our music programs, forensics teams, and vocational clubs consistently place high in their various competitive state events and place students in national level competitions. Our student council has won the "outstanding" state award many times. Also, Kearney High School is piloting an English III Hybrid course in which all students receive iPads and work in a more collaborative setting with an emphasis on project-based learning. This course is the first of its kind in the State of Nebraska.

The mission of Kearney High is "Create an environment that fosters mutual respect, Inspire the love of learning, and Expect excellence from all". The staff and students live this mission on a daily basis! We are proud of our tradition of excellence. We live by our Motto: "Cat Pride-Respect, Responsibility, and Safety"!

According to an article in the November 7, 1923 edition of the Kearney Hub, Kearney High students chose Bearcats as the official school mascot. According to the Hub article, "the voting took place last week, and the vote showed that there was a great difference of opinion as to the name which best suited the school. The four names voted upon were Bearcats, Buffaloes, Wolverines, and Kubs." The final tally of votes according to the Hub article was as follows: Bearcats (206), Buffaloes (138), Wolverines (92), and Kubs (51). The article goes on to state, "Each homeroom carried on its own voting through its officers. Speeches were made by pupils in many of the homerooms, in which the merits of the various names were discussed. The speeches help to make the pupils understand what they were voting for, and the importance of their selection."


Kearney High competes in the Class A division in the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA). The school has won many state team championships, including the following:

 Season Sport  Championships  Year 
 Fall Football  1  2006
  Mens Cross Country   1977, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2011
  Womens Volleyball   1978
  Womens Golf   1992, 1994, 1995, 1997
  Mens Tennis   1976, 1985, 1986
 Winter Wrestling   1998
  Womens Basketball   1982
 Spring Mens Track & Field  15   1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014
   Womens Track & Field 4

 1972, 1995, 1996, 2016