Welcome to our District

Defiance City Schools is located in the northwest corner of Ohio.  The City of Defiance has an estimated population of 17,000, and serves as the county seat for Defiance County and has a strong mayor/strong council type of government. The city is centrally located between Lima and Toledo, Ohio with Ft. Wayne, IN of equal distance of approximately 45 miles.  With the on-going Fort to Port project that will connect Defiance with a 4 lane freeway to Toledo (to our East) and Ft. Wayne (to our West), the safety and travel time between these cities will greatly be enhanced. 
The district serves approximately 2,730 students in grades PK-12.  In 2009 the district opened a new K-5 building, one of the largest elementary buildings in the state, located just south of the high school.  Our middle school, which is centrally located in the city, serves students in grades 6-8.  The high school serves students in grades 9-12.

Defiance City Schools has a proud tradition of academic excellence, extra curricular activities that broaden our students, and fiscal responsibility in serving the community's and students best interests.

Our District's Beginning

Our District's Beginning

The first school in Defiance was started in 1823 in an old blacksmith shop.  By 1825, the city had its first building erected expressly for school purposes.  From 1842 - 1851 a two story building was constructed using for the first time money raised through a levy upon taxable property within the district.    

Additional school buildings existed between 1865-1919 (Central School); 1874-1940 (4th Ward School); and 1898-1940 (2nd Ward School).  In 1941 these buildings were condemned, and four new elementary buildings were constructed in each sector of the city:  Anthony Wayne Elementary to the south; Slocum Elementary to the west; Brickell Elementary to the east; and Spencer Elementary to the north.

The current Middle School (still known as the high school by many) was constructed in 1917.   With the facility overflowing, an additional building was constructed directly south of the school building in 1961 to house grades 7 and 8. The Community Auditorim was added in 1929. 

Finally, in 1969 the construction of our high school on the southern edge of the city was underway and officially opened on January 25, 1970.  It is endearing to many long time residents to still refer to this building as the "new" high school.

How We Look Today

On January 5, 2009 the new elementary building serving students in grades PK-5 opened.  The Catholic Schools purchased Anthony Wayne Elementary; the City of Defiance purchased Slocum Elementary and constructed a new municipal building; and the County purchased Spencer Elementary for a Senior Citizen Center.  Brickell Elementary was removed and the lot currently is vacant. 

The middle school now includes grades 6, 7 and 8.  

Superintendents of Defiance City Schools

The first superintendent of the district was hired in 1851.  Including that year through present Defiance has had 38 superintendents.  

Alma Mater

Sing a song to ole Defiance
Ere to her be true.
Live up to the best that's in you
For the White and Blue.
Hail Defiance, Hail Defiance
We'll uphold thy fame
Striving ever to be worthy,
Of thy glorius name.

Notable Graduates

Chad Billingsley   
2003 DHS graduate.  First round draft pick of the LA Dodgers baseball team during his senior year.
Stuart Clark 
1980 graduate from DHS.  Senior photographer with the Atlanta, GA based CNN.
Luke Hagerty 
1999 DHS grad.  Chicago Cubs first round draft pick in 2002.
Judy Richards Hope
1957 DHS alumnis.  Appointed by President Gerald Ford to serve as associate director of the White House domestic policy staff in 1975; and , in 1988 and 1989 President Ronald Reagan nominated her to the US Court of Appeals.
Reid Meloy
1967 DHS graduate is well known in his field of forensic psychology.
Jon Niese
2005 DHS graduate. 7th round draft pick of the NY Mets in 2005, during his senior year. 
Dave Preston
1973 graduate.  Became professional football player in 1979 for the Broncos as the 4th leading rusher in their history.
Claudia Howard Queen
Class of 1973.  She co-wrote the screenplay about Defiance, titled Dreams of Defiance which previewed for 6 weeks in Chicago.
Terry Ryan
1964 graduate of DHS.  Author of the book The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio...How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less.  In fall of 2005 her book released as a feature film starring Julianne Moore as Evelyn Ryan and Woody Harrelson as Kelly Ryan.
Michelle Renee Thomas (Shelly Gray)
A 1988 graduate of DHS.  Her movie credits include:  Dazed and Confused, Coneheads; Major Leagure II; and Midnight in St. Petersburg.  Her TV credits include:  The Last Don I and II; Tales from the Crypt; Scattering Dae; and, Little Men for the PAX network.

Additional Historical Information

Additional information is available in the Superintendent's Office for those who have a broader interest in the district's rich history.  Please feel free to call 419-782-0070.

Our source of historic information for this page was obtained from the Defiance High School Alumni Directory 2000.  Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc. 2000 as provided by the Defiance City Schools Foundation, Inc. and Defiance City Schools.
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