The first school district in Alden was formed in 1870. In 1937, the school sports teams began going by the Blackhawks, and their colors were black and gold. Enrollment in 1955 was 500 students. This was also the year that the agriculture and FFA programs began. Consolidation between Alden and Conger districts occurred in 1956, with an elementary school remaining in Conger until 1978. 1978 was also an exciting year for the Blackhawks football team, as they won the Class C State Championship.
The year 1987 brought on change, as Alden-Conger paired with Freeborn, and the Knights mascot was adopted, along with the black, silver, and red school colors. These were successful years for the Knights, as new activities were added and conference, region, and district awards were won. Freeborn left this pairing in 1992, but the Knights continued to shine. Volleyball won their eighth-straight conference title in 1995, football returned to the state tournament in 1998, and choir was represented in the All-State Choir in 1998 as well. Also in 1998, a new school building was constructed, making the school appear much the same as it does today.
The building expanded in 2009 with a south addition which included a fitness center, classrooms, and new office for the City of Alden. In 2016, an addition was added to the north end of the building with a new elementary entrance, office, and classrooms. Today, our enrollment remains around 500 students, just like it was in 1955. Our preschool has received the highest rating by Parent Aware. An estimated 50% of our high school students are enrolled in at least one college credit class in any given semester. Approximately one-third of our students graduate with a semester’s worth of college credits already completed. And, these graduates receive over $20,000 in local scholarships at graduation each year.
The music programs have excelled, with band scoring eight straight superior ratings at the section large group festival from 2007 through 2014 and choir being represented again in the All-State Choir in 2013. We have a large drama department, with 72 members of the cast and crew in the spring of 2018. We are fortunate to offer a variety of athletic activities for our students: football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, boys and girls golf, and boys and girls track and field. Boys golf, girls golf, and football were all conference champions in 2017. The track and field teams have enjoyed multiple conference and sub-section championships in our co-op with United South Central, and our wrestling team co-op, Albert Lea Area, is a regular at the state tournament. We also have a very strong Supermileage program, which placed 3rd place IN THE WORLD in 2016 and 2017.
In summary, we are an excellent small school which offers a wide variety of opportunities to our children. We maintain a strong connection to our rural roots while also preparing our students for success in an ever-changing world.