The “do you know” of the day. Do you know who Henri Loritz was, who gave his name to a high school in Nancy?

Born October 23, 1815 in Toul, Henri Jacob Loritz was the eldest of the four children of a lieutenant in the Grand Army from Saarland. Came to settle in Toul in 1814, he had to exercise the functions of teacher in Thiaucourt.

Henri Loritz, who had a poor and difficult childhood, graduated from the Nancy Primary Normal School at the age of 20. A year later, he was appointed director of the Saint-Georges municipal school in Nancy, which very quickly became, through his teaching, one of the first primary schools in France.

The first vocational education institution founded in France

After creating continuing education for adults and following the opposition of official authorities to the creation of special workshops for workers, foremen and middle managers, he resigned from public education.

Henri Loritz then buys, at his own expense, the property known as “La Villette”, rue du Tapis-Vert. He wanted to set up a professional education establishment there, the first to be founded in France.

Henri Loritz: “What matters above all is to study the vocation of young people well and then direct them towards the career for which they seem to have the most aptitudes and tastes”.

1er October 1844, the “Callot boarding school” (its name at the time) therefore opened its doors. He quickly became successful despite management made for the economy by this passionate former teacher and his wife, Marie Elisa Laurent, with whom he married on June 28, 1837. Vocational training allows some 150 students aged 12 to 20 (mechanics, founders, fitters, farmers or even traders), upon leaving, to successfully pass major public competitions.

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“Preparing educated and modern men who are not ashamed of the vice, the counter and the plow”: this was Henri Loritz’s project when he created his establishment in 1844 in Nancy.

The establishment was quickly noticed by the rectorate and was the subject of exchanges of letters with the Minister of National Education.Henri Loritz will unfortunately not experience the official recognition and establishment, in 1865, of organized professional education. He died on August 30 in Saint-Max of the same year, at the age of 50.

Successively, its establishment became the Eastern Vocational School in 1881, the National Vocational School (ENP) in 1935 and the State Technical High School in 1959. It was not until February 19, 1966 that the school took the name of its founder, Henri-Loritz high school.

Today, the high school, which brings together around 2,000 students from second to preparatory classes for the Grandes Ecoles, is focused on science, new technologies, industry and digital technology.

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